Saturday, December 14, 2013

UT Tyler Winter Break? Read a book!

Hiiiii guys! How are you doing? I am a very happy girl today because I finished up my work for this semester, which means no more finals, no more class blogs, no more papers, no more NOTHING for an entire month! Hooray! That means I'm back to the season of Christmas lights, trees, gift shopping, and reading my little tush off. It's been a long time so some of you might not remember that a while back I started my own book blog ( , which sadly has been gathering dust for months now because I self-destructed into a tiny little "no writing" zone after the end of last semester trying to manage three blogs and write four papers a week. 

Yeah, nightmares I don't want to relive. BUT! I'm happy to tell you that I'm back, at least for the holidays, and that I would like to share a review for a book you guys might love to read while you too have a month between hectic semesters and may find yourself feeling a little bored. Are you ready? Here goes!

Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:
Age Group:13-17/Teen

Official Synopsis: 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.

 My Review

Plot: Twenty four hours is an awfully short time to spend finding out if someone is your true love, but for Hadley and Oliver, a series of serendipitous moments may bring them together against all the odds and situational issues that each of them are facing on the day that meet. The circumstances of their meeting and the events that follow them through the period of twenty-four hours are things that made me feel the little shivers that come with a magical story that makes you wish it happened to you.

It’s not the typical magic I like to read about, where the characters get awesome powers and go save the world, but rather the magic of chance and situation that brings two people together at just the moment they might need each other the most. The pacing was well done and it never really dragged. Each point had enough of a driving force behind it to keep me reading and wanting to see what would happen next. Jennifer Smith can definitely tell a great story.

Characters: Hadley: She starts out a bit sassy, but can you blame her when she’s about to go see her dad marry some lady he left her mother for? There’s a lot of characteristics in her that make her relatable as a teenage girl and while she can be very emotional, I didn’t find it annoying at all. She’s very realistically portrayed and all without being overbearingly annoying about it. I liked her.
Oliver: It’s hard NOT to like an incredibly charming British college guy who does his best to cheer Hadley up when she’s facing all of the crap she is. He’s also well balanced and believably written, and I don’t know who wouldn’t want to sit next to this guy on an airplane across the world. Although there’s a part in the middle where you really worry about him, he definitely comes through in the end, the perfect complement to Hadley.

Relationships/ Romance: Since Romance is what this book is pretty much entirely about, I’d have to say that it is extremely well done and is sweet in all the right ways. The conflict in the story, as well as the magical quality to their meeting and re-meeting in the period of a day just adds to the feeling of it being a fairytale love story in the best possible way, something that could happen to any old person if things lined up just right. I also loved the relationship Hadley has with her family members. Although it is mostly the source of her conflict, the catharsis that comes with her dealing with a problem she’s been facing for a number of years, a situation that is very well written in my opinion, just adds to the “feel-good” quality of the story without coming off as too saccharine.

Writing Style: I enjoyed the prose and word-choice over all. It was earthy without sounding juvenile, nothing too complex in the sense that it tells a story as if you might be hearing someone tell it some years after it happened. However, I docked a point in my rating because I had trouble with the tenses she wrote the book in. Sometimes it’s written in past tense, sometimes in present tense, and present tense writing is a pet-peeve of mine, if you didn’t already read that in my review policy/ confessions list. It made the experience a little less enjoyable for me,  but I still adored the story itself.
Best lines/Favorite part: “There are so many ways it could have turned out differently. Imagine if it had been someone else, Hadley is thinking, her heart rattling at the idea of it. But here they are: A boy walks up with a book in his hands. A boy walks up with a crooked tie. A boy walks up and sits down beside her. There’s a star in the sky that refuses to stay put and Hadley realizes it’s actually a plane, and just last night it had been them.” … It’s a magical way to set up a scene. 

Ending: This is a standalone book, so the ending is the ending of the story. It ends in a very satisfying way for me, and I think it was very well done. All the feelings of the book wrapped up into a lovely package.

The Star-worthy Aspects : Jennifer Smith writes a novel that will leave you feeling like love at first sight might actually be real, and weaves a story that feels like magic. The characters are believable and well written and the plot moves at a good pace. The relationships built and explored in the novel are really wonderful to see come to life and grow before your eyes. It’s incredibly well done.

The Deficiencies: The only major one for me was that the technical style threw me off a little bit. I thought the present tensing of the book in some places and not others was awkward at times and don’t like reading books in present-tense in any case. It doesn’t make the book awful though, and it wasn’t too hard to get past.

Rating and Closing Remarks: A fairytale romance wrapped up into a novel you can read in a night, this is a journey I recommend all lovers of romance and family relationships check out. I laughed a few times, and my heart was definitely feeling things for the entire time. All in all, the book earned a 4/5 from me.

#Bonus Points: For anyone who’s like me and likes to learn about the real life science of some of the weird phenomenon in books, here’s an article that explains some plausible science behind love at first sight. 

Want to get a second opinion? Check out these reviews for The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by other bloggers: Queen of Contemporary , I Heart Chic LitCoffee Bean Bookshelf

So, if you read it, comment back here and tell me what you think! If you aren't sure where to get it or are strapped for cash, try the UT Tyler Library

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