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Warning: this page gives away some events and language from the novel.

Memory Ticklers

For Book Talks Or For Your Journal

holiday queen

In the journal entry, Rain recalls touching Queenie's hair for the first time. She says, "I'd been curious about how the texture might feel under my fingertips. Nothing less, nothing more. We were only five." What does this moment say about these two girls? What might it say about people everywhere?


Rain is surprised to learn that Queenie has Native ancestry, and she doesn't react to the news with any great enthusiasm. Does this foreshadow anything else that Rain might not know about Queenie as related to Galen?


Rain is a likable girl, but she is not a perfect person. For example, she says, "I wasn't the kind of girl who hung out at the trailer park. I didn't want a reputation like Lorelei's." Where did Rain pick up these attitudes? How does her perspective about the trailer park and Lorelei change over the course of the book?


When Rain is at Dmitri's trailer, she says "beautiful" several times, accidentally insults the dreamcatcher made by his mother, retreats once to the bathroom, and repeatedly stumbles over her words. What is wrong with her? Is she just worried about gossip, or is it something more? Can you think of all the feelings she might be having?

Author Insights

With her mother's permission, the name Aiyana is borrowed from the daughter of my best childhood friend. Real-life Aiyana is an avid elementary student, now living on an island in the city of Seattle where her parents run a Montessori school.

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