The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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 take: Jennifer Smith cleverly addresses difficult life situations through Hadley's quick trip to England to (grudgingly) be part of her father's wedding. Hadley's parents split up when her father went to Oxford for a semester to teach poetry. He didn't come home. Instead, he fell in love with Charlotte. Hadley has not forgiven him for breaking up her family and impacting not only the relationship her parents had, but the relationship she had with each parent. Now her father is marrying a fellow Oxford professor, the woman Hadley plans on hating. Her mother has moved on and is dating someone else and claims it is better now. Hadley begs to differ.
So Hadley misses her airplane and is relegated to the next flight, cutting the time before the wedding to minutes. It is on the flight that she meets Oliver, a clever, witty Yale student from Paddington. Oliver hints that his relationship with his own father is also troubled but does not go into detail. But there's a commonality and a connection.
At first glance, it looks like a cute little love story. It is but it is also a book that addresses loss, grief, forgiveness, letting go and moving on. It also addresses the need for communication and negotiation. Hadley finds that, after the rage, she still loves her dad and is open to negotiating a new relationship with him and his new wife. This does not give away the ending. I know the real interest is what happens between Oliver and Hadley.
I'm not telling.
Passes the Mom-o-Meter with flying colors.
Dialogue and swearing: Mild to none