My Readers Guide for Easy by Tammara Webber
1. Easy begins with Jacqueline leaving a party alone. As she’s about to get into her truck, she’s attacked by a drunk Buck, a young man she’s known for over a year. What was your reaction?
2. Every two minutes in the United States someone is sexually assaulted. http://www.rainn.org/statistics If you’re comfortable, share your story or a story about someone you know who experienced something similar. (Respect the person’s privacy, change names.)
3. A stranger comes to Jacqueline’s rescue. When it’s over, he says, “I’m gonna call 911. Do you need medical assistance or just the police? (page 5) Do you agree or disagree with Jacqueline’s choice to go back to the dorm without reporting the attempted rape? What would you do?
4. At first, the stranger is kind and compassionate toward Jacqueline. Then he points out what she could have done to be safe, almost implying it was Jacqueline’s fault. Jacqueline also wonders about her role, thinking about her “skimpy red-sequined dress” (page 8). Then he makes it clear: “It wasn’t your fault.” (page 10) How did you feel or what did you think when he said this?
5. Jacqueline’s boyfriend of three years broke up with her so that he could explore sexual relationships with other women. What was your reaction to him? To their relationship?
6. Because of the breakup, Jacqueline falls apart for a few weeks, stops going to classes, and misses a midterm. Her macroeconomics professor Dr. Heller gives her a second chance to make it up. He says to her, “Oh, for Pete’s sake—as I told my daughter, there’s not a boy on the planet worth this amount of angst.” (page 20) Have you or someone you know been in a similar breakup? How would you handle it?
7. Breakups often have a profound impact on a girl’s self-esteem or trust. How has a breakup with a boyfriend or even a close friend impacted you? Are you allowing it to influence new relationships?
8. What did you think of Jacqueline’s best friend and her reaction to what Buck did to Jacqueline? She broke up with her boyfriend Chaz over his reaction. Would you have done the same?
9. Jacqueline finds herself being drawn to two boys, Landon and Lucas. How did you feel about them, and what did you think when Jacqueline found out who her econ tutor really was?
10. The chemistry between Jacqueline and Lucas is sizzling hot. What is it about their relationship that is so appealing? How do you want a boy to treat you? How does it compare to Jacqueline’s relationship with Kennedy?
11. The decision to have sex with a boy is an important one. It has a huge impact on self-esteem, body image, and love. What do you perceive to be the difference between just a sexual relationship, and one with someone who deeply cares, cherishes, loves, respects you? What do you want for yourself?
12. As their chemistry and desire for each other heats up, at one point Lucas asks Jacqueline to say, “Stop.” Why do you think he did that? How did it improve their relationship?
13. Jacqueline takes a self-defense class with Erin, and immediately discovers that Lucas is one of the male “pretend attacker” volunteers. Lucas is insistent when it comes to Jacqueline defending herself, often asking her how she would get out of a situation and he has her practice. Why was this important to him and how did it influence their relationship? How did it affect Jacqueline’s perception of herself? Would you take a self-defense class?
14. Buck invades Jacqueline’s space on numerous occasions, making her extremely uncomfortable. How did you feel about the way Kennedy handled the situation with Buck? After Mindi presses rape charges against Buck, the tension heats up for the fraternity brothers. What do you think about their punishment for Buck? How they treated Mindi and Jacqueline?
15. Lucas has many secrets. Jacqueline has to discover what they are. What did you think about how she went about it? How did Lucas’s own personal experience affect his relationship with Jacqueline? What did you think of his response to Jacqueline when she confessed to reading his mother’s obituary, news reports, and talking to Dr. Heller?
16. Lucas’s father shut himself off from the world. How do you think Jacqueline helped change that?16.
17. Lucas and Jacqueline brought out the best in each other. What were the things they said and did to make that happen? What examples can you think of that illustrate how they learned to love and respect each other?
18. Lucas and Jacqueline experience profound feelings of guilt. What were they and how did they impact them? How did they resolve them? What has happened in your life that you feel guilty about? How have those feeling impacted you? What do you want to do or need to do to change them?
19. Lucas has an extremely special relationship with Dr. Heller. What made it so? What qualities or wisdom did he impart on Lucas that helped him to survive a horrific situation and excel? How can you apply that to your own life?
20. The ending to Easy is one of hope and perhaps a “happily ever after?” If you could imagine Jacqueline and Lucas’s future, what would it be?
21. There were many profound lessons in Easy. Which ones influenced you the most? Which ones do you want to apply to your own life? How can they help you to achieve your best?