Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

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

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight has one of THE longest titles in the history of the world and shall henceforth be called SPOLAFS…a name coined on Twitter, helping a lot with reducing character counts in posts.

Set over a 24 hour period SPOLAFS is the story of Hadley, who misses her flight to London by four life changing minutes. She’s reluctantly on her way to her father’s wedding.  He’s marrying a woman Hadley has never met, the woman he left his wife and child for. To say Hadley is not keen on this trip would be an understatement.  Hadley is also not keen on flying either, but during the wait for her rescheduled flight she meets gorgeous Oliver who is also on his way to London and the flight situation begins to look a whole lot better. The pair sit next to each other and sparks begin to fly.

I loved the way Hadley was a bit of a grumpy cow to begin with and the way Oliver calmly and well…just lovely-ly (don’t care if that’s a made up word) takes care of her.  Pretty much all of the chat on the trans Atlantic flight is about Hadley’s problems, her issues, what she’s dealing with. And Oliver is there with soothing words, with understanding.  Oliver is also on his way to an event in London but he doesn’t talk about it and Hadley assumes it too is a wedding.

The pair grow closer as the journey gets closer to their destination and we find that Hadley has released all the pent up tension and bitterness she feels towards her dad. This has been a hugely cathartic journey for her, reminiscing about how things used to be and talking over how it can’t be that way any more. And it’s all down to the ever calm and thoughtful Oliver.

The arrival in London and the twist that takes place there is the utter tear jerker that pulls this whole story together…get the tissues ready.  You’re going to need a whole box full!

SPOLAFS belongs to a rare breed of very few books that I have managed to convince my book-allergic daughter to read.  The number of these books can be counted on one hand and typically they are books she is utterly in love with.  She will read this handful of titles over again, rather than move onto anything else (please don’t ask me why, I have NO IDEA!).  So SPOLAFS is in my prime arsenal when a poor teenage girl is dragged in front of me by a frustrated parent, pleading, “she WON’T read, what will I get?’ This novel is very short, pretty much a novella, but it is absolutely the better for it.  Short fiction for teens is in, well, short supply and they do sell phenomenally well. 

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a heart-warming and beautifully written tale of letting go of the old, embracing the new and ultimately of thinking more about other people than yourself.  And also about how it feels to fall head over heels in love. What more can you want?

About Eve Harvey

Eve Harvey is a bookaholic. She is forever to be found with her nose in a book. If there are none around then newspapers, magazines, the back of cereal packets, road signs or the tiny washing labels found on the seams of jumpers will do. Eve has a full time job as a children's bookseller. She was, in fact, the very first Waterstone's Children's Expert Bookseller in Scotland. Her first love then really has to be literature for children and teens, although she has been known to read grown-up books (not very often though - they didn't put in enough hours when they invented days). She especially loves to find brand new authors and is always on the lookout for a stunning début... Eve lives in a field just outside Edinburgh in Scotland with her daughter and son and two dogs and two rabbits. She also has some tanks of tropical fish and vows one day to start up a marine aquarium. And the day she signs her very first publishing deal she is going to celebrate by buying a pair of Horsefields tortoises. You can find Eve through her Agent, Ella Kahn at DKW Literary Agency. She's also on Twitter or on her website : EveHarvey.com

5 comments on “The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E Smith

  1. Hilary
    April 7, 2012

    What more can you want? Hard to know, after this beguiling review! Thanks to you, Eve, I’m catching up on my teenage reading phase as I draw my pension – determined to read this!

  2. Jackie
    April 7, 2012

    This sounds terrific–for any age. I’m curious to see what happens, but the tissue warning sounds like a sad ending.

  3. lynnsbooks
    April 10, 2012

    What a great review – I’m always on the lookout for books for my daughters – one of them particularly likes a more contemporary writing style and is definitely not into the paranormal element that is currently flooding the market so this sounds right up her street.
    Thanks
    Lynn :D

  4. kateinbrussels
    April 12, 2012

    I’ve gone all gooey. Snnf.

  5. Androw
    April 14, 2012

    Awesome read.

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This entry was posted on April 7, 2012 by in Uncategorized.

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Acknowledgment

  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)
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