(You know, you should probably also check out the discussion post for our Hot Fun in the Summertime cozy mystery selection, Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala.)
The Romance Extravanga
Whether you’re a returning CannonBookClub participant or a newbie, welcome! This is the place to discuss the three (count-em, THREE) Hot Fun in the Summertime romance selections. You don’t have to be registered for CBR15 to comment below, but there are a few ground rules:
- The topics are numbered, so please refer to them by that number to help people keep track of (and participate in) the conversations they’re looking for.
- One topic per comment, which will also help keep things clear.
- If you are responding to someone else’s thoughts, please try to reply directly to that comment.
With that said, let’s get to it!
Emmalita described Timothy Janovsky’s Never Been Kissed as “delightful” in her four-star review. Malin described Kate Clayborn’s Georgie, All Along as “a very lovely romance about two complex people on the search for belonging,” giving it 4.5 stars. And even on a “real cranky” day, narfna couldn’t think of a reason not to give Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute five stars. Even if you haven’t posted reviews of any of these yet, you can head down to the comments and tell us what you thought. You might also find folks chatting about Wren, Derick, Bradley, Celine, Georgie, and Levi on our social media platforms. And I hope some of you join me on our #CannonBookClub Zoom call tomorrow (Saturday, June 24, 7pm Eastern), to swoon over the dreamiest member of the Fanning family (Hank, obvi).
But for now, here are the discussion topics—don’t forget to include the number in your comment!
1. Was this anyone’s first time reading a romance? What about YA or new adult romance, specifically?
2. Do you have a favorite (sub)genre? If yes, what is it, and why—what do you like about it? And is anyone’s favorite genre either mystery or romance?
3. Within your favorite (sub)genre, what are your favorite/least favorite tropes?
4. Did the book(s) you read meet your expectations? Did anything about it/them surprise you?
Questions for Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
9. What did you think of the couple and how their relationship fell apart and re-developed? Fave/least fave moments? Did you find either of them compelling? Infuriating? Utterly inscrutable? Number nine is just fine for thoughts on
Chloe Jr. Celine, Bradley, and Celine & Bradley.
10. Celine’s and Bradley’s motivations and choices/internal conflicts are heavily influenced by their relationships with family (or lack thereof). If you want to talk about bad dads and the weight of expectations, this is the place.
11. What did you think of Hibbert’s portrayal of Bradley’s OCD? Are there other romances or mysteries that you think do a particularly good job representing characters with mental health challenges?
Questions for Timothy Janovsky’s Never Been Kissed
12. What did you think of the couple and how their relationship developed? Wren and Derick are both still figuring out who they are and what they want, in terms of both sexuality and general adulting/self-determination. What did you think of their respective personal growth and understanding arcs? Did you find either of them compelling? Infuriating? Utterly inscrutable? How about that 3rd-act break-up? If you’re here to talk Wren, Derick, or Wren & Derick, this is your prompt!
13. The friends/roomies, the Wiley’s crew, Wren’s family, Derick’s family, Alice—this is the place for the supporting cast.
14. Author Timothy Janovsky has said that “Wren understands the world through his favorite movies.” How did that work for you? Can you relate? Did you notice any movie-buff Easter eggs you’d like to share with the class?
15. In different ways, and with different results, both Wren and Georgie start by dusting off something they wrote at some point in the past, hoping it will help them figure out what to do in the present to move through a period of uncertainty and into a future that is…different? better? What do you think about Wren’s version of this, the emails he sends to his former crushes? How did that strike you as a catalyst and/or framing device? Did anything about how Janovsky handled the responder who *wasn’t* Derick surprise you? NOTE: Georgie, All Along has its own entry for the Georgie-centric version of this question.
Questions for Kate Clayborn’s Georgie, All Along
16. What did you think of the couple and how their relationship developed? Fave/least fave moments? Did you find either of them compelling? Infuriating? Utterly inscrutable? How about that 3rd-act break-up? If you’re here to talk Georgie, Levi, or Georgie & Levi, this is your prompt!
17. I really enjoyed how Clayborn developed Bel and Georgie’s friendship. What did you think of them, separately or together? This is also your prompt if you have thoughts on Georgie and her family, Levi and his family (yikes), or any of our close-focus characters and “the town” (its denizens or Darentville, itself).
19. Was I the only person this one hit close to home for? In some ways, I related to Georgie more than I expected to, and not only because I, like Georgie, just moved back to my hometown. (No, literally “just”—I was giving myself painful repetitive stress injuries from taping boxes shut and trying to get out of New York and then settled in New Orleans while I should have been reading ahead so I could send you a list of dazzlingly insightful discussion questions a week and a half ago.) From a more neutral standpoint, what are your thoughts on “going home” as it plays a role in this book? In the romance genre more widely?
20. “Once upon a time, I told a story about myself.” In different ways, and with different results, Wren and Georgie both start by dusting off something they wrote at some point in the past, hoping it will help them figure out what to do in the present to move through a period of uncertainty and into a future that is…different? better? What do you think about Georgie’s version of this, the friend fic? How did it work for you as a framing device? What do you think of the idea of “going back,” as Georgie and Levi call it? NOTE: Never Been Kissed has its own entry for the Wren-centric version of this question.