This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Roses and Rot by Kat Howard. Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)
P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!
If you could be truly great at any form of art, what would it be? Would you give up seven years of your life for that greatness?
1. Roses and Rot is styled as a dark fairy tale, and main character Imogen writes her own versions, informed by her survival of an abusive childhood. Have you read classic fairy tales in their original, darker forms? Do you think the book qualifies as a fairy tale in and of itself?
2. Imogen and her sister, Marin, are competing against each other for the highest Melete honor. What did you think of this competition after their long estrangement?
3. Did you expect the relationship between the two sisters to survive?
4. Imogen and Marin’s mother is frighteningly abusive, to the point where Imogen thinks the “wicked stepmother” fairy tale trope couldn’t possibly be worse than her real life. How did you feel about the portrayal of emotional abuse?
5. What did you think of the sisters’ love interests?
6. Did how you felt about Helena at the start of the book change by the end of the novel? Or did her backstory not change your opinion of her?
7. Did you expect the book to be as magical as it was? If not, what were your initial guesses about the mystery of Melete?
8. Are you more of a Marin—willing to give up everything and everyone for success—an Imogen—willing to give up success for the ones you love—or an Ariel—only willing to succeed through your own efforts?