The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is about Hadley, who’s on a flight to London to attend her father’s wedding. Understandably, she’s a bit bitter at him, since he seems to have moved on and found more happiness with future wife than he did before. At the airport, she meets Oliver, and through a series of movie-like coincidences, they spend several hours together and forge a sort of bond that, hopefully, is more long-lasting than either of them expects.
I would like to point out that the title (while relevant to the story) is a bit of a misrepresentation. The connection that Hadley finds with Oliver is never labeled as “love”, nor is it love in actuality. That is not to say that, given time, it could become real love—I can actually see the two of them making a very successful relationship back in the US once things calm down with their families and such. I think this book’s title is unfortunate, though, because I outright rejected it back when it first came out because, as I mentioned, I don’t believe in love at first sight (especially since it often comes in the form of instalove, a dangerous and disturbing phenomenon in YA fiction).
For me, this book was charming and endearing but not particularly heavy or serious-minded. I think some emotional, realistic issues were brought up, and they were handled in a way that was very touching. At the same time, I thought this read very much like a movie, and though I don’t think that would have worked for me usually, it did here. With a final tally of just over 200 pages, this book is rather short, and I breezed through it in a few hours. Obviously, there wasn’t much time for deep emotional explorations or whatnot, but I think it worked for Jennifer E. Smith here, as I didn’t find this book to be incomplete or lacking particularly.
So while The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight isn’t my favorite book ever, it’s most certainly a very enjoyable one. Well worth reading multiple times, and it had a lovely film-like quality that was utterly addicting. I also appreciated the realistic “love at first sight” scenario, because anything other than what actually happened would have caused me to pitch a massive fit. Also: woohoo, family dynamics in YA lit!