236 pp. Poppy (Little, Brown and Company)
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Interest: 2012 Debut Author
Source: ARC received from Jillian @ Heise Reads & Recommends
Summary (From Goodreads): 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. 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 18C. 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.
My good friend Jillian and I hung out at the Little, Brown booth at NCTE waiting for them to break down so we could get a couple of the ARCs we had our eyes on. The Statistical Probably of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith is the one that she was hoping for, and luckily she received the only copy. Jillian read the entire book that night in one sitting because she loved it so much. The next day at ALAN, she gave me the ARC so I could read it as well (thanks, Jillian!). I started it on the train and read most of it during the ride. I had fun reading Jennifer E. Smith’s debut, but I didn’t love it like Jillian did. This is one of those books that I need to break it down into what worked for me and what didn’t work.
- Oliver–Yep, I definitely enjoyed Oliver’s character. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight would probably be good on audio because I’d get to hear Oliver’s British accent. He’s just so ideal in general. I love his wit and romantic side.
- The scenes with Hadley and Oliver–I was instantly drawn into the story because Hadley meets Oliver early on in the book. They have an instant chemistry that grows as they spend more time together. I couldn’t get enough of their conversations and the tension between them. If you enjoy a romance with characters that have an instant attraction, then I’m sure you’ll like Hadley and Oliver.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
- Hadley’s conflict with her father–I was looking forward to reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight because I was in the mood to read a great romance. I did get my wish when the scenes were focused on Hadley and Oliver, but so much of the book was spent with Hadley at her father’s wedding. This element of the story made the book’s title and summary feel misleading. If I had gone into the book wanting to read a novel about a father/daughter relationship, then I’m sure I would have enjoyed this book that much more. In my opinion, too much time was spent with Hadley trying to deal with her father moving on to another woman and getting married. The story would have been so much better if the focus was more on Hadley and Oliver’s blooming relationship.
- The third-person point of view–To be honest, I prefer first-person point of view, but I still read and enjoy plenty of novels written in third-person. The third-person is really choppy and jarring in Smith’s debut. I found myself re-reading passages because I wasn’t sure what was going on and if we were in a flashback to when Hadley’s parents were together or not. I’ve noticed that when other authors write in a similar manner, they’ll include a page break between these passages so the reader has a clearer signal that something is changing. Having page breaks would have made a world of difference for me while reading.
Overall my likes and dislikes are pretty evenly balanced which is why I gave it 3 out of 5 stars and not something lower or higher. I’m looking forward to passing The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight on to my students to find out what they think of it. I imagine plenty of my students will love it.