January 2, 2012
Altogether though I’m quite surprised by what I got and frankly I’m surprised by the low ratings this book has been receiving. Maybe I view the book more highly because I went in with such low expectations, expecting nothing more than a cute love story about two people who fall in love at first sight. What I wasn’t expecting was the beautiful writing and the flow of the story. From the very first page Smith had me not only hooked, but unable to put the book down (I read it within a couple of hours), so much so that I was more than halfway through and almost at the end of the book before I even noticed. I commend Smith for this alone, if for nothing else. It’s not easy to find YA books these days, or contemporary ones for adults as well, that are not only well written, but also such a delight to read. Yes the book was a romance, and the story may have been cliché at some points (not that I really noticed, I was too absorbed in the characters and their surrounds), but the humour and the depths of the characters and their situations and families is astounding. It’s seriously a beautiful book.
When Hadley misses her plane to London by a mere four minutes, she’s first relieved (as it turns out she might not making her Father’s wedding after all) and then rightly a bit pissed. After all four minutes is nothing in the larger scheme of the world really. And yet, four minutes is all it takes to really change her way of thinking and understanding the world. It certainly tips her little understanding upside down. During the three-hour wait for the next plane out, Hadley meets Oliver, an English boy attending Yale University on his way home and from there both their lives are changed in ways even they don’t really expect upon first meeting. The banter is witty, and the dialogue feels natural enough; not once did I cringe. The emotion in the books is breathtaking considering its subject matter and I really felt for sorry for some of the family issues encountered in the book.
Highly recommend it for someone looking for a beautiful, but well written light read (it is still YA centered around the promise of young love at first sight).