Thursday, 9 October 2014

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Jennifer E Smith*

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. 

This book has been on my TBR for a while and with a long-haul flight coming up I decided to save it to read on the plane. I know, I'm too cool for school, right?

Whilst only having read one other of Jennifer E Smith's novels, The Geography of You and Me, I had some high expectations for The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and luckily these were more than met.

It might be a bit of a cliche, love at first sight, but if anyone's going to fall head-over-heels at first glance it it's teenagers, and if anyone is going to capture those hormones in action it's Jennifer E. Smith. What I loved about the Geography of You and Me was Smith's twist of language, her poetical insights into the teenage mind and, in this, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is no different. I think I highlighted half the book in pure delight.

Love at first sight, or the dreaded insta-love of the romance world, is a difficult device to tackle and yet Smith does so effortlessly. You're soon dragged into Hadley's life, her attraction to Oliver is undeniable and her teenage yearning entirely understandable. Charming and that little bit mysterious, Oliver is the stuff of teenage (and more than a few adult) dreams.

Once more the scope of Smith's book goes far beyond the brief relationship of Oliver and Hadley and also explores the complexity of the character's family lives. Hadley is a charmingly mature lead who is struggling to come to terms with her father's betrayal. Whilst I'm sure many readers are going to have strong feelings about this part of Smith's story line, for me it was handled well and I really felt for Hadley. Oliver's mystery is cleared up too and the story lines offer a nice parallel, but that's all you're getting from me on the spoiler front.

What's incredible is that Smith's novel takes place over a mere day and yet you feel that you've known Oliver and Hadley for a life-time, never mind them finding true love when they least expect it, you'll be swept away too. With each book my love for Smith grows and grows, if you're a lover of romance this is a book you can't afford to miss, no matter your age. 

*Free copy received in return for an honest review, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is published by Headline and is available now. 

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