The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Jennifer E. Smith
Publication date: January 16, 2012
Audible Audiobook, 5 hours and 17 minutes
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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.
“That’s the thing about flying: You could talk to someone for hours and never even know his name, share your deepest secrets and then never see him again.”
I adored The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight when I first read it a couple years ago. I actually read it while flying, which was a cute (and appropriate) tie-in to the book. (No, sadly I did not meet an Oliver on my plane.) I breezed through it the first time, finishing it before my plane landed. It was sweet and uncomplicated, but extremely well written. I highlighted roughly 25% of the book because I loved the words that much. I decided to re-read it in audiobook format this year because … well, because I liked it so much and I wanted to. 🙂 It’s quite possible I loved this book even more the second time around. After reading several angsty, super emotional books, I found it light and charming. It had some emotional moments, but nothing too heavy. How much do I adore this book? Well, I own it in paperback, eBook and audiobook formats. That should tell you something. 🙂
“I hate airports.”
“Really?” Oliver says. “I love them.”
She’s convinced for a moment, that he’s still teasing her, but then realizes he’s serious.
“I like how you’re neither here not there. And how there’s nowhere else you’re meant to be while waiting. You’re just sort of… suspended.”
As someone who pretty much detests everything about flying, I found myself understanding Hadley very well. I could totally relate to her. It’s hard to pinpoint what my least favorite thing about flying is, but it’s something between the hurry up and wait, the all but stripping down to go through security and the actual act of being trapped in a tiny, airborne space for hours. (Doesn’t even matter how large the plane is. I still feel trapped.) But I enjoyed reading Oliver’s thoughts about flying. I wish I could think more like him when I needed to fly somewhere for work. I don’t fly for “fun.”
“There’s no real distinction between last night and this morning, of course – just dark bleeding into light – but even so, everything feels horribly different.”
“She wishes they could turn around and fly back in the other direction, circling the globe backwards, chasing the night they left behind.”
“Because that’s what you do on planes. You share an armrest with someone for a few hours. You exchange stories about your life, an amusing anecdote or two, maybe even a joke. You comment on the weather and remark about the terrible food. You listen to him snore. And then you say good-bye.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love when books put two characters together for a pre-determined amount of time, whether it’s that they’re stuck somewhere, on a road trip or just thrown together for a project or assignment. This is actually the book that started my love of that plot device. I loved how Hadley and Oliver met and how they connected during their time together on the plane to London. You can learn a lot about a person when you have nowhere else to go and that’s exactly what they did here. I was sad to see them get off the plane and go their own separate ways. They were just so darn cute together.
“Love is the strangest, most illogical thing in the world.”
There’s actually more emphasis on family in this book than romance. Hadley’s on her way to her father’s wedding. Oliver is on his way to… something family-related. Neither of them is particularly excited to be going either. When they depart them plane and go their separate ways, we only keep up with Hadley as she attempts to come to terms with her father being remarried to a woman she’s just meeting for the first time. She’s out of place and feels unwanted. Her relationship with her father is strained, for obvious reasons. She finds herself thinking more and more about Oliver and wondering if she’ll see him again.
“In the end, it’s not the changes that will break your heart; it’s that tug of familiarity.”
If you are a fan of young adult contemporary books and you’ve not yet read this book, I urge you to pick it up. Hadley is a realistic and likable character. I found her easy to relate to, even though she’s quite a bit younger than me. Oliver was completely charming. Who doesn’t love a sweet and slightly mysterious guy with a British accent? It’s a sweet little book with a bunch of feels. I love that the major theme of the book is how timing can affect your life. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason and I love how this book illustrates that.
And just remember:
“People who meet in airports are seventy-two percent more likely to fall for each other than people who meet anywhere else.”
The audiobook version of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was well-performed. The actress was believable as Hadley and I thought the story flowed well through her voice. At just a little over five hours long, this is a relatively quick audiobook read as well.
I’m reviewing the audiobook format, but I also received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So this review is serving a dual purpose. All quotes are from the FINAL VERSION of the book, not the galley copy.