This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman. This fascinating series starter imagines a “utopian” world in which humans are no longer subject to death, except at the hands of Scythes, or people who belong to an elite unit of literal Grim Reapers who help to keep the world’s population at a manageable level. Naturally, as with any “utopian” society, all is not what it seems.

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!

Content Warning

There’s a lot of violence in Scythe; people are killed frequently in a variety of ways using a variety of implements. There are also depictions of/conversations about suicide.


In the future utopia depicted in Scythe, people don’t have to die and many take the opportunity to “turn a corner” and refresh their bodies to a younger state. If you could turn a corner, would you? If yes, to what age?


  1. What were your initial thoughts/feelings about society after the reason for Scythes was explained? Did those feelings change by the end of the book?
  2. Was there anything about the Scythes’ Commandments that you found unusual or surprising?
  3. Did you have a favorite Scythe? Favorite Scythe to hate?
  4. Is there hidden (or not-so-hidden) commentary behind the traditional Scythe vs. “celebrity” Scythe dynamic? How do the two groups’ differences effect the people they glean and/or the society in which they live?
  5. Citra: BFF material? Why or why not?
  6. Was the eventual swoon between Citra and Rowan believable?
  7. What are your thoughts on the Thunderhead? Any predictions for how it might change in future books?
  8. This series continues with ThunderheadThe Toll, and Gleanings (a short story collection). Will you continue reading?

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.