The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

When I reached the last page of the book I sighed in contentment, because it was just so cute.  Which honestly, is a testament to my short memory, because for the most part, this book is not actually super cute and romantic.  It’s mostly about the complicated relationships the characters have with their fathers.  But with some romantic bits interspersed throughout to keep you wishing for more.

On her way to her father’s wedding in London, Hadley misses her flight by a mere four minutes, four minutes that change everything.  Trapped at the airport waiting for the next flight, she meets Oliver, a handsome Brit, who just happens to be seated in her row once she gets on the plane.  In the enforced closeness of an airplane flight, sparks fly, leaving them both full of longing by the time they land at Heathrow.  They part ways, having exchanged no information.

Hadley makes to her father’s wedding just in the nick of time, while Oliver heads back to his own family in Paddington.  They eventually come back together, but not without some reasonably shady stalking.  I’m sure most teenagers will find this romantic and not totally crazy, but for me, nope, not cool at all. The connection between them is always fun to read.  Smith does that part very well.  The problem for me (and for others really seeking to read romance) is that the two of them are together far too rarely.  Most of the book is actually about both of them working out their issues with their fathers.  It’s not to say that it isn’t well-written or interesting when they are dealing with their own particular issues of grief and loss and acceptance, it’s just that if you want to see more adorable flirting and longing glances, it’s not there. And in my case (and I’m willing to say for some teens) this can lead to skimming a bit waiting for the next romantic bit.

But in all honesty, as my final reaction was still to sigh contentedly at the cute, I would recommend it, even if it wasn’t my personal favorite romance.

Age Recommendation: Because the connection is pretty low-key, there is little sexual content and therefore many families would be okay with tweens reading it.  There is some teen drinking however. I would recommend this for Grades 7 and up.

Sex, Nudity, Dating – A teen’s father is getting remarried.  His bride to be asks her bridesmaids (including the teen) for lingerie suggestions/input. The father was unfaithful to his wife. A teen has had a prior boyfriend.  There is kissing! A woman is expecting a baby.
Profanity – “bloody”, “damn”, “hell,”
Death, Violence and Gore – There is a funeral.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – Teens steal and drink airplane bottles of whiskey.  A teen drinks champagne. A man smells of cigarettes.
Frightening or Intense Things – None.

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