Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Date published: 5th January 2012
Source: SwappedRating: 4 teacups
This was one of those books where I thought I would give it 5 stars even before I started reading it. I just had this feeling that I would love it and while I did, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight wasn't perfect or breathtakingly amazing.
The premise is unique and definitely one-of-kind, have you ever read a book set over 24 hours? I loved the whole idea of chance and timing and how a mere four minutes changed everything so significantly. The book started off fantastically: I don't think I've ever read a prologue quite as well-written as this one! It really set the tone and pace and managed to engage me and make me eager to read on.
The reader is thrown right into the story where we meet Hadley who has just missed her plane by four minutes - little does she know that this will change things in a way she would never have thought. She has a wedding to attend the next day in London - her father's wedding. She didn't even want to go but she gave in to her parents' pleas and agreed. I understood her reluctance: who would want to witness their father marry a woman for whom he left his family? I pitied her and even though I didn't warm to her that quickly, I thought she was a decent character. She seemed like a typical teenage girl and the fact that she was just like any other girl made her easy to relate to and likeable.
Enter Oliver, a British Yale student who will be at her side for the next seven hours. He's gentlemanly, charming and deliciously witty. I adored him from the moment he and Hadley met. It was interesting to see how Americans love British guys and think of them as polite gentlemen (if only!) I'm also amazed by how much they love British accents... usually when people say 'British', they're thinking 'English' and (some) English accents are sooooo much more appealing and swoon-worthy than Scottish accents! Apologies for digressing! Anyway, I easily pictured Oliver in my mind and my heart melted at his gentlemanly gestures and at the thought of his oh-so-gorgeous accent <3 If you read the book, I bet you will fall for him just as instantly as Hadley!
It was obvious their chance meeting would bloom into something bigger and watching them confide in each other and taking steps towards romance was just one of the most sweetest things I've read in a long time! However, I felt the relationship between them was cut short and Oliver doesn't even make an appearance in the second half of the book until the very end. Despite being warned by a review before reading the book, I was still thoroughly disappointed that I didn't get to see more of the charming British cutie :( Instead, it's spent on the relationship between Hadley and her father. It was bittersweet to see them mend their broken hearts and try to make up for lost time but what I really wanted was to hear about Hadley and Oliver fall in love. I feel the synopsis and even the title (which I adore) are a little misleading. There is nothing to suggest that a huge chunk will be about her father and while I do like reading about family relationships, it was frustrating that a book with the words 'Love at First Sight' in the name didn't entirely focus on the romance and the electric spark between the characters. Plus, Hadley's father wasn't exactly a great parental figure so he kept adding fuel to my burning fire of hatred for him. But to be fair, he does get better...
The ending was cute and incredibly heart-warming and a beautiful way to finish the book. It does leave the reader to think for themselves and I've just crafted a wonderful future for Oliver and Hadley in my mind :) I hoped that the ending would be as impressively written as the beginning but I'm actually content with it.
Overall, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a sweet book with a unique premise and it achieves bonus points for being primarily set in the sky and London! The idea behind the story could have been explored further: I managed to savour every moment with Oliver but if he featured more in the book, I would have probably given this 5 stars as I felt it seemed to shy away from the 'love at first sight' aspect.