Monday, January 9, 2012

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

Publisher:  Poppy
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2012

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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

When I requested this book from the publisher, it was because I was drawn to the title and the cover.  I'm a nerd, and that is a nerdy title if ever there was one.  Add to that the cover- a black and white photo with just a splash of red- and I was in serious book lust, and I didn't even have a clue what the book was about really (other than the obvious)...  When I received it a couple of weeks ago, I was thrilled, and very eager to get started to reading it.  I'm not a huge Contemporary fan, but there are exceptions, and I had heard some good things about this book, so I was cautiously optimistic, but didn't have super-high expectations either.  Imagine my surprise and delight when the book turned out to be great!  I mean, really, really great.  Like, the best Contemporary YA novel since Anna and the French Kiss, great.  I loved this book!  Why?  

This book was so romantic without being sappy and unrealistic.  The characters, Hadley and Oliver were real to me.  They were both pretty well-adjusted teens who were slightly damaged through no fault of their own.  What teenager can't relate to that?  Hell, what adult can't relate to that?  Then they meet at an airport to travel to someplace either would rather not be going to, and they wouldn't have met if not for the fact that Hadley missed her flight by four minutes.  Fate intervening?  Perhaps?  But it isn't all unicorns and rainbows for their relationship... Despite the bond that developed during the flight, and the tugging feelings they were having, they went their separate ways after the flight landed, and it seemed it was a case of "that's that".  But, fate has a way...

I don't want to spoil this book for you, so I won't continue on.  The writing was great.  Hadley's voice was genuine and at times, really heartbreaking.  That said, she was a very strong character,  I found myself rooting for her from the get-go, and feeling a sense of satisfaction in the end.  This is a quick read, not just because of the length (a mere 236 pages), but because you will not want to put it down.  Yes, you kind of know how it's going to turn out in the end, but the fun is in reading how the characters get to that point.  This is a must-read for YA Contemporary fans, for sure, but keep in mind that this gushfest comes from a YA fan who doesn't typically like the genre, so don't pass it up just because Contemporary is usually not your thing; this one is special...

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:  This book is squeaky clean.  The closest it gets to sexual content is hand holding and innocent kissing (not even heavy make-out sessions).  I'm going to suggest this book to my 5th grader because I think she'll love it.  Ages 10 and up (5th grade+).  I would probably even go out on a limb and say it would be okay for even 4th graders except for the fact that they would probably still consider the subject "icky".  :-)


  1. Ooh I LOVED this one so I'M happy to read this! :D It was so romantic and I agree it wasn't cheesy at all it was beautiful!!

    Xpresso Reads

  2. Really glad you liked it and great review! In an attempt to read more contempts, I'm getting this from my library so I'm happy to see that another 'non-contemporary' enjoyed this.
    Truly Bookish

  3. I might have to give this one a try! I'm not one to gush over YA contemps, like you, but it does sound cute. I'll have to look for it!

  4. I am so excited for this one. I picked it up on a whim - like you a loved the cover and the title.

    I haven't read it yet but I have high hopes based on this (and other) reviews. I don't usually read YA contemporaries but this one will definitely be an exception


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