Let’s pretend that my Valentine’s Day special review was actually posted on Valentine’s Day, like it was supposed to be. The truth of the matter is that I didn’t even purchase this book before yesterday, but since I just barely finished it, I thought I would start a review.
Jennifer E. Smith is the most adorable author ever. I have decided this after now reading all three of her young adult novels. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight (Can I call it SPOLAFS? Good.) is cheesy. Way cheesy; totally predictable, and the most basic of love stories ever. Yet somehow I read it all in one sitting, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Because this book, while cheesy, is the kind of cheese you love to put on your crackers. It is absolutely and fantastically fabulous.
Hadley misses her flight by four minutes. Two hundred and forty seconds. Yet somehow, that changes everything. Because of this, she is transferred on to the next available flight. Because of this, she is forced to sit in a window seat for the next several hours, next to a British boy named Oliver. Over the hours, they talk about everything, from their favorite colors to Hadley’s biggest problem: her father.
After the divorce, Andrew Sullivan, her father, moved away to teach at Oxford. He moved out of their house, out of the country, and out of Hadley’s life. Despite his recent efforts to insert himself into her life again, she can’t get over the fact that he chose to ruin their perfect family because he fell in love with a British girl named Charlotte.
And that is how she ends up on a plane, sitting next to a polite boy named Oliver; her father is getting married in a matter of hours, and she has been invited as a bridesmaid. Over her growing dread about meeting her stepmother and being stuck in a plane, Hadley can barely keep her mind on anything else. Luckily, Oliver is able to distract her, and they talk for hours on end, laughing like two old friends. At the end of the flight, Hadley is shocked at how sad she is to leave him behind- even though they have only known each other for a mere couple of hours, it feels like forever.
Through the chaos of getting hustled out, she loses sight of him in the crowd and is forced to leave without saying goodbye. Through the course of the day, fate will bring them together again and leave them both wondering if there is such thing as love at first sight.
I absolutely adored Hadley. This is not simply a love story between a boy and a girl, and I think it is heartbreaking that everyone focuses on that. Another big aspect of this story is the fact that a girl, who has had her dreams shattered from losing a father and a family, is learning to forgive and forget. It is very hard for her to put aside her feelings about being ignored by him and seemingly put second, after his new wife, but she begins to see that she never really lost her father. This is a story about all different kinds of love; falling in love and putting a broken love back together.
I must admit, I was tearing up during many parts in this story (although it could have just been the fact that I was very tired yesterday) and my heartstrings were pulled. Despite my love for the father-daughter relationship, I was just wishing for more moments with Oliver. We don’t find out much about him, which is definitely disappointing, but the moments we do have with him are extremely satisfying.
So many people are disliking this book for its lack of depth. I do agree, it is a light and short read, and the development of the romance itself is lacking. But in my own humble opinion, I believe that the reason this story leaves of with so many questions is because love is simply like that. It is full of so many possibilities, so many what ifs, so many things that could or could not happen- so many things that could go wrong but so many things that could also go right.
The most beautiful part of love is the possibilities of it.
Oliver and Hadley might have an unfinished love story, but think of all the possibilities and all the things to come.
The important thing is to live in the moment, and cherish it, and cherish the part of the story that Smith has weaved for us.
This story is imperfect, and flawed, but it sure is lovely.