HICK

Andrea Portes

 Hick is the story of Luli McMullen—feisty, precocious, and out on her own at 13. Luli is running away from Nebraska to Las Vegas, where she plans to escape her disturbing present and even less hopeful future by finding herself a sugar daddy. That Luli finds trouble on the road almost immediately is no surprise. What is a surprise is that regardless of circumstances, Luli refuses to be a victim, even at her tender age. On her perilous journey west, she learns the truth of American rootlessness and discovers both the power and the peril of her own sexual curiosity.

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 Hick is the story of Luli McMullen—feisty, precocious, and out on her own at 13. Luli is running away from Nebraska to Las Vegas, where she plans to escape her disturbing present and even less hopeful future by finding herself a sugar daddy. That Luli finds trouble on the road almost immediately is no surprise. What is a surprise is that regardless of circumstances, Luli refuses to be a victim, even at her tender age. On her perilous journey west, she learns the truth of American rootlessness and discovers both the power and the peril of her own sexual curiosity.

It’s Luli’s voice that makes Hick so gripping. This is a story about a young girl whose indomitable spirit and keen insight promise hope, possibly triumph, and in the end certainly a bright future. Luli charts her own course with a vivacity and vision that mark her indelibly in any reader’s memory.

Hick is quite a ride—raw and edgy, hilarious, hopeful and heartbreaking. It’s at once a true-to-life portrait of an inviolable spirit threatened by drugs and alcohol, teen sex and crime, and a stubbornly idealistic novel about growing up in America

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  • Unbridled Books
  • Paperback
  • May 2007
  • 265 Pages
  • 9781932961324

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$14.95

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About Andrea Portes

Hick is loosely based on Andrea Portes‘ own childhood. Portes is a young writer who is becoming a cultural force in the hippest parts of Los Angeles. She grew up outside Lincoln, Nebraska, later shuffling between Illinois, Texas, Brazil, North Dakota, and North Carolina before attending Bryn Mawr College. She received her MFA in Theater from UC San Diego and became a script reader for Paramount Pictures. She is a nightlife columnist for several websites.

Praise

“[A] knockout…[a] bold, brash, up-yours coming-of-age story rubbed raw with gritty sexual awakening.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Wonderful, touching.” —The Nougat Magazine

“Luli’s endurance…can only inspire.” —Popmatters.com

Discussion Questions

How did you react, overall, to this novel? To the characters? To what happens to Luli?

Did you find the events of the novel and Luli’s reaction to them believable? If so why? If not, why not? If someone were to say to you that this novel “lives in the voice of Luli,” what do you think they might mean by that?

Did you find the book funny? If so, how would you describe the humor in it? If not, why not?

How would you describe the tone of the novel?

What are some of the themes you can identify in the novel? What elements of the novel lead you to identify those themes?

How does the setting of the novel interact or contribute to the themes of the novel and the way you read it?

How would you describe Luli to someone? Why?

Describe the other characters in the novel, including the minor ones, like Luli’s school teacher. How, if at all, do they help move the plot and expose the thematic issues in the novel? How do they contribute to the development of other characters in the novel, especially Luli?

How realistic or well rounded did you find the characters in the novel? Are there parts of the story that make you feel sympathetic towards Tammy and Nick? If so, what are they? What do they add to the over all richness, or not, of the narrative?

How would you describe the author’s apparent point of view about why people act the way they do in this world? Do you agree with her, or find it convincing? If so, why? If not, why not?

How do you interpret the ending, or the resolution of the novel? What are your feelings about Luli and her future? What led you to your conclusions?