Black & white image of two people kissing in a busy airport with a red heart drawn around them.

About the Book

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Published: 2012
Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Cover Story: Charming
BFF Charm: Yay!
Talky Talk: In The Now
Bonus Factors: Fantasy Plane Neighbor, Mini Liquor Bottles
Relationship Status: I’d Take Out My Earbuds To Talk To You On A Plane

Cover Story: Charming

This is really cute, right? I mean, yes, it’s a little twee, but the typeface is fun and hip, and I like the red accent against the black and white. Instead of screaming, “THIS IS A KISSING BOOK!” this cover says it in a polite, sweet inside voice.

The Deal:

One of my biggest YA deal breakers is a main character who gets upset about having to travel or move to a really cool foreign place. Because WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Who cares about your lame American friends?! You can make new ones with a better grasp of global politics! And you can meet boys with hot accents! Where is the downside here?!!

But in the case of Hadley Sullivan, I completely understand. See, Hadley is catching a plane to London for her dad’s wedding… to a woman she’s never met. This is the same woman, not coincidentally, who broke up Hadley’s parents’ marriage and caused Hadley’s dad to take up permanent residence in England. So yeah, you can understand why Hadley might be a little pissed about catching a major case of jet lag and sitting in between total strangers for seven hours. But then one of the strangers turns out to be Oliver, a British cutie with a talent for conversation. And suddenly, flying to London doesn’t seem so bad after all.

BFF Charm: Yay!

Yay BFF Charm

While I’m all for befriending badass warrior girls and sassy magical gals, it’s always nice to meet a character who’s just, like, a regular person! Hadley is sweet and smart and nicely ordinary, but that doesn’t mean she’s boring. Girlfriend’s got a lot of turmoil in her head and heart, and thanks to her father’s imminent second marriage, all of her angst is about to boil over in a stream of anger and hurt. But instead of breaking out the eyeliner and going emo, Hadley remains grounded and mostly resists the urge to sulk or throw tantrums. She strikes just the right balance between maturity and risk-taking, which means she’d make a great friend, whether you need a shoulder to cry on or a partner in crime.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

I’ll be honest. If a boy with a British accent is involved, you can pretty much bet on the swoon score automatically surpassing a five. Oliver is pretty dang adorable, from his dimpled grin to his witty banter. Even better, he’s hiding something from Hadley, and while I won’t spoil it for you, I will say that it makes him vulnerable, which in turn makes him more swoonworthy. I love the romance in the idea of two strangers meeting on a plane and falling in love, but the reality of it–how fast it happened, how it developed–didn’t always feel authentic to me, which is why I settled on a final score of six.

Talky Talk: In The Now

A few pages into the book, I realized why it felt different than other YA novels–Smith writes in present tense. It took some getting used to, but it also made the story more immediate. Things don’t happen to Hadley and Oliver–they are happening. For me, reading this book felt like watching a movie, which was both good (certain scenes were deliciously cinematic) and bad (I didn’t feel like I really got to know the characters as deeply as I wanted to).

Bonus Factor: Fantasy Plane Neighbor

Two characters from Red Eye sitting next to each other on a plane (one is a hired killer) with an X through the image.

I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve been seated on a plane next to a hot British dude. And by that I mean, my hand is a fist, because THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME. But thanks to this book, it has now superseded my dream of having a row all to myself.

Bonus Factor: Mini Liquor Bottles

Little bottles of liquor in diamond formation.

You guys, I love getting miniature liquor bottles on planes! Or, you know, anywhere! Because they’re so tiny! And full of tasty alcoholic business! And it’s really fun to pour them into your cup! Or drink straight from the bottle if you wanna be classy! In the book, Oliver swipes two mini bottles of Jack Daniels, and for that, he earned my undying admiration.

Relationship Status: I’d Take Out My Earbuds To Talk To You On A Plane

Normally when I get on a plane, I immediately pull out my book and put in my earbuds. I actually don’t listen to music when I read, but I want the people around me to think that I am so that they won’t try to start a conversation. Because after years of chatty Cathies and armchair hogs, I am a lone wolf when it comes to air transportation. But when this book sat next to me, I was immediately intrigued by its whimsically romantic plot and British charm. In fact, I’m the one that actually started the conversation, which, like, NEVER happens, you guys. We ended up having a fun, super cute time together, and though I’ll probably never see it again, I’ll always be thankful that it gave me the best plane ride I ever had. (At least, until the day I can finally afford first class.)

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Poppy. I received neither cocktails nor money for this review (damnit!). The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is available now.

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Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.