Field Notes on Love
Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Contemporary, Travel, YA
Publication date: March 5th, 2019
by Delacorte Press
Having 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?
-A copy was provided by Delacorte Press for review-
Field Notes on Love is exactly what you would expect. It’s cute. It’s fluffy. It’s a quick read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the kind of book you seek out on a cold, winter day when you need some good vibes and miss the summer sun.
Hugo just broke up with his long-time girlfriend and is stuck with a non-transferable trip to the US of A. He needs to find someone with the exact same name as his ex so he can go on a trip of a lifetime and get away from his big, bustling family for the first time. So he does what anyone would do, he puts an ad on the internet. YAY.
Mae is an aspiring filmmaker. Unfortunately she didn’t get into the program of her dreams so she has a lot to prove to herself and the world about her filmmaking skills. When she sees Hugo’s ad for a trip companion, she decides she needs to get out of her comfort zone and embark on an adventure.
When the two meet, they hit off even though it is a bit of an awkward situation. As they travel across the country, they meet lots of new people and in turn learn more about what it is they want in the long run.
I think, in situations like these, when the premise is unoriginal and tropes are abundant, the way a book stands out is on the basis of the kind of relationships the characters have with the people around them. The secondary characters infuse a new life to the tropes and help make the book distinct.
In the case of Field Notes On Love, Mae’s relationship with her grandmother and Hugo’s relationship with his siblings really help make the book unique and all the more delightful. While these characters don’t have as much page time, they do have a significant presence in the thoughts of the main characters and their lives in general so we get a really good feel for them. THEY ARE ALL WONDERFUL and supportive and I wish I could hang out with them.
Overall, Field Notes for Love is an entertaining read if not a particularly memorable one. I’d definitely recommend it with a nice cup of hot cocoa on a cold, winter day (or a cold, rainy day.)