Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith – ARC Review


*All quotes are taken from the ARC and are subject to change*
Overall: 4.5/5 Stars
Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 4/5
Review in a Nutshell: Field Notes on Love is a light, cute read that you won’t be able to help but devour. It’s the perfect YA contemporary to make you feel gooey and happy.

“The truth is, love isn’t just one word. At least not for him. It’s different things for different people.”

// Content Warning: Death, Homophobia (Mention), Racism (Mention) //

– Premise –

Field Notes on Love is told from two perspectives. Hugo is one of six, a sextuplet, and desperate to know who he is away from his siblings. When his girlfriend breaks up with him, and leaves him the tickets for their cross country train ride, with her name linked to the reservations, he needs to find another Margaret Campbell to go with him. When Mae (short for Margaret) Campbell sees his offer online, she decides this adventure may be what she needs to become a better filmmaker and experience more of the world. 

– Writing –

This book is just so happy. While there’s definitely tension and drama, this book still managed to feel light hearted while occasionally dealing with some heavier topics. The writing is adorable, funny, and extremely relatable. Jennifer E. Smith chose such a fun and unique setting- a cross country railroad- to highlight this fun story. Having never been on a long train ride, I loved reading about Hugo & Mae’s travels, and seeing the various locations they get to visit.

– Plot –

Okay, so I think I’ve emphasized enough how fun this book is, but there are some great themes and character arcs woven into the plot that add depth. The pages fly by, making this book easy to finish in just one sitting. It never gets too heavy, but it still manages to have plenty of heart.

– Characters – 

Hugo is too precious. He was pure sunlight in the form of a fictional character. His relationship between him and his family is so pure and sweet, while also being realistic about the downsides of being born as part of a team of six, and how that affects him and his sense of individuality. Mae also has a great relationship with her family- her two dads and her grandmother- but what I really loved was her personal development and her ambitions. It’s great seeing a female protagonist be the one with walls and barriers, and seeing her struggle to be vulnerable.

”Be good. Be brave. Be yourself.”

– Conclusion –

Pros- Great characters, fun setting
Cons- There are some heavier issues that get a brief mention but then are never brought up again and it felt like they were kinda brushed over 
Overall- 4.5/5 stars. 
If you’re looking for something quick and cute to put a smile on your face, pick up Field Notes on Love.

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