Rating: 3/5 stars.
Cute. That’s the word I kept coming back to when I read this book. Not pulchritudinous. Not horrendous. Cute.
I guess I expected more from a title and a book jacket that promised an intense and zany romance. Seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan meets British Yale student Oliver on a plane ride to attend her divorced father’s second wedding. She’s not happy about it, but something about Oliver makes her open up. Within 24 hours they form a close bond and Hadley comes to terms with the dysfunction of her family, as well as the boy who she’s known for less than a day – even when it’s felt like forever.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was more than a mindless love story with no development. The dialogue between Hadley and Oliver made their romance ring true while Hadley’s family turmoil added a nice plot line that led to lots of character expansion. Jennifer Smith’s writing impressed me, with insightful lines like “It’s not the changes that will break your heart; it’s that tug of familiarity” interspersed amongst her pretty, flowing prose.
Despite Smith’s job well done with the book, nothing blew me away, at least not enough for me to deliver more than a three star rating. I predicted all of the plot twists ahead of time, and the characters as a whole were forgettable. I’m writing this review a week after finishing the book and I’m already struggling to remember certain components of Hadley and Oliver (for example, Hadley = girl who meets her “true love” at an airport, has a troubled relationship with her father… what else?) The romance between Hadley and Oliver felt less like love and more like a strong connection that could possibly lead to love; while I’m sure it’s difficult to craft a convincing and passionate romance within such a limited time span, I wanted more oomph from their relationship.
Overall, Just One Day by Gayle Forman remains my favorite “insta-love” book, with its beautiful prose and three-dimensional characters. Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight still pleased me though, just not enough to make me fall in love with it.