Written by: Jennifer E. Smith.
Publishing Info: 2012, Poppy
One Line: When rising high school senior Hadley is forced to fly to London to attend her father’s wedding to a woman she’s never met, everything changes when she meets a handsome British boy in the airport.
Brief Summary: The summer between her junior and senior year of high school, Hadley, a typical teen, just wants to stay home in Connecticut and not think about the father who left her family a year and a half earlier. When Hadley’s dad was teaching in England for a semester, he fell in love with another woman and left Hadley’s mother. Now he and that woman are getting married, and Hadley is being forced to go to the wedding by both her father (who she hasn’t seen in over a year) and her mother. Hadley’s mom, who moved on long ago and is in love with a new man, wants nothing more than for Hadley to have a relationship with her father, but Hadley is still
Thoughts: Hadley’s moving story is one that many teens will relate to, as it deals with the break-up of what she thought was her perfect little family. Told from the third-person limited point-of-view, the book uses another perspective device to engender more familiarity and closeness with Hadley: the story is in present-tense, and the narrator refers to Hadley’s parents as “mom” and “dad” instead of “her mom” and “her dad.” All of Hadley’s feelings are realistic, and her anger and pain from her father’s betrayal are palpable when she finally arrives at the wedding to see a group of people she doesn’t know celebrating her father’s new life. Smith is great at creating a mood of isolation and describing feelings of betrayal. Hadley is not a part of her father's new life, and when she sees the look of happiness in her father’s eyes at the altar, no reader could help but feel the sting and share in Hadley’s obvious fear that her father left because he just wasn’t happy in her family. Smith uses chance encounters as a motif to explore the possible existence of fate, family, the fragility of life, and holding on to hope. Despite some of the sad subject matter, the book is actually a charming and sweet romance, and many teens will enjoy the wish-fulfillment aspect of being a teen flying alone to a foreign country.
Information about the Author: From Jennifer E. Smith’s website, www.jenniferesmith.com: “JENNIFER E. SMITH is the author of This Is What Happy Looks Like, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Storm Makers, You Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her work has been translated into twenty-nine languages.”
In addition to the works mentioned above, Smith also has the novel The Geography of Me and You, another romance about a chance encounter of two teens, coming out in April 2014.