Discussion questions for The Necklace:
1) How did your feelings about Susan change during the course of the novel?
2) Susan is afraid she may have been very wrong about a person she loved. How can we be so wrong sometimes about people who are close to us? When in your life have you been surprised by someone, in a bad way – or a good one?
3) What obstacles inside herself does Susan have to overcome in order to have the courage to fight for the truth? What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
4) Why do you think Kyra and Robert decide to help Susan?
5) At what point in the novel did you know who did it? And once you knew that, what drove you to keep reading?
6) Susan and her mom still live together, despite the terrible tragedy that Susan partly blames her mom for. How has the tragedy, and the blame, affected their relationship?
7) Susan lives in an economically challenged small town. How does that affect her life and choices?
8) When the novel begins, Susan is a strong advocate for the death penalty. How do her feelings change, or not change? How do you feel about the death penalty?
9) What do you think Kyra will do after high school?
10) What do you think Susan’s life will be like after the novel is over?
Discussion questions for Killer Story:
1. After catching the killer, Petra gets sentenced to a year and a half in prison – one year with good behavior. Do you think she deserves a year in prison?
2. Sometimes, when Petra’s boss tells her to do something questionable, she does it despite her reservations. Do you think you would have had the courage to fight back harder against the boss?
3. Do you feel journalists have an obligation to tell the truth as they observe it, even at the expense of other people? For instance, was Petra right to out the gay football player and release a young woman’s juvenile criminal record in order to catch the murderer?
4. Petra has been repeatedly laid off, and all of her actions at the job are affected by that. Have you or a loved one ever gotten laid off? Did that change your point of view about Petra?
5. From your perspective, how did Petra’s childhood and upbringing affect her actions on the job?
6. In the end, Petra catches the killer and gets justice for the victim. In your opinion, does this redeem her ruthless tactics?
7. Jonah sees things in black and white, while Petra sees things in shades of gray. Which way is more like you? Is one way better than the other?
8. Are you glad that Jonah broke up with Petra?
9. Did you guess the killer? Who did you think did it?
10. Success in journalism now is often measured by how many clicks a story gets. How do you think this affects journalists?
11. Does Killer Story make you question the veracity of what you read in the newspaper, see on TV, or hear in podcasts? How do you try and figure out the truth about things you read about?
Read Killer Story and The Necklace Now!