by Jennifer E Smith
Release Date: March 5th, 2019
Source: PublisherHaving just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.
Enter the new Margaret C. (Mae for short), an aspiring filmmaker with big dreams. After finding Hugo's spare ticket offer online, she's convinced it's the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons.
When the two meet, the attraction is undeniable, and both find more than they bargained for. As Mae pushes Hugo to explore his dreams for his future, he'll encourage her to channel a new, vulnerable side of her art. But when life off the train threatens the bubble they've created for themselves, will they manage to keep their love on track?
I love a cute YA romance, so when I saw that Jennifer E Smith was coming out with a romance that took place on a train ride, I was so intrigued and knew I had to pick it up.
The summer before leaving for college, Hugo and his girlfriend decided to go on a cross-country trainride to California before they're separated for school, her in California and him home in England. But when Hugo's girlfriend dumps him and tells him to still go on the trip, Hugo finds himself in need of a girl with his girlfriend's exact name, seeing as her tickets are all non-refundable and non-transferable. Mae has wanted to be a filmmaker for as long as she can remember, so when she is rejected from her dream film school, she is devastated. Lost and unsure of how convince the admissions board that she really is good enough, Mae answers an ad to go on a train trip with a complete stranger. Mae and Hugo embark on a journey together where they learn more about themselves than they could ever have known.
From the start, I absolutely adored Hugo and his family. Hugo's parents are so adorable and I loved how Hugo was a sextuplet. His entire family was so quintessentially British and quirky that my favorite scenes were of Hugo interacting with his five siblings. I definitely remember the weird in-between sate of the summer before freshmen year of college and I think Jennifer E Smith embodied that state so well with both Hugo and Mae's characters. They really didn't know what path was right for them and were trying to find a little self discovery along the way of their train journey.
While this book does take place in a short amount of time, I never felt like the romance was insta-lovey. I really liked how Hugo and Mae felt kind of awkward with each other at first since they had never met, but how they opened up to each other because of the fact that they were strangers. There was an inexplicable trust that grew into something more. I can only think of the word "adorable" to describe this romance because that's exactly what it was.
If you're in the mood for a cute romance about two people who are just trying to figure out who they really are as individuals, you really need to pick up Field Notes on Love. I loved the backdrop of a cross country train ride to this romance with quirky characters and supportive, lovable family members that give the story more to love.