Sarah (saz101)'s Reviews > The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
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Jan 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, contemporary, romance, 2012-releases, wow-i-read-a-non-fantasy
Read from January 18 to 19, 2012 — I own a copy

I loved The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight... at first sight. Sweet, fun, funny, and heartbreaking, the intensity of emotion Hadley’s story provoked took me by surprise. I expected to fall in love. I didn’t expect to rant and rave* and scream and cry.

Hadley has just missed her flight. Missed it by only four minutes. Maybe it’s fate trying to give her a way out, because the last thing she wants to do is get on a plane to London where she’ll be forced to watch her Dad marry the woman he tore their family apart for. Seriously. Not. Cool.

So now Hadley’s waiting in the terminal to catch the next flight, pondering the mechanics of fate, how very, very small the massive international airport is, and how very alone she feels, when she’s quite suddenly not alone anymore. Meet Oliver. British, charming**, cryptic and beautiful, he’s flying home for his own rather reluctant duty. Think four minutes can change a life? What about a seven hour flight with the guy who may just prove the existence of love at first sight...

This is more than a simple love story, or a tale of heartbreak and a broken family. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight is told over a 24 hour period, which you wouldn’t think would allow much time for people to fall in love, overcome their past hurts and grow. Yet in Jennifer E. Smith’s hands, constraints fade away, time stretches out, folds back in on itself, and we’re left with a magic little journey.

At the heart of TSPOLAFS (love that acronym!) is—well, rather obviously I suppose—a fabulous protagonist: Hadley. After her parents very sudden divorce, Hadley’s happy world has come crashing down around her, and while she’s picking up the pieces, her Dad’s betrayal is not something she’s willing to forgive or forget. Her grief, her hurt, her anger and sorrow have became real, living things in this book, and as I sat with her in the airport terminal and on her plane, stood with her in the church, and ran across London, I shared her emotions with painful intensity.

Hadley makes a journey in this book, and it’s not just to another country. She’s sad, she’s tired, and she’s a hurting girl, but she’s brave, whether she knows it or not, and she’s smart. As she nears the event that will finalise the end of her old family, and create an inescapable new one, she looks inwardly and starts a journey towards forgiveness. I wanted to deny this. I wanted Hadley to stay angry. I thought her father deserved it... Well, Hadley’s a bigger person than I am. I loved her for this

Please, Sir. Can I Have Some More Oliver?
As far as strangers met in airports go, Hadley could do a lot worse. And, well, not really much better. Hadley and Oliver share an instant connection they both recognise, and destiny really does seem rather bent on driving the pair together. I believe I’ve mentioned ‘British’, and ‘Charming’, but I suppose you want more? Fine. Oliver’s sparkling wit and humour have him leaping off the page, and this poor, lovely boy has his own heartbreaks to deal with. Despite the timeframe in which Oliver and Hadley meet—and, well, the name of the book—their connection doesn’t feel like ‘instalove’. It feels like the beginning of something beautiful. A promise of a tomorrow, and a tomorrow after that.

Daddy, Dearest:
The real villain in the piece is Hadley’s dad... a character I’m still deeply conflicted over. After tearing his family apart in ways so thoughtlessly cruel and selfish I can barely even begin to comprehend, it’s obvious he’s trying to patch things up with his daughter. He still wants to be in her life, even though she’s pushed him away.

The man infuriated me. While on one hand, I felt he didn’t try hard enough to right his wrongs, on another he loves his daughter deeply, and he’s broken something and doesn’t know how to fix it. Ultimately, I felt much the same way about him as Hadley did: I loved and hated him. Deeply flawed, layered and nuanced, Smith has created a character who—despite being a despicable ass—is difficult to write off. Like Hadley, I didn’t want to forgive him... and I didn’t; instead I came to understand him, and to hope he and his daughter have a happier future.

The Verdict:
An emotional rollercoaster, The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight left me feeling raw and happy and ultimately, hopeful. A seemingly simple concept, in Smith’s hands, becomes something magic, layered, and complex, and Hadley’s journey towards finding the beginnings of forgiveness was a beautiful thing to witness. When hurt runs this deep, forgiveness isn’t a thing you do once, and move on from. It’s a choice you have to keep making every day. Though never preachy, I feel as though I’ve learned a lesson from TSPOLAFS. Some things are more important than being right, or being wronged. Sometimes people act hurtfully... but they’re people. If we love them, we find it in the strength we all carry within to move on.

So let’s talk about love. I loved this book. I loved the characters, I loved the sweet beginnings of something big and bold and beautiful between Oliver and Hadley... and along with Hadley, I loved learning forgiveness is something you have to find within yourself. I’ve a feeling this one is going to stay with me for a long time.

* oh my word, Celine, thank you for listening to me rant about Hadley’s Dad. You’re a goddess xx
** thank you Brodie, for the word ;D
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Quotes Sarah (saz101) Liked

Jennifer E. Smith
“He’s like a song she can’t get out of her head. Hard as she tries, the melody of their meeting runs through her mind on an endless loop, each time as surprisingly sweet as the last, like a lullaby, like a hymn, and she doesn’t think she could ever get tired of hearing it.”
Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Jennifer E. Smith
“It's not the changes that will break your heart; it's that tug of familiarity.”
Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Jennifer E. Smith
“What are you really studying?"
He leans back to look at her. "The statistical probability of love at first sight."
"Very funny," she says. "What is it really?"
"I'm serious."
"I don't believe you."
He laughs, then lowers his mouth so that it's close to her ear. "People who meet in airports are seventy-two percent more likely too fall for each other than people who meet anywhere else.”
Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Jennifer E. Smith
“Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?”
Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Jennifer E. Smith
“She's four minutes late, which doesn't seem like all that much when you think about it's a commercial break, the period within classes, the time it takes to cook a microwave meal. Four minutes is nothing.”
Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Reading Progress

01/18 page 83
35.0% "Cumulus clouds. Best clouds ever." 2 comments
03/20 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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Amy (Following the Reader) So jealous right now *sniff*

message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim I almost bought this today when I saw it in Big W...looks like I'll have to go back soon. Looking forward to your review.

Sarah (saz101) Oh, it's SO GOOD. If you liked Anna and the French Kiss--I just stalked you BTW, so I KNOW you did :D--you'll like this... not as light and funny, but I really think it'll appeal... it was super emotionally intense. The stuff with her Dad is PAINFUL to read :(

message 4: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim LOL! You and your stalking habits (don't worry, I do it too) I've been looking for new contemporary books to read, this will definitely go to the top of my to-buy-list.

Sarah (saz101) Eee! I'm excited for you to read it. Was SO sweet. The only bits that were hard for me were the bits with her dad... like, kind of dredged up old family hurts.

Ooooh, I've heard REALLY good things baout Hannah Harrington's Saving June? I haven't read it, but one of my friends says it AMAZING.

Sarah (saz101) I mean, if you're talking about contemp :)

Amy (Following the Reader) *Chews hand off to avoid breaking book buying ban* Why Sarah whyyyy did I commit to a ban!!?? :'( This review makes it hard to stick with it!

(typed with one hand since chewed one hand off...)

Sarah (saz101) Awwww! I feel bad! It's a lovely book. But you'll fell better about reading it once you finish your ban :D

Sarah (saz101) Also, Uh, I think you should get someone to look at your stump... It's bleeding.

Amy (Following the Reader) :'( It hurts! Look what you made me do!

Sarah (saz101) *holds out plate* have a cookie? Makes it better...

Amy (Following the Reader) *sniffs, nods and takes cookie* cookies do make many things better

Sarah (saz101) Definitly. Triple chic chip omnomnomnom XD

Sarah (saz101) No. Way.
Stealing snacks is NOT COOL. I hate flying. So much. It's that feeling when you're leaving the ground and everything shaking and a million tiny things could go wrong. A bird. A bolt holding something in. A gust of wind, anything. Oh goodness, and then when you turn, and you can see the ground beneath you out of the windo? *shudders*
I would MURDER the guy who stole my snack, because I mean, just when you think it can't get any worse, then some pompous balding dude thinks snack stealing's OK. NOT. ON.

Seriously, I am SO excited to read Saving June now! Eeee! Kristin @ Growing Up YA told me it was AMAZING, and now you? I've bumped it up my TBR. So excited to get to it :D

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