Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith (author website)
Release Date: January 5th 2012 by Headline
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star4 star

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.

From Goodreads:
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn't forgotten the book. Or if there hadn't been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn't fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she'd run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn't sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it's the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver...

Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

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. The themes of fate and chance recur throughout the book, and I loved the idea of the impact just a few minutes can make on your life. Think about it. 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 hurt you... 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.

Please, Sir, Can I Have Some More?

* 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


  1. Ohhhhhh. It sounds like it has everything I love in a book... I want it now! Need it. Come money, come! Lol. Seriously, I love your review. You so make me want to pick it up right way! Oliverrr...

    1. Aw, it was such a lovely book! That money thing is a seriously irritating problem, huh? >:/

    2. It is! Money and time... There's just way to much awesome books out there! Lol. Not that I'm complaining, of course! ;)

  2. I so loved this book! The story was so,well, it seems real :) I so loved the fact that Oliver was a psychologist!! :P

    1. YES!!! Oh, it still makes me happy just thinking about it... which is kind of odd given how much I cried while reading it XD

  3. It feels like the beginning of something beautiful. A promise of a tomorrow, and a tomorrow after that. Happy Sigh <3

    IncredibleAmazingBeautiful review, Sarah! Although I don't really deserve credit for the word. I mean, you met the guy, RIGHT?! HE OOOZES THE CHARM! Oh my heavens. I'd acutally overcome my slight fear of ever getting on a plane if I was guaranteed a seat next to my own Oliver <3

    I loved how brilliantly Jennifer explored their budding relationship. The emotions were so REAL and GENUINE and drifted off the page so that I was sure I was the one Oliver was gazing his deep eyes into. That typo on page 165 where he said my name can't have been a coincidence, right? FATE. DESTINY. Call it what you will.

    It's fate whoever reads your review will instantly want to buy this or else go reread it *hunkers down in corner with nose buried in book*

    1. *runs to actually check 165 of my copy*


      For some reason, 'charm' is perfect, but I couldn't nail it. Then you mentioned it, and I was like 'YES! THE WORLD IS RIGHT AGAIN!' So serious thank yous XD

      Ooooh, you too? I get kind of panicky getting on planes... and walking into airports. Seriously.

      So, I'm thinking you're gonna need a harem for all your men. Adrian, Noah, Oliver...

    2. Wait. What IS on page 165?? It's not something embarrassing, is it? I really ought to check when I rattle off random page numbers.

      Haha well I suppose taking credit for ONE word in your review is better than nothing. If I had my way..... *gathers every word in arms and hugs to chest* MIIIINE *evil cackle*

      Erm, I've never actually been on a plane before. EVER. So I'm not sure if I really would be terrified. I just don't want to find out LOL.

      ... Perry, Roar, Ash, Four, Etienne, Cricket, Luke, Lucas, Alex, Jack, Daemon... oh, right, you were just lsitng examples. BUT YES. If you're nice, I might even let you share sometimes.

    3. Err... I actually have no idea. I actually meant to check last night for my own amusement, but completely forgot. Plus, I went out to dinner. There was pizza. I kind of forget the rest of the world when there's pizza. It's one of the few times in life I put my phone down and focus my full concentration on something else. PIZZA CONSUMPTION.

      Errr, I don't know if you remember, but you and Celine gave me a lot of support and 'there,there, Sarah. It will all be OK. NOW GO AND WRITE YOUR REVIEW!!!'s, so I think I owe you credit for at keast half the words, and the other half to Celine XD

      You've NEVER been on a plane? Ooooh... you should! You should fly somewhere amazing... uh... like SYDNEY! HARRY POTTER EXHIBITION!

      Hmmm... yes, I think you might need to build them a dorm or something... THEYC AN HAVE PYJAMA PARTIES AND PILLOW FIGHTS :D

  4. Sarah, I AM UTTERLY SPEECHLESS BY THIS REVIEW. Why? Because it's PERFECTION ♥ Gosh, this review is JUST SUPER AMAZING!!!! And oh my gosh, it's my honour to hear your rants on Hadley's dad. I LOVE YOU!! ♥

    Oh please give me more Oliver! We need more than 265 pages of this book. Jennifer E. Smith is totally a talented author. You make me want to buy tons of copies of TSPOLAFS for myself, lol.

    I am so happy you loved this book, Sarah!! You write one of the BEST REVIEWS EVER! ♥\

    Celine @ Forget-me-not

    1. Celine! You know I love you, right?
      Thank you so so SO much, and I so appreciated having a shoulder to cry on while I read this one! And you were so patient with me ♥♥♥

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Oh, you wonderful blogger you!!! I LOOVED YOUR REVIEW. So beautifully written and genuine AND EXACTLY MY FEELINGS.

    Sarah, I believe YOU ARE THE GODDESS. Totally well-done, you have such a way with words. Why didn't I read this review earlier?!?

    It makes me immensely happy to discover another happy review about a book I deeply adore. It really resonated with me, and I loved that, despite the title, the story didn't spotlight JUST the romance. The forgiveness aspect and the hurt were just so painfully vivid and heartbreaking and AHHH.

    Oliver is that charming British hunk I would never have the balls to approach but would totally stare at during the entire flight *lol* LOVED him.

    You did great, Sarah! <3333

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

    1. Eeeee! OK, I woke up to all these amazing comments this morning, and I was so happy I nearly cried *hugs*

      Thank you!

      Mwaha! I can imagine him falling asleep in the flight, and waking up to find you staring at him, inches away. Creeeepppy. I love it :D

      Seriously, what is it about British accents? *swoon*
      *goes and tells husbandman to learn brit-speak* XD

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much and I'm very curious to finish it to know if I have the same feelings too!

    1. Eeee, Melliane! I hope you love it! I was so torn readin it. I LOVED it, but in parts it was so painful to read with the intensity of emotion!

  8. Yes yes yes, I agree with you about Hadley's dad! That's what really brought the book down for me because I was SO FRUSTRATED with him. I'm still kind of mad thinking about it right now, haha. I'm a big fan of Hadley and Oliver, I liked how natural it seemed even though they've known each other for about a day. Loved reading this review, you've conveyed your emotions perfectly.

    1. I was EPICALLY FRUSTRATED. I actually cut an entire extra paragraph out of this review where is ranted about how, yes, I get Hadley's dad is trying, but he wasn't trying hard enough. You don't get to do what he did, then still expect a fatherly role in your kid's life, and for it to go back to OK, or HELL, EVEN FOR HER TO ROCK UP TO YOUR WEDDING. I was *shaking* with fury in parts of this book... but I kind of felt it was real, and I think if a book can evoke that intense of an emotional reaction in me, it's something, right?

  9. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE. <-- That's exactly what I feel for your review, Sarah! You just take a book that I've been dying to read and twist my mind so I want to read it exponentially and impossibly more! Sweet British boys are amongst my top faves (because there's nothing cooler than a boy with an accent), and I adore Hadley already. <3

    Amazing review, Sarah-bara! If I didn't want to read this book so badly already, I would definitely be adding this to the top of my TBR pile! ;)

    1. Eeee! Mimi! I'm seriously overwhelmed with everyone's beautiful comments! Thank you!

      Oh, seriously, it's such a wonderful book. You'll love it, I swear. And I can't wait for you to read it so I can fangirl over it with you and read your review! xx

      Oh goodness, I'm with you! What *IS* it about boys with British accents? *happy sigh*

  10. AWESOME review!! I am so glad that you loved this book!!
    Your comment about the emotional rollercoaster is so true!! There were so many moments where I was about to cry/laugh/smile/dance hahah

    Again..amazing review!! Totally expresses how much I loved this one :)

    1. Eee! Sarah! *hugs* thank you xx

      Right? Oh this book was a total rollercoaster. I'm not joking I literally smiled, laughed, cried, and screamed out loud at this book. It was fabulous. The more I think I about it, the more I love it. I LOVE that :D

  11. Your third paragraph after the Goodreads synopsis is what just sold me on this book. I can be a bit cynical when it comes to romances...mainly because they often seem a bit unrealistic to me. But this one sounds like one that's worth a shot, especially since Hadley sounds like such a great main character!

    1. Awww! Thanks Natalie! I really loved it... the characters are flawed--Hadley perhaps more so than any of the others, but they felt so real to me, and story is so layered. It's not just a romance. If anything, it's probably more about Hadley coping with her fractured family, grief, and learning to forgive. I just LOVED it. Eeep! I always worry when I RAVE about a book that I'm getting people's expectations too high, but I ADORED this. Truly.

  12. "and I loved the idea of the impact just a few minutes can make on your life." My dear... I SO TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!! OMG, seriously, someimes people dont realize that some HUGE changes in our life are simply the after effect of a few minutes. Holy cow!
    I love your review my dear and Im glad you enjoyed this book! This is totally a great read filled with values! muah!!

    Dazzling Reads

    1. I LOVED your review! It was one of the things that made me run off to buy it! <3

  13. Oh...My...OLIVER!!! Awesome review!!!! I've heard nothing but good about this book and now I REALLY NEED to pick it up *sighs*. I mean the characters, the storyline, the writing ohhhhhh it's all too much!!! This is soooooo not fair!!! Why am I like the only one who needs to read this book?!?!

    Oh well! Thanks for the amazing review :) I will definitely be picking this one up!!!!


    Tempest and The Eternal One's Giveaway!

  14. Okay, I am going to take a stab in the dark. You love this book? Hahaha. Sorry, had to make fun of you a bit cuz you said love over 20 times. Hells yeah I counted. I have nothing else to do. lol. I am happy you enjoyed this book even if it sounds like a mush-fest to me. I am in a dark mood right now and I want more blood and punching in my reads. :)

  15. I NEED to get a copy of this soon. I think everyone I have spoken to so far has nothing but good things to say about it. Awesome review, Sarah! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

    [Yep, it's me again. Going about my daily stalking routine. ;)]

  16. I loved this book and I wanted more Oliver as well.

    As for the father, I didn't hate him.
    I understand that he may want to have his own life, even though is on another country.
    I have this scenario in my mind, with him and his ex wife, still being together and hating each other - I don't think this would make Hadley happier, but she is just too self centered to care about these things.
    On the other hand, i understand that she might be hurt, but she was the one pushing him away, so in a way she got what she wanted.

    Anyways, this was a great book and I loved it, and I love the fact that we all see it so differently, we care about different things and we like it in different ways. :)

    Great review!

    1. I think that's a really good point, Ari--staying with his ex wife, and being unhappy wouldn't be right, either... but what he did and how he went about it really hurt, and I couldn't... I guess respect his actions. It's one thing to make the difficult decision to call an end to a failing relationship, and another to do what he did, and because there was a child involved? I don't know! Eek! It was this aspect of the book that drew the most powerful response from me. I think kind of coming from a 'broken family' (how lame does that sound?) I get really emotional about the whole situtation, and Hadley's pain just felt so so real to me, and reminded me a little of feeling the same--even though my Dad never did anything like this to our family. It was just, the end, you know? ANYWAY! Thank you for your comment, and for making me think ;)

  17. Yes! I fell completely in love w/this book. LIves Hadley and Oliver so much. And like you, I was infuriated by Hadley's dad. Goes to show parents are human too.
    I'm so happy you loved this. Great review!

  18. I keep hearing different things about this one--people seem to either love it or hate it! After reading enthusiastic posts like yours, though, I still want to give it a try. :)

  19. You make it sound very interesting but since I am setting a very dangerous precedent I will leave it for several months before I try it :D

  20. Wow! This is a really great review. It's very thoughtful and really goes into the lesson and characters of the book. I can see your thought in this. The review feels geniuine and not rushed on to the page. It really makes me want to read this book.

  21. I'm really looking forward to reading this, I just need to bump it up my list! Great review, Sarah!



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