21 Questions by Mason Dixon is a fast-paced, contemporary romance featuring Kenya Davis, a successful thirty-six-year-old professional on a quest to find love.
Kenya is in search of a traditional love, the kind that’s built upon trust, honesty, and mutual respect. But, there’s a catch. She wants a woman that matches her financial prowess, and she refuses to settle for less. Kenya thought she had found Ms. Right upon meeting Mackenzie Richardson at a speed dating event in South Beach Miami. She falls into the arms of Mackenzie, a rich, debonair bachelorette who lives in the fast lane. Things are going so fast that Kenya pushes all chances with Simone Bailey aside. After all, Simone is a working-class bartender. And although Simone can turn up the charm at the drop of dime, she can’t convince Kenya to trade in the presumed security that money can bring for love that’s built upon authenticity and everlasting friendship.
Although parts of the exposition were repetitious (in particular, the character’s interiority), Dixon is a strong writer with a command of words and transitions. I didn’t sympathize with Kenya, the protagonist. She was too naïve for me, and her emphasis on materialism doesn’t suit my tastes. Simone, however, was an enjoyable and redeemable character, one who I could spend more time with in another book because she’s self-assured and way more balanced.
On some occasions, I found myself slipping from my suspension of disbelief– mainly because the plot events seemed unreasonable. Kenya wanted happily-ever-after, but the pace in which she fell for Mackenzie and embarked upon a relationship— and even the speed of Kenya and Simone’s rising friendship— all fell within a compressed timeline. I know that love-at-first sight exists, (sometimes), along with successful U-Haul relationships, (sometimes), but in the world of novels, I need the romance to brew. Otherwise, I can’t root for the protagonist and her quest for love feels desperate.
I enjoyed the premise of presenting a potential mate with twenty-one questions and the way the questions were sprinkled throughout the book. If weren’t for the questions, I would have been hard pressed to find depth in the read because the story doesn’t delve into any significant relationship or cultural issues beyond infidelity. And although the issue of class was presented, the implications weren’t explored and didn’t serve as a real hindrance.
If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted, all-the-feels romance, dive into 21 Questions this week.
Reviewed by: Lauren Cherelle
Lauren Cherelle uses her time and talents to traverse imaginary and professional worlds. She recently penned her sophomore novel, The Dawn of Nia (Resolute Publishing, 2016). Outside of reading and writing, she enjoys new adventures with her partner of thirteen years. You can find Lauren online at Twitter, www.lcherelle.com, and Goodreads.