Book: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith (@JenESmith)
Age Range:12 and up
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a quick read that takes place over the course of one very long day in the life of 17-year-old Hadley. She misses her original flight to London, where she is scheduled to attend (with much bitterness) her father's second wedding. While waiting for the new flight, however, she meets Oliver, a boy from London who is attending college in the US. The two teens, both in the throes of family dysfunction, connect immediately. For Hadley, that very long day is the day that she begins to grow up, begins to repair her relationship with her father, and, maybe, just maybe, begins to fall in love.
Although The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a love story, it's also about Hadley's personal growth and family relationships (and, to a lesser extent, Oliver's). A coming of age story, if you will, with a highly compressed timeline. I found it sweet (in the best possible, non-cloying way) and believable. I read it while visiting family in Boston for the holidays, and found myself sneaking in time to read it, because I simply couldn't put it down.
Hadley is a sympathetic character (particularly as she makes a mad, jet-lagged dash across London), while attractive, nonsense-spouting Oliver is irresistible. Jennifer Smith's writing is engaging and teen-friendly. Like this:
"Airports are torture chambers if you're claustrophobic.
It's not just the looming threat of the ride ahead--being stuffed into seats like sardines and then catapulted through the air in a narrow metal tube--but also the terminals themselves, the press of people, the blur and spin of the place, a dancing, dizzying hum, all motion and noise, all frenzy and clamor, and the whole thing sealed off by glass windows like some kind of monstrous ant farm." (Chapter 1)
But I think what I most enjoyed about the book was the banter between Hadley and Oliver. It's hard to capture this in a short excerpt, but here's a bit:
"Wait a second," Hadley says, looking at him with mock horror. "Is that a reference to a ... cartoon?"
"No, genius. It's a reference to a famous work of literature by Lewis Caroll. But once again, I can see how well that American education is working for you."
"Hey," she says, giving him a light whack on the checks, a gesture so natural she doesn't even pause to think it over until it's too late. He smiles at her, clearly amused. "Last time I checked, you'd chosen an American college."
"True," he says. "But I'm able to supplement it with my wealth of British intelligence and charm." (Chapter 5)
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight would make a perfect teen romance movie (provided the producers were careful to cast teens with good chemistry). And here, again, I mean that in the best possible way - I love watching such movies. Recommended for anyone looking for a realistic young adult romance novel, with likeable characters, witty dialog, and a picture-perfect ending.
Publisher: Poppy (@HachetteBooks)
Publication Date: January 2, 2012
Source of Book: Digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley
© 2012 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).