What is the novel about?
Does the book have a central theme? If so, what? Does it have many themes? If so, how do they interlink? Is one theme more dominant than others? What do you think the author is trying to get across to the reader?
How important is the setting to the story?
Does the author provide enough background information for you to understand the events in the story? What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
Do the characters seem real and believable?
Can you relate to Danielle’s predicament? To what extent does she or the other characters remind you of yourself or someone you know?
How did the book affect you?
Do you feel ‘changed’ in anyway? Did it expand your range of experience or challenge your assumptions (for example, did it deepen your understanding of autism and what it means to raise an autistic child?). Did reading it help you to understand someone better – perhaps a friend or relative, or even yourself?
What do the characters do?
Do they react the way you think you would in a similar situation? Are their actions consistent with their characters? If not, perhaps ask yourself if it is reasonable for anyone to be expected to act consistently in the situation confronting Danielle.
What do you know about the author?
The novel is partly based upon the author’s experience in raising an autistic child. Has she effectively conveyed the emotions you would expect her to have in the novel?
Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable?
If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life or the world you might not have thought about before?
Discuss the mystery aspect of the plotline.
How effective is the author’s use of plot twists and red herrings? Were you able to predict certain things before they happened, or did the author keep you guessing until the end of the story?
How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story?
What events trigger such changes?
How is the book structured?
Does the author use any narrative devices like flashbacks in telling the story? How did this affect your reading of the story and your appreciation of the book? Do you think the author did a good job with it?