The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a story that takes place entirely over a 24 hour period. Hadley is flying to London to attend he...moreThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a story that takes place entirely over a 24 hour period. Hadley is flying to London to attend her fathers wedding and misses her original flight by 4 minutes ~ which means she meets cute British boy, Oliver, instead (and spends the red-eye with him).
Despite the cover and title of the book, the main tension driving the story is not the (fall in love in one day) love story, but the story of Hadley and her father, presented through flashbacks and Hadley's constant glowering about it, and her difficulty in forgiving him and letting him move on after he had an affair, leaving her and her mother behind.
The love story was cute enough, although I found Hadley and Oliver's interactions rather bland ~ sweet dialogue with no real tension or mystery. Oliver has all the right things a male lead needs to be swoony, yet I thought there was a lack of chemistry and everything was so predictable (cliche, even).
The adult characters were, to me, either unlikeable or just plain one dimensional (making it hard for me to connect or even care). The resolution was too tidy, the family conflict built up and then nearly disregarded in favour or giving readers a happy (unrealistic, easy) ending.
I think this is a case of this book just not being my thing: too cute, too shallow, too convenient ~ my preference is for more a story that has an emotional undercurrent with a lingering vibe. However, It was light and fluffy and entertaining enough and would probably make a cute transition to the big screen (it does read rather like watching a movie).
It was a bit disappointing seeing all the hype around this one had me convinced I would love it. It is a short 200 page breeze of a read which could appeal to readers of younger contemporary YA looking for something light and easy. (less)
I was so looking forward to Echols' first adult rom-com-style offering.
The beginning was slow, but I didn't mind reading through all the set-up for t...moreI was so looking forward to Echols' first adult rom-com-style offering.
The beginning was slow, but I didn't mind reading through all the set-up for the sake of building the premise. Around the halfway mark I had finally seen some flashes of the Echols I love: the promise of slow burn, the smidges of chemistry, the snappy/witty dialogue. But then the book went ... nowhere.
Too much faffing about with the (highly ridiculous and cliched) PR storyline (revolving around two spoiled stars). Two much telling with back story. Not enough focus on the leads and their chemistry.
I should have DNFed it earlier on but I remained (fruitlessly) optimistic to the end.
Despite this, the leads, Maggie and Daniel, were likable and my 2 stars is for them. (less)
Melina Marchetta blurbs Will Kostakis' sophomore novel: 'The relationships in this novel are gems. Funny dialogue, wonderful characters, a st...more3.5 stars
Melina Marchetta blurbs Will Kostakis' sophomore novel: 'The relationships in this novel are gems. Funny dialogue, wonderful characters, a story told with so much heart.'
I love this blurb as it nails the essence of this book. I came away from it thinking 'what an incredibly heartfelt book.' Here's what Kostakis says on his site about The First Third:
The First Third is out now. It started out as a kernel of an idea: what if my grandmother gave me her bucket list to complete? And from that, out grew this novel about what it means to be a grandson, a son and yourself.
It’s a more personal novel than I expected to write… It’s not about me, but there’s a lot of me in there.
And it’s definitely a lot of fun. (from Will Kostakis' site)
I love the premise of this book. Having said that, it got off to a really slow start. I felt a smidgen lost in the first 20% -- if it wasn't for the grin-worthy humour and enjoying meeting the characters I'm not sure I would have been hooked enough to keep going. But I am glad I did. I love how all the threads and characters started coming together and the last 20% was just deliciously addictive and smiley and completely worthwhile. Some of the plot threads were predictable (in an appealing way - I wanted to see them play out like that) but others left me wondering where they would go and there were a few surprises.
As Kostakis' says in the blurb above, it feels like a personal novel. In between the funny narration and Greek comedy/drama/tragedy, a lot of the insights and relationships felt like the truth. Bill was so earnest and sensitive and hopeful and you can feel him just wanting things to work out while bumbling around and often making more of a mess of things. Underneath his bravado and humour was a really relateable teenage guy and I know Bill will resound with many Aussie teens.
The First Third was a breezy and fun read - it was easy to keep the pages turning. The humour in it highlighted the heart. Also, it was such boy humour - I think the humour Bill expressed towards his family (often the butt of his inner jokes) came from a place of love and teenage awkwardness/embarrassment and was not at all intended to put people down or to be taken too seriously.
The awesome Greek family vibe was one of my favourite aspects of the book. It definitely made me feel like I was transported to another culture in much the same way Marchetta's Looking For Alibrandi had me all Italian for the duration of the book. Will Kostakis has a fantastic voice for Aussie teenagers and I can only imagine his future work will go from strength to strength -- looking forward to more of his work. (less)
It started off strong/intriguing but things quickly deteriorated for me. I could believe in the concep...moreA short note for the curious: read just over 40%
It started off strong/intriguing but things quickly deteriorated for me. I could believe in the concepts but not the actions/dialogue of the (mostly unlikeable) characters. The lead was too whiny, melodramatic and immature and oblivious for my tastes (even if that is part of the character arc, once I started rolling my eyes at her I could not stop). Finn was the only character I liked and I lost respect for him in the way he allowed himself to be such a doormat -- and the fact that he would like such a rude, bratty girl made no sense to me.
The plot was intriguing and fast-paced, sure, but I grew tired of Em and really could not root for her -- or even handle her any more -- and thus could not possibly bear to continue. (less)