on January 2nd 2012
Also by this author: This Is What Happy Looks Like, Happy Again, Summer Days & Summer Nights, Windfall, Field Notes on Love
(236 pages) • Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble
Four minutes changes everything. Hadley Sullivan 17 misses her flight at JFK airport, is late to her father's second wedding in London with never-met stepmother. Hadley meets the perfect boy. Oliver is British, sits in her row. A long night on the plane passes in a blink, but the two lose track in arrival chaos. Can fate bring them together again?
I love the ideas of fate and destiny and coincidence and choices. This is something I actively want to read about and think about all the time. I thought this book could be a slam-dunk for me because of it, but I was left wanting more. I don’t know if I’m just a bitter reader these days, but my increasing ability to pick out plot twists ahead of time is starting to grate on me. Even smaller ones in contemporary novels become obvious and I get frustrated. I don’t expect every book to surprise me, but I want to at least be happy overall.
This book shows Hadley heading overseas to her father’s wedding, to a woman she’s never met. There are admittedly a lot of family feels that most children of divorce (hi there!) can relate to (yep). I appreciated the honest thoughts Hadley had about her father and their relationship, but it seems unlikely that all of this would happen in a 24 hour period. This timeframe was another thing that led me to this book – I loved the idea of meeting in an airport and having a quick rendezvous, wondering if you’ll see each other again. The short timeframe of course can lead to a feeling of instalove, but I understand how a connection like this can be made in this kind of circumstance. It didn’t bug me too much.
The characters were pretty good. It was definitely a character- and family-driven story, but I always feel like I’m missing something when the characters never mention their friends. I don’t know, it just feels weird to read a story where you have no idea if the characters HAVE friends. (Okay, I know I can cut the book a little slack because of the short timeframe it takes place during, but still.) I wanted to know more about Oliver. She shared everything about her life and he said a few things that he’s never told anyone before, but it didn’t feel like enough for me. He kept some stuff a secret (most of which I predicted) and that annoyed me.
There were quite a few classic instances of misunderstanding and jumping to conclusions. This is okay sometimes but it felt gimmicky to add more ~drama~ to the plot. View Spoiler »The possible pregnancy, the ex-girlfriend of Oliver, etc. « Hide Spoiler It was well-rounded enough in general, with all of the family things, so it didn’t need those extra issues.
It was a cute and fast read that I read in a day. I enjoyed it a lot at the beginning but my interest slooooowly declined. I don’t know why, but I just kind of stopped caring after a while 🙁 I can definitely see this as a movie – which is in the works I guess! – so I’m sure I’ll watch it.
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