Love & Other Great Expectations by Becky Dean
Published: June 14th 2022 by Delacorte Press
Rating: ★★★½ (3.5)
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary, Romance
Quick Thoughts: A fun and light read for fans of scavenger hunts, insta-love and all things British.
About The Book:
An American girl embarks on a competitive scavenger hunt in England—and along the way, meets up with a bookish British boy who can’t help her with the clues . . . but might make the trip take some unexpected turns.
Britt Hanson has always preferred scoring goals on the soccer field to analyzing dusty old books. But when an injury ends her dream to play in college, she jumps at the chance to compete in a scavenger hunt in England that takes her to the locations of classic novels—the prize money would change her life!
There she meets bookish and very British Luke Jackson. He can’t actually help her with any of the clues (against the rules), but something about Luke compels her to invite him to join her. She wouldn’t mind getting to know him—and listening to his accent.
To win, Britt must outwit three smart competitors who aren’t afraid to play dirty while solving clues and traveling around the English countryside. Along the way, Britt learns that sometimes you have to follow the map and other times, you need to throw caution to the wind and see where the cobblestoned road takes you.
This beautiful read (I mean, just look at that cover!!) has been on my radar for ages. Not only was I excited to see if everything British was written accurately, but I was also keen to add to my ever-growing love of YA Romances.
Britt (I know, such a cute name for going to Britain) our main character, gets pulled into a scavenger hunt in the UK by her English teacher with three other classmates chosen. Not only does Britt not understand why she was chosen, but she questions internally why everyone was chosen, and what the true motive of winning and losing will be. But with the life-changing prize money on offer that would make up for the fact that she can’t play soccer in Uni (and get funding for it) she goes full-steam ahead into the game.
Once in the UK, she is quickly assigned a “babysitter” to assist-without-helping with the scavenger hunt. But on one of her outings to find clues, Britt meets Luke—a cute and bookish boy that has a heart of gold, yet is a little reserved. They quickly become a sort of team, with him coming along with her to the hunt as she tries to outmanoeuvre the others and get ahead of the game when they play dirty. But along the way, it’s not just the scavenger hunt that Britt ends up solving, but a deeper sense of her life and where different roads can take her.
Overall, Love & Other Great Expectations was a fun and light read for fans of scavenger hunts, insta-love and all things British. I did have higher hopes with loving it more than I did that fell a little flat, something I’d put down to not really gelling with the main character’s voice and choices. I did think that some of the British-isms weren’t totally accurate and were on the more cliché/stereotypical side, which wasn’t a really bad thing (it’s fictional, after all) it just knocked me a bit as a Welsh Brit reading it. That being said, there were handfuls of stuff that I loved about it (the literary references!) and I can see that it would be perfect for other readers of YA Lit, especially those that prefer the tropes Love & Other Great Expectations has. An altogether good read!
Becky Dean is a fan of adventures both real and fictional. When she’s not writing or traveling, she can be found drinking tea, watching science fiction shows, or quoting The Lord of the Rings. Though she lives in Texas with her husband, she remains a Southern California girl at heart.