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.
Brittany is given the chance of a lifetime to not only go to the U.K. for just over a week, but to also compete for the chance to win $100,000 – tell me that’s not a great premise for a young-adult novel!
This novel was fun and fast-paced, not taking too long in any of Britt’s adventures in the U.K., but also not skimping out just to get to the next destination. I enjoyed Britt and Luke as a traveling duo – with the snarky chaperone, Alexis, in the background – and found myself smiling at some of their antics to get the clues (the King Arthur one is by far my favorite). Even with the fun, cute factors, the fear of the future for both Britt and Luke were confronted, and each of them had to learn to face it.
“Dreams are like knees – you don’t realize how fragile they are until rips them to shreds.”
Britt was an interesting character to have as a main character in a book that’s centered around literature because she – and she states this a lot – is not a reader. Up until this point in her life, she was a soccer player, and a darn good one. But then she got injured, and now she can’t play ever again due to a genetic diagnosis she gets after sugery. So, of course, she’s more than upset about that, and the fact that she has no other plans for her future. Despite being picked as one of the students to win this money, she doesn’t have high hopes of winning, even though she really wants to. Her development in learning to face her fears about her diagnosis and future was one of the elements I loved in this story. She learned something on this trip about herself and how she needed to change.
Luke was a great companion for Britt. He was the total opposite in that he had the bookworm/nerd thing going on, but wasn’t physically incapable. Not to mention that he often sought peace and quiet in times, while Britt had to keep going and/or talking. His banter and patience with Britt was impeccable, and I loved his relation to Alexis, which definitely seems coincidental for the book, but then again, this is a small world when it comes to family. Alexis, of course, was enjoyable. I loved how she cared but pretended not to and acted like an annoyed babysitter.
I would like to say that I enjoyed the other characters, but we didn’t get to know them that well. I would have liked more context to Spence, Peter, and Amberlyn, and even Ms. Carmichael as well. They all had potential for interesting backgrounds, but we didn’t get to see much of that. Only a few glimpses here and there.
“That’s why I don’t get attached. When you want something – when you care – it leads to disappointment.”
There is a bit of history between Britt and Amberlyn throughout the book – that they used to be best friends until Amberlyn dropped Britt for some reason, and it turns out that there’s another side to that story. We thankfully get to learn it, as Britt does eventually confront that part of her past, and it’s one of the things that makes Britt look deeper into herself and how her mind works. The girls do come to an understanding, and what I like about them reconciling is that they don’t go back to being best-friends right off the bat. It’s much more realistic in that the air is cleared between them, but if they do ever become friends again, it would be a process.
Lastly, I loved that fact that this was a clean YA novel. No swearing (or if there was any, it was barely noticeable… but I’m pretty sure there wasn’t any at all), and no romance that went from a first meet to having the characters lose their virginity to one another. It was a sweet book, with a little romance, cute moments in the right places, and focused on the characters learning about themselves and growing as people.
“I wouldn’t let a medical condition define me, make me someone different. I had to still be me.”
Love and Other Great Expectations is available today, June 14th! I highly recommend this book for an anytime read for anyone who loves sweet YA novels, stories that take place in the U.K., or wants a cute summer read!
Rating: 4/5 stars
*I received a free e-galley from NetGalley of this in exchange for an honest review*