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



The Blurb

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?

My Review

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

As soon as Hildy and Paul started asking each other the 36 questions as part of a psychology study I was 100% hooked. The style of the book is probably not for everyone given that probably 70-80% is pure dialogue (or instant messaging) but it really just worked for me.

Good dialogue is probably what I enjoy most in a book so I don’t mind if there are no descriptions, no musings on innermost thoughts or even much in the way of action. I get so much more out of a couple of people having a chat and in this book it’s done absolutely brilliantly.

I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much, the banter between the two of them was just so funny but very believable. There are a few darker moments but even they are almost instantly flipped to light.

Hildy and Paul are perhaps a little cliched but honestly, in what romance are there not cliches and I feel like the fact they turned out to be different to what they initially appeared was kind of the point.

There were only really a couple of things that niggled me about this book. Firstly, their ages. I didn’t realize this was YA and spent forever trying to figure out how old they were (it turns out Hildy is 18). There were bits that just seemed a bit silly for those ages, Hildy complaining she’s never going to find love for example (she’s 18). Personally I think it may have worked better if they were a little older (college rather than school).

I also wasn’t so keen on the chapters which were in regular prose. I kind of found myself skimming through them to get to the next question and honestly Hildy needs some new friends as Xiu and Max were horrible.

Overall though this was a brilliant read and one I’d definitely recommend. Sweet, hilariously funny and completely addictive. Loved it. And, if you’re curious about what I mean by weird format, here’s a couple of sneaky peeks (yes, there are drawings too).

I won a copy of this book in a Readers First Giveaway. This has in no way influenced my review.

Where to Find It

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You is available from the 19th October

Book Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1)Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

My rating: 5 big fat santa stars

Where has this book been all my life? Why did no one tell me how good it was? I loved this book sooo much. I think it could be my all time favorite Christmas read

It’s very, very cute and innocent and extremely funny. I don’t think I’ve ever highlighted so many sentences in a story before or had such a difficult time trying not to laugh when reading on the train (scene when Dash goes to visit Santa, that’s all I’m saying). If you’re looking for the perfect book to get you in the festive spirit or even just a book to make you smile I’d definitely recommend Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares.Read More »

Book Review: The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood

The Vintage Guide to Love and RomanceThe Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was laugh out loud funny but unfortunately I don’t think it’s one I’ll remember for long.

The story follows Jessica Beam, 28 years old, single and just wants to enjoy life with no responsibilities or commitments. She parties, gets drunk a lot and a one night stand is a regular occurrence.

“Did the new neighbour just call you a slapper?” she asks, observing his retreating form. “I prefer sexually cheerful”

If a conversation turns serious she flees the scene and she is totally unreliable.

When she ends up losing her home and her job in the same day the people she thought were friends don’t want to know. She has no one left to turn to but her long lost Grandmother. She’s hoping for a hand out that will let her go travelling (and partying) but Grandma has financial problems of her own.

To solve both of their problems they agree to collaborate on a book. Grandma it turns out is the famous (ish) author of the Good Woman Guides. A series which advises women how to be elegant, well mannered and find herself a good man. Jess agrees to live by the rules to see if she can get a confirmed bachelor and womanizer to fall in love with her. Various funny escapades ensue as Jess let’s her Grandma give her a makeover and follows her very old fashioned advice on how to catch a man.

I did really like this story. It’s well written, hilariously funny in places and I think the pacing is more or less spot on.

Jessica is a very likeable character. Given her total unreliability and crazy behaviour she’s not someone I’d want as a friend but it was quite refreshing to have a female protagonist who’s living life how she wants and not worrying what others think. At times she is a bit too trusting in her supposed best friend which was very frustrating and she has some unpleasant characteristics but over the course of the book she starts to soften.

The other characters in the novel are well written including her Grandma who is very strict and old fashioned but is easily upset and terrified of losing her home and memories. All she wants is to connect to her only remaining family. New housemate and Grandma’s PA Peach was however my favourite character. She’s quite shy, with no friends, but is just so enthusiastic about everything you can’t help but like her. When she teams up with Jess there is just no stopping her.

I think what led to the book falling a little flat for me however was the men. The target of the project is Advertising Exec Leo Frost. First impressions of him are not particularly great. He seems quite stuck up, serious and has a bad reputation with women. While a lot of this proves to be untrue I still didn’t really feel any attraction between him and Jess. It was the same with the doctor downstairs, who Jess ends up in a friend’s with benefits situation, I didn’t feel a spark between them.

Overall therefore, while I thought the story was enjoyable it didn’t really give me the emotions that would make the story stick with me. I have a feeling I will have forgotten it in a couple of weeks.

I would still recommend it if you’re looking for an easy read with a lot of laughs.

Favourite quote:

“I love you more than tea and kittens and apricot gin”