Session Two Discussion and Journaling/Writing Prompts
Landry is excited that her teacher, Mrs. Kharrazi, wants to enter her short story into a student writing contest. However, her two best friends make her feel insecure about it. Why do you think Tori and Ericka act they way they do about Landry getting chosen in the first round of the American Ingenue competition and being asked to enter her story in the writing contest? Have you ever had someone you considered a friend act strange when something good happened to you? How did they act and how did it make you feel?
Landry is surprised by the way Tori and Ericka are acting toward her and she doesn’t know how to respond. What would you say to them if you were in Landry’s shoes?
Landry is beginning to reach out to girls beyond her usual small group of just Ericka and Tori. She starts talking to girls like Peyton, India, Devon, Ashanti, Thalia, and others. What do you notice about the different connections she has with the girls she gets to know in the story? Write down who you think is a good friend (and influence) on Landry throughout the book and why you think that. We’ll keep coming back to these friendships and you might find these relationships change over time. See if any of these friendships remind you of your own. Sometimes readers write and tell me they didn’t notice a friend was acting “toxic” until they noticed that person reminded them of one of the characters in the book. Sometimes it’s easier to see something when it’s happening to someone else, but we don’t always see it in our own lives. Why do you think that happens?
Landry is having a tough day after her friends start to turn on her and she goes to pick out some movies to watch that night. She says cartoon princess movies are her go to comfort films when she’s going through a rough time. Do you have anything you turn to when you’re having a difficult time? Write about or discuss which movies or books you like during tough times and why you find them comforting. Are there any that are helping you now while you are home during this time?
As you read True Colors, pay attention to the way different colors (everything from hair color, eye color, the lip glosses in Thalia’s birthday party bags, jewelry, etc.) show up in the book and make a note of it each time you see it. Why do you think there is a focus on that?
In this section, Landry is invited to Thalia’s birthday. It’s her first time going to an event without her two best friends (Tori and Ericka) and she’s nervous about walking in alone. She manages to get a ride with India, Peyton, and Devon to avoid going by herself to the party. Going in with a group makes her feel more secure. Have you ever been nervous about walking into a setting by yourself? What did you do to make yourself feel calmer?
Behind the scenes info: I get asked a lot if I ever went through what Landry did where I had to find a new group of friends and the answer is…YES. It was a painful thing to go through and it wasn’t until I was in college that I decided to write about it because my professor told us to write the book you wish you could read. I decided to write the book I wish I had when I was growing up.
Back then, I had a couple books that dealt with having “frenemies,” but honestly most of the books I grew up reading were about groups of girls who were loyal to each other and went on fun adventures. Those books were a great escape, but it was the books where the characters were going through something painful (like being dumped by a friend or ignored by a group of friends) that made me feel like I wasn’t alone in what I was going through. That’s why I decided to write this series.
And the birthday party scene? I have always HATED walking into any event alone. In fact, that continued until I was an adult and it has only been in the last few years that I’ve been semi-okay with it. Thalia’s birthday party is based on one I went to in the fifth grade when my friends were acting distant toward me. They weren’t invited to this girl’s birthday party and I was so anxious that I’d have no one to talk to once I got there. I remember dropping hints to a friend to ride with her to the skating rink because I didn’t have the courage to walk in by myself. Once I got there, I had fun and yes, the gift bag was as awesome as the one Landry got.
Ask your parents or another adult if they ever dealt with that as a kid or even feel that way now. A lot of adults deal with this kind of insecurity and I’ll share a time I went through a similar situation. It was a few years ago when I was invited to my first event in the city where I live now. I had just moved back to the U.S. after living in Europe for three years and I only knew one person who was going to be at this bowling party. I was so nervous and I remember my outfit didn’t look like what the others had one, which made me feel extra insecure. Plus, they were all really good friends and had known each other a long time and I was the new girl. Everyone was nice to me, but I worried that everyone already had their group of friends and they didn’t need a new person joining in.
However, I made an effort to move out of my comfort zone and try and talk to everyone there and you know what? Almost all of those girls are my Facebook friends to this day and I talk to one all the time and she’s become a really good friend. Had I not stepped out of my comfort zone than I never would have made such good friends. Have you ever had to step out of your comfort zone? Write about what happened as result of doing that.
Once again, feel free to post any comments or questions in the comments section. Read chapters 4-6 for the next week’s session.
Author of funny, charming, and irresistible dramas.