*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: Love & Other Great Expectations
Author: Becky Dean
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication Date: June 14, 2022
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! Once in the UK 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. To win, Britt must outsmart three 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 leads you.
Love & Other Great Expectations is a cute whirlwind adventure and coming-of-age story about Britt who, having spent her life working towards goals of a soccer career, suddenly finds herself directionless. A competition to win $100,000 and spend a week exploring the romantic and literary-infused United Kingdom. This whirlwind journey would not be complete without the handsome, British love interest as well.
This story was sweet. Luke, Britt’s particularly endearing, literature-loving, nerdy paramour, is almost too good to be true. He’s an introvert with a penchant for reading to orphaned children and the elderly. He doesn’t like getting to know strangers, but he’s the first to step up and help. He loves museums, can quote the English canon, and has a vast knowledge of historically significant locales in the literature world. He’s written to act much older than his age so he has an air of maturity and seems wise beyond his years. Every book nerd’s dream guy.
Now for the downsides. The writing itself is mediocre. Take this book exactly as it is: as pure fluff. This isn’t the next life-changing novel, but it’s pure lightness and fun. I found most of the characters to be a bit irritating and the writing hard to get into, at least in the beginning. Britt is quite self-centred and really doesn’t think much outside of her own self. The remaining characters, particularly the American students, are shallow and really without much substance. I wished there was more done to make the characters more likeable, but the focus was mostly on the adventure and the romance. However, the story itself is heartwarming and enjoyable. It’s an excellent beach or airplane read.