Love & Other Great Expectations by Becky Dean is an entertaining journey through England in a scavenger hunt that is based on British Literature. I loved the idea of classics guiding the characters’ travels, and the main character’s unique problem-solving skills are entertaining to read about. As each challenge in the scavenger hunt makes classic literature more enjoyable and encouragers the characters to think about the stories as more than words on a page, this is a great read for both book lovers and more reluctant readers.Title: Love & Other Great Expectations
Author: Becky Dean
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: June 14, 2022
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.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: Love & Other Great Expectations by Becky Dean
For Britt, reading has always taken a backseat to playing soccer. However, when she injures her knee and loses the opportunity to play soccer in college, she jumps at the chance to travel to England with her English teacher and a few of her classmates. When the group arrives in England, they learn that they must complete a scavenger hunt inspired by classic British literature for the chance at a cash prize–a cash prize that could help Britt pay for college. As she works to outsmart each of her competitors (and meets a bookish boy along the way), Britt’s knowledge of British literature as well as her knowledge of herself are put to the ultimate test.
❀ Enjoyable Main Character
Britt is an enjoyable main character, and her journey is satisfying to read about. I really felt for her, as she has built her identity around soccer, and without it, she has lost her sense of self and a clear path for her future. What I especially enjoyed about Britt is her ability to problem solve in ways that are unexpected. While Britt isn’t the strongest student in English and isn’t a big reader, she is smart and finds unique ways to document her experiences. On the trip she learns more about herself, and I enjoyed reading as she slowly finds a new purpose and direction for her future.
❀ A Literary Adventure With a Purpose
One of my favourite parts about this book is the way the author integrates classic literature and makes it entertaining. As the scavenger hunt is inspired by British literature, the characters must use their knowledge of the texts to solve the clues. However, Becky Dean takes it a step farther and presents clues and challenges that are designed to make the characters understand themselves in different ways. I loved the way Britt’s teacher encourages the group to really think about the texts’ relevance to their own lives, and I enjoyed the way these challenges bring the stories off of the pages. Making the classics entertaining and approachable is always interesting to me, so I was impressed to see this literary adventure with a greater purpose.
❀ An Entertaining Journey Through England
Love & Other Great Expectations by Becky Dean is an entertaining journey through England, guided by classic works of British literature. I loved the idea of a literary scavenger hunt, and the main character has excellent problem-solving skills. As the challenges within the story are designed to get the characters to apply each text to their own lives, this one is a great reflection on the power of literature for self-discovery.