Thursday, 29 March 2012

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

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.

As the title of this novel so perfectly states, the plot of Jennifer E. Smith's most recent novel is about the probability of falling in love at first sight. Although the story's major focus on Hadley and Oliver falling in love at the airport was a little too unrealistic for my somewhat skeptical mind to handle, I was surprised to find that The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was brave enough to also delve into more serious topics that I'm sure many young adults could actually relate to. Hadley's rage and confusion regarding her father's decision to remarry, for example, are emotions that I'm sure many teens have had to deal with when faced with the divorce of their parents. While I myself have never been in that position, Hadley's sentiments felt so strong and real that I couldn't help but share her feelings with her! 

Despite how unrealistic the romance of this story was, that also didn't stop me from falling head over heels in love with the character of Oliver. I suppose you could say it was love at first dialogue for me! What can I say... I'm a sucker for witty British boys! And boy is Oliver witty! For those of you who have read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I would say his character is somewhere along the lines of Augustus. Sure he may be a little too good to be true, but isn't that the case for most male protagonists in YA fiction?

Being the English Lit graduate that I am, I also couldn't help but revel in the author's sprinkling of Dickens quotes throughout the book. A genius idea on the part of Jennifer Smith! The quotes that she chose worked perfectly with what was happening in the plot, and really helped to develop Hadley's character! My personal favourite was the quote that can be found on page 67: "Is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?"

So would I recommend The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight? Definitely yes! At least to people who aren't afraid to set their skepticism about love aside. Although this may be a highly unrealistic and stereotypical romance (complete with a scene where they dance and kiss in the rain), isn't that what readers enjoy the most about love stories? While I may be a skeptic myself about love at first sight, I always enjoy curling up with a good romance to help unwind after a crazy day! If you are looking for something quick and easy to read, which is also enjoyable, then The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight is the book for you! 

Rating: 4 Stars


TG said...

You had me with the comparison to Augustus, the YA boy of my dreams. I'm definitely reading this one now!

Chelsey said...

I love this review! Not only do you describe the book perfectly, but you bring up something I feel very strongly about!
So many times, I see in reviews "that was so unrealistic" and think to myself: yes, but, occasionally this "unrealistic" stuff, is the stuff we have daydreamed about as we grew up. Love, dream jobs, traveling. Sometimes I LIKE reading books where all that stuff happens because it's like a little daydream =). This isn't always the case, obviously, but when it comes to love, sometimes it's nice lol.
Always love your perspective on books in reviews =).

Ikhlas said...

Great review, Natalie! I also agree with Chelsey, many of these books are unrealistic, but isn't that the fun of it?

I can't wait to read this one...sounds like a fluffy (but not too fluffy) read :)

Jenny said...

I've pretty much heard nothing but good things about this one. I'm going to try to get to it soon and when I do I'll put my inner skeptic to bed first. ;)

Karen @ Book Light Graveyard said...

I alternate between really wanting to read this one and being afraid that it won't live up to my expectations. Your review definitely puts me back in the "really wanting to read it" camp!
Book Light Graveyard

noiln said...

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