four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
58-May-June-2012
user_rating: 
0

By Jennifer E. Smith

744619.pngJennifer E. Smith is the author of four YA novels, including The Storm Makers (2012), The Comeback Season (2008), and You Are Here (2009). She currently works as an editor in New York City.

The Story: At JFK Airport, en route to London, Hadley Sullivan, 17, has plenty of time to think about all the reasons why she doesn’t want to attend her father’s wedding to his new, younger girlfriend for whom he left her own family and whom she has never met. But when she misses her flight by four minutes, one of the worst days of her life turns into the best. On the next flight out, she is seated next to Oliver, a cute, British student with issues of his own. Over the next 24 hours, as she and Oliver open their hearts to each other, they begin to fall in love—and Hadley starts to come to terms with her father’s new relationship.
Poppy/Little, Brown. 256 pages. $17.99. ISBN: 9780316122382

Fluttering Butterflies 4 of 5 Stars
"[The] Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith is such a sweet, charming and romantic story that I can fully believe in its cross-over appeal. These characters are teenagers, but everyone with a heart can relate to their feelings of grief and confusion and also of first love." Michelle ("Clover")

NY Times Book Review 4 of 5 Stars
"[It] is a gorgeous, heartwarming reminder of the power of fate and an echo of the timeworn motherly advice that love could be just around the corner, and that it will come when you least expect it. … As the story unfolds over a 24-hour period, it’s a joy to watch that adolescent heart reopen, both to a new beau and to her father, and to the healing nature of love in all its forms." Whitney Joiner

Rather Be Reading 4 of 5 Stars
"I like the way Smith weaved present day with these past scenes that helped us to better understand why Hadley felt the way she did. Hadley could have easily been a character that was obsessed and driven by this sudden romance with Oliver but the procession of events felt extremely organic to me." Estelle

Voya 4 of 5 Stars
"The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a sweet, character-driven, romantic comedy with plenty of twists to keep readers engaged and is sure to delight teens from beginning to end. Young adult readers will enjoy reading about Hadley and Oliver, two characters who are familiar, witty, and have terrific chemistry together."

Critical Summary

In YA author Smith’s hands, what might have been a sappy, soporific story about first love turns instead into a warmhearted, bittersweet, and sophisticated tale of teenage romance that rises above its genre. Rather than reading as a simple meet-and-fall-in-love novel, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight deals with important family issues that many teens face, such as parental disappointment, confusion, and forgiveness. The likable characters—mature for teenagers, but believably so—add to a story told with emotional depth and psychological acuity. But the best part? Believing, once again, that love appears in unexpected places.