EVERY EXQUISITE THING

Matthew Quick

Nanette O’Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the role of dutiful daughter, hardworking student, and star athlete for as long as she can remember. But when a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young but troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion sometimes comes at a high price.

A celebration of the self and the formidable power of story,

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Nanette O’Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the role of dutiful daughter, hardworking student, and star athlete for as long as she can remember. But when a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—the rebel within Nanette awakens.

As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young but troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion sometimes comes at a high price.

A celebration of the self and the formidable power of story, Every Exquisite Thing is Matthew Quick at his finest.

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  • Little, Brown & Company for Young Readers
  • Hardcover
  • May 2016
  • 272 Pages
  • 9780316379595

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$17.99

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About Matthew Quick

Matthew QuickMatthew Quick (aka Q) is the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook, The Good Luck of Right Now, and three young adult novels, Sorta Like a Rock Star, Boy21, and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock. His work has been translated into thirty languages, and has received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention. The Weinstein Company and David O. Russell adapted The Silver Linings Playbook into an Academy Award winning film. Q lives in North Carolina with his wife, novelist/pianist Alicia Besette.

Praise

The power of the written word is on full display…Quick continues to excel at writing thought-provoking stories about nonconformity…a compelling portrait of a sympathetic teenager going through the trial-and-error process of growing up.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

…a powerful, dark and engrossing look at conformity and rebellion…tackles mental health issues rarely addressed in young adult fiction.”—NPR Boston

Simply exquisite…captivating…touching and relatable…a wonderful heroine…Quick’s latest is amazing.”—Winnipeg Free Press

Discussion Questions

1. Do you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert? How does the way you interact with the world color your opinion of Nanette?

2. Reading The Bubblegum Reaper quite literally changes Nanette’s life. Have you ever had a similar reading experience? What books have forced you to reexamine your belief system?

3. What are the major themes of The Bubblegum Reaper?

4. In therapy, June asks Nanette with which Bubblegum Reaper character she most identifies. With which Bubblegum Reaper character do you most identify? Why?

5. With which Every Exquisite Thing character do you most identify? Why?

6. Nanette has intense relationships with two adult men—her teacher, Mr. Graves and author, Nigel Booker. Are these relationships healthy? Why or why not?

7. From firsthand experience, Mr. Graves knows how profoundly The Bubblegum Reaper can challenge young people. Why does he give his copy to Nanette?

8. Compare and contrast The Bubblegum Reaper’s effects on Alex and Nanette.

9. Discuss Alex’s poetry. What’s intriguing about his words? What’s alarming? What’s frustrating?

10. Does Nanette have good parents? In which ways do her parents succeed? In which ways do they fail?

11. Since Booker has “quit” publishing, it’s tempting to label him a reclusive author, and yet he seems eager to befriend young people, even opening up his home to them. He also seems quite eager to talk about literature. Booker no longer wants to publish. What does he want?

12. When Nanette begins to speak in third person and attempts to be the young woman she thinks her community wants, she is able to deceive many of her classmates, including Ned, who falls in love with a “fake version” of her. Think about Ned and Nanette’s relationship. Who is in the right and who is in the wrong? Provide examples.

13. Is it important for every single member of a class to attend proms and graduation ceremonies regardless of whether each individual enjoys such group activities? Why or why not? What percentage of students needs to benefit from participation in order to justify perpetuating those traditions?

14. Have you ever met anyone like Nanette? What was your opinion of that person?

15. Does success stem from following or breaking societal rules?

16. What do you think will happen to Nanette in the future?