I got this for Sinéad for her birthday, mostly because it has the word statistical in the title, and she’s a giant maths nerd. I read it a few weeks ago, and found it to be a very middling coming of age story, coupled with a hefty dollop of romance (as most coming of age stories are.)
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
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?
Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.
There’s a hefty dose of unrealism in this book. Naturally, when believing that Hadley would meet her one true love on a plane, because she missed the previous plane by four minutes, and therefore had several hours sitting next to a beautiful British boy named Oliver, you have to understand that it’s really not statistically likely at all. But luckily, despite the title, there was more than just instalove between Oliver and Hadley – there was also the wedding of her father to get to.
Much like in That Summer, which I reviewed yesterday, there’s not much thought given to the father’s new wife, just that she exists. Luckily, this book does a much better job of fleshing out the story behind their wedding, her father’s motivations, and indeed the slow journey she’s taken to this point, and whether or not she’ll actually forgive him. That was probably the best part of the book, much more than the romance between Hadley and Oliver. Another hefty dose of unrealism was required there as they both took jaunts across London in order to find each other on days when they really both should’ve been totally preoccupied with major family events.
I have a few issues with Oliver and Hadley – firstly that it’s notable that he’s British – like a British boy is some exotic fish which must be collected. Trust me, I’ve lived in England for ten years now, and English boys are not that great. Scottish boys, though, that’s a different story…
Furthermore, Oliver is in college, and Hadley is in school (by college, I mean Uni, by the way). I just can’t get with that kind of partnership – it’s weird and creepy when they’re in such different stages of life. But, since the book only takes place over one day, that never really is addressed as an issue, so I guess they’ll work it out once they get back to their American hearts and flowers romance.
Lastly, there was not enough statistics in the book – for a title like that, there was really a disappointingly low number of references to anything even resembling anything that could conceivably be called statistics or probability – plus, really, several of the events in the book were laughably unlikely. Again with the unreality.
As a whole, though, it’s a light and fluffy book which was perfect to read on a train and while away a few hours without taxing my brain or accidentally bursting into tears.