This gets five stars for featuring my very favorite young adult romance, possibly ever. Four for quality, but five for Oliver and Hadley.
Hadley misses her plane by four minutes exactly, a plane she never wanted to catch to a wedding she does not want to attend. Her father is marrying a woman Hadley has never met (and is determined to hate) in England, of all places, so Hadley must either miss the wedding or catch a redeye and run from Heathrow. Choosing the latter, she meets Oliver, Yale psych student, and they get dinner for lack of a better way to kill three hours before their flight.
They have tickets in the same row on the plane and end up sitting next to each other for the seven-hour flight, alternately joking, sleeping, and cheering each other up in the air between JFK and Heathrow. Oliver quickly became the best male character I've read in a YA novel outside of an Alex Flinn adaptation. Without knowing too much about him, just what Hadley learned, he still managed to be likeable, easygoing, and pretty cool.
Hadley annoyed me at times because there were a few things she wouldn't let go (all of them involving her dad's marriage), but she pulled it together and dealt like a normal person. I don't know if I would have liked her as much without her detour to Piccadilly. The second she realized she might have inadvertently been an insensitive jerk to Oliver, she immediately bolted to try to make it right. Then, upon recognizing similar insensitive jerkiness toward her dad, she tried her best to reconcile and behave in a more or less adult fashion.
These are desirable traits for main characters in both YA and Adult lit, and behaviors not always replicated once something showcasing immaturity
sells an obscene number of copies.
So, basically, yay. I wanted this book to keep going, but the story was really exactly the right length.