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

the statistical probability of love at first sight
Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publication Date: January 2, 2012
Opening Sentence: “There are so many ways it could have all turned out differently.”
Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon

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.

From what I can see The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a very well loved novel in the world of Young Adult books. Everyone talks about how amazing and adorable it is, so, of course, I checked it out from the library to see what the hullabaloo is all about. Jennifer E. Smith didn’t disappoint me with her book, but I was somewhat expecting it to be cutesier than it was, based off of what people said about it and the title. Don’t get me wrong! It was wonderful, just not exactly what I was expecting.

There’s a lot more to The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (goodness, that’s a mouthful) than can be guessed without reading it. There’s a lot less romance than I was expecting, which sort of threw me for a loop. The story focuses less on the main character, Hadley, falling in love and more on resolving her issues while also falling in love. This book is very revolved around love, but it’s more of an “understanding love of all sorts” type of book than anything. I’m very pleased about the way the story went, though. It would have been so easy to write (and read) a corny, pre-canned contemporary love story, and the fact that Hadley and Oliver’s romance wasn’t in dead center made it all the more special.

I really liked Hadley’s character. She was faced with a very difficult situation and I feel like she more or less took it very well. I’m not saying she didn’t whine or pout about it, but in the end she faced her problems with maturity and I absolutely respect her for it. Her character developed a ton in a short time period (24 hours). I genuinely think in an everyday situation Hadley would be someone I’d like to be friends with. She’s not perfect, but I think she tries to be as good as she can, and that’s wonderful to read about.

Oliver… sigh, guys, don’t get mad at me. I know a lot of people think he’s “totes adorbs”, but I wasn’t in love with Oliver. I liked him, sure, but I guess maybe he’s just not my type of heartthrob. He isn’t terrible, but sometimes he was sort of annoying to me. Mind you, I could be and probably am biased. Anyhow, I was still totally a cheerleader for Hadley and Oliver and wanted them to end up together the whole time I was reading.

I actually really liked all the characters in the story. I felt like they were all unique of each other and very likable. I would have liked to get to know them a bit more (big surprise!), but a book that takes place in twenty-four hours isn’t very permitting of many small talk scenes.

In general I completely enjoyed reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. It’s so action packed you don’t even realize it’s a 200+ page novel that takes place in a timespan of twenty-four hours. On top of that it’s super interesting and will get you invested. I flew through this one and definitely recommend it. I’m excited to read more by Jennifer E. Smith.

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

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14 thoughts on “Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E. Smith

  1. This is the first review for this book that makes me interested in reading it, since the idea of a 17 year old falling in love with a cute British boy in one day kind of makes me want to roll my eyes. Maybe I’ll check it out sometime!

    1. I hope you do! I totally know what you mean about her falling in love in a day. I was so happy to see that this book never really had them saying they loved each other or anything like that.

  2. I really enjoyed this one too! 🙂 I was kind of hesitant to pick this one up because I was expecting a ton of romance/insta-love, but I was so happy when I started reading it and realized that that wasn’t the case! The story just has so much going on in it. I really liked Hadley too, but my favorite part of the book was probably the writing style. I thought the 3rd person writing style really was beautiful and complimented the story. Great review! 🙂

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    1. You know, I didn’t really pay attention to the writing style except to quickly comment about it being in third-person. I suppose that’s a sign that the author was writing well. I liked that it was third-person, though. I feel like I don’t see a lot of contemporary YA out of first-person.

      But yeah. I was SO glad to see it wasn’t all “I just met you but I love you! *swoon*”. I know a lot of people are shying away from this book because it seems like that will be the case. I mean, I thought so too. It was very refreshing.

  3. I dove into this book expecting it to be more ‘cutesy,’ like you said, and I think my hopeful expectations clashed with what the book really is. (The title mislead me a bit as well…) What I appreciate about the novel, though, is that Smith doesn’t turn small issues into melodrama (which is something I’ve spotted a lot in the few ‘chick-lit’ YA novels I’ve read). Hadley has real, relatable problems, and I can understand and respect the way she dealt with them.

    Do you think you’ll read Jennifer E. Smith’s newest book? I’d like to make it a summer read (:

    Great review!

    1. I loved the lack of melodrama too. I feel like the things Hadley was ever stressing/upset etc. about were always justified. It was refreshing, in a way.

      I definitely want to read This Is What Happy Looks Like. I’m just waiting for my library to get it or someone to let me borrow it. I think it would be a good summer read. It sounds very leisurely. Does that make sense? Eh, I think you get what I mean either way.

    1. I liked it, but I wasn’t as in love with it as everyone else seems to be. Still, it’s totally worth the read. I also have Jennifer E. Smith’s next book, This Is What Happy Looks Like. I’m hoping to read it soon.

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