Thursday 21 December 2017

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Review: 36 Questions that Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant

36 Questions that Changed My Mind About You by Vicki GrantNetGalley36 Questions that Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant (eProof) - Two random strangers. Thirty-six questions to make them fall in love.

Hildy and Paul each have their own reasons for taking part in the psychology study (in Paul's case it is the $40, in Hildy's the reasons are significantly more complex). The study poses the simple question: Can love be engineered between two random strangers?

Hildy and Paul must ask each other 36 questions, ranging from "What is your most terrible memory?" to "When did you last sing to yourself?" By the time Hildy and Paul have made it to the end of the questionnaire, they've laughed and cried and lied and thrown things and run away and come back again. They've also each discovered the painful secret the other was trying so hard to hide. But have they fallen in love?
From Goodreads.

I was drawn to 36 Questions that Changed My Mind About You by Vicki Grant because of the cover, the strange title, and then the blurb. What were these questions? And how would these questions lead to love? Having now read the book, I can say it was a cute story, but kind of disappointing.

It started off well. You see Hildy, and then Paul, sign up to take part in the psychology study to see if love can be engineered between two strangers, just by asking a specific series of questions. Seeing them sign up, you get an idea of their personalities. Hildy is nervous and awkward, but smart and kind of quirky. Paul has an attitude of not giving a crap about anything; he doesn't even know what the study is about, he's just doing it for the money. Then the story goes to Hildy and Paul meeting and starting their questions, and becomes more like a transcript of their dialogue, as if they were being recorded (they're not), than a narrative. It was actually really funny, in a classic rom-com way. They both frustrated the hell out of each other. Hildy was taking it seriously, for the interests of Science, and would really think about her answers, trying to be as honest as possible, and Paul just wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible, wasn't being serious at all, giving ridiculous answers. He would mock her answers, and want her to hurry up, she would want Paul to answer seriously, and was increasingly more exasperated with each answer. How they both brushed each other up the wrong way, was so funny!

And then it changed again. Hildy ends up storming out before the questions are answered, and it becomes third person narration from Hildy's point of view. And it just becomes very clichéd and predictable. The humour is completely removed from the story. Instead, you have Hildy who is obsessing over what happened with Paul, as she annoys her friends by going over and over it. Paul ends up finding her online, because he still wants his $40, so they continue, on and off, there. And sometimes the humour comes back, but not like it was before. As the story goes on, the questions get more emotional, and require deeper answers - and Paul's attitude changes as well, wanting to answer the questions now, wanting to talk to Hildy in a way he hasn't talked to anyone for such a long time. It tends to get a bit cloying. Both Hildy and Paul have things going on in their lives, and those things are pretty serious, but the way they're written, it's just too much. It gets too cute and sweet, and "Let me bare my soul". It got kind of cheesy. And it was just so predictable! When they both started taking the questions seriously, they're answers were interesting, but it just got too much as it went on.

I'm afraid I just didn't really enjoy this book over all. And I also found it kind of forgettable, with it being so cliché and predictable, it just felt a bit samey - a story you'd read before, that would merge with other similar stories in your mind, and you'd never quite remember it. Pretty disappointing, as it has so much potential.

Thank you to Hot Key Books via NetGalley for the eProof.

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Published: 19th October 2017
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Vicki Grant's Website

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  1. The cover and title got me also. Thank you for your review, I will pass on this one.

    1. It could just be me, though. Do read a few more reviews before deciding. I would hate to have you avoid it when it may something you'd actually enjoy.