Down The Book Cubbyhole

The Geeky Adventures of a Bookish Girl

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight — Jennifer E. Smith


Is it really probable to fall in love in the twinkling of an eye? Or is it mere attraction? Even figures can be a flimsy verification on this well-regarded whim.

Remember those awfully rare chances when cute guys happen to materialize in that finicky vision of yours? He may have offered his seat to you during a bus ride, you may have bumped on him at the mall, he may have been the charming salesman at a store; then flashed the sweetest beam you couldn’t imagine—brewing a giddy twitch at your heartstrings. But somehow you feint a nonchalant façade to give the impression that you’re uninterested. Did you happen to ask yourself if you’ll be seeing him again? Oh cut the charades, I know you have. 😉

Now imagine yourself turning up late to your most dreaded flight for 4 minutes… just 4 minutes. Another flight was rescheduled for you but is not leaving until a few hours or so, allowing you to arrive at your father’s wedding with a woman you hardly know in just the nick of time. Shortly thereafter, while having difficulties with your stuff, a stranger gladly offered to lend a hand; somehow you did not refuse because you really need the help. Eventually you take heed on that stranger’s face. “He’s cute,” you would say. The hours ticked like mere seconds, conversing with the guy, finally discovering that you’ll be sharing the same flight—at the same row. Would fate really be as good as this to be true?

From the corners of this cleverly titled tale, brims a sweet concoction of romantic bonds, family dramas, infidelities, forgiveness, and the traditional happily ever afters. I’ve been a tad too thrilled to be in possession of this book, eyeing it on Goodreads for quite some time now. Fortunately, a cousin gladly lent it to me and I quickly devoured it from page one. However, sheer pleasure immediately swopped to nasty ennui. The pages didn’t quite keep my interest intact. The mere 200-paged and largely printed book kept me at a sluggish, drawn out reading pace, finishing it for a long-winded fortnight. Cute you would say—I approve. In fact, there’s too much cuteness in there that it became a little too cloying and implausible enough to be convincingly true. Thus the story was wrung from realism, and then hung off to parch—left with no traces of veracity but absolute improbability. The title itself doesn’t even justify the premise. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight—when there’s no love at first sight after all. Falling in love in a 24-hour period doesn’t even count as love at first sight. Indeed, “The Fermentation Process of Mayonnaise” seems like a more fitting title actually. Let me put it this way: since Hadley hates mayonnaise, then we’ll have her as our specimen. First off, there’ll be no mayo but eggs, mustard, salt, etc. (bitter Hadley). We’ll put the mixture in a steel tank/jug/container/flask [I’m no erudite in such matter so just insert any necessary fermenting decanter here] (plane). Add fundamental fermenting agents (such as yeast/bacteria), in this case vinegar/cider would be our agent (Oliver). Leave it for a few weeks inside the refrigerator (9-hr flight). The mixture will be processed (getting to know each other/conversing), and then after the target date… kaboom! you now have your mayo (love in the air). Makes more sense, right?

Furthermore, the events, in line with the resolution of the characters, were too neat. A father leaves his family for a younger woman gets off the hook so smoothly and forgiven just as so easily. A stepmom radiates a faultless façade thereby making her a likeable character nonetheless. A wife who might as well failed to remember that the groom was her husband. A family insensible enough to confront their ruined man in the hope of avoiding argument. Tidying up the ending in a painstakingly neat fashion.

The very instant I flipped through the last page, my sister and I shared the same reaction which was, “Is that all?” Evidently, I have nothing to blab about this book.

What I liked were those little moments of rumination from significant passages that need not be merely skimmed at but carefully pored over.

Overall, not my kind of romance but if you’re one to take pleasure from sweet endings and happily ever afters, this book is for you. 🙂


Rating: ★★✰✰✰

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3 thoughts on “The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight — Jennifer E. Smith

  1. Good review! I just finished the book and enjoyed it, but agree that more could have been going on. The endy tied together a little too neatly for my taste … even though I’m a huge fan of happy endings.

  2. Thanks Alison! I love happy endings too but I kind of like something that’ll make it a very different, very memorable culmination. Like, I would be pondering at that final moment before I flip the book shut. 🙂

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