Love and Other Great Expectations by Becky Dean
Britt had her future mapped out: scholarship to UCLA thanks to her prowess on the soccer field. But now she's been diagnosed with a blood disorder, forced to give up soccer and her scholarship. So when her English teacher proposes a literary scavenger hunt with an all expenses paid trip to England, Britt jumps at the chance. She may not like English class or reading but she does like the $10,000 award that will be given to the winner. In the midst of unravelling the clues she befriends a cute British boy, Luke, who just happens to be unsure of his own future and looking for a chance to run away a bit. With Luke and her minder in tow, Britt is determined to do her best and discovers along the way more about herself then she ever expected.
Love and Other Great Expectations is a cute romance with great characters and an entertaining plot. It doesn't have a great deal of educational or literary value but would be a fun read for teens. Dean creates characters that are unique but aren't overboard into cutesy or quirky. Woven into the story is a mini ode to great British literature, with clues that take Britt to key locations involving Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Chaucer, and Arthur Conan Doyle (to name a few).
I thought that one of the weaknesses was in the description of England, both the culture and the people. The physical locations were detailed a bit and there were a lot of mentions of specfic British food, but overall it did feel like a very surface level description of the setting. Britt never really delved into the British culture outside of figuring out her clues; she was very much focused on herself or Luke. It's even mentioned when another competitor talks about the sites she saw and how Britt isn't doing any of those things, but then the plot moves on.
The other issue was that while the book focused mainly on her quest to win the scavenger hunt with the Luke storyline as secondary, the ending and announcement of the winner felt rushed in place of wrapping up the Luke plot. It was a little jarring as so much focus was on Britt winning, then the novel moved on quickly from the competition to the love story.
As this is Dean's first novel I did really enjoy her characterization and look forward to reading her next book.
Title: Love and Other Great Expectations Author: Becky Dean Publisher: Delacorte Press Publish Date: June 14, 2022 Genre(s): YA romance Diversity: all characters are either presumed white or not specified Trigger Warnings: none- characters kiss but that's as far as the romance goes This post contains affiliate links to the book(s). Thank you for supporting Ms.Burke's Books & independent bookstores, through Bookshop.org.