When Hildy Sangster discovers that the psychological study she signed up for is trying to determine if a romantic relationship between random strangers can be “encouraged,” she is deeply dismayed. But when the universe seems to be telling her to give it a try, she decides to take the plunge. Meanwhile, Paul Bergin just wants the $40 participants receive upon completion of the assignment, which consists of simply answering 36 questions. As partners, Hildy and Paul must answer these questions together. And so begins a hilarious, oftentimes wacky, yet equally touching and thoroughly delightful romantic comedy.
In all of her novels for middle grade and young adult readers, author Vicki Grant has demonstrated a true penchant for creating slightly offbeat characters that manage to be equal parts entertaining and relatable. That strength is on full display here as well. As Hildy and Paul work their way through the assigned questions, readers slowly gain greater insight into their characters. The witty dialogue helps bring the two protagonists vividly to life and keeps the plot well paced and believable. The story is told in a combination of ways, including Hildy and Paul’s initial question-and-answer session and their subsequent Facebook messages which form the basic framework into which the rest of the story is woven.
Realistic, lively and hilarious, the ongoing discussions make this book easily accessible. The gradual revelations of the events of their lives provide depth that will resonate with most readers of contemporary YA fiction. An inriguing premise and quirky, oddly endearing characters make this book a joy to read.
36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You
Running Press Teens. Hachette Book Group