Welcome to the Discussion Post for Part 3 (Pages 107-216) of Stick by Andrew Smith.
1. In the first part of “Next”, we meet three new characters: Aunt Dahlia, Evan and Kim. These three seem clearly different from those in Bosten & Stick’s home world (even different from the characters who aren’t as crazy as the boys’ parents). Is Smith drawing some kind of distinction between regions? Is there something distinctly “Californian” and something distinctly “Washingtonian” about these worlds – and, if so, where do the boys belong? Wherever it is, do they still belong together?
2. Paul & Bosten break-up. Paul & Bosten get back together. Paul is gay, then bisexual. He is with Bosten, then he is with a girl and can’t have that kind of relationship with Bosten ever again. But, then they get back together. Is the back-and-forth here believable – why or why not? Is this normal teenage exploration/confusion? Does the difficulty do anything (positive or negative) for the story overall?
3. The boys’ parents split up and, while Stick is staying with Emily, he gets a phone call from his mother. On the call, she sounds somewhat different – more parental than we have seen her in the past. Is this an expected change? We see “Dad’s” rage in full force not much later, so he clearly hasn’t changed, but is it possible that “Mom” might have been molded by Dad? Or are they both equally brutal, separate or apart?
4. And, all hell breaks loose. Bosten is gone, Stick hits the road to find him & encounters a world of danger. Willie and April are creepy from the start, and the old cracked-out dudes who want stick to “pay” his way to California are certainly just as disgusting as the boys’ Dad, which begs the question: Are so many perverts necessary to the success of this plot? The book is meant to have some shock value, but how believable is it that the boys would each run into pedophiles at nearly every turn?
That’s it for this week! Looking forward to a great discussion! Feel free to add anything else you feel is valuable, or ask any other questions you might have yourself, now that we’re two-thirds of the way in… Don’t forget to check back next Saturday, when we will be discussing the end of the book, “Last” (Pages 216-End).
July: Stick (Hosted by Roof Beam Reader)
So, we are coming to the end of Stick. Up next is Ghost Medicine, which will be hosted in August by Not Now, I’m Reading!
August: Ghost Medicine (Hosted by Not Now…I’m Reading)