REVIEW: The statistical probability of love at first sight by Jennifer E. Smith
TITLE: The statistical probability of love at first sight
AUTHOR: Jennifer E. Smith
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having just 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?
I have mixed feelings about The statistical probability of love at first sight. On the one hand I can’t say I didn’t like it, on the other hand I must admit that it was not as good as I thought it would be, especially because it turned out to be a different book from the one I was expecting.
This novel is supposed to be a romance, however the amount of romanticism in it is very limited: Hadley meets Oliver, a British boy, at the airport and she finds out they will be sitting next to each other on the plane; once they get to London Hadley and Oliver go their separate ways and throughout the story they will meet only a couple of other times. I liked the scenes between Hadley and Oliver, and that’s why my favourite part of the book was the first one when they are together on the plane; the problem is that there are too few pages where they actually interact with each other. I understand that the whole book is based on the ideas of fate and love at first sight, but Hadley and Oliver’s story is too short and as a consequence too shallow… I didn’t really understand how they fell for each other.
Another downside is that Oliver didn’t have enough space to express himself and this was really disappointing because I think he had all the cards to be a good male character: he’s charming, charismatic, funny but also quite mysterious and deep.
So, if this book is not actually a romance what is it about? This novel focuses on the relationship between Hadley and her parents. Hadley is going to London because she has to attend her father’s second wedding with Charlotte, the English woman that stole his heart. Hadley hates her father for what he did to her and her mother, she feels betrayed by him and she’s convinced they will never be able to reestablish the same relationship they had before Charlotte. Hadley is also disappointed at her mother because sometimes it seems to her that she has moved on too quickly. Hadley has gone through a lot in the past few years, her life has been turned upside down because of her father, she feels lost and lonely. She looks at her father and he’s like a stranger to her now; she’s angry, but most of all she’s extremely sad: she misses her father, she misses his stories, his books, his jokes, she misses everything about him and the relationship they used to have. I liked how the author built and developed the dynamics between Hadley and her parents: some pages were really moving and more than once I felt sorry for Hadley. Although I have to say that I found some parts quite slow, repetitive and a little boring, because nothing really happened, everything was exclusively in Hadley’s head.
The Statistical probability of love at first sight is not a bad book at all, it simply wasn’t the book I expected: when I bought it I was looking for a romance, so I was disappointed when I realized it wasn’t the type of book I wanted to read.