5 January 2012

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn't forgotten the book. Or if there hadn't been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn't fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she'd run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn't sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it's the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver...

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 have to confess that I was actually sent this book last summer to read, as a special pre-release and I was really surprised by the size of the book that I received. It was small, only around 240 pages long, and I thought it was actually a Young Adult book rather than women's fiction. I started it one evening and quickly found myself hooked, and managed to finish the whole thing in one sitting, I was that captivated by it. There was something about it that was utterly charming and it was a beautiful love story too, something I'm always a bit of a sucker for. Interestingly, the publishers have decided to go with the American cover rather than the more cartoony style UK one which I loved, and although I like the colours and images used, I really don't like the title font as I think it looks a little young for the book but there you go! Anyway, here is why you really should read this book!

This is a book about fate, and it's a sweet love story between two characters, Hadley and Oliver. They meet by chance at the airport. Hadley is flying to London for her father's wedding, and manages to miss her flight by minutes. However, she then meets young Englishman Oliver, who helps her look after her suitcase, and then ends up sitting next to her on their long flight to England. The pair find they have a spark that is something special, and quickly strike up a friendship. Even when they get to London and Hadley has to go off to the wedding, and Oliver has his own commitments to fulfill, Hadley finds she can't get Oliver off her mind and makes a bold decision.Will fate be able to help her out again... well Hadley is sure that it will. I loved both of these characters, but especially Hadley who was just a joy to read about, and you really find both her and Oliver to be really genuine, just like their new-found friendship.

As I mentioned, a lot of the story in this book revolved around fate, and if you aren't a believer in that, then you may struggle to like this book. I, however, found it really sweet and am very much a believer in things like "love at first sight", much like Hadley and Oliver seem to believe they may be experiencing with each other. I really enjoyed reading all about their flight over to England, the easy conversations the pair were having and having them open up to both each other and the reader of the book as well. Things get better in London, and I loved the twists and turns, really hoping for a ahppy ending amongst everything else that was going on for the pair. These characters are only young, but I didn't think this was a bad thing at all, and for me made the book a little bit more believable and sweet.

There is something about this book which really draws you in and makes your heart all warm as you read the unfolding story between these wonderful characters. I think the setting of the airport, the plane and finally London is a great place for the book to be setting, representing the changes that the characters are going through and how each of them cope with their different circumstances. It is a bit of a fairytale, boy meets girl, boy and girl have friendship and hopefully boy and girl live happily ever after but sometimes you just need to read something like that to keep your belief in love alive! The book is set over a 24 hour period, making the book and its progress very believable, and allows the reader to get really absorbed into these precious few hours of Hadley and Oliver's lives. There's no massive twists, nothing to shock or surprise you but it's just a pure and simple love story. I was swept away by this book, and the fabulous writing style of Jennifer E. Smith - what a debut.

Rating: 5/5

You can buy The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight as both a hardback and an eBook now. (links go to Amazon.co.uk)

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