Hmmmmm… Where do I start?
I was excited to read a couple of Smith’s books originally. The storylines based on the back covers showed promise, but I’m not too sure anymore.
Would it be horrible of me to say that this book read like it was written by a high school freshman? Why am I even asking- of course it’s horrible… but that doesn’t make it untrue. I mean, there are stories written for 14 year olds, and then there are stories written by 14 year olds. This story was sadly the latter.
I have to be honest, Book Babies. I owe you guys the truth! So here goes…
Let’s start with the relationship between Hadley and Oliver. The only thing I seem to like about their compatability is their names. Yes, their names look adorable side by side! haha!
The fact that they meet at the airport and spend the entire night together on a plane is adorable in theory, but Smith didn’t really give us enough to go on to believe that they were in love, let alone crushing on each other. The few chapters where they had a conversation were cute, but not much different than what I would say to anyone. They could have been talking to a best friend or sibling with these types of discussions and encounters. Sure, it’s cute that they napped on each others shoulders, but with the way Smith described scenes and worded conversations, all I could say was so what? Basically, nothing really happened to make the reader swoon or simply accept that these teens were definitely falling for each other. Maybe if the book was longer, expanding the scenes on the plane to develop their relationship? Or maybe it was simply the wording used? Or maybe it’s just me, and I wasn’t able to imagine the scenes as Smith wrote them? But if that’s the case, isn’t it the author’s fault?
Now as individuals….
I hated Hadley. She was far too whiney on the plane. How many times does she have to bring up the fact that she hates her dad for leaving her mom, and hates him even more so for getting remarried now?! WE GET IT. I felt bad for Oliver most of the time… such a long flight. Way to much to put up with! I mean, what part of her whiney, claustrophobic personality attracted him?! It was just…. ughhhhh it was all just me me me! And how did she NOT realize Oliver was going home for his father’s funeral and not a wedding?! I figured it out in a second! But Hadley is too self absorbed to see how sad he is every time his dad or a church is mentioned.
Oliver was a little more interesting. I liked his humour, especially when he was coming up with his various majors for school. And his relationship with his dad was dark more complex and less predictable than Hadley and her dad. He was by no means an amazing character, but he was definitely more interesting of the two.
Now to storyline…
For the most part, predictable.
Yes, I figured they’d end up at one another’s events. Hadley runs to the funeral. Oliver runs to the wedding. You know what would have been better? After the whole funeral debacle, Oliver doesn’t go to the wedding. .. INSTEAD they don’t meet again until the following day on a flight back to the states. Fate brought them together again!
Yes, Hadley was going to improve her relationship with her father to the point of finally admitting that she was glad to be there.
Yes, I figured it would all take place over 24 hours because any thing past that can’t be considered love at first sight. (Haha can’t really get mad at this one though. Just wanted to point it out since it technically adds to the list of predictions )
Yes, the first kiss was predictable because it’s a cliche. But I guess that’s the draw of falling in love at an airport?
Yes, I predicted a baby that would make Hadley think her father is starting over, and then Hadley would decide that it’s ok and she’s interested in being a part of the baby’s life. But no, I actually didn’t predict the fact that it was a misunderstanding; no baby! I think that was the only piece of storyline that I enjoyed because it was different and surprising.
I could go on, but you get the point. It was 95% predictable.
I also didn’t like that it was written in third person. This choice doesn’t make sense! The entire story follows Hadley. We don’t get to glimpse at Oliver’s world unless Hadley is there. As much as I hate her as a character, I have to say that it’s silly how the story isn’t told by her.
And the last thing I have to say is how much potential this book title has, and how it’s sad that Smith just wrote something too simple. A book with this title should be used to tell a story about how two people met and didn’t fall in love at first sight! WHAT A TWIST! Statistically implying that they didn’t fall in love in 24 hours, or that they both don’t know how they feel, is fat more interesting. Make the characters question love in conjunction with first meetings! Make it so they never see one another after the 24 hours is up, but but they’ll always look back on that time together fondly, wondering if it was just a moment or if they gave up a chance at forever. Wouldn’t that spark a greater reader debate? ! Make the readers question if it was love at first sight or not. Make the relationship real and complex!
Ah well… what do I know? It’s just a thought.
I bought this book second hand to give Smith a chance read before I tried her other novels. I’m disappointed to find her work lacking, and I don’t think I’ll be reading anymore of her books.
I’m sorry if this revue is harsh, Book Babies, but I can’t lie. I would hate to mislead those who trust my reviews into reading something I disliked. That being said, you might not rely on my revues; you at have different tastes in novels and despite my revues, this book still appeals to you.
So if you can find something you enjoy about this novel, I’m happy for you!
Read on, Book Babies!