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ABOUT THE BOOK
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Book Club Pick!
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The “theories” that seventeen-year-old Aubrey Housing and her best friends created for dating were meant to shield them from disappointment and heartbreak. But then newcomer Nathan Diggs appears at Lincoln High. When Aubrey and Nathan’s instant connection blossoms into something more, Aubrey begins to question whether being an “evolved” teenage girl is a good thing. According to the rules, regarding Nathan as perfect boyfriend material is needy and dependent. But are indifference and the other exhausting strategies designed to avoid getting hurt a real substitute for commitment and loyalty in a relationship? Are the theories destined to cause as much conflict as they were originally devised to avoid?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. The core belief behind the theories is “if you want more, you have to give less.” Do you think having fun without caring can really protect you from heartache? Why or why not?

2. Aubrey’s best friend, Shelby, created the theories after a bad breakup with Patrick. How has Shelby’s relationship with Patrick evolved since then? Why was it easier for Shelby to feign indifference than to share her true feelings with Patrick?

3. Do most high school boys want to date “a girl who has evolved”? Why or why not? Is this evolved behavior “saving girlkind” from appearing needy and clingy? Does girlkind need saving?

4. Why do Aubrey and her friends feel the title of girlfriend is a stigma? Is it “delusional” to believe that someone can find love in high school? Explain.

5.Do you agree or disagree with Aubrey’s claim that her friends are “real”? Discuss their treatment of Chiffon, the girl code concerning a friend’s date, and the concept of “girl points.”

6. Using the theories to prolong a typical hookup period makes Aubrey feel comfortable in knowing she is in complete control. Does this seem “evolved” or not? Explain.

7. What do you think of the underage drinking that Aubrey and her friends do at parties? Explain how it compromises their decision-making and choices.

8. Shelby “has no filter when she speaks.” Describe the comments she makes in public. Why do you think she is such an “attention whore”? Why does she advise everyone to “relax” and “live a little”? Why do you believe she is such a “pro at whatevers”?

9. Explain why Aubrey thinks that Shelby and Chiffon are “so alike.” Do you think Shelby and Chiffon were used to being thrown away? What issues do they both have with acceptance?

10. Aubrey believes that Nathan “knows better” than her most of the time. Do you think this is true? Why does Nathan stop the nude photos of Shelby from going viral? How would you explain Nathan’s choice to have unprotected sex with Shelby?

11. Why does Shelby never talk to Aubrey about her plans for after gradua- tion? What do you think about her decision to buy a car with the money her father gave her? How have both Aubrey and Nathan fought for what they want after high school?

12. Why does Aubrey hope that her friends will be “different” when she sees them next year? Explain how graduation might be like a “giant eraser.”

13. Trip believes he was best friends with Aubrey when they were together. Why does she have a hard time accepting this? How has their friendship grown after their split?

14. Nathan’s friends from his former school were AP students. Do you think Aubrey regrets taking him out of that world like Shelby did for her? Why did Shelby describe them as “lame brains”? How would you describe Aubrey’s AP friends Ella and Marnie?

15. Aubrey and Shelby realize that the theories made them keep secrets from each other. Do you think their friendship can be repaired? Should there be conditions to friendship when it involves boys? What have Aubrey and Shelby learned?

16. Do you think there is something “inexplicable” that brings people into our lives and keeps them from leaving? What advice would you give to Shelby about love and relationships?

17. Shelby believes that “the longer you know someone, the longer they have to let you down,” while Aubrey thinks “the more time they have to surprise you.” How do these different views reveal their basic outlooks on life?

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