Daily Archives: May 19, 2012

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Headline Review, Hachette India
ISBN: 978-0-7553-8403-7
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 215
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4/5

Do you believe in love at first sight? And does love at first sight happens because of collective circumstances that lead to it? The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a book as the title says, quite what it is – love and the chances of it at first sight.

When Hadley misses her flight to London by four minutes, she never expects to meet Oliver – someone she instantly connects with, someone who has his own set of problems and so does she, and it is quite interesting to see how they solve their own problems, one by one, over the course of one day.

The book is a young adult romance so to say and yet it is written with so much maturity on so many levels. I could relate to Hadley in so many ways when I was seventeen – the same anxiety, fears and worry about the future. Hadley has had an estranged relationship with her father. She is on her way to London from New York to attend her father’s second marriage and does not know how to react to it.

Oliver on the other hand, has his own life which he doesn’t share initially but the layers are soon peeled and reality sinks in. The reality that when they are done with the journey and land in London, (they are seated next to each other 18A and 18B for seven hours on the flight) what will become of their friendship/relationship. Will they meet again? What does life have in store for them, if it does for the two of them together?

I found the book a sweet read. There were no mushy romantic moments and I liked that. The book in that case does not get boring. Jennifer E. Smith knows the craft of writing for young adults. It is not the typical romance novel, and that’s why it worked well for me.

Jennifer writes with a quick pace. She doesn’t make the reader wait for things to unfurl. She knows that the reader expects this and this is what needs to be given. The ending worked very well for me. It is sweet for almost all characters and a little fluffy. The book makes you want to travel, because at the end who knows what might happen on an airplane ride to two strangers. To read something light without it being too mushy, you must pick up this book.

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Book Review: The Sense of Sight by John Berger

Title: The Sense of Sight
Author: John Berger
Publisher: Vintage USA
ISBN: 978-0-679-73722-3
Genre: Non-Fiction, Art Criticism
Pages: 300
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5/5

When John Berger writes something and you read it, it is nothing but poetry in prose and sometimes even his non-fiction woks stand out even more so. I was introduced to John Berger by chance and thank god for that “by chance” moment or else I would have never known the beauty of his works and he would never have become an integral writer in my life.

“The Sense of Sight” is a collection of essays by him – on the visual aspects of our world. The way we see things, perceive them and ultimately judge what we see. John Berger traces what vision means to us and its importance to see things differently, from paintings to rivers to dreams being a vision and how that amalgamates with the world surrounding us.

With art criticism in tow, he speaks of other things as well – politics, love, food, class, travel and immigration, dreaming, passion, art as an activity, feasts, Van Gogh’s compulsion to bring his canvas and reality together to what two self-portraits of an unrivalled artist speak of art.

Berger writes with fervor and brilliance. Art in his words become something else altogether. There are stories hidden in these essays and the reader only has to look for them and that is good for a reader. This book bridges the gap between seeing and the spoken. The writing is intense and just there for the reader to assimilate. Berger has a neutral view to art and everything else under the sun, and that is why one can relate to what he writes. His range is vast and that helps in the book not getting monotonous or lame at any point of time.

The Sense of Sight may not be a book for everyone however if you are interested about art and life, then maybe you should pick it up.

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