I've always wanted to fall in love at the airport. I love airports to an extent that may be considered borderline creepy. There are so many things happening at an airport. Loved ones saying goodbye, loved ones saying hello. I love watching the planes taking off, wondering where they are going to. I love watching people racing around, deciding whether or not they are going somewhere interesting or if they are just catching a plane home. My favourite film, Love, Actually, has a beginning and an ending at an airport. The great film The Terminal is set in an airport. There's something mysterious about airports, and I'm determined to find out what makes it so mystical.
And that's where my new favourite book of 2012 begins. I recently flew home to Australia for the Christmas holidays, and with my imaginative mind, I must admit I was kind of hoping I'd meet some gorgeous Brit on the journey and have five, wonderfully blissful weeks touring Australia's South West. Alas, that didn't happen, but I still had my flight back to find romance!
It wasn't quite the romance I had in mind, but I saw this book in the bookshop at the airport and fell in love immediately. Heavens, I fell in love when I first heard about the book on Goodreads!
A sweet and quirky love story about how two people meet in an airport and spend a flight from America to England together only to be separated as soon as they land at the airport? That alone got me hooked straight away. TSPOFIL was a fantastic read, and I'm not just saying that because I spent 14 out of the 21 hours I was flying back to the UK reading the book. Yes, there was a particular romantic notion about reading a book to do with airports and planes and London.
This novel was written in an interesting way. Whilst it was in third person, it was in the present, meaning we could see what was happening as it happened - the first line of the novel begins, Airports are torture chambers if you are claustrophobic. That gives us an indication - quite a humorous one at that - of what this book is going to be like. And from then on, I promise you will be hooked.
Hadley is definitely not happy with the fact that her father left. She's not happy either that he's remarrying, and she has to fly all the way to London to be a bridesmaid to a woman she automatically detests. Hadley as a character seems quite insecure because of the decisions her parents made to split up, and as such she has a bit of a negative outlook on life. The good thing is, however, that with encouragement, she does see the positives, and that's where Oliver comes in. British Yale student Oliver, who is the most charming guy I've read about in the modern YA world (because let's face it, there's no one more charming than Will Herondale, he just takes the cake on that front!). While quite mysterious, even at the end of the book (we don't truly find out what he's studying at Yale), Oliver is a quirky character and quick on the mark, with comments like, 'I'm studying the fermentation process of mayonnaise.' Plus he's got a cheeky smile!
While the book is only set in a 24 hour time frame, everything happens at a steady pace, and nothing is crammed in. And I also love the fact that not everything in the book happens at the airport or on the plane. There's only so much you can do there, and you also get to see how the wedding between her Dad and 'that British woman' plays out. Plus you are left wondering what happens between Hadley and Oliver....
The relationship between Hadley and her Dad is concentrated on a lot more than that between Hadley and her mother, mainly because it's that relationship that was broken when her father decided to leave them for an Englishwoman. Hadley has a hard time grasping the fact that her father has built a new life for himself, leaving her and her mother behind, and for Hadley, it's tough to reconcile with the person that just upped and left. While it was great to read the flashbacks about Hadley and her father's past, I kind of wished there was a bit more about the mother as well, and more on her feelings on the divorce rather than the "I've accepted it and moved on" road that Smith took.
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
That's the ending sentence in the prologue. And if that holds any weight, I think I'm going to consider 'missing' my flight home in May.show more