As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

August 31, 2015

THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith, 2011


Four minutes changes everything. Hadley Sullivan 17 misses her flight at JFK airport, is late to her father's second wedding in London with never-met stepmother. Hadley meets the perfect boy. Oliver is British, sits in her row. A long night on the plane passes in a blink, but the two lose track in arrival chaos. Can fate bring them together again? (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Valette M.

Hadley Sullivan is a, perhaps, perfectly average teenage girl -- plodding through life and dealing with baggage from her parents' divorce. But far from her hardships callusing her, they deepen her feeling and we can see just how thoroughly she lives life. With such a smoothly formed character, even her rash actions take on motivation and hence are realistic and empathetic. And, of course, her counterpart, Oliver, is everything a girl could wish for: funny, smart, caring, confident, and ever so cute. Though I would have liked his back story and it's repercussions in his live explored a bit more, his solid character is evident in his charming dialogue with Hadley (several giggly moments there). As characters, both can easily stand on their own merits, but together they make a definite re-read.

The story begins and resolves over the course of a single day. When looked at from a distance that's a whirlwind romance -- how could anything made that quickly even have the appearance of being real? But we don't see the whole romance. We only see the main characters' first, second, and third encounters, and the plot almost takes on the whimsical feel of the Disney short Paperman. Seemingly by mere chance, two perfectly suited people meet and refuse to let their meeting slip away into the depths of time. Set against a vibrant;y written backdrop of first an airport and then London, the characters develop a strong friendship while struggling with the pulls that real life has on them. This beginning of their relationship is grounded so firmly, that though we leave them at a dance, with no promises made, we can rest assured that their romance will last far into the foreseeable future, if not forever (That's what I'm going with).

The language of the tale fits the content perfectly -- relaxed and genuine -- with a witty narrator to convey longing, exhilaration, insecurity, and sureness with a few carefully placed words. We get to experience Hadley's full range of emotion and identify with her on an entirely new level. The descriptions are creative, original, and definitely have their own taste. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of picking THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY yet, I highly recommend it to satisfy you well-written romance cravings. Overall, a very sweet, clean, satisfying read.

Market: Young Adult
Language: Mild if Any
Sensuality: Mild
Violence: None
Mature Themes: Divorce

1 comment:

Kim said...

This sounds lovely, Valette!