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 very unrealistic, fluffy and cheesy YA. But I enjoyed it anyway.
Okay, you might ask what’s unrealistic about it. Let me list it out.
- The hero is a sextuplet.
- All 6 siblings got a scholarship by a certain generous benefactor to a certain college. I don’t see the generosity in this if the kids don’t get a choice of what college they can go to.
- His girlfriend booked them a trip in her name and then tells him to go ahead on the trip after ditching him without considering that fact. And he doesn’t once try contacting her to point out this problem.
- Not to mention, he could easily have someone pretend to be his girlfriend with a fake id or something. No. He decides to list an ad for someone with the exact name to accompany him.
Now, having only one of these things in the story would probably not make it stick out as unrealistic, but a combination of all of it together? It just screams fanciful to me!
As for the fluff and cheesiness, there’s insta-love, for one. A lot of the book is spent talking about love and romance too. And if you ask me, the family members, especially the parents are a little too easygoing.
Now, why did I enjoy it anyway? Because of Hugo. I loved him. He’s torn between his love for his tight-knit family, and yet a yearning to get away and see more of the world all by himself. He also struggles with his loneliness after having spent all his life with 5 siblings. There was this part where he faces racism and acutely feels the absence of his siblings who are usually there to know exactly what it feels like. He is just a really endearing character! I also found Hugo and Margaret’s relationship with their families adorable. The parts with Margaret interviewing fellow travelers to find out about their life and definitions of love, were perhaps the most poignant in the entire book.
This story looks at the world through rose-tinted glasses which could be exhausting for some. For me, parts of it felt overboard and others adorable.