Premise: On the day Hadley has been dreading for months – nay, years – circumstances leader her to meet a certain gorgeous Brit. The title is somewhat misleading. A story that’s actually about the statistical probability of love at first sight would probably be much more situational than this one is. Trust me, you want this spoiler: Hadley does not fall in love at first sight. If you’re looking for a study of that moment itself, this isn’t the book for you.
Plot & Characters: They’re indistinguishable from each other. Yes!!!
This book is totally character driven. By the end of the story, characters have done things they would never have done at its beginning. The transition is convincing and flawless. About halfway through the novel, the main character has a delicious burst of initiative.
Main Character: Hadley is a bitter, self-involved brat who KNOWS how to notice and commune with the people around her, but just doesn’t WANT to. Her transformation is compelling.
Love interest: Oliver is a mysterious charmer with emphasis on the mystery. He’s a fascinating insta-crush full of stereotypical British snark and less stereotypical emotional defensiveness. Much of the mystery, however, goes unsolved. Hence, the love story part of this becomes shallow.
The ending involves some ambiguity in a way that invites re-reading and sleuth work. Check plus.
Alert: Vague spoilers that will likely just make you want to read this.
What I learned about storytelling: Perhaps the strongest part of the story is halfway through when Hadley pieces together the earth-shattering reveal about Oliver’s travels. This reveal happened on so many levels. Hadley realizes Oliver is in pain; how it compares to her own pain; and what she can do about it. Meanwhile the reader realizes both characters’ potentials for depth and change.