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Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

March 3, 2020

“So if your name is Margaret Campbell, I’ve got one spare ticket for a train journey from New York to San Francisco…”

When Hugo orders tickets for a train ride across the country for him and his girlfriend, Margaret Campbell, he believes this trip will be a great way to take a break from his regular life as a sextuplet who does everything with his three brothers and two sisters. They are even applying to the same college! But disaster strikes when Margaret dumps Hugo right before the trip. Since the tickets are non-refundable, and Hugo needs an escape from reality, he has to find another Margret Campbell to go on this trip with him.

This is when Mae, a movie and filmmaker walks into Hugo’s life. Mae tried applying for her dream school of film but unfortunately gets rejected. When she discovers the e-mail Hugo sent out in search for his travel partner, she decides it would be a great opportunity not just to get away from her stressed out life, but to make a new film interviewing strangers on the train, asking what love means to them,- hence the title of the book.

A lot happens to Hugo and Mae in only one week on a train, Even chemistry sparks between them, leaving unexpected plot twists, shocking news, and an intrigued reader wanting to read more.

I enjoyed Smith’s writing very much. She never failed to leave me on the edge of my seat. The way she wrote and the very new and unfamiliar topic she wrote about never bored me. I always wanted to find out what happened next.

Field Notes on Love persuaded me that anything is possible and that anything can happen when, where, and how you least expect it. For example, the connection Mae and Hugo have in only one week on a train is unreal. At the end of the week, they exclaimed how it felt like they’ve known each other for years, making the reader feel that way as well, which is what I love about a good book. It can make the reader feel like they’re right there in that moment with the characters, which I admire greatly.

Right now I am reading another one of Smith’s books called This is What Happy Looks Like, which is part of a series, so I am looking forward to reading more of her books, and other readers will too.

I would rate this book a ten out of ten due to the fact that whenever I picked up this book, it felt like I wasn’t in my house or I wasn’t at school anymore. Instead I felt like I was right there with Hugo and Mae experiencing the world with them, which is really amazing with just a book. If you’re looking for an exciting and heartfelt book with shocking plot twists and the ability to never put it down, this book is for you. Enjoy reading about this amazing adventure!


Delacorte Press. , 271 pages

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