Imagine if she hadn’t fogotten 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.
One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2013 was to support my local library by borrowing more books! To this end I’m planning to read and review at least one library book each month. My January choice was The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (SPOLAFS from this point on!) This is a book that I’ve had on my wish list for a long time so when I saw it right at the centre of a lovely display of young adult books in my local library I took it as a sign!
SPOLAFS is a clever book told in a period of just twenty-four hours. Each chapter starts with the time in two time zones; Eastern Standard Time and Greenwich Mean Time representing New York and London as Hadley sets out across the Atlantic for a truly life-changing trip. Hadley had my sympathy straight away as she misses her flight by just four minutes and describes her feelings about airports and flying – I have many of the same feelings about airports and flying myself! Details of Hadley’s trip and her life come fast as she calls her Dad to let him know she’s delayed and facing the possibility that she might miss his wedding (a wedding she really doesn’t want to attend anyway) and Hadley meets Oliver who is also waiting for his flight.
In a truly romantic twist of fate, Oliver and Hadley are thrown together with Hadley’s re-booked seat just one away from Oliver’s. I’m a firm believer in fate and serendipity and I absolutely loved how SPOLAFS played out as Hadley and Oliver spark a connection only to be separated on reaching London. The story did not go as I expected it to and I loved that Jennifer E Smith kept the twists and surprises coming.
SPOLAFS isn’t just a gorgeously romantic love story though and delves deeply into the complex relationships that we have with our parents and families. Both Hadley and Oliver are heading to London for family events and both have difficult relationships with their fathers. I thought both relationships were very well written and honest and I thought Hadley’s interactions with her Dad were very believable. I loved the way that Smith really examined Hadley’s emotions throughout the book and captured the sense of confusion and mix of emotions involved in reuniting with her Dad. I also loved the importance of books in this novel; Hadley and her Dad share a love of reading and throughout her life he has gifted her classic novels.
Despite only being set over the course of twenty-four hours, there is a lot of story packed into SPOLAFS, both in the present and through flashbacks to Hadley and her family’s past making it a quick and engrossing read for me. I loved Hadley and the way that Jennifer E. Smith writes relationships and the non-saccharine romance of this book. I’ll definitely be looking out for her next release!
You can find out more about Jennifer E. Smith and her novels at: http://www.jenniferesmith.com/