Book review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
An irresistibly charming read that seeps into your skin and explores what happens when two people meet by chance.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (Headline)
I have a confession to make.

I sometimes choose books based on how beautiful, quirky or unique their titles are. 

Of course, my experiences based on doing this, has not always produced the kind of reading experience that I've wanted; but, I suppose that goes with the territory when one is given to bouts of spontaneity.

Having said that, when I first came across The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the romantic within me practically squealed with glee. 

What lover of romance could pass up the opportunity to read a book that explores the age old question of whether or not it's possible to feel an instant connection and fall in love with someone within the space of 24 hours? 

It turns out, that I definitely lucked out in choosing a book based on its title this time around, because The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is an utter delight to read. What's more is that it's a book that is, surprisingly, more layered and complex than it suggests.

The story kicks off when we meet seventeen year-old Hadley Sullivan.

Not happy (resentful would be more accurate a description here) about having to fly to London to attend her father's wedding to a woman she's never met, but only chatted to via e-mail,  she quickly ends up being stuck at the airport when she misses her flight.

Stuck and feeling claustrophobic amongst the masses of people while waiting for the next available flight, she meets a boy named Oliver, who just so happens to be cute and British. Even better? He's on her new flight to London.

What follows is a 24-hour period in which dreams are shared, secrets spilled, intriguing conversations are held and the knowledge that just maybe a connection has been formed that will challenge everything that Hadley and Oliver have previously believed about love.

I think that the charm in this novel lies in the fact that the book doesn't rely on descriptions of instant attraction between the protagonists of the story.

Rather,  it's a subtle journey of two characters who simply meet by chance; each with their own hidden stories, heartbreaks and reasons for being on their way to a destination neither of them are quite looking forward to.

Hadley is an interesting and complex character.

When we first meet her, we're presented with a young girl who is filled with an incredible amount of anger towards her father.

Being forced to attend a wedding she has no desire to, Hadley struggles to reconcile with the idea that her father has fallen in love with someone from a different continent, while she and her mother are no longer part of what she's always thought of as the perfect family unit.

Her pain and bitterness are incredibly real and poignant. In fact, throughout most of the novel, I found myself just as angry with her father as she was.

From the descriptions of how she found out about her father's new relationship, to the point where she caved into being a bridesmaid to a woman she's only gotten to know via e-mail, her emotional state of being are portrayed in such a realistic manner, that you can't help but relate to her.

When Oliver comes into the picture, we immediately get the sense that there's a subtle change; a shifting of some sort, that's about to take place.

With his British accent, cute lankiness and dry wit, he quickly manages to get Hadley to lower her guard and to share her thoughts on life, love and everything in-between.

Their romance is not one that's based on heated glances, sexy innuendos or electrifying touches, but  rather, is more the slow, comfortable coming together of two people who feel as if they've known each other a lifetime.

It's a connection that grows into itself and one that is more of a glow than a blazing fire.  Now I'm normally not a fan of this kind of romance, but I think, given all the underlying issues that both Hadley and Oliver had to deal with, in this instance, it actually works very well.

I have to admit that I was wondering just how Jennifer Smith would manage to get the two together after each of them needed to go their separate ways, but surprisingly she managed to do so in a way that I didn't quite expect.

All in all, this book was a charmer of a read and one that managed to seep into my veins in a way that I didn't expect.

The highlight of this novel is how, through her own experiences with Oliver, she comes full circle into accepting her father's love for another woman.

The lessons she learns and her perception of love are challenged throughout the book and shows that love has the most unexpected way of creeping into your heart when you least expect it to. 

Do yourself a favour and pick it up. It's a very sweet read.


I have REALLY wanted to read this one for that past few months! I saw it at Target, and the title attracted my attention like right away! :)
Thank you! I try :). And yes, I hope to pick up a copy one of these days! :)
GABY said…
I wasn't really sure about buying this one but now I know I will like it :)
Dazzling Mage said…
Been reading great things about this book! I should've bought it when I had the chance. >_<

Oh well, definitely looking for it next time!
noiln said…
Probability Sampling
Define Probability sampling, what is probability sampling? , types of Probability sampling,
I've had my eye on this one, and I think its cool they explore that idea about love at first sight.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog
Loraine said…
Nice review! Here's mine if you don't mind:

They're turning this one into a movie. I'm so excited!

Thanks and have a nice day! :)

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