|Almost Zero [Goodreads]|
Sure, I'm not on my way to my father's wedding, nor am I in high school (all these high school kids seem to have all the luck with boys) but she is travelling alone and does meet someone. Not just someone, THE someone. And guess what? It's all in the span of 24 hours. But of cousre! Only in the books, I tell you.
From Amazon: Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.I liked how easy it all played out and yet how much we learned about Hadley in Oliver in the very short amount of time we see them. Hadley, on her way to her dad's wedding isn't exactly so happy to be on this trip and Oliver, as we discover, isn't exactly raring to cross the pond either, but they're both there anyway (one seat apart) and somehow, the connect on their trans-Atlantic flight.
Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
Hadley is likaeable despite her obvious way with boys and though I usually wouldn't relate to a character who's got the looks and the boys, I somehow end up liking her despite not being able to relate to her. Oliver, on the other hand, is a boy out of the books that you'd love to meet. He's got the accent and the charm and the humor and the attention he's pouring on Hadley makes you wish he were real.
The way they barb and banter with each other makes me wish I were this witty in high school and I were this attractive to boys. Flirting doesn't come easy but it does for Hadley and despite the internal drama they both seem to be experiencing, it all falls away when they're together.
So when they're somehow separated at Heathrow, with somehow no hope of finding each other again, it makes me a little disheartened. But of course, we've got to keep this "realistic" and Hadley and Oliver do have their own fears to face (by themselves) so it was also good to see Hadley's dad and her new step mother and how she was given a chance to resolve her issues with him (even if her mind and heart were elsewhere).
I do feel for both of Hadley's parents. With her strained relationship with her father, I of course feel for Hadley's mom (I really wish she'd find her happiness with the dentist) but at the same time really do wish Hadley's dad and new wife happiness. There's so much sorrow and hurt in this family, it'll take some time for everyone to heal.
Hadley obviously has issues with her dad and him leaving and the book he left her, it'll take some time to fix things -- and it was nice that it all wasn't resolved at the wedding -- which would have been a cop out thing to do.
I personally would have changed outfits before travelling across London in a cab without any money but it makes for a richer cinematic feel, I suppose with her looking all out of place and confused and just raring to get to Oliver. I'm glad they didn't resolve things either right away. What with Oliver having to deal with his personal trauma, at least we see some 'conflict' arise between them.
I'm glad that Oliver's life wasn't a picture perfect thing either though I feel like they went a little overwrought with the sad sad details of his life. I get he had to have some conflict, but way to go piling it all on and just having him have the suckiest life ever. Cut this guy some slack, he's going through so much.
But of course, all's well that ends well and we finally get our penultimate happily ever after, with the cherry on top. It was such a quick read, and also a very hopeful one. So much positivism in it, you can't help but go 'awww.' Perhaps if I were less cynical and a lot younger, on my way to my own adventure, I'd be more hopeful. But somehow, at my age, and at this point in time, I can't help but get a sense of retroactive nostalgia. The what-if this had happened to me back then.
Other than that, it was obviously a good read and a pretty satisfying ending. I'm glad it's a stand-alone too. It's hard to find those these days.
Even More Page Turner:
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts