Book Review (#1): The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight





Welcome everyone to my first 2013 book review on this small, but lovely book. 

When I first came past this book, I didn’t realise it was fiction! I thought it’s one of those relationship-related instruction books, honestly. Then, a few days ago, I was watching some old John Green videos and he talked about this book and said he liked it. And so, I found my way to its e-book! I’m very glad I’ve gotten used to e-books now because half of the books I want are never in my bookstore. It’s just easier to get them off iTunes.

My point is… I’m glad I’ve come across this book. And I don’t feel guilty about its being the book I kick off my year with, even if it’s YA. Even if it’s a chick-flick or whatever.

The first thing you should know about this book is that its main events take place over 24 hours. And despite the name of the book, it doesn’t ooze romance and its main characters don’t endlessly rave on and on about true love at first sight. Like, while reading it, I kept comparing it to ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ since its the only book I’ve read recently and that falls into the same category. And the difference between the main character here and Anna is the reason I liked this book more! The book’s beginning as well is one of the most gripping ones I’ve read in a while. Despite its simplicity, it’s relevant in a way that it really shows the core of this story without revealing much, and it’s also thought-provoking as are a couple of other things further on in the book.

Speaking of the main character… Her name is Hadley, which, if you ask me, is not a name you come across often. Though we only know her for about 24 hours, by the end of the book, I felt that I knew her well enough! Which is also striking because the book is written in third person perspective –yet another feature that you don’t come across often in the YA genre. Despite all of the that, the author managed to make the story feel so intimate, and that I adored!

What was most dazzling about this book is the way the author got Hadley’s feelings across to me. I loved the way she described claustrophobia and I loved how this little fear was central in the story without feeling overly forceful. There’s also something intriguing about the range of emotions and feelings –fear, fascination, bitterness, nostalgia, anger, sadness, love, forgiveness, impulsiveness– we’ve got to see on Hadley in such a short time span and how well each of them was executed. I suppose that this is what made it very easy to sympathise with the main character, and I always love it when that happens. I was literally squealing and aw-ing and screeching throughout the read. 

Then there’s the male lead, Oliver. Though he lacks the cosmopolitanism (OMG, that’s a word?!) of Etienne St. Clair, I fell head over heels for him. We get a very constricted view of him, definitely, but I just love him! I don’t believe that Hadley/the narrator overly glorified him. Like, Hadley didn’t sit there and list all the things she loves/hates about him, his flattering/appalling features and so on. And I believe that added to Oliver’s allure as it allowed me to form my own personal sketch of him in my head. I also love how, by the end of the book, there are still lots of things we don’t know about him. It’s sad as I want to live with the guy forever, but realistic and fits the theme of the book perfectly. 

As I have previously said, the book doesn’t only discuss love. Generally, it focuses on the impact of a single, simple, supposedly ineffective occurrence on a person’s life. And that branches out in several directions: one of them is love and the other is family. I loved how Hadley explored her relationship with her dad, the several memories that we get to see throughout the book; it really was very touching and it really showed us how some of the strongest ties may be severed. Some people believe the way she acted towards her father at the end of the book was a bit unrealistic, but I believe it was perfectly natural and I loved it! 

Overall, I adore this book! I didn’t give it five stars, yes, but I loved every moment of it! I tried not to finish it today because I didn’t want it to end so soon, but I was glued to the screen! So yeah… You should definitely check out this book!


8 thoughts on “Book Review (#1): The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

  1. I am going to have to find myself a copy of this book. Everyone else seems to be making new year resolutions involving books and I’m beginning to feel left out. Maybe I’ll make mine reading books with cool titles.

    • It definitely does have a cool title, though tiresome when you have to write several times into lists, search engines, and reviews. 😛 I hope you like it!

      Thank you for coming by. 🙂

  2. Really fantastic review! I want to read it now. 😛
    I’ve seen this book cover floating around the interwebs and I really love it. I think I’m going to put this on my wishlist. 🙂

    • Surprisingly, I had hardly seen this book at all before I’d read it! Which is, I think, one of the reasons I liked it. Too much hype turns me off sometimes…!

      I also like this cover, but there’s another cover –it’s green and has shoes on it– which I like more! I hope you do get to read it soon though.

      Thanks for the kind comment! 🙂

  3. This is funny, because I actually found and read SPLFS (I swear, after I’ve typed the entire title so many times, abbreviating it feels nice) after I finished Anna & the French Kiss. Perkins’ book is a nice fluffball of YA ‘chick lit,’ and it was the perfect light read that my brain needed. So, I think I was disappointed and felt mislead by Smith’s title. I wanted more Oliver, cough.

    But I did appreciate that Hadley’s problems are what I consider “real problems” — nothing petty or small is blown up into a giant melodramatic mess, which turns me off in a number romance novels. I didn’t enjoy SPLFS not nearly much as I expected, but I’m glad you enjoyed it. (:

    I plan to Smith’s new book, though. This is What Happy Looks Like, due out in April!

    • I found it right after Anna & the French Kiss (which should also be abbreviated) as well! I think what really made me like SPLFS (Omg, you’re right!) was that it was NOT a complete fluffball…? And I don’t just want ‘more Oliver’; I want the entire experience for myself. I just felt like getting myself onto a plane to London just to see if I could get myself a similar experience. Minus all the family problems, though.

      I think I’ll want to read another of Smith’s books at some point. I hope you’ll like the new book better than you liked this one.

      Thanks for coming by!

  4. I love your review, there was so much you included in yours that I forgot to include in mine! 🙂 I was hesitant to pick this book up, but I was very happy to see that it wasn’t all “mush.” I too loved the way the author described Hadley’s claustrophobia and the range of emotions we got to see in Hadley.

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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