Due to a solely four minute delay, it truly seems to Hadley Sullivan as if it is one of the worst day in her seventeen years of life. These four minutes render her stuck at the JFK airport, because she has missed her flight,and utterly late to her father's second wedding in London to another woman, who she has never met. Hadley has not seen her father in two years, and still has not forgiven him for falling in love while being a temporary professor at Oxford, leaving her mom stranded with a daughter and drastically changing their lives. This consumes her mind, that is, until she meets a young gentleman who offers to be of help during her annoying time at the cramped waiting area. His British accent catches her off guard, let alone his handsome looks, as they eat at an airport restaurant and acquaint themselves to each other. It is then that they find out they are sitting in the same row. Yet, it takes her a while to find out his name is, in fact, Oliver. He is charming in a way that almost completely diverts Hadley's attention from her dread about the upcoming marriage and those involved in it. Not to mention, he distracts her from her sudden claustrophobia that many a time overtakes her when she is in a closed space. Oliver takes his seat adjacent to her on the flight across the Atlantic Ocean and showers her with his accent and witty quips. It is no wonder Hadley finds herself wishing the plane ride would never end. After they land, the two separate at customs in a whirlwind. Hadley is then forced back to reality once again when she must think about what the day's celebrations mean for her relationship with her father. However, a part of her mind is still stuck on the Oliver that eased her apprehension as he talked and the undoubtable romantic tension that ensued on the plane ride. Yet, the hope that they would see each other again is diminished by the fact that they had not even exchanged any contact information. Meeting her new stepmother, seeing her father for the first time in over a year, and trying to take in all the new people in her father's life that are about to be a part of her life as well, her thoughts drift over to Oliver. She asks the question: was the plane ride an isolated even or could it possibly be the start of something great?
This time-oriented, romantic novel can best be explained as cinematic. Throughout the book The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, by Jennifer E. Smith, ones thoughts transcend to a motion picture in their head. It's a good thing this book is actually in the development for a screen play. Set over a time period of twenty-four hours, this quirky tale has is filled with first love, apologies, and family. Hadley and Oliver's story will persuade you that love at first sight exists in the most unlikely of places when you expect it the least. This novel displays two incredibly likable and relatable characters. Young girls could definitely connect to Hadley's character and undoubtedly fall in love with Oliver alongside her. This book does a wonderful job of portraying the feelings of a teen who is not sure how to deal with the deluge of sudden changes in her family. We get flashbacks explain to us about her former life. They are like a cup of hot chocolate by the fireside compared to cold, present life of Hadley the author does a good job of describing. Although a simple plot, the storyline progresses with pleasantly skillful descriptions. I think it would serve the book justice for it to have a different title. For a volume filled with such clever banter, a quirkier title would have been more appropriate. Additionally, it would not repel all the love-at-first-sight haters. The two characters take a while to open up. Don't think that this story is cheesy in the least. It is a feel-good, heart-warming tale of love at first twenty-four hours. It might seem a little unrealistic for Hadley to find her way around London by herself without getting lost when she is determined to encounter Oliver once again. It is, nevertheless, fiction. Although we can go into criticizing what is and is not possible when we put ourselves in that situation, the realistic factors of realistic fiction can only be taken into consideration to some extent. The author is entitled to using their creative license.
In essence, this is the ultimate story of fate, reunion, and forgiveness. It is a family geared story. It is the superb, slim novel to pick up if you're looking for a quick yet enveloping read. I'd recommend taking this book on an airplane ride of your own. It is too bad this probably will not happen to us in real life. I'd rate this book four and a half stars.
Reviewed by Alexis K., Grade 11