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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

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Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

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.

236 pages, Hardcover

First published January 2, 2012

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About the author

Jennifer E. Smith

18 books7,400 followers
Jennifer E. Smith is the author of nine books for young adults, including The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, both of which were recently adapted for film. She earned her master's degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her writing has been translated into 33 languages. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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5 stars
32,983 (28%)
4 stars
38,940 (33%)
3 stars
31,688 (27%)
2 stars
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1 star
3,364 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 10,922 reviews
Profile Image for Lora.
186 reviews1,001 followers
January 11, 2012
Honestly, for having a name like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and a synopsis promising a British boy named Oliver, this book is pretty damn disappointing. Although it does deliver on the British boy front (who, frankly, really isn't even that great), it doesn't deliver much else.

SPLFS starts off with Hadley Sullivan missing her flight to London at JFK. Granted, Hadley would rather see her dentist than attend her father's wedding to a woman she's never even met, but her father is counting on her to make it on time.
Reluctantly, she gets a later flight --- one that leads to a whole lotta lurve.

It amazes me how such a short story can feel so slow and long-winded; at times it was like dredging through sludge. The characters and cluster of scenes that take place over the course of twenty-four hours are equally boring and uneventful.
SPLFS can be summed up as follows: A missed flight, a "fated" flight, a wedding, and a wedding reception. The End. Not much else happens. It's really all about Hadley reconciling with her father and coming to terms with the fact that, despite how much she may want it, her parents are never getting back together. And, you know, "love" at first sight in a crowded airport.

And let's talk about this love interest, shall we? He's tall, lanky, and floppy haired; you know, the standard by which all boys are messured nowadays. But even he can't seem to breathe any life into a story this boring. Seriously, my jaw still hurts from all the yawning I did while reading this. I know I must seem a little bitter, but can you really blame me for hoping that maybe, just maybe, this could turn out to be as cute and pleasantly fluffy as Anna and the French Kiss? Perhaps my expectations were too high; nevertheless, I'm sure that with better written characters, a more intriguing plot, and a more believable romance, this could've been something great.

But in the end, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is nothing to write home about.
Profile Image for Limonessa.
300 reviews509 followers
January 9, 2012
This is my second book of the year and the second I read during a sleepless night. The similarity ends there, unfortunately. While Split kept me up because it was so good I just HAD to finish it, this one... well, it was only insomnia. And to think I was so eager to read it. See, I'm all for vanilla romance, it's light, relaxing and cute.
But this book did not even remotely relax me.

The premise is interesting. Hadley, on her way to London to attend her much dreaded father's wedding, misses her flight. Rescheduled for the next one three hours later, which will make her arrive barely on time, she meets Oliver, a British student at Yale, on his way to London for some other wedding. Sparks ensue. Will Hadley make it to the wedding? Will she see Oliver again?

At first, I thought that the problem I had with this book had to do with the narrative technique. The third-person limited didn't work well for me, I didn't get invested in the story that much. I couldn't connect to Hadley and even though there were some cute moments, the role I felt I was playing was just that of a polite observer. I guess I am a first-person type as far as these romantic stories are concerned, which makes total sense to me since it's not like the focal point is the world-building here but rather the characters and my involvement in the story.

But then, as the story developed, I realized that wasn't it - or rather, only marginally so.
What really disturbed me was my inability to like any of the main characters and the message they conveyed through their actions.

Let's start with Hadley's dad, a college professor. It's not spoilery if I tell you that he went to teach to Oxford for a semester, met someone else, dumped his wife and daughter and never came back. I call this kind of person a cheater. I'm not sure if the whole purpose - or one of the purposes - of the book was for Hadley to come to terms with her dad's betrayal and forgive him, thus "growing up" and understanding the complicated world of adults. Because, as far as I am concerned, there's no forgiveness to be had here. The reality is that he went abroad, met a younger, prettier girl - incidentally, Hadley's mum is short and stocky- and dumped his family. I do not accept the dad's justification "because I fell in love", reinforced by "Love isn't supposed to make sense. It's completely illogical."
In fact, wait a sec there. Love might be illogical but marriage and commitment are not. It's a joint effort and as far as I'm concerned, you just don't bail out of it, especially if there are children involved. You just don't go to the other side of the world living your happy life with your new bimbo (Charlotte doesn't come out as much more than that after all, we only hear her talking about her house). And I don't like the fact that he gets off the hook so easily and Hadley forgives him. That's not the message I want to hear from this book, Love does not justify all.

And what about Charlotte, the new wife? How can you trust a man who cheated on his wife with you? How do you know it won't happen to you, after a few years, when you've become old news?

Finally, I disliked Hadley and her drama queen behavior. How do you dump your dad on his wedding day and go see a boy you just met? Then break into tears right before the wedding reception and make it all about you, you, you? Bad timing, girl, even if you don't like your dad, the wedding or the wife. It felt like this budding thing she had with Oliver was more important than her family issues, which should so not be the case.

This is why, and I am in the minority here, I just couldn't like this book as I thought I would. Light and fluffy is totally my cup of tea, but disagreeing with the general message of the book is a whole different story.

Hopefully you'll like it more than me.

Read this review and more at The Nocturnal Library.
Profile Image for Ari.
940 reviews1,314 followers
March 20, 2015

I think I fell in love.. at first sight.. with this book.
I finished reading it with happy tears in my eyes. It made me sad, it made me happy, it made my heart race even though there wasn’t too much action, but the amount of emotions per page were definitely too many for my heart to handle them properly.

This book went from the ‘must read’ shelf to the ‘most beautiful romances’ shelf in a blink of an eye. I was caught up in this story without knowing – one moment (around midnight) I started reading it, I struggled with understanding Hadley and her problems with her father, and then I don’t remember how the time passed and it was 5:30 in the morning when I virtually turned the last page of my kindle and I was deeply in love with this story.

I thought it was supposed to be a fluffy read about love at first sight, as the title and the description of the book are a bit misleading giving you a hint in this direction.
So I was prepared to laugh and maybe to care a bit about Hadley and Oliver. Still, nothing prepared me for the beauty and the dramatic turnarounds of this story.
Of course I saw it coming, from the brief discussion on the plane, but that’s how amazing this story is, because even though I knew what I was bracing myself for, it still made me shudder, it still made my eyes tear of emotions.

Carousel is not a strong enough word… I need another one, one more powerful, holding more meaning. Because this story is not light at all, it’s heavy, so heavy that it holds my heart to the floor, and it made my soul ache.
There was this big gap between all the happy moments and memories (the time spent in the plane full of joyful talks) and the drama behind it all, and the meaning of so many phrases that at first sight didn’t seem to mean more than what you can hear, but at the end, there was much more to them.

You know, kids usually think they have the right to choose a destiny for their parents.
They think that because their parents love them, they must condemn themselves to a life of misery and unhappiness only for the good wealth of their children.. But this is so not right, in so many ways.
Kids grow up. You have them with you for like 20 years and then they fly away to a better life, to their own life.
So I would never judge the couples that decide that they no longer have to be together, that decide that they need someone else to be happy with.. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love their kids anymore, it just mean that they need to find their own happiness too.

This being said I couldn’t relate to Hadley’s pain.
For the last past 2 years Hadley kept her father away. She didn’t want to be part of his new life and she didn’t want him in her life. She thought that if he had chosen to be with someone else, she was better off. But then, it seamed that her own decisions were the ones that made her impossibly unhappy, because she suffered for not having him in her life anymore. It was a personal, inside fight without an ending, and it hurt her more than she knew it could.

Still, I loved how she understood that she was the one making a big mistake, that he was “still her father, the rest was just geography” and that there were worst places to be on a summer weekend than a weeding.
Off course she wouldn’t have understood it if it weren’t for Oliver, dear sweet Oliver. I loved this guy – he was cute, he was funny, he knew how to enjoy life even at it’s worst, he was so caring and nice that you would like to meet him in person.
Yes, he is the reason Hadley made up her mind.. Finding that others might suffer as well, that other might have bigger problems helped her understand that she was exaggerating in her pain.

Pain is relative; we might suffer as much from the very wrong and different reasons. What counts in the end is the lesson we’ve learned, how it might change us.
In all the drama, the sweet love story seemed like the sunshine after the torment. It was warm, and sweet, and it made me smile.
I loved the moments on the plane, their conversations, their brief jokes, and their shyness. I loved how, minute by minute, they got closer, and closer, one kiss away from each other… I loved how they found a way to be there one for the other, every time they needed it… I loved how they fell in love, and how they made me love their love story.

So, yes, I’ll say it again:
Reading this story felt like falling in love for the first time. As warm as a summer rain, as bright as the sunshine, as beautiful as a rainbow, as light as a flight, as fluffy as a cloud, as colorful as fireworks, as soft as a kiss.. Because this is what love at the first sight feels like :) Enjoy it!

Happy midnight reading!


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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
November 3, 2011

This was a super-short read - 215 pages of pretty large print - but it was fun, heart-warming and I managed to finish it within a couple of hours. I didn't quite take enough from it to give it 4 stars, but then it was far better than some of the books I've rated 3 stars in the past, hence the rating. I confess that I would not have read this book if the publishers had not provided a free copy for review, I rarely like romance books and need something else to support the novel, a mystery for example. Or a fantasy world. But this book surprised me with it's quirky humour and easy-to-read style.

Not many books actually make me laugh out loud but this managed to extract a few giggles, mostly during the conversations between Hadley and Oliver, the chemistry was easily built up and sustained throughout. Also, that's another thing, there wasn't any "love at first sight" nonsense, so I'm not quite sure what that title's all about. There is a touch of fate/destiny questions about whether life is automatically leading you towards the one you're meant to be with... but strangely, it wasn't cheesy and it kind of worked. I don't even know how. But I'm guessing it must be in the author's talent for writing conversations, the novel is made up mostly of conversations between the two protagonists and, though a novel with so little plot movement should be boring, I remained glued to the pages.

If you're British you should definitely read this for a good laugh at the stereotyping going on, he's got the accent, he's wearing trainers, and his name is Oliver... like Hadley points out: as in Oliver Twist. It's a little ridiculous but more ridiculously funny than anything else. Is this really how Americans perceive us? Or was the author just looking for a good excuse to use words like "bloke" and "bloody hell"? Teeheehee.

The slightly more serious aspect of the novel was to do with Hadley trying to forgive her father for running off with another woman whilst in England. I'm not sure why but I never actually felt like the author managed to redeem her father, I wanted her to create a strong personality for him, so I could see inside his mind and forgive him as a reader, but I kind of felt like Hadley's decision to forgive didn't occur naturally and came out of the blue, simply as a necessary part of the story.

Oh well, this was a sweet book and it provided me with a couple of hours of light entertainment.

Many thanks to the publisher for kindly providing a copy of this for review.
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,193 reviews2,902 followers
June 5, 2015
This books is so utterly FABULOUS! It’s one my favorite love stories and it happens in a mere twenty four hour period. Don’t worry about the instalove thing happening here. That’s something that I can’t stand and TSPoLaFS (did you like how I shortened the titles there, whew it’s a long one) does not have instalove. It has a progressive, genuine building of a relationship that is sweet and endearing.

Both characters are very relatable and I loved their scenes together. They just play off of each other so very well. Smith does an excellent job writing such likable characters.

The plot isn’t really all that complex. I know that some people will think that it’s all fluff, but it’s not. There are some serious moments thrown in there too. For the most part I just remember having that giddy feeling in my stomach during this novel. I love being invested in the characters and being excited when reading the story. This book is one of the reasons why I read!
Profile Image for Danielle.
832 reviews452 followers
February 12, 2022
I decided I needed a quick meet-cute read, as a buffer between thrillers. 🤗 This served its purpose. 😉 Very quick and cute enough. It had potential to be more. But it worked. 👍
November 21, 2022

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Given my hatred of insta-love, picking up a book that literally has the words "Love at First Sight" in the title was probably unwise. How could I resist, though? You were all losing your shit when this book came out, calling it romantic and cute and feel-good. As much as I enjoy darker romances, we all need a bit of fluff in our lives. There's black forest cake, and then there's froyo with mochi sprinkles. I wanted in. I wanted those mochi sprinkles.

Instead, I got circus peanuts.

THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT has several issues that kept me from enjoying the book. First, the concept of love at first sight. Hadley, our heroine, just happens to meet this guy at an airport because she misses her plane and then just happens to find herself seated next to him. Wait, wasn't there another story where that same exact thing happens? Hmm, what was it called? What was it called...?

Oh yeah. Red-Eye (2005).

Oliver isn't an assassin who's out to kill Hadley's father, though (which is a shame, because that would be a much more interesting story). They are just two teens, angry at the world, angry at their families, and dissatisfied with their middle-class lot in life. Which brings me to the second beef I had with this book. Both characters, but especially Hadley, are extremely unlikable.

Hadley literally spends 90% of the book treating her family like crap. She's en-route to England to go to her father's wedding to another woman, who she refers to as That British Woman. She's mean to her mom, too, her last words being something like, if the plan crashes you'll have lost me and dad. When she gets to the wedding, she acts like a total sour puss and is rude to everyone. Then she skives off early to go crash a funeral...because that's where Oliver was headed. His father's funeral. And when he seems like he's maybe less than happy to see her at his father's funeral, uninvited, her little feelings get hurt. Because she thought they were in love. What the actual eff, Hadley.

The first half of the book is cheesy and annoying, but in the way that Valentine's Day is annoying. You say, "Okay, this is too much, but it's sort of cute. I guess I can see why people like this book." The second half of the book is cheesy and annoying, but in the way that daytime TV shows are annoying. You say, "What the hell is wrong with these people? Do they not have basic human emotions? Why are they fighting over something so stupid? I do not understand." There is a happy ending, but it felt contrived and undeserved. What Hadley and Oliver had, it wasn't love.

Also, just a random note: the author makes a point of Oliver's Britishisms (and of course, Hadley corrects him and anyone else who uses the un-American term for something, even while in England (as if I needed another reason to hate the b*tch)), and yet at one point he calls his father a "lawyer." I couldn't help but think that "barrister" would have been more correct.

1 to 1.5 stars
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,356 followers
December 28, 2011
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Now this is what I call a plain ol' romantic love story that has everything you want and more. It's definitely perfect for this time of year when you can cuddle up near a fire and just let your heart be filled. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight will leave you breathless and just when you think you can't take any more sweetness, you find out the reason behind this mouthful of a title and you're swept off your feet yet again!

After missing her flight and sulking around the airport, Hadley meets this boy, Oliver, who has a handsome face and a charming personality. And guess what? They're on the same flight! Hadley's personality is perfect for this novel. She's upset by her father's wedding which makes her a bit irrational, but she's so loving and down to earth; It's effortless to simply adore her character. The same goes for Oliver. He has this attractive, comfortable quality about him that makes it really easy to warm up to him. I could completely understand Hadley's feelings towards him. Heck, I felt them too! The romance was invigorating, enchanting, and felt absolutely fresh. It was written beautifully with a sophisticated feel, but without being excessive or cheesy.

The story is a real roller coaster ride full of ups and down; fears and joys. There's something deeper than a simple love story as well, it's also about family coming together which is really heartfelt. I devoured every minute of it; I longed for more once it was over. Reading this is like chocolate, it's addictive, incredibly sweet and leaves you feeling simply blissful.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Snjez.
769 reviews473 followers
November 20, 2022
4.5 stars

I can't believe I'd had this book on my e-reader for so long without reading it, because I enjoyed it so much. I was initially drawn to it because of its title, but it actually deals with a lot more than the title suggests.

I found both Hadley and Oliver easy to relate to. I loved their conversations and their stories made me both sad and happy. I don't say this often, but I loved reading about the family relationships in this one.

The story takes place over the course of 24 hours and some plot points were resolved too easily, but that didn't affect my enjoyment of this book. Loved the writing, the setting and the overall atmosphere of the book.
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
December 12, 2014
This book was so cute and was the perfect thing to read to get out of my slump! I was a little reluctant to read it as I've heard many negative reviews, but I really enjoyed it! I even liked the fact that it wasn't solely focused on romance, and I am a romance-junky. There was also a sprinkling of London, which of course I loved.
334 reviews174 followers
February 28, 2013
*3.5 stars*

it's cute, it's fluffy, and if you go into it expecting anything else...joke's on you! really. it's true that from the summary you think there're gonna be a few more swoony moments and a little less of family drama, but all the same, it's a great relaxing read i would recommend to fans of freshly-written contemps.

and of course, i have to add--it really helped that i imagined oliver as this:

[image error]

suh-woon or what?!
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,050 followers
December 18, 2015

"Is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?"

That the entire story takes place in only 24 hours gives perfect sense to the story and of course, to the title. It really is a quick and easy read like watching a cute romantic movie although I strongly don’t think that this is a story about love, perhaps more of a story of new beginnings or second chances or maybe even fate. Yes, fate is the better term.^^

By reading this book, you'll learn a lot about airports since the good first part of the story is set at an airport and an airplane which I really have nothing against because last time I checked, an airport is one of the most romantic settings where lovers profess their love for each other. Do consult all those romantic movies. ^^

Take this for instance:

…and this…

and this…Oh, how I love this scene from Friends…

The story is simply written and the plot is almost linear. There is really nothing in it that surprised me or wowed me which is what I was expecting because the cover seems to tell me to expect just that. But I had no problems about the writing or the characters. They’re likable enough. In fact, there are many insightful ideas that make you want to quote them.

"It's not the changes that will break your heart; it's that tug of familiarity."

The problem for me though is that I felt like I've already read or watched several stories like this and as much as I wouldn't want to call this a cliché, it kind of is. But hey, most people love clichés especially if they are cheesy and romantic, right? And well, yeah, I have to admit that the title is very catchy. It's what made me read the book in the first place.^^
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
April 28, 2017
This was just an alright book. It had the potential to be super cute and adorable but ended up just being pretty meh.
I didn't really love that it was written in present tense - it made the narration voice feel super weird at different points - and I feel like the relationship didn't develop at all which isn't surprising since it's extremely short and the main characters are going through their own stuff that they have to deal with.
I did like, though, that both the characters had things they needed to work through, even if the resolution of those things felt rushed over the last two chapters. It was still nice to see at least a tiny bit of personal struggle and development.
I've been in the mood for contemporary but this was just not that great, which is unfortunate because I *LOVE* one of the author's other books, This Is What Happy Looks Like.
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews313 followers
February 7, 2017
Very enjoyable and endearing book!!! I'm looking forward to the movie which is due to come out this year.
Profile Image for peachygirl.
268 reviews675 followers
October 29, 2020
The statistical probability of an unbiased, uncynical person falling in love with this diabetic-inducing sweet and fluffy story is quite high!
Profile Image for Jude.
199 reviews641 followers
January 2, 2012

and it was

lol, I have no idea how to explain yet. It was a simple story really, sweet, the beginning of a bigger one for Hadley and Oliver; but there were so many little details and things that just made the story so great and complete. I'm smiling like a fool right now, I seriously can't wait to re-read it. It's such a beautiful book that every time I glance at it I just get a bigger smile, and I'm sure it's going to be that way for a long time.

Oliver and Hadley were perfect. Not in a no flaws kind of way, but in a perfectly well done human characters with flaws and all. They both had different perspectives on many things but they also completed each other. I know that this sounds cheesy, especially if you consider that the story takes place over a 24 hour period, but everything was just so well done. I seriously applause Jennifer E. Smith, she did a wonderful job with this book, and like I said earlier, you can tell this is just the beginning for Oliver and Hadley.

This is a must-be-in-your-shelf book, no doubt. The Statistical Probability that you will love it is: 100%

Profile Image for Reynje.
272 reviews962 followers
January 17, 2012
2.5 stars
After all, it’s one thing to run away when someone’s chasing you. It’s entirely another to be running all alone.
As something of a sceptic (well, okay, a romantic trapped in the body of a realist masquerading as a cynic), the title alone was enough to tell me that this book would be fighting an uphill battle with me. While I like the quirk factor of the phrase ”The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight”, I’ll admit that there’s a part of me that reads that line and scoffs. Zero. There is zero probability. I don’t believe in love at first sight.

Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Initial derision over with, my immediate thoughts were: ”Why doesn’t this happen to me? I always get stuck next to the snorer, or the person who never requests a window seat yet always wants to lean over me and breathe in my personal space. A pox on you, fiction, for perpetuating the rumour that love blossoms on planes!”

In a word, this book is cute. In a few more, it’s fluffy, sweet, vanilla – not unlike eating an entire bag of marshmallows. Fun at the time, but not really my favourite thing to do.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight revolves around the serendipitous meeting of teenagers Oliver and Hadley at JFK, waiting for the red-eye to London. Cue meet-cute, witty banter and gentle flirting in aisle 18. What unfolds from here is a series of flashbacks, realisations, confessions and meetings, tied up with a hopeful, open ending befitting a feel-good romantic-comedy. It’s not cheesy enough for the full Hollywood treatment, but neither is it indie and off-beat enough for an alternative soundtrack and hipster wardrobe.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book in third person present, but after the initial adjustment, I feel that it suited the story. It lends a vaguely documentary style vibe to the narration - the reader is a spectator, not a participant – using the distance to intensify the “will-they-won’t-they” question. The writing is clear and articulate, while not super emotive.

The characters themselves left me a little cold, with the possible exception of Oliver. (And I’m not just saying that, promise.) I didn’t harbour strong feelings of dislike towards Hadley, but neither did I have any real concern with her problems. Her characterisation as a teenager holding onto anger and grief over her parent’s divorce felt accurate, but I can’t say this book evoked much sympathy for her in me. Also, the "love makes everything okay" wrap up to some of the story lines didn't gel with me. Being "in love" doesn't justify crappy behaviour so,

Honestly, towards the end I found the family flashbacks a little distracting and frankly, kind of dull. I realise that the purpose was to flesh out Hadley’s story, to illustrate what exactly she had to make peace with, but they felt like lulls in the pacing, weighing the story down as it meandered to the end.

It’s not a bad book at all. I liked Jennifer E Smith’s writing, and I did confess to having a closet romantic side, didn’t I? Every now and then I enjoy reading a blatantly cute, escapist book. And yes, maybe I like tall, British guys. But I don’t really feel there is much to get hyped-up over here. Even for fans of YA romance, I’m not sure that it’s all that compelling. This book won’t go on my “most memorable” shelf, to put it plainly.

That said, if you enjoy light, teen-centric rom-com’s, this might be for you.
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,909 reviews852 followers
January 3, 2012
I've been dying to get my hands on this book from the moment I read the blurb on it. It does not disappoint. This is such a sweet and heartbreaking story at the same time. The story is sweet, in the scenes with Oliver, and heartbreaking in the ones with Hadley's dad and family drama.

Hadley is flying from Connecticut to London to attend her father's wedding. She ends up missing her flight by four minutes and is bumped to the next one. This makes things very tight, because now she'll be landing at 10am and the wedding is at 12pm. Hadley didn't want to fly in at all. This wedding is the last place she wants to be because she's still angry with her father for leaving her and her mother, two years earlier. She hasn't even seen her father for a year, and has refused to fly out and meet his fiancé before this. The only reason she is going is because her mother has forced her. While Hadley is waiting for the next flight, Oliver, a guy sitting by her gallantly helps her with her luggage while she's dropping everything, everywhere. She finds out he's on the same flight and they end up eating in the airport together, sparking up a connection. Hadley thinks that once they get on the plane they'll be sitting apart and this will be the last she talks to Oliver. But they end up sitting right next to each other, on the plane, and talk the whole time, (minus a few naps waking up on one or the other's shoulder!) forming a mutual attraction. They have a few moments like this one that makes your heart speed up:

The OCCUPIED lights are on above both bathroom doors, so Hadley and Oliver stand in the small square of space just outside. They're close enough that she can smell the fabric of his shirt, the whiskey still on his breath; not so close that they're touching exactly, but she can feel the hair on his arm tickle hers, and she's again seized by a sudden longing to reach for his hand. She lifts her chin to find that he's looking down at her with the same expression she saw on his face earlier, when she woke up with her head on his shoulder…..It occurs to her that-impossibly, improbably-he might be about to kiss her, and she inches just the tiniest bit closer, her heart skidding around in her chest. His hand brushes against hers, and Hadley feels it like a bolt of electricity, the shock of it moving straight up her spine. To her surprise, Oliver doesn't pull away; instead, he fits his hand into hers as if anchoring her there, then tugs gently, moving her closer.

I'll leave it right there, you can read the book if you want to know what happens next! This scene is before they get off the plane and then the real action starts! I won't tell you anymore but trust, there are some very swoon-worthy moments! I love the idea of meeting someone and instantly feeling a connection, being drawn to a person and talking the night away.

The parts with Hadley and her family were very heartbreaking and while her feelings change toward her father, I couldn't help but stay mad at him. What a selfish man! I didn't see anything in this story that justified his actions, and my heart ached for Hadley and her mother.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It's a quick easy read. I started it at eleven and didn't end up going to sleep until I finished, I couldn't put it down! A definite recommend.

Profile Image for Leila.
442 reviews212 followers
March 15, 2018
A very light read indeed. I skipped bits here and there and finished it in record time. This is a book you might take on holiday with you. I wouldn't! Do I now believe in love at first sight? Well...I always did anyway, but then I am a romantic.
Profile Image for oliviasbooks.
778 reviews519 followers
September 27, 2013
The Fermentation Process of Mayonnaise .That would have been one of several other possible title versions for the young adult novel by Jennifer E. Smith. Its connection to the plot would have been only slightly less tangible than that of the ultimately chosen one. For both are simply examples of the fake summer research topics Yale University student Oliver wittily invents on the spot to impress the girl in the airplane seat next to his.

The big difference between the saucy title and the lovey-dovey one would not have been my lack of determination to have a go, since I had already enjoyed two of the author’s rather uniquely written books (The Comeback Season almost made it into my favorites list of 2011), which both are more of the problem-oriented sort and hesitatingly serve a bit of romance on the side. The big difference would have been the direction of my expectations and thus the depth of my disappointment.

It is true: After discussing the book and my personal reception of it with my friends over at the the Street Corner Bookers I am sure: The title – cute and original as it is - is to blame. For the title made me remember and desperately wish for a remake of an almost 40-years-old German young adult novel I have read and savored several times in spite of its ugly cover and its boring title: David und Dorothee.

The equally slim volume, which is narrated in switching first person points of view, shows two lonely teenagers on the verge of leaving their old lives behind stranded for a long night at Frankfurt Airport. The seventeen-years old girl has just missed her flight to Vancouver, where she will spend an exchange year. Her taxi has splashed a young guy whose mournful eyes remind her of the David in her illustrated childhood Bible at home. After silently passing him a few times on the escalators, she donates a pair of knitted socks to him. He is fifteen and still deciding if his plan to hike North and sign on as a helper on a cargo ship will really solve his problems. After some futile attempts to impress the older girl he relaxes into being just himself and into opening up to the complete stranger. We never learn his true name. But we learn both his and Dorothee's deepest secrets and fears, we observe them playing running games, trying out arcade games, inventing stories, singing, playing the guitar, dancing the Sirtaki with an old, Greek cleaner, eating nostalgic food, getting a little tender and silently counting the hours. When she boards the plane taking only the blue, floating ball from the arcade hall with her, which he spontaneously told her to keep as a reminder of the night, your heart aches. You so wish until the last minute for one of them handing over an address slip or a promise. Both of them hesitate but decide for themselves it would destroy the perfect night's magic. So you feverishly calculate how probable it is for them to maybe find each other again a year later.

When I put The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight on my wishlist, I hoped for a similarly bittersweet wave of emotions. But there was none – not even the tug of an out-going tide. I wouldn't even call the boy-girl part of the plot cute or sweet. There was no perceptible love-on-first-sight. Oliver represented to Hadley a welcome – because passably attractive - distraction from her looming boredom, her inconveniently wandering thoughts (the dreaded wedding of her dad and her yet unknown stepmother) and her fear of confined spaces. Her sudden urge to stay with him at the European-Non-European fork at Heathrow's imigration control happened like something entirely random and unexpected, because there was no tell-tale admiration, no built-up-I'll-be-losing-him agony that would have prepared the reader for Hadley's change of mind and demeanor.

Even later, when they meet again, the relationship between the two stays sparse and a little morbid. The hero and heroine in You Are Here act quite similarly, but the road-trip story does concentrates more on the joined unraveling of family problems than on the – certainly not unwelcome – subtle romance. The title and the cover underline the main focus and make the reader expect the right thing, whereas in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight the reader expects romance and gets no real love-story but some strange divorce drama that results in family peace, but nonetheless remains kind of unresolved. Am I right to conclude, that Hadley's dad was the one with the love on first sight, which in his book allowed him to leave his wife and his daughter without much ado and without seeking out his daughter for a real conversation before having her adorn his his wedding reception as the only stranger in the midst of his newly acquired friends and family? I know – from personal experience – that a separation does not have to be preceded by life-changing catastrophes or long-hidden secrets. But still, I came to despise ""The Professor"" and his surfacial, happy-go-lucky behavior more and more the longer I had to face his presence.

What made me press the 3-star-button, you'd like to know? Well, the writing is still exceptionally good. And the disappointing title might even not have been the poor author's idea in the first place. Maybe she pleaded for The Fermentation Process of Mayonnaise , but had to give in to the marketing department in the end. Who knows?
Profile Image for Mandy K.
469 reviews31 followers
May 22, 2015
So, this book is a little unbelievable, but so is the idea of love at first sight. And in spite of that, The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight manages to be a cute read. The story takes place over the course of 24 hours during 4th of July weekend, but I can see this being a Hallmark channel Christmas movie with lots of cheese and feels and fluff. I usually don't like insta-love, but this was really sweet and more like insta-maybe, insta-possibilities. Hadley and Oliver spend 3 hours waiting for a plane and 7 hours together on the flight, and then they loose sight of each other at the airport. Now in real life, that would be that, but where's the satisfying ending in that?

I think what Hadley's father did is pretty unforgivable, I think cheating is never ok, but he does get brownie points for at least breaking it off and not sticking with her mom while continuing the affair. I think the way everyone was so nonchalant and at peace with the whole situation is pretty unbelievable. I mean 6 weeks of mourning for at least 16 year relationship? I find that hard to believe. Her mom tried saying they brought out the worst in each other, but we never saw that in any flashbacks or was there any other support for that.

Hadley's character development went from immature to too accepting over the course of 24 hours. It was still refreshing to see the effort to make it more than just a love story, but also a story of family and forgiveness. And Oliver was just down right cute, I really enjoyed him.

If you take this at surface level, this a charming little love story of crazy coincidence that make all the difference. It's when you start looking too deep into it that all the cracks and gaps appear. This is one of those books where you just have to roll with the unbelievability of it all.
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews771 followers
February 8, 2012
3.5 stars

“Hadley presses her forehead against the window
of the taxi and once again finds herself smiling at the
thought of him. 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”

The statistical probability of love at first sight was one of my highly anticipated books of the year and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy early on.

Hadley has been forced to attend her father’s wedding to a woman she’s never met before in England. Hadley’s spent a lot of time avoiding her dad after her parents broke up; she’s angry and frustrated at her dad for abandoning her and her mother and moving to another country. Her mother was completely heartbroken; Hadley and her mum had a tough time but supported each other through it. Now not long after her parents’ divorce Hadley has to attend his wedding. But Hadley misses her flight by just four minutes and has to wait 3 hours for the next flight out to England. She had a massive argument with her mum before leaving for the airport and her dad isn’t happy about her missing her flight. But maybe it was down to fate as at the airport she meets Oliver; and what started off as a trip that she had been dreading becomes a momentous and unforgettable 24 hour experience of her life.

Oliver and Hadley’s relationship was sweet; they automatically clicked and just understood where the other was coming from. This could have been because they found themselves in the same boat; both had complicated relationships with their dads, both travelling to London, and not for really happy occasions. Oliver was so sweet and understanding, he listened patiently whilst Hadley poured out her problems, distracting her from her claustrophobia and trying to cheer her up. He was just a shoulder you needed once in a while. The smallest of his gestures just tore though my heart and at times I just wanted to give him a big hug, I also loved how he wasn’t afraid to share his fears.

Despite relatively enjoying this book, a few things buggered up the book for me and for that reason I felt that I could only give this book 3.5 stars. The reason being Hadley’s parents. First I found Hadley’s mum infuriating at how she kept pushing Hadley to go to the wedding, considering the rough time she had after her husband left her. And then Hadley’s dad; I really wanted Hadley to do something; she had all this pent up anger about him abandoning her and her mum and re-marrying so quickly and the way she was going on about it I thought she would, but it just seemed that she forgave him too quickly.

Overall The statistical probability of love at first sight was a cute poignant read, but I’m just disappointed that I’d set my hopes too high as this book did fall some way short of my expectations.
Profile Image for Nomes.
384 reviews373 followers
January 11, 2012
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 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.
Profile Image for Hersh.
148 reviews415 followers
September 29, 2014
Me while reading this book:

Stage 1:

Read the first page and I was like "It's going to be really cute and adorable! Yes, this is exactly what I need!"

Stage 2:

Stage 3:

I don't understand the point of this book.

It basically has nothing new or interesting.

It's just another cliched story.

Believe me, I do enjoy contemporary novels or I used to. I get easily annoyed if the story line is very trite and cliched. I mean, what's the point in having a different title, a different cover and different characters when the story is just like every other story?!

There isn't a single redeeming quality about this book. Even the writing style was kind of okay. Oh wait, I have one. This book was short.

Hadley, our main character, seemed very dull and uninteresting to me. Oliver seemed okay but soon he got boring too. The rest of the characters also fall under the "boring" category.

There's nothing to the story. Hadley's father is getting married to another woman and she's mad and upset about it. After lots of pleading and compelling, Hadley finally agrees to attend his wedding which is in London. She meets this guy called Oliver at the airport and they strike up a conversation and immediately, she falls for him. Then, she attends the wedding, forgives her dad for leaving her and her mum and ends up with Oliver happily ever after.

End of bloody boring story. Yay!

Profile Image for Eliza.
596 reviews1,376 followers
March 4, 2018

After reading Anna and the French Kiss I was on the lookout for another "cute" and "easy" read. Well, I'm glad to say I found it with this book! And even though it was nowhere near as good as Anna and the French Kiss, it still held my interest in all the ways that are important.

What was great about this book was how it pulled me in from the first page. It's not that anything particularly interesting was going on in chapter one, nothing like that, I just connected with the character's voice - which was a huge plus - making it easier for me to enjoy the story from the beginning.

Unfortunately, even though I enjoyed the cute story and Hayden & Oliver's romance, there were also negatives. For one, I couldn't necessarily believe that something like this would ever happen. Yes, I'm aware that it probably has occurred somewhere (or not), but I've never witnessed or heard anything like this in real life. Basically, the entire time I kept thinking, "This would never happen." Then again, it's a story, so I shouldn't be acting so surprised.

Another negative was how sometimes the conversations between Oliver and Hayden felt a little dull. It didn't happen too many times, or I would have given this a lower rating. However, it happened enough where I started realizing it every now and then. I don't know. I just wish some of their conversations would feel a little more meaningful and heartfelt. Instead of dry.

Overall, I am glad that I picked this book up! It was a nice read for me right now, considering that I just started classes and don't have time to invest myself into a complex world.
Profile Image for Aly (Fantasy4eva).
240 reviews122 followers
November 11, 2011
THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT, is a cute, fluffy fast read. It's short, sweet, bitter - all lovingly packaged into one.

Hadley is headed to her fathers wedding, but when she misses her flight, she finds herself face to face with gangly, shy, sweet Oliver, who offers to help with her suitcase. At that moment, she feels a familiar flutter at the pit of her stomach. And when their lock eyes, for some reason, she doesn't like the thought of them going their separate ways. As they make their way into the plane, the two find themselves starting to open up more, tease one another and blush furiously than just the one time when the other finds themselves sitting a little too close, or brushing shoulders. I may not believe in love at first sight, but for some reason, I was able to watch this particular love story unfold without doubt or weariness.

It all started when Hadley' father received an opportunity to work at Oxford for a few months, the only problem? He never returned. And soon enough, her parents were having a divorce. She watched on as her mother fell apart. Hadley, without thought, took on the instant role of carer and kept them both together. But suddenly, one day, her mother wakes up a changed person. Fresh and at one with herself. But Hadley' pain is just beginning. And she's found herself angry ever since.

I didn't appreciate her mother forcing her to go to her father' wedding. No matter how much she may regret it in the future, it annoyed me that her mother expected her to see her father when she had every right to back off. I felt like that was her call to make. Hadley' father *sighs* I don't know. It's fluff, after all, so it was obvious that our protagonist was going to soften up to him. It didn't mean that I had to like it though. If it was me? I couldn't do it. I couldn't forgive a man who had upped and left me and my mother. For me, that would have been the end of it. I know people deal with these issues differently, but I hated how she warmed to him and his new life.

For some reason, the book struck a nerve with me. I found myself furious at the prospect of Hadley forgiving her father. I was so angry, that I was actually shocked at myself. I have no idea where it came from, but it lingered until the very end.

Being the way I am, I wanted the man to suffer a bit more before she even considered forgiving him. I mean, was he even sorry? I doubt it. It annoys me that he didn't even attempt to make up for what he did. As if Hadley coming to his wedding was supposed to make things magically ok.

But there are some truly beautiful moments in this book. Those sweet, endearing moments that Hadley shares with Oliver. Two characters, that I instantly knew I would like. It's been a while since I've effortlessly found myself warming to the protagonist and the love interest, it's a lovely feeling :) Then there are the moments where she is hurting so much, and reminiscing about the moments she still lingers on to, in a time where her father was very much a strong presence in her and her mothers life. And these are the moments that make the book more worthwhile and give it more of an edge. For those few moments, lies a book where it's not just all fluff, but very much ache-y. I think that's what I wanted for the book as a whole. For it to be a little more grittier.

Had it been, it would have been a 4 star read for me, without a doubt. Instead, I felt like the father got it way too easy, and it ended a little too perfectly. And that's what bothered me.

Is it predictable, yes. But if you want something funny, amusing and sweet to settle into, I'd definitely recommend this book.

Memorable quotes

To her surprise, he lowers his face so it's level with hers, then narrows his eyes and touches a finger lightly to her cheek. 'Eyelash,' he says, rubbing his thumb to get rid of it. 'What about my wish?' 'I made it for you,' he says with a smile so crooked it makes her heart dip. Is it possible she's only known him for ten hours?

For a long time they just stay there like that, as still as the statues in the garden. And when he gives her no sign - no gesture of welcome, no indication of need - Hadley swallows hard and comes to a decision. But just as she turns to walk away, she hears him behind her, the word like the opening of some door, like an ending and a beginning, like a wish. 'Wait,' he says, and so she does.

He looks at her and smiles. 'You're sort of dangerous, you know?' She stares at him. 'Me?' 'Yeah,' he says, sitting back. 'I'm way too honest with with you.'

The rain begins to fall as they stand there, a sideways drizzle that settles over them lightly. When she lifts her chin again, Hadley sees a drop land on top of Oliver's forehead and then slip down to the end of his nose, and without thinking, she moves her hand from his shoulders to wipe it away.

She shifts from one foot to the other, her heels sinking into the soft dirt. 'I should go,' she says, but her eyes say I'm trying, and her hands, trembling in an effort not to reach out, say Please. 'Right,' he says. 'Me too.' Neither of them moves, and Hadley realises she's holding her breath. Ask me to stay.

As he turns to cross the garden, Hadley's stomach churns. She closes her eyes against the flood of words that never reached her, all those things left unsaid. And when she opens them again, he's gone.

But now, standing here in the basement of a church with shaking hands and a hammering heart, she's struck by what this day actually means, by all that she'll lose and gain with it, by how much has already changed. And something inside her begins to hurt.
Profile Image for Coco.
1,037 reviews431 followers
April 2, 2016
" —¿Es mejor tener algo bueno y perderlo, o no haberlo tenido nunca?"

Ahora mismo necesito respirar o corro el riesgo de morir asfixiada por las lágrimas.
Profile Image for Angela.
676 reviews1,397 followers
October 1, 2022
This is a super fast super cute read. A little predictable. I will say that I'm very excited to see this play out on the big screen.
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