1. What was unique about setting the book in West Texas, if anything, and did the setting enhance the story? Could the story have been set anywhere?
  2. Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself and your personal high school experience or that of others? Do you have regrets about how you’ve treated others?
  3. How did you feel about the characters? Who did you like or not like and why? Did your feelings about any particular character change by the end of the book?
  4. How does Taryn change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes? Were there moments when you cheered for Taryn and the choices she made? Were there moments when you grieved with her for the hard things she faced?
  5. Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
  6. Quote from the book: I wrinkle my nose, testing him. “Do you wear big shiny belt buckles, too?” Or maybe testing myself. Do all the cowboy trappings matter that much if underneath beats a tender heart? If I’ve learned anything so far this school year, I know not to judge people by their “covers.” How do we judge people by their outward appearance or by the things they like or dislike? What do we lose by stereotyping others?
  7. What moral/ethical choices did the characters make? What did you think of those choices? How would you have chosen?
  8. What did you think of the ending of the story? What did you think of the epilogue? Was the ending hopeful that issues such as bullying or tragedy can be overcome not just in fiction, but real life?
  9. What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think she is trying to get across to the reader?
  10. Why do you think the author wrote this story? What is her most important message?