Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publication Date: January 2, 2012
Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown
Reading Level: Young Adult (12+)
Pages: 236 (Hardcover)
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.
Have you ever read a book that blew you away so much so that you can't really wrap your head around the emotions it just caused you to experience? As I type this, that's the only thought running through my mind. In a mere 236 pages, I teared up like I was a little kid again, smiled like the luckiest fool on planet Earth who just managed to win the lottery, and seriously thought through some of my views of the world and how a book somehow managed to alter them. Sure, the statistical probability of love at first sight may not necessarily be high, but when you meet a couple like Hadley and Oliver, you can't help but believe that such a thing is possible in reality, as rarely as it may occur.
This book was just...beautiful. There's no other way to describe it. The writing? Beautiful. The characterization? Beautiful. The plot? Beautiful. The messages and the way it makes you think? Extremely Beautiful. Smith somehow manages to tug your heartstrings every which way with her unique skill at describing emotions while simultaneously making you feel as if you can relate to the characters, even if you necessarily can't.
Hadley and Oliver are now among my favorite pairing ever. Hadley, despite being slightly silly when it comes to her fear of mayonnaise, is a really amazing girl. She's strong, intelligent, and most of all, kind. She doesn't think she stands out among the crowd, but she doesn't think she is below anyone either. She is simply there, she is Hadley and she is happy with herself, and she is not constantly putting herself down like a lot of main character's are in young adult literature these days. For that, she really stood out to me. She stayed strong in the face of disaster and though she came out of it with what seemed like an ever-burning hatred, her journey to forgiveness was something I really enjoyed. And then there's Oliver. In all honestly, I don't think I can do him justice no matter how many times I try to describe him. He's not your typical quirky Englishmen. He likes to ask questions, he's very sarcastic, and he tends to steal a whiskey or two from unsuspecting airline attendants. All in all, he's pretty amazing. He's intense while somehow managing to be relaxing, he's driven and focused though he's very comical and laid back at times. Most of all, he is perfect for Hadley just the way she is for him.
I never once believed that love at first sight was a possibility, until now.
There's really nothing more that I can say. I'm sitting here, arguing with myself on how to properly write a review for a book that I enjoyed so much. When an author can come along and alter ones perceptions of the world, you know that you've found a book that's worth holding dear to the heart. When in doubt, this is going to be one of my new go-to books. Easily read in a single sitting, this story will take you on a journey that will ultimately leave you breathless due to sheer happiness and the other array of emotions experienced in the books small duration. This book is one that everyone should set aside a few short hours to get through because it is truly, truly worth it.