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Book Review: Coke or Pepsi? 1000 Coke or Pepsi Questions 2 Ask Your Friends by Mickey and Cheryl Gill

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In its most basic form, a Coke or Pepsi question asks, “Which do you prefer, Coke or Pepsi?” Coke or Pepsi? 1000 Coke or Pepsi Questions 2 Ask Your Friends has one thousand such questions on a variety of topics and serves as an icebreaking conversation starter.  Designed for tweens and teens, Coke or Pepsi? provides dialogue opportunities for any number of social situations. For those who don’t find themselves in any number of social situations, it serves as a getting-to-know-me experience as the reader goes through the questions and learns things about him- or herself.

Questions range from yes/no generic (“Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish?”) to the very personal (“Color your toes are painted”). Some questions stretch the imagination (“What superpower would you love to have?”); some bring back memories (“Best teacher you ever had?”); and some play to fantasy, (“Who should play you in a movie version of your life?”). It’s almost impossible to answer questions without elaborating. For example, I think that Angelina Jolie should play me in a movie of my life; however, most people who know me might favor Carrot Top or a revivified Phyllis Diller.

Knowing that many people do not celebrate Christmas or hang stockings if they do, I use “stocking stuffer” as a generic term for a small gift suitable for holidays, birthdays, and special occasions (like “Oh, wow! You cleaned your room!” Day).   Recommending something as a “mini present,” “small gift,” or “token” doesn’t seem to do it justice, and “trinket” doesn’t seem appropriate for books. Coke or Pepsi? is an excellent stocking stuffer, no matter what color stockings you wear (how’s that? Look, I’m open to suggestions here…).

Most people can answer the question “Coffee or Tea?,” even if they go for a third choice, “neither,” but some of the questions can get a person to thinking. Recently a friend had a list of questions similar to Coke or Pepsi?, and one question was “What place are you talking about when you say, ‘back home’?” I was totally stumped.  Pondering this question made me realize two things: 1) I don’t say “back home”; and 2) for me, “home” is wherever I’m staying at the time. Questions like “What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?” (or meanest thing done to a sibling) may provoke the same type of searching thought. And thinking is a good thing.

Coke or Pepsi? is presented in sets of 40 questions, and is designed for one person to ask a set and then pass the book to the next questioner. The more people participating, the more raucous and fun the Coke or Pepsi? session will be. Groups that enjoy playing Mad Libs are sure to enjoy these question-and-answer sessions, and friends will find out how much they really have in common.

Despite targeting tweens and teens, Coke or Pepsi? is fun for adults, too, and especially entertaining for mixed-age groups. Take it to a family get-together and kids may find out that there’s more to their grandparents than cookies and pocket change.

Bottom Line: Would I buy Coke or Pepsi? Neither! But I would buy Coke or Pepsi? 1000 Coke or Pepsi Questions 2 Ask Your Friends just for the fun of it.

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