Monday, March 18, 2013

Roller coaster love: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

My Rating: 4/5

"Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?" (from Amazon)

I read this book when I was in Periyar, Kerala, India. I was chilling up in the mountains. In the cool mountain night air, this book is just such a page-turner: the romantic, cinematic execution of the plot, and to-die-for type of characters, made me unable to put this book down. Bravo, Jennifer E. Smith!

What I liked about this book: 

The characters. While Hadley is very...typical indecisively girly sometimes, Oliver is the "to die for" type I was talking about. Boy, is he hot. And totally thoughtful and kind. And in a way that feels real instead of fictional (yes, I know, he is, technically, very much fictional. I meant that he doesn't sound fake; Oliver sounds like he could be someone that exists). 

The descriptions of emotions. This books talks a lot about Hadley's struggle with her dad's marriage to a woman she has barely met, not that long after leaving her mom and her. While I cannot relate to her at all, given my life experiences, Smith did a good job describing Hadley's complicated emotions. As her relationship with Oliver develops, Hadley rethinks her feelings towards her dad and her family, and this "rethinking" is very nicely done. I felt like Hadley's character growth is very easy to follow, and very reasonable (as in, readers expect her to feel a certain way after a certain incident).

The insertions of past events in Hadley's thought process. Smith did a good job giving informational background to help us understand why Hadley is feeling a certain about a certain experience, without seeming intrusive to the main storyline. This is a very sophisticated skill, so I was very impressed.

And... the lurrrrve. All I want to say is the ending. OMG the ending. 'Kay I'm done.

What I'm not so in love with about this book:

Pacing. The entire story happens in a span of two days, and most of the time the pacing is excellent--not too stretched nor too compressed. Readers feel at ease, going through the story. Sometimes, though, just once in a while, I wish it could be more...rushed. There could've been more urgency at places.

And most of all, the book just didn't...have that chemistry with me. (Don't get me wrong, the chemistry between Hadley and Oliver TOTALLY works.) For me, I have to personally have that one special moment with a book/film to be able to say it's perfect (or near perfect). This book, sadly, as much as I love it, didn't have that special moment with me. So, no 5/5 rating, sorry. Good read though--recommended for sure.

Vanessa :]

P.S. What a cute cover. just, stapit!

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