Jennifer E. Smith
Released: January 2, 2012
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?I don't recall when or where I first heard about this book, but I do remember it had me at the title. Add in the cute cover and adorable synopsis and I was on the bandwagon. Personally, this title was near the top of my list for last summer's conventions, right up there with Lola and The Future of Us. I was totally bummed when I didn't snag it at BEA, but I was bound and determined to get a copy at ALA. Sadly, Little Brown did not have copies there - only request forms. I filled one out, not expecting to be important enough to get a copy, and moped my way back home. A few months later the neighbor stopped by with a package delivered to her house instead of mine, and I swear it was Christmas. I had lost all hope of getting an early copy, but thankfully this came to me just as I hit the bottom of a reading slump. Needless to say, I did nothing else that day and had it finished by that evening.
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that 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 in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A.
Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
I love airports. I love to travel, I love people watching, and there's just something about an airport that's magical to me. Jennifer E. Smith takes that magic and crafts it into a story where anything can happen. Hadley meets Oliver as she's literally and figuratively falling apart at JFK. She's late for a wedding she doesn't even want to attend, and the thought of sitting in a terminal for the three hours until she boards her plane is suffocating. Oliver is, of course, attractive, British, and offers to help Hadley with her bags. They wander around the airport until it's time to board their flight - of course they're on the same flight, and of course their seats are next to one another.
Obviously there is some insta-love going on, and everything just seems to magically fall into place. But that's what this story is all about. Smith creates this magical world within reality where anything can happen - even love at first sight. Hadley is an easily likable character (her snarky comments to her dad in the first chapter gave me insta-love), and Oliver is perfectly flawed and holds just enough back to keep the reader wanting more.
I know it's extremely early to say this, but The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight will easily be one of my favorite contemporaries of the year. This novel oozes adorableness, and I wish I could read it over and over again. Smith's writing is lyrical and her characters are some of my new favorites. I can't believe I missed out on her two previous works; she is definitely now on my auto-buy list.