The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
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Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?
Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.
I thought this was a super cute book, but it lacked a lot in actual substance. It happened incredibly fast to me, and I was hoping for more build up, maybe, more of a deeper story than the one that was told. We only really seemed to skim the surface of both of these characters and it just felt too superficial.
The thing that I really liked about this story was the actual story of it. I felt like there was so much potential in it. It reminded me of Gayle Forman’s Just One Day, the idea that a short amount of time with a person can change you, and can bond you to someone. That is what happened with Allyson and Willem in Just One Day and it was a beautiful story. I thought the story between Hadley and Oliver on the plane trip to London could have been the same. They had hours upon hours to get to know each other, and then there could have been this race through England to see if they could find each other again. It really lays the groundwork for a wonderful, exciting and sweet story.
Unfortunately, I feel like it fell incredibly flat. It was too rushed! If the story had been slowed down a bit, where you really got to know the two characters, maybe as they got to know each other in the airport and then found themselves next to each other on the plane, and built up their relationship, then their separation at the airport would have meant so much more. I also felt like the path to them finding each other in London would have worked a lot better if it had been more tension filled, harder than it was. I didn’t feel like I really knew the characters.
When it comes to the characters, I also felt like both Hadley and Oliver were very one dimensional. Hadley was on her way to attend her father’s wedding to another a woman, a woman who, though it isn’t said, probably broke up her parents’ marriage. Oliver has a difficult relationship with his father. These are not superficial problems, and in fact, I can find so many different literary characters that have these sort of issues. However, because things are delved into as much, it just fell flat to me. It felt too cliche, too “been there-done that”. I think that we honestly tell the same stories over and over again, but in our own voices and Jennifer struggled a little with that, I think.
I do think it was a cute story, and I think with maybe an extra 50 pages, it could have been filled out a bit more, and I could have connected to the characters a little more. Before I started to write out the review, I had to remind myself of what their names were. I really loved the premise of the story, and I think that with a little more detail of the journey and of the characters, it would have had a larger impact for me.
3 out of 5 stars