Sunday, 15 January 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything? Imagine if she hadn't forgotten the book. Or if there hadn't been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn't fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she'd run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane? Hadley isn't sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it's the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver... 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.

Oh my god you guys, I loved this book.
I’d heard really good things about it, and then I read Angie’s review (and regular readers know that it only takes Angie saying she loved a book and I’ve bought it off Amazon before I’ve finished the review) and I was sold.

Set over twenty four hours, it’s the perfect combination of humour, grief, joy, and squishy cute moments. I’m all about the squishy cute moments.

I loved that this wasn’t just a romance though. It looks equally at Hadley, her family and the break-up of her family unit leading up to this point – the night before her father’s re-marriage.

It was such an honest look at the breakdown of relationships, as well as the forming of them, that for once I didn’t get grumpy over a portrayal of the breakdown. I actually empathised with every character, and found it fascinating as we were allowed deeper insights into Hadley’s life both before and after.

That said, I really loved the squishy moments…
Oliver was such a genuinely nice, refreshingly human boy. There was no insta-love. There was attraction, sure, by the bucket load, but I didn’t ever feel like this spark was being pushed or rushed or rammed repeatedly into a brick wall. The reader almost falls for Oliver along with Hadley, we laugh, we cry, we cheer, and are so swept up in this beautiful tale that’s full of endings and beginnings and false starts. It was so realistic, so full of life without being cloying or false.

I don’t want to ruin it, although I could quite happily chatter on about it for ages. I just want to say how brilliantly written it was. How much of a breah of fresh air, and how carried away by their story. I loved Hadley, she’s so likeable, so friendly despite the grumps attached to the circumstance. I loved the banter between her and Oliver, and the fact that he was so deliciously imperfect. Gotta hate those flawless boys.

I loved the twists and the turns, and the fabulous happenstances that so often lead to brilliant things in life. But most of all I loved the interweaving of the family relationships and drama into this beautiful romance. Everything was pitched perfectly, and I fell in love with it.

There was one glaring error which gave me a mild case of the grumps, which is that the American custom is for the bridesmaid’s to precede the bride down the aisle, whereas the English custom is for them to follow the bride. So why, in an English wedding, where the bride is English, are American customs being employed?
You can argue it any which way about the bride choosing to be different, but the fact remains that in an otherwise flawless book, I was suddenly (and frustratingly) jolted out of it with something as trivial as that.

However, it was ultimately such a small thing that it hasn’t affected my overall rating, because really you guys, this book? Awesomeness in a small and brilliantly written package. It’s stayed with me long after reading – I keep going back and thinking about different moments, and re-reading passages. And yeah ok, we’re only half way through the month, but I think I might have just read my book of the month…
Any other book I read this month is going to have a lot to beat.

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