Before this, had you read a graphic novel?
What did you think about the format of this book? Did you like it? Why or why not?
Did you enjoy the humor? Why or why not?
Do you remember doing weird, creepy things when you were young? Do or did your children do weird, creepy things? What were they? Do you think this is normal?
When Allie shows up at the playground naked- Do you think this behavior is a warning sign as the chapter title implies?
The Simple Dog
Do you think this chapter was meant to reflect Allie?
How did you feel after reading this chapter?
Did this chapter help you better understand what it is like for someone who suffers from depression?
The God of Cake
What do you think of Allie’s use of blurring in her pictures? Do you think it was effective?
Did you ever fantasize about being dead as a way to punish your parents?
The Helper Dog is an Asshole
What did you think about Allie writing from other points of view? Like the helper dog thinking, “Must stop other dog.” Or other people thinking, “What horrible people they must be…” What does that say about Allie?
Depression Part One
“Essentially, I was being robbed of my right to feel self-pity, which is the only redeeming part of sadness.” Do you think there is catharsis in allowing yourself to indulge in self-pity, to a point? Explain.
How did you feel after reading the parts where she talks to herself, i.e. “Shut up. I hate you.” Do you think this actually goes through her head when it’s happening? Or do you think this is how she interprets it after she has put some distance between her and an incident?
Do you think writing like this is therapeutic for her?
What do you think her intention is for publishing this?
Depression Part Two
After reading this chapter, did you start to get paranoid that your children suffer from depression?
Did this chapter make you feel like you are better equipped to interact with someone who is depressed? Or did it make you feel like avoiding someone who is depressed?
“…I agreed to see a doctor so that everyone would stop having all of their feelings AT me.” What do you think of that phrasing? What does it say about Allie?
This is Why I’ll Never Be an Adult
Do you ever feel like you never grew up and eventually someone is going to notice you are faking it?
Thoughts and Feelings
“The illusion of control makes the helplessness seem more palatable. And when that illusion is taken away, I panic.” Do you ever feel this way? Under what circumstances?
What did you think of this story?
Identity Part One
Do you think most people believe they are truly selfless? Do you think most people would prove otherwise if tested?
“…being a genuinely good person is time-consuming and complicated.” Do you agree?
“The fact that I think about doing nice things feels almost like actually doing them. I get to feel all the good feelings without any of the inconvenience.” “I also feel disproportionately good about myself whenever I’m presented with absurdly easy opportunities to do the right thing and then actually do it.” Do you think most people are like this? If so, do you think it is human nature? Or do you think it is a result of a society that has evolved into one that gives out trophies, awards and certificates for absolutely everything?
“I don’t just want to do the right thing. I wat to WANT to do the right thing.” Discuss.
Identity Part Two
Do you think that being selfish is human nature and it takes work to be good and do the right thing? Do you think there are some people out there that doing the right thing comes naturally? Which kind of person are you?
Questions from The Bookly Club
Which was your favorite story and why?
Which story did you relate to the most?
What were your feelings about the author after reading this?