As much as we’re all insanely relieved that 2020 is DEAD AND GONE, it’s obvious that we still have plenty of work to do in 2021, which is why we’re excited to kick off this year’s book club with Brittney Morris’ Slay. This is a bold and brave #OwnVoices story that, as Nic Stone wrote, “knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that’ll keep you down for the count.” In other words, expect this convo to be a lively one–even by book club standards–so January’s meeting won’t be your grandmother’s Zoom. (Well, okay, you know what I mean.)
Check out the discussion questions below (the only spoiler-y one has been put way down at the bottom), and get ready for a club duel dialogue that, just like SLAY, should be as fun as it is illuminating.
p.s. If you’ve got ideas for other questions, we’d love to hear them in the comments!
Do you or have you ever played video games? If so, which was your favorite and why? And have you ever tried VR? (If not, did this book make you curious to try it?)
1. Like any other MMORPG, SLAY is a complex world with its own rules and structure. Did you get a handle on it pretty quickly or did it take a while for you to understand how the game and duels are played?
2. Kiera and Claire created over a thousand cards for duels, including Twist-Out, Wobble, Shout, J’s, Mom’s Mac and Cheese, McDonald’s Money, Representation, and Reclaimed Time. Which one was your favorite?
3. What did you think of Kiera and Harper’s friendship?
4. And what did you think of Kiera and Malcolm’s relationship?
5. Through the world of SLAY, Brittney Morris explores the idea of safe spaces for minorities and demonstrates, through the perspectives of different players, why it’s vital, rather than racist, that the space be for Black players only. How did this idea impact you and/or resonate with you?
6. Wyatt and Malcolm each have very different opinions on SLAY, as do the news anchors whom Kiera sees on TV. Did any perspective in particular echo sentiments you’ve heard or seen online in IRL? How did Kiera’s POV inform or educate you?
7. While Kiera is obviously the MC, we get a variety of perspectives from other characters, like Steph and Claire, as well as a few of the players, like Maurice (Spade) or Jaylen (Q.Diamond). Was there any supporting character in particular whom you connected with or whose voice really affected you?
8. Did you suspect that Malcolm was Dred or were you as shocked as Kiera? Once these two figured out their respective SLAY identities, things spiraled very quickly, with Malcolm ending up in jail. Did you wish for more context behind Malcolm’s actions or did they make sense based on what you knew of his character?