Sunday, March 3, 2013

{Review} The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Poppy
Release date: January 2, 2012
Date Read: February 25, 2013 - February 26, 2013
Rating: ✭✭✭✭
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, this is a cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves.

Don't let the shallow cover and blurb of SPL (let's just call it that) fool you. Even the inside summary is lying to you. Inside is a deep, gorgeous story of a girl going through her parents' divorce and trying to come to terms with it. 

Hadley is seventeen and on her way to her father's wedding in London. He's getting married to a woman Hadley hates but has never met. During her journey to England, Hadley meets mysterious Oliver and they hit it off quickly before being separated after landing. But fate is a funny thing, and it won't let them stay away for long.

The plot was original enough, but it wasn't the main focus of SPL - family was. It was more of a character-based self-discovery than a swooning airport romance. dude, a 'swooning airport romance'? It sounds like swaying and throwing up all over the plane

I thought that I'd hate the supposed insta-love romance, seeming as the summary of the book said:

Hadley and Oliver fall in love on the flight from New York to London...

HP: don't lie to me photo tumblr_likxffl6pZ1qftvb7.gif

'Fall in love' my ASS. Oliver and Hadley were perfect for each other, yes, and they had great chemistry, and they might have made-out, but they didn't fall in love! It was totally attraction and infatuation, something that I could sympathize with. However, their bond and thoughtful, sweet conversations were out-of-this-world and I don't doubt that they'll end up married.

I would know how it feels to be a teenager going through the divorce of your parents. My parents are currently getting one, and while it was hard for me at the beginning, it's taught me never to care too much. I was horribly angry at my father at first, and I bitingly defended my mother against him at all costs. Eventually, in August, I learned that he had just started living with his girlfriend, since the divorce could take years. He wanted to move into his new house with us in September.

I stopped avoiding my father, and while our relationship blossomed as we moved in, and I met his girlfriend, my relationship with my now-fragile, crying mother withered. My brother and I waged a violent war against each other, one that still goes on to this day. He refuses to speak to my father.

It seemed that I could never have the best of both worlds: I was either angry with my father, or my mother. My father's girlfriend was a beautiful, broken woman with a bad history that I'd come to love dearly not her shitty background, her, but their relationship was rocky and unstable. After breaking up and getting back together several times, we're currently living together again, but who knows how long that will last. 

After hoping that my parents would make up, then hoping that my dad and his girlfriend would make up, I just couldn't take it anymore. After a while, I shoved aside my feelings for myself and learned never to hope too strongly. My father might break up with his girlfriend? Fine by me, she wasn't my partner. My parents might get back together? No, don't do that, you'll just leave again and hurt her more. 

Every person experiences the divorce of their parents differently. I, strangely, was not upset with the decision after a few months, for a few reasons.

a) My mother was not the same. She was someone who couldn't stay dried-eyed for more than five minutes and needed my comfort. She also turned into someone who snarled, screamed, and shrieked at the mere mention of the name of my father's girlfriend. When she was in the latter mood, she frightened me terribly. I didn't have to deal with that with my father, or at his house.

b) I felt that my father and mother weren't really... made for each other after seeing my dad with his girlfriend. My mother had always acted older than she really was, slightly strict and not someone you could really have fun with, though I loved her. My dad and his girlfriend complimented each other perfectly: that couple that you can't help but aww at because they were so adorable. And she made my dad a better person, which in turn made my relationship with him so much better.

The whole point of that long section omg I totally poured my soul out was to show that I know how Hadley was feeling, even though I dealt with it differently. It was genuine as hell. Hadley was angry at her father and angry at the world.

I liked Hadley enough. I have the feeling that she could've been a much more likable character, but all the stress and sadness kind of dragged her down. However, all the characters were wonderful in their own way: very fleshed-out and complex, with a freaking personality and backstory, though I wished we had learned more about Oliver. 

Oliver was super cute, and though I didn't fall head-over-heels in love with him, I really enjoyed him as a character. He wasn't a jerk or an asshole, just a gentlemanly English guy with the accent.

I mean, the accent.

You got that accent and I'm sold, buddy.


Hadley's parents were very active in SPL, something that I liked a lot. Parents aren't common enough in a lot of young-adult novels lately, and the fact that SPL did have them was a huge perk. Especially since her parents were so detailed and real.

I didn't like the writing, at all. I've never read anything in third-person present tense, and it really bothered me for some reason. I don't have any other literary works to compare it to, but it's the absolute worst out there. In fact, here's a sample:

"Hadley stands on her tiptoes, turning in a small circle to get a sense of the restaurant choices... She isn't sure whether he'll be joining her..."
But still, SPL was a fantastic read and I'd recommend it heartily.

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.

1 comment:

  1. This is an adorable book! If you like John Green you will love this story! Also the book was in brand new condition and I don't have any regrets about buying it!
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