Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Book Review! The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown
Publication date: January 2012 
Pages: 301
How many stars do I give? 3.5/5

Hadley Sullivan is having the worst day ever. She has to go to her father’s wedding and her to-be step mother, Charlotte, whom she’s never even met—in London! In JFK airports crowded waiting area, by Hadley meets the perfect guy. Oliver. He’s British, and he’s sitting in her row. When they lose each other in the chaos of the airport arriving in London, will fate bring them together once more?

Oh gosh. You’re probably thinking: Bri. You’re getting yourself into ANOTHER romance book?! But why? First: romance books are my flower and I’m their bee. So I couldn’t resist picking up The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and also because I have a thing for romances with (hot) British guys. Weird, right? I picked it up on whim at a book fair, the story seemed captivating, and just seemed like a really fun, light read. Since between the time finishing ‘Probability’ and Anna and the French Kiss wasn’t that big of a gap, I couldn’t help but gape at the small similarities and compare the two…

For one: main character is a girl who is forced to be shipped off to the other half of the world when they don’t want to.

Two: the romantic interest is a British guy. An apparently hot British guy.

Three: both protagonists in both books have daddy problems. 

But still! While those three things are similar, don’t let it discourage. My point being—The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight will be a definite appeal to fans of Anna and the French Kiss or romantic contemporaries in general.

Something about this book being told in third person perspective made ‘Love at First Sight’ feel almost like a fairytale yet so… real. No, honestly. I was vaguely reminded of the movie What a Girl Wants as I read too, but this book felt far more genuine and earnest as I read. It’s one of those books where I can’t exactly say what made me love it so much, but I definitely know I wholeheartedly, hands-down enjoyed it. Loved it, even. The theme was fate and love and happiness was clearly present in the book, and even if the entire book was set over a frame of 24-hours, they were given an amazing amount of characterization considering.

At first, when I began reading, I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t particularly care much for Hadley, and really, I didn’t feel much of a reason to. It doesn’t have a big, theatrical beginning but it starts with a small bang nonetheless. I wasn’t exactly compelled to continue reading, because I was almost certain that its beginning was going to drag out to some less-than-spectacular uneventful ending (which, unfortunately, has been the pattern for most of the books I’ve been reading recently…) But it wasn’t. In fact, when you reach the end, you realize it is just the beginning for these two lovelies. They just—clicked with dialogue for me which was a huge winning factor to liking it.

The dialogue was unbelievably fell into place in a way where even I hadn’t even expected. I did have moments where I did feel Oliver was slightly clichéd (is it me, or is it when American authors write books portraying attractive young British guys they all seem to have super similar, charming personalities? Just me?) but still managed to contrast nicely in the midst of other characters’ originality. The likelihood of the ending being predictable is really, really HIGH so while it closed amazingly, I was slightly dissatisfied by how it came to be rushed. I think it was the impulsiveness of Hadley’s character in its end which annoyed me most, and it was pretty hard to let things like that simply slide. The passiveness of Hadley was super hurried, too. I think I began to realize author Jennifer Smith was trying to tie up all the loose ends within the story, but the relationship between Hadley and her dad was all too swift for comfort. If I was Hadley, I don’t think I’d be nearly as submissive to the following situations—but then again, that’s just me.

The vacancy in the ending left such an openness to the possibilities to this couple, and I just wished there could’ve been an even grander story to tell. The plot is weak, but something about the characters in the building drama surrounding them easily fills up this absent plot. And overall? The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was really good. As I said, fans of Anna and the French Kiss would especially come to love it’s London setting and romance, or well, any romance fan might come to love this really—especially Oliver. In spite of the void of a plot, and maybe a few little things that irked me about the characters, this book is completely good and definitely worth the try if you’re into romance!

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