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The Statistical Probablility of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a YA contemporary novel by Jennifer E. Smith.

Seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan really doesn’t want to go to London. In her suitcase is a bridesmaid dress that she doesn’t want to wear for a wedding she doesn’t want to go to.

It’s her dad’s wedding. To the woman he left her mom for. To the woman that made him stay in London instead of return home to Massachusetts after a four month professor gig at Oxford. This is the end of any hope of Hadley’s life ever returning to normal.

She hasn’t even seen her dad for a year out of protest. Never even met this woman.

But everyone, including Hadley’s mom, thinks she needs to go to the wedding – that she might regret it later if she doesn’t. Well, that’s a laugh.

Then Hadley misses her JFK flight by four minutes and has to wait for the next one.

Yet it’s this very annoying bump in an annoying trip that leads to her meeting him.

Oliver.

He’s about her age, British, and sitting in her row. She recognizes loneliness in his eyes that she feels within herself, and next thing she knows they’re talking.

And talking, and talking, and talking…

It’s a connection – one that doesn’t see logical or make any sense in the grand scheme of things. But when they lose track of each other at the airport chaos in London, Hadley longs to see him again.

In the midst of a momentous day in both of their lives, in the middle of a bustling, cramped city – is there any chance at all of them meeting again?

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was a movie-like experience. I loved how, despite the fact that the novel only takes place over the course of twenty-four hours, the author makes sure to give us background and character development to make us actually care about Hadley.

The situation with her dad is heartbreaking and done in a believable, relatable way. I empathized with her position – with her anger, with her sadness. And it didn’t take long to see that she was broken – and you rooted for her to heal.

Then when Oliver is introduced, the chemistry crackles. What’s fantastic about it is that it’s not just superficial attraction but conversation, humor, and a mutual understanding and honesty that seems to pour out of them when they are around each other. It’s sweepingly romantic.

Their separation and Hadley’s longing to find him again while dealing with her difficult, painful emotions at an England church and fancy reception is cinematic in its portrayal and done in a unique, interesting way. Despite the fact that their chance encounters and fate-like connection sometimes didn’t always feel all that realistic, you can’t help but begin to become convinced that timing and grandiose occasions do happen – and maybe they could happen to you too.

I really enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love. It charming, funny, and left me smiling more often than not. It was a feel-good, touching novel that you want to embrace.

It also makes an excellent Valentine’s Day read - check it out!

*I received The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight from Hachette Book Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, or tried to influence, my opinion of the novel.

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