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About the Book

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Fifteen-year-old Blaise Montgomery lives in the gritty outskirts of Washington, D.C., where a stray bullet can steal a life on the way to school. Drugs and violence are the only way to survive, so Blaise and her friends turn to gangs for safety, money, and love. When Blaise is invited to join Core 9, one of the most infamous crews, she jumps at the chance. After a brutal initiation ritual, things only get more dangerous and tensions with a rival gang heat up. Trek, the head of Core 9, asks Blaise to be his “lure,” the sexy bait he’ll use to track down enemy gang members and enact revenge. With death lurking around every corner, should Blaise continue to follow the only path she’s ever known, or cut and run?

Discussion Questions

1.  How does Blaise’s thought in chapter one that “there were worse things in life than dying” set the tone for the rest of the novel (p. 2)? Why does Blaise hold this belief? Do you think that there are worse things than dying? Why or why not? 2.  How did the drive-by shooting of Blaise’s childhood friend Gabriella change Blaise? 3.  How did Blaise’s mother’s behavior affect who Blaise became as a teenager? 4.  Why does Core 9 want Blaise? Why does Blaise want C9? Put yourself in Blaise’s shoes: What would you have done? 5.  If you were being initiated into a gang and had to choose, would you go for the jump-in, as Blaise and Ariel did, or the rollins, as Melissa did? Why?

11.  Poverty, drugs, teen pregnancy, absentee parents, abuse, neglect, violence, murder—it’s all here in The Lure. How do those things taken together create the invisible wall of “the neighborhood”? 12.  How is Blaise pulled between Rico and Satch? How does each guy love Blaise? How does she feel about them in turn? 13.  Why does Blaise think that Satch has betrayed her? How do Satch, Melissa, and Kaylee all surprise Blaise? 14.  What do you think motivates Trek? How is he a master manipulator, and how does he get away with using people for his own gain? What appeals to him about Blaise, and how does that attraction end up being his downfall? 15.  What significance does the book’s title have beyond the role Blaise takes on for Core 9? 16.  Though Blaise begins the novel thinking that “there were worse things in life than dying,” she doggedly refuses to die at every turn. How is Blaise a survivor? Which other characters have that survival instinct? 17.  At the novel’s close, Blaise says, “Maybe, when fate gives you something bad, it’s not to defeat you, it’s so you’ll see the problem and do something about it?” (p. 274). What does she mean? What’s “the problem,” and what does she do about it? 18.  What do you imagine happens to Blaise after this story ends?

6.  Tara promises, “Life gets better when you’re ganged up” (p. 27). How is this statement both true and false? 7.  Describe Blaise, Melissa, Ariel, and Kaylee’s friendship. How do guys alter that friendship? How do gangs alter it? In what ways do the girls remain true to one another? 8.  How does Blaise’s worry over her grandmother influence her choices? Similarly, how does Blaise’s grandmother’s love for her granddaughter shape her own actions? 9.  Why does Ariel scoff at “the American dream” (p. 51)? 10.  What is the “gangster’s dilemma” (p. 242)? How is it yet another thing entrapping the characters?

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