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Sweeter Than Life Discussion Questions

Please be aware that some of these questions may contain spoilers. It is recommended that you read the book first.


  1. Did you feel that Wendy’s father and stepmother had unrealistic expectations? Should they have offered to help her with Logan sooner? Or should Wendy have embraced the role of Big Sister sooner and better?
  2. Explain Paige’s role in changing Wendy’s feelings toward Logan.
  3. Why was Leah struggling? What signs could everyone have seen to alert them to her eating disorder? Who should have taken responsibility—her teammates, her coach, her parents? Or Leah herself? What would you do if you suspected one of your friends had an eating disorder?
  4. Why is it easy for Kim to offer advice? Is her advice solid? Is she smarter than Wendy? More mature? Or has she just had different experiences?
  5. Wendy was intrigued by Minette until she realized that Minette is not an admirable person. What was your first clue that Wendy should end the friendship? Were you surprised at what Minette did to her? Do you think Minette meant to hurt Wendy or Sam or is she just the kind of person who acts without thinking? Would you have forgiven Sam? Why or why not?
  6. Have you ever misjudged someone the way Wendy did Jess? What happened to help you realize your mistake?
  7. If you were Sam, how would you have handled losing your job? Do you think Wendy is at all to blame? Why or why not? Do you think Wendy and Jeffrey could have done anything to calm Sam down? Should they have tried harder or is Sam the only one responsible for what he does?
  8. Wendy’s relationship with Sam had a positive side. Contrast the good that Sam did for her, such as encouraging her to consider a career with books and helping her see that she is not responsible for her father’s frustration, with his bad behavior—cheating on her with Minette and blowing up at her when he loses his job. Overall, was it a good relationship? Or a bad one? At what point do the scales tip in either direction?
  9. Do you agree with Wendy’s parents at the end? Should she avoid Sam forever? Why or why not?
  10. Addictions are tough to overcome. The addict is never completely “recovered,” but rather “recovering,” and it can be—and usually is—a lifetime process. What do you suppose will happen to Sam? Do you see him getting his life together or not?