I waffled on whether or not I should post this review now or schedule it for closer to the release date in October, but ultimately it was such a fun read that I wanted to share the love as soon as possible. Seriously, any book that makes me laugh this much should not be kept waiting in the wings! Fun and funny with just enough serious to encourage readers to consider others perspectives and experiences 36 Questions The Changed My Mind About You is well worth the read.
Title: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You
Author: Vicki Grant
Publisher: Running Press
Expected Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Genre: Fiction, YA Fiction, YA Romance
Themes: Family, Romance, Friendship
My Rating: 4/ 5
Inspired by the real psychology study popularized by the New York Times and its “Modern Love” column, this contemporary YA is perfect for fans of Eleanor and Park.
Hildy and Paul each have their own reasons for joining the university psychology study that asks the simple question: Can love be engineered?
The study consists of 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 and driven each other almost crazy. They’ve also each discovered the painful secret the other was trying so hard to hide. But have they fallen in love?
Told in the language of modern romance—texting, Q&A, IM—and punctuated by Paul’s sketches, this clever high-concept YA is full of humor and heart. As soon as you’ve finished reading, you’ll be searching for your own stranger to ask the 36 questions. Maybe you’ll even fall in love.
I normally hate YA romances, and I think that hate would be an understatement in most cases, but Grant’s upcoming novel had me laughing so much that I barely even noticed the good-girl-falls-for-the-mysterious-bad-boy thing that she had going on. I loved the multimodal approach including traditional writing, internet messaging, texts, passed notes, as well as comics and images. The constant shifting between presentations kept me engaged, the pace fast, and really encapsulated the many ways in which (young) people are communicating with one another. Given that so much of the text was heavily dialogue dependent I found that my imagination was constantly engaged as I had to envision what was happening between the words. And my favourite moment? “Did you just throw your fish at me?” Best opening ever.
I really loved the don’t judge a book by it’s cover messaging that was prevalent throughout, as you never know what is going on in someone’s life. I grew to really love Hildy and Paul, but wish that some of the depth that was invested in the two main characters had extended to Hildy’s friends Max and Xiu. Although I really enjoyed Max because he pulled through when needed, I found myself wanting to punch Xiu through the pages. If that was the intent, then it was exceptionally well done. But, back to our main characters, I really enjoyed Paul’s insistence that certain facts about his person and his life weren’t sad. Acceptance and understanding without pity and derision can be hard to come by, and too many people don’t take the time to see past the events in someone’s life and actually take the time to get to know them. Using the experiment to explore this was a masterful idea, and I think that the story that came out of it was absolutely spot on.
I really could go on and on about this book, but I would inevitably end up giving something away. Would I recommend it? Yessiree Bob! Not only is it a fun read for lovers of YA romance, but it would also be an interesting read for parents whose daughters are starting to date or whose families are going through some ‘stuff’. Fun, engaging, and endlessly humorous despite the heavier subject matter 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You is one that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Many thanks to Vicki Grant and Running Press for providing an advanced copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.