The Statistical Probability of ♥ at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of ♥ at First Sight

by Jennifer E. Smith


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.

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I think I fell in love.. at first sight.. with this book.
I finished reading it with happy tears in my eyes. It made me sad, it made me happy, it made my heart race even though there wasn’t too much action, but the amount of emotions per page were definitely too many for my heart to handle them properly.

This book went from the ‘must read’ shelf to the ‘most beautiful romances’ shelf in a blink of an eye. I was caught up in this story without knowing – one moment (around midnight) I started reading it, I struggled with understanding Hadley and her problems with her father, and then I don’t remember how the time passed and it was 5:30 in the morning when I virtually turned the last page of my kindle and I was deeply in love with this story.

I thought it was supposed to be a fluffy read about love at first sight, as the title and the description of the book are a bit misleading giving you a hint in this direction.
So I was prepared to laugh and maybe to care a bit about Hadley and Oliver. Still, nothing prepared me for the beauty and the dramatic turnarounds of this story.
Of course I saw it coming, from the brief discussion on the plane, but that’s how amazing this story is, because even though I knew what I was bracing myself for, it still made me shudder, it still made my eyes tear of emotions.

In the end, it’s not the changes that will break your heart; it’s that tug of familiarity.

Carousel is not a strong enough word… I need another one, one more powerful, holding more meaning. Because this story is not light at all, it’s heavy, so heavy that it holds my heart to the floor, and it made my soul ache.
There was this big gap between all the happy moments and memories (the time spent in the plane full of joyful talks) and the drama behind it all, and the meaning of so many phrases that at first sight didn’t seem to mean more than what you can hear, but at the end, there was much more to them.

You know, kids usually think they have the right to choose a destiny for their parents.
They think that because their parents love them, they must condemn themselves to a life of misery and unhappiness only for the good wealth of their children.. But this is so not right, in so many ways.
Kids grow up. You have them with you for like 20 years and then they fly away to a better life, to their own life.
So I would never judge the couples that decide that they no longer have to be together, that decide that they need someone else to be happy with.. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love their kids anymore, it just mean that they need to find their own happiness too.

“She spent so much time avoiding him, so much effort trying to cut him out of her life – as if it were that easy, as if he were as insubstantial as a paper doll”

This being said I couldn’t relate to Hadley’s pain.
For the last past 2 years Hadley kept her father away. She didn’t want to be part of his new life and she didn’t want him in her life. She thought that if he had chosen to be with someone else, she was better off. But then, it seamed that her own decisions were the ones that made her impossibly unhappy, because she suffered for not having him in her life anymore. It was a personal, inside fight without an ending, and it hurt her more than she knew it could.

Still, I loved how she understood that she was the one making a big mistake, that he was “still her father, the rest was just geography” and that there were worst places to be on a summer weekend than a weeding.
Off course she wouldn’t have understood it if it weren’t for Oliver, dear sweet Oliver. I loved this guy – he was cute, he was funny, he knew how to enjoy life even at it’s worst, he was so caring and nice that you would like to meet him in person.
Yes, he is the reason Hadley made up her mind.. Finding that others might suffer as well, that other might have bigger problems helped her understand that she was exaggerating in her pain.

Pain is relative; we might suffer as much from the very wrong and different reasons. What counts in the end is the lesson we’ve learned, how it might change us.

“I like how you’re neither here nor there. And how there’s nowhere else you’re meant to be while waiting. You’re just sort of suspended.”

In all the drama, the sweet love story seemed like the sunshine after the torment. It was warm, and sweet, and it made me smile.
I loved the moments on the plane, their conversations, their brief jokes, and their shyness. I loved how, minute by minute, they got closer, and closer, one kiss away from each other… I loved how they found a way to be there one for the other, every time they needed it… I loved how they fell in love, and how they made me love their love story.

So, yes, I’ll say it again:
Reading this story felt like falling in love for the first time. As warm as a summer rain, as bright as the sunshine, as beautiful as a rainbow, as light as a flight, as fluffy as a cloud, as colorful as fireworks, as soft as a kiss.. Because this is what love at the first sight feels like 🙂 Enjoy it!

Happy midnight reading!

ro Note: The Romanian version of the review can be found here.

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