Customer Reviews: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
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on January 2, 2012
4.5/5 stars

Could hitting a red light change your life? Losing your phone charger? Getting a paper cut? Can a string of seemingly insignificant moments amount to something life changing? When Hadley misses her flight to London by four minutes, she never expects to meet Oliver - someone she instantly connects with, someone who's dealing with his own personal demons, someone who makes her view the world in a slightly different way.

Hadley. I love Hadley. Though I can't empathize with her particular set of circumstances, she's a character with whose situation, whose frankness and honesty I connected with. Hadley is a girl who has been greatly affected by her parents' divorce and it has left her very hurt and embittered toward her father, who left her and her mother. When her father decides to remarry, to the woman he left Hadley's mother for, she unwillingly finds herself in the one place she never hoped to be - on a plane to London, wedding-bound. I love Hadley's confusion in her feelings toward her father - her anger and resentment combined with her undeniable longing for the way things used to be. I love her gutsiness. I love how she wears her heart on her sleeve. I love her journey towards closure as her chance meeting with Oliver causes her to finally start dealing with some of her repressed issues.

Oliver's character is a wonderful compliment to Hadley's. Where Hadley doesn't hide her emotions well, Oliver is a bit more of a mystery. Though not quite as transparent as Hadley, I never felt as though he is anything less than genuine. I love Oliver's intelligent (and sometimes wicked) sense of humor, his keen insights, his rare moments of vulnerability, his kindness and general optimistic outlook.

I don't believe in love at first sight, though I think people can form instantaneous and lasting connections; that souls are drawn to other like souls. One of the biggest draws of this novel for me is the idea that one could meet another person by a simple twist of fate and, in a very short space of time, form such a powerful bond. From the meet-cute and throughout the book, Hadley & Oliver have so many toe-curlingly good, sigh-inducingly hopeful moments. This is interspersed with deeper instances of personal revelation and introspection as they both deal with the issues they're individually sorting out. They each are perhaps exactly what the other needs in that moment, and it's just beautiful to watch their relationship as it begins to grow over the Atlantic and across the armrest of seats 18A and 18B.

Though this book focuses mainly on Hadley and Oliver, it was also about Hadley's damaged relationship with her dad. Her journey towards coming to terms with her parents' divorce and her dad's abandonment of her and her mom was a plot point I loved. She's so conflicted by her feelings for her dad - anger, betrayal, sadness. There's this lovely poignant wistfulness to the story as Hadley remembers snippets of their lives before the separation and a sense of incompleteness as she refuses to honestly confront her feelings about her current family situation. Her emotional progression throughout the book felt very natural, and had me a bit teary-eyed and snuffly as this storyline worked toward it's resolution.

Smith's writing style is another reason I fell in love with this book. She sets the scene masterfully, effortlessly giving the reader an abundance of detail without being verbosely descriptive. I don't know if an author can write cinematically, but Smith does. She also has a wonderful way of taking the everyday mundane and turning it into something noteworthy and extraordinary. Waiting in an airport terminal, grabbing food at an airport bistro or being cramped into an airplane seat for 8 hours are not usually events to write home about. It's not particularly unusual or special for those things to occur. Yet, Smith's storytelling through Hadley's soul-searchingly honest voice makes it magical and engaging.

Overall, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, while a fun, romantic comedy, has some really insightful things to say about relationships, love, closure and healing, and Smith manages this beautifully without the serious moments becoming too heavy. It's the kind of story that had me considering the relationships and events in my own life and the insignificant moments that have had such a lasting impact on the direction of my life. I love when a book can achieve that perfect balance between light-hearted fun and introspective depth, and this book did that for me.
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on 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.
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on December 27, 2011
Wow. This book completely blew me away.

From the blurb on the cover, you would expect this novel to be romantic and cheesy, dealing you extraordinary and unbelievable events on every page.

But this is so, so not what this book is about.

Yes, Hadley and Oliver do have a chance meeting. Yes, there are "twists of fate" and "quirks of timing" that are romantic and sweet. But no, this book is not the touchy-feely, chance-happening-with-a-beautiful-stranger book that will either sweep you off your feet or make you puke, because it is believable.

When Hadley and Oliver meet, there are no perfect one-liners or smoldering glances, because when you meet a stranger, especially a handsome stranger, it is bound to be a little awkward in real life. It is no different in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Hadley knows that when she agrees to let Oliver help her with her bags that he is a complete stranger, yet her circumstances, as well his, make it possible for them to connect despite their disconnect.

While most of Hadley and Oliver's interactions are endearing, they are also seared with grief and heartache, both known and unknown, as well as the uncertainty that comes with getting to know a person and trying to decide when they actually qualify as a friend instead of a stranger.

The way that Smith infused this quirky love story with Hadley's past experiences with her father, her parent's failed marriage, and the anger/confusion/grief that comes along with these types of situations was poignant and emotional. I felt very connected to Hadley during these moments. The story was definitely richer with the addition of a complicated, messy divorce, as well as Oliver's own story. Without these serious elements, the story would have felt like just another teen romance; without substance and not worth your time.

After reading this story straight through, I pre-ordered the hardback version, which I plan on marking up with my favorite lines and quotes.

If you love contemporary stories, or books about travel, or stories that are as heartbreaking as they are heartfelt, or books that aren't cookie-cutter, or novels that are written by a clearly talented author, then please. Please. Buy this book.
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on November 8, 2014
With all the hype around this book I went in expecting quite a bit but was surprised to see that it was mostly just a cute fluff read. Also given the title The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight I expected a lot more romance then what there was instead it was more about the family drama going on in Hadley's life with her father running off with another woman he met and her trying to forgive him.

The budding romance between Oliver and Hadley was sweet I had no issues there, what I had issues with had to do with Hadley's mom and dad. I wasn't a fan of the mom for making Hadley go to a wedding she clearly did not want to go to and I was not a fan of her dad at all I hated how easily Hadley forgave him after what he did I expected her to give him a harder time.

Overall this was a simple and quick read and I don't regret picking this one up although it probably wont be the most memorable of books that I've read this year so far.
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on December 10, 2015
Theoretically I love the title of this book, but boy is it annoying to type out. I’m severely behind the game when it comes to this book. Released in 2012, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight has received much hype and fanfare. And because of this, I’ve had this book on my TBR list for years. It wasn’t available through my library and you guys I’m just cheap, so when it went on sale I had to snatch it up. I’ve only read one other book by Jennifer E Smith (Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between) which I didn’t love as much as I’d hoped considering the hype around this author. But I was holding out hope that the hype was worth it for this book in particular.

One quick thing to note that I didn’t like is the narration style. This is told in 3rd person past tense in one of those all-knowing eye in the sky type voices. I didn’t enjoy this in Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between and I can’t say that I liked it any more in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. This is really just a personal preference. Not my favorite narration style/voice. Any character’s emotions or thoughts are open for discussion at any given point. And I don’t love that. I like the mystery of how each character (and therefore the reader) doesn’t always know what the other characters are thinking/feeling.

There’s a lot of negativity around stories where characters fall in love too quickly or the entire book happens within one day. I was a little wary of that going into this book even though I’m normally not bothered by that so much. I do think it’s possible for two people to develop an intense and unique connection within that time frame, but love is pushing it. However, I found The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight appropriate. There were no real declarations of love even if the connection did exist. So if this bothers you, have no fear.

I will say that I struggled with Hadley off and on throughout the book. I was annoyed that so much of the beginning was backstory surrounding Hadley’s parents failed marriage. It really was necessary set up for the entire story, but I wanted to jump right into the fun stuff happening now rather than dwell on her past. Even though I can 100% understand the anger and bitterness that Hadley feels toward her father, sometimes she really got on my nerves. But again. I have to put myself in her shoes and say that I probably would have felt very much the same way that she did.

While I was reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight I was really enjoying the romantic buildup between Hadley and Oliver. The nature of the way that they meet and how there’s an impending time of departure hanging over their heads makes their situation unique. Everything that needs to be said needs to be said before they have to leave each other or risk never knowing what could have been and live with that regret. Yet how much of a connection can you really develop with someone in less than 24 hours? Enough to risk coming out of your comfort zone? By how much?

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is just as much about Hadley’s relationship with her father as it is with her developing relationship with Oliver. Which is probably why my only highlights revolve around Hadley’s relationship with her father.

Favorite quotes:
-In the end, it’s not the changes that will break your heart; it’s that tug of familiarity.

-After all, it’s one thing to run away when someone’s chasing you. It’s entirely another to be running all alone.

-And this was the most unfair part of it all: What Dad had done, he hadn’t just done to him and Mom, and he hadn’t just done to him and Hadley. He’d done it to Hadley and Mom, too.

In the end, I really enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight while I was reading through it. I finished it within 24 hours. But now that I’ve had a couple of days to reflect, I don’t think Hadley and Oliver’s relationship or this book will be marked down as an epic story that I remember forever and ever. Would I recommend reading this? 100%. But is it going to fall into an all-time favorite for me? Probably not. I’d still give it 4 Stars. Have you read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight? What did you think? Let me know!
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on March 14, 2012
17-year-old Hadley Sullivan has just missed her flight to London by just four minutes. As if going to be a bridesmaid for her father's soon-to-be new wife wasn't bad enough - now she has to hang around the airport for hours as she waits for the next flight out.

If Hadley had it her way, she wouldn't even be going to the wedding. She resents her father for abandoning her and her mother for another woman & a whole new life across the globe. Taking part in the wedding is the last thing she wants to do, but what her parents say goes. Hadley plans to make a bold stand against her father when she seems him; plans to tell him how she really feels about what he has done and is about to do.

Claustrophobia makes the crowded airport 10x worse for our protagonist, so she decides to take a walk around to get away from the crowded departure gate. When a cute British boy named Oliver offers to carry her suitcase... she just can't pass up the offer. While talking over lunch, they learn they are seated virtually next to each other on the flight to London. What a coincidence, eh?

"Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?"

Hadley and Oliver get to know each other during the long flight and end up having what can only be described as a "connection". Once they hit the madness of the airport in London, the two teens lose sight of one another. Hadley assumes she's seen the last of Oliver, but fate is persistent. As Hadley tries to reconcile her feelings toward her father and maybe even forgive him, she and Oliver's paths will cross again.

- - -

I have to say that the title of this book is what captured my attention the most. I was a little disappointed with the book, but not completely. It's fluffy. It's cute. It's predictable. It's a little unrealistic, yet fun. I liked it. I didn't love it.

The characters were so-so. I didn't find them very memorable, really. I had trouble connecting with Hadley. I blame this in part on the narration. Third-person limited is, quite frankly, not my cup of tea. Combine that with the flashbacks from Hadley's childhood (which popped up unexpectedly and without warning) and it was just annoying. I feel that it would have been easier for me to connect with my protag if this book were narrated in first-person. Instead I just found her overly sentimental and whiny. I also think that if the book were longer and more fleshed-out, maybe I could have learned to love her and Oliver more. It was just so quick, like I simply blinked and it was all over.

Minor spoilers ahead!

Some of this book was too outrageously unrealistic for me. I suppose this book is all about fate and such - but it didn't have to feel so forced. The chance meeting and seating arrangement was okay; I could see that happening in real life. Hadley forgiving her father after less than 24-hours of interaction? Not so much. She hasn't even seen the guy in over a year. He left her and her mother for another woman! He moved across the world! I don't see a 17-year-old as whiny as Hadley being able to rise above the situation so quickly. Hadley searching out Oliver. First of all - they just met. What human being in their right mind would go search out a stranger in a place they've never even been before? Not to mention the fact that Hadley figured out where Oliver was with such a minute detail to go on. Then she just wandered around looking for this church with a statue in front of it? And oh, she just happens across it first thing! No. No no no no. It all just irked me.

I appreciated the fact that both Oliver and Hadley learned from one another. They each took something from the other person's situation and it helped them to light up the part of their own situation that they weren't seeing with clear eyes. They were both humbled by each other, in a way, and I think it helped to make their connection more feasible.

It was clean! Hooray! It was a nice breath of fresh air to see a chaste protag for once. There wasn't any violence, sex or cursing. It was light, fun, and easy to read. Don't expect anything overtly intense or mind-blowing here, because this is just a simple story of family, forgiveness, and young love. It's a quick read - a beach read, I'd say. A feel-good story; a palate cleanser, if you will. :) I'd definitely recommend it if you aren't too nit-picky like me, and if you're looking for a fluffy, fun book to make you smile.
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on February 13, 2015
As an avid YA romance reader, I had to read this book after hearing about it from many sources. I was definitely not disappointed: this book was cheeky, heart-warming, and hard to put down.
Hadley Sullivan’s day is seemingly going downhill. She misses her flight to her father’s second wedding in London, which she has no desire to attend, due to the fact she’s never met her soon-to-be future stepmom. Laid over in the JFK airport, she finds that her day may be starting to brighten: she meets an odd, perfect British boy named Oliver. The overnight flight is filled with long talks and funny quips. But when they land in England, they are separated.
It was an amazing read. The story is unique in many ways- one, being the fact it takes place over a 24-hour-period, not a month or two. It’s full of quirky characters, beautiful writing and a heart-warming message- fate can happen anywhere at anytime. It’s a good, short story that will keep you grinning- whether you like it or not. Written by Alaina, 7th grade
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on May 11, 2014
I really wanted to like this book. I’ve been meaning to read it for over a year but I just never picked it up. I loved the cover, the premise sounded cute, and I really enjoyed Jennifer’s This is What Happy Looks Like but this book ended up being a giant negative to me. I was so disappointed that I didn’t like the book that I was starting to talk myself into liking. But no, the truth is, it really made me mad.
First, I didn’t realize that it covered only a 24 hour period. Maybe that’s my fault, and I missed that somewhere, but because of the short time frame I found the book very unbelieveable. Sure people can meet at an airport and have instant chemistry, but I felt like all the other heavy hitting emotions just couldn’t unfold and development in such a short amount of time.

The romance in this book is fine, whatever. I’m not sold on either character but their relationship wasn’t my issue. My issue was the fact that Hadley’s father abandoned her and she gets over that within a snap of your fingers. What? How is that even possible? I was just waiting for Hadley to go off on her Dad, to express all the hurt she was holding inside. Does that ever happen? Noooooo. She’s more like “Oh, you really love your new wife so I everything is fine and I totally understand why you left me and my mother and moved to a different country where I never see you.” UGH. That’s the biggest load of BS ever. Also the fact that the her father cheats on her mother because he “fell in love” with another woman doesn’t make it ok. Marriage is a commitment, and a promise. Sure people leave each other all the time but it doesn’t make it right, especially when it involves you LEAVING YOUR DAUGHTER TO START ANOTHER FAMILY.

Ok sorry, as you can tell this book made me mad. I’m glad I read a different Jennifer E. Smith book before this one or I probably wouldn’t ever pick one up again. If you are looking for a book that you will want to throw across the room and burn then The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is the one for you.

You can find more of my reviews at <a href="" target="_blank">Endless-Reads.Net</a>!
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on April 23, 2015
I was really prepared for a grand journey of a book, but instead I was presented with a grand disappointment. I know the whole concept is "Love at first sight", but I found it a bit too pretentious and unrealistic. She has feelings for this guy after a short conversation? Plus, he's a bit of a jerk to her. I know that's because of the tragedy he's recently experienced, but then to just be "so in love" with this guy--to the point of abandoning your father on his wedding day--is complete nonsense. It was a chore for me to get through this one. Would recommend for lovers of fantasy--especially if you want something even more unbelievable than "Harry Potter".
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This one is going be short and sweet… kinda like the book.

The Statistical Probability of Love at first site was not at all what I was expecting but I really enjoyed it. With a title like that I was expecting the story to be the instant overwhelming attraction, imprinting kind of unrealistic love (or perhaps lust is a better word) but it didn’t happen like I expected.

It’s a cute book that made me smile but it was also deeper and filled with more issues than I thought it would be while remaining light and fluffy… Not sure any of that makes any sense but it is a book I would recommend and one I will let my tween daughter read which is saying something since lately I keep having to say let’s wait a couple years until you read that one.

Rating: 4.5 Stars – Highly recommend

Content: Fairly clean – just a couple mild swear words

Source: From publisher for review
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