"There are so many ways it could have all turned out differently."
Oliver from The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Oh, but wait. You also need to meet another "Boy":
Ty from Stolen by Lucy Christopher
The opening paragraph applies to both "Boys"; Oliver gives you the warm fuzzies, while Ty gives you chills...and a whole multitude of other confusing feelings. The funny thing is, that quote above comes from the very first line of The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight. After reading Stolen, I have to agree: It really could have turned out differently. Worse, actually. Hadley could just have easily found herself in Gemma's shoes. Scary thought. Or Gemma could have found a sweetheart. ♥
Statistical Probability is one of my favourite reads of 2012, but after reading Stolen, I can't help comparing the two stories in my mind. I wonder if I'll ever be able to read the former without thinking about the latter. It's kind of like a dark cloud over this whole notion of airport romance. And then, of course, my mind takes it a step further and I'm thinking about the movie Taken with Liam Neeson & Maggie Grace, and how all things considered Gemma was lucky, and Hadley more so.
Statistical Probability is a sweet love story, while Stolen is a scary reality check.
Here's the summary from the back of Stolen :
That last line there? I initially read it and thought, "What the—?!" But after reading the book, I can honestly say there's a raging case of Stockholm syndrome here...and it's not just Gemma struggling with it. I didn't love this whole book*, and I particularly didn't love the creeped out feeling it gave me at times (mostly when I was imagining this kind of thing actually happening). The middle-of-nowhere-in-Australia setting was not something that I enjoyed reading about, but I think it added to the sensation of loneliness, seclusion, and utter hopelessness.
What really surprised me is the fact that Ty didn't scare me. Never once did I feel like Gemma was in danger, like Ty was going to harm her in any way. While certainly odd, Ty was just a boy, looking at a girl, asking her to love him.** Kidding. Sort of. But this is really what it boiled down to, which was surprisingly uncreepy. And that is what made this book interesting and worth the read. Kudos to Lucy Christopher for making readers fall for Ty (as much as I hate to admit it).
So, while it's great to enjoy an airport romance like Hadley + Oliver's in The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight, it's important to remember that there are other ways this could have turned out. It could have been an unlikely love story made in Stockholm syndrome Hell like Gemma + Ty's. The moral of this post? It's okay to have your head in the clouds, but keep your feet planted firmly on the ground and ready to run if the situation calls for it. Oh, and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let a stranger "fix" your drink, no matter how intense and icy blue his eyes are.*** [End preachy rant.]
* There are no chapters in this book, only scene breaks. As someone who likes to finish a chapter and stick the bookmark in the book, this drove me a little batshiz. But whatever.
** from Notting Hill (sort of)
*** This is in no way meant to be a finger wag at Gemma (it wasn't her fault this happened). I'm certain Ty would have just found some other way to make his plan work.