What were the commonalities that some of the characters shared? Regarding Hannah, Deacon, Gillian, and Toby, did you find that they had more similarities than differences?
Can you identify any themes throughout the book? For example:
Self-acceptance, learning to love who you are
Shame, inherent and taught
Addiction, was there more than one?
Holding onto secrets
Hiding behind a mask or facade
Desire for control, power
Feeling like you don’t fit in, outcast
Need to belong, desire for family
Queen bee and mean girls
Homosexuality in the 80s
Hannah’s parents bombard her with hateful labels and words, shaming her. What about the labels and words Hannah says to Gillian? And why did Hannah shame Gillian? Do you empathize with either character?
What motivates different characters’ actions? Do you think those actions are justified or ethical?
Do you trust Hannah’s perspective on the way she looks and the way her parents treat her or is it skewed through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl? How does Deacon view Hannah? Do you think Hannah’s perception of herself changes because of him?
Do any of the characters grow or change during the course of the first book and in what way?
Of all of the characters, whom would you like to meet in person and what would you say or ask him or her?
Consider the ending to book 1 of the duology. Did you expect it or were you surprised? What do you think will happen in the sequel?
Can you pick out a passage that strikes you as particularly profound or interesting? Is there a passage that haunted you or that you found difficult to read? Why?
Does the book remind you of your own life or an event that has happened to you? Does any character remind you of a person, friend, or family member? How did you handle the incident verses how the character does?
What role did the 1984 suburban setting have on the story? Could the story easily take place in another time period? Do many of the story’s themes hold true today? If so, which ones?
Do you have your own high school story? Did you have to deal with bullying, acne, or not fitting in at school or at home?
If the author was sitting in your living room, what would you ask her?
for I Love You Like That
How does your perception of Hannah differ from when you meet her in book one to the end of book two? Same question for Deacon, Toby, and Peter.
In what way is I Love You Like That also a sibling story? How does the relationship between Hannah and Kerry change in comparison to Deacon and Toby?
In the duology, family dysfunction is a predominate theme. Compare the Zandana family to the Girouxes, the parents’ influence on their children, and where each family ultimate ends up at the end of book two.
While mourning Deacon, Hannah longs for the same romantic attention from other boys. How does she go about this and what does she learn about herself along the way?
How do you feel about Hannah’s treatment of Peter? Have you been involved in a relationship when feelings weren’t evenly matched and how did you handle it?
Hannah believes that she’s been sexually assaulted. Discuss the incident and what it means to give sexual consent. Does sexual consent come with exceptions? Was Hannah’s original consent nullified by Peter’s actions?
After learning more about Peter, do you think his obsession centered around Hannah or on Deacon more? Do you believe his feelings for her were ever genuine?
Why does Chalfont take out Claudia and not Xavier/Deacon? Do you think he ever knew Xavier’s true identity, and if so, when?
Like Bryan’s character states, “Aesthetics are important to me,” the importance of beauty and appearances runs throughout the duology. When did it hinder a character and when it help?
How does race play a role in I Love You Like That? Compare Bryan’s viewpoint and his experience in getting a job in 1985 to today.
The duology takes place over one year (October 1984 – October 1985). Could these characters’ situations occur today? How did the time period play a part, if at all? For instance, Deacon, Hannah’s mother, Gillian, etc.
Did you like how the duology ends and where the characters ended up? Was there a different resolution you had in mind?
If you can, predict what the future holds for Hannah and Deacon. What do you wish to happen?