Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Jennifer E. Smith
Poppy/Little Brown
When she misses her scheduled flight by four minutes, Hadley gets bumped to a later transatlantic flight -- one that will get her into London with barely enough time to get to the church before her dad's wedding (to a woman she's never met) begins. This later flight also leads to her meeting Oliver, a charming British boy whose easygoing, calming personality helps Hadley deal with the anxiety that flying brings. Understandably angry over the fact that her dad went to Oxford for a few months, then met a woman there and left Hadley and her mom -- his first family -- for her, Hadley's surprised when the flight to London brings her in contact with this wonderful boy who she quickly finds herself falling for.

I have an often antagonistic relationship with books that can easily and simply be labeled as "cute" -- for me, a book has to offer a bit more than just cuteness in order for me to really enjoy it. Luckily The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight delivers on more than just the obvious. Jennifer E. Smith's writing brings just enough depth to Hadley's emotions to elevate her story above all the other quick-teen-love-stories out there, while the very real family drama grounds the story while adding another dimension to it.

The fact that this novel plays out over the course of 24 hours and just over 200 pages is both a benefit and a detriment to the story. On the one hand the shortened time frame adds an urgency to Hadley and Oliver's love story and makes the inevitable ending and events leading up to it all the more aww-worthy. On the other hand, while everything about this book would lead you to believe it's a romance, the true driving force is the hurt Hadley feels over her dad's new life and I would have loved to see that play out a bit more. The way her parents' divorce happened and the fact that her father is now marrying the woman he had an affair with are such huge things that, unfortunately in this short novel, just didn't get the time or development they deserved. In the end, Hadley's very real and complicated feelings are treated lightly in a way that downplays their significance.

While Hadley and Oliver's romance is undeniably cute, it's also quite predictable and in spite of his many quirks, Oliver's a fairly bland love interest. But weirdly, that doesn't end up mattering much because Smith's writing is so on-target that the romantic feelings between Hadley and Oliver are easily felt despite any other shortcomings. This is, above all else, an adorable story that stands apart thanks to the lovely writing.


  1. aww, this does sound charming. Sometimes a book like that is exactly what you need, especially on a gray type day. I'll have to keep it in mind next time I have one of those days myself :)

    1. Charming is pretty much the perfect word for this book. :)

  2. 'Just enough depth to Hadley's emotions to elevate her story above all the other quick-teen-love-stories out there' -- THIS.

    I think I really liked Statistical Probability of Love because it is a love story, but it has depth but it's not beat you over the head with problems depth.

  3. This book is adorable! I read it in a day, but want to go back and read it again on a rainy day. Guaranteed to make your heart happy.