Saturday, March 10, 2012

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

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown

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. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that 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 in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.  Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.  -

This was a really interesting book and had a great premise.  I love the idea of two people meeting randomly and feelings developing in such a short period of time.  I wasn't quite able to love it as much as I thought I would though.  There were a couple elements that held me back a little bit.

First, I felt like there was a little too much flashing backward in the story.  While I do understand that the author had to help us get to know Hadley so we would care about her, I felt like the flashbacks could have been used a bit more sparingly, and that some of the information revealed could have been done in another way.  It wasn't hugely jarring, but at the same time, I did reach a point where I felt a little annoyed that I was being pulled away from what was taking place in the present.

Second, there were times in the present, while Hadley and Oliver are on the plane, that I felt the author ignored some great opportunities to develop their love story and growing attachment more.  Just when the atmosphere between them would get charged, we'd have a flashback, or Hadley would go to the lavoratory, or the chapter would end.  This didn't really serve to build suspense for me, as when the next chapter would start, instead of picking up there and letting us see those moments of development, it would start off two hours later and the author would just summarize how the conversation had gone.  I really wanted to SEE those things, not get a summary.  Give us a chance to live the developing love story along with them.

What I did love about the story though was Hadley and Oliver and what a great match they were.  In a short period of time, they develop feelings for each, and their meeting changes the both of them in some pretty big ways.  This was very well done by the author, and I was left, at the end, feeling pretty satisfied.


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