The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith | Review

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Jennifer E. Smith

Publication – January 2012 by Poppy/Little Brown
Genre – Contemporary
Source/Format – Paperback; owned

Goodreads | Book Depository

Four minutes changes everything. Hadley Sullivan 17 misses her flight at JFK airport, is late to her father’s second wedding in London with never-met stepmother. Hadley meets the perfect boy. Oliver is British, sits in her row. A long night on the plane passes in a blink, but the two lose track in arrival chaos. Can fate bring them together again?
My thoughts

“Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?”

First, what drew me to this book was the cover. The covers of Jennifer E. Smith’s books are so eye-catching and unique. I also love books with long titles. When a book has a long title, odds are I will pick it up. This novel is a big rollercoaster. It made me feel happy then sad, sometimes frustrated. It made me laugh and confused. I love that the story made me feel all those things in its 24 hour time.

“People who meet in airports are seventy-two percent more likely to fall for each other than people who meet anywhere else.”

The story takes place in 24 hours which makes it quick and easy to read. I went into this book thinking it would be a fluffy and somewhat cheesy story about love at first sight, due to the title. However it has a balanced content of romance and family. It started off as cute and heart-warming. Oliver and Hadley met and they click together. Hadley was a bit helpless and irrational at the beginning of the novel, which makes sense she is upset about going to her father’s wedding. I thought the amount of character development that she does through in the amount of 24 hours was amazing. Though I did feel like Oliver was a bit of a closed book. There is a hint of destiny and fate and it makes you question whether these things do exist, that life is leading you to the person you’re meant to be with, for some reason I didn’t find that aspect of the story cheesy. It felt realistic.

“There’s always a gap between the burn and the sting of it, the pain and the realization.”

A darker aspect of the novel was Hadley’s situation with her father, to forgive him or not for what he’s done. It was hard for me, as a reader, to see what option Hadley should have taken because her dad wasn’t characterised enough, I didn’t know much about him and what was going on in his mind and his emotions. I feel as though Hadley’s decision was too quick, either that or she did a lot of thinking in those 24 hours to go from hating the thought of going to the wedding to being comfortable in the wedding and around her father’s new friends and family. I could feel the pain and heartbreak that she went through about her family, when she was talking to Oliver, when she was in her own head and during the flashbacks. Oliver did play a part in her development as a character. He made her realise that he was “still her father, the rest was just geography”. The story was leaning more against family, acceptance and forgiveness than romance. Oliver was just that cherry on top that made me feel happy while reading it.

“Love isn’t supposed to make sense. It’s completely illogical.”

This book is the perfect contemporary romance story. It is cheesy at times – their jokes on the plane, Hadley’s shyness towards a British boy, their seat numbers on the plane, their mini conversations every now and then and how they both found each other after they drifted off at the airport. I love how I got to watch them fall in love. Reading this story made me wonder about ‘the statistical probability of love at first sight’ and how fate and destiny can actually exist in this life. I enjoyed reading this story, it was hard to put down. Plus it was exciting to see the title being said by one of the characters.

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