Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
It’s a Library It! rating not because I don’t love it (I really, really do), but because I don’t feel any burning need to reread it. It’s a story that I’ll remember, quite possibly forever, because it was fun and sweet and filled to the brim with average, real world problems.
The story begins with Hadley missing her flight to London to attend her father’s wedding to the woman Hadley’s never met. Her father, who is rather estranged from Hadley, is a professor at Oxford. He left to teach as a visiting professor for a semester and never came back, leaving Hadley filled with bitter feelings toward Charlotte, his fiancee.
It doesn’t help that her mother has had a difficult time moving on–even though she tells Hadley their divorce was for the best. We can see the way her divorce broke Hadley’s mother as well as how she’s trying to put herself back together.
So needless to say, she’s not exactly thrilled to be flying all the way to London and missing her flight is the last thing she wanted to deal with. But if she’d been just four minutes earlier, she’d never met Oliver. A native Londoner, he’s charming, clever, and a Yale undergrad–combined with his accent he’s basically perfect. (Insert swoon here!)
The conversations Hadley and Oliver end up having are my favorite part of the book. Ms. Smith is a fabulous writer, stringing together this story in a way that makes her readers feel they could be there living it. Her character’s have meaningful problems–both average ones and the more surprising, complicated ones. They’re easy to love and great to read about, because she’s able to make you care about them. One of the reasons I don’t feel the need to reread Statistical Probability is because I love having the characters in my mind just as they are now that I’ve finished it.
It’s a really short book, and the plot is pretty simple. Oliver and Hadley meet at an airport, they talk, they crack jokes, and slowly the reader falls in love watching them fall in love. (I’m assuming I’m not giving anything away here guys. I mean, read the title.)
I’m always hesitant when I see an author using flashbacks–usually they’re a copout in order to make something easier for the author. But here Smith’s flashbacks flowed with the story, the way event can trigger memories, and made Hadley read more like a real character. It’s a simple story, but life’s complicated, and Smith pulls of this story with the prefect balance of both. If I say much more than that, I’ll give away some of the subtle character-conflict that really gives this story tension.
Read it–it’s sweet and short and left me feeling happy-go-giddy for hours after finishing it!