Reading group questions

Beware! Spoilers below!

Here are 20 suggested questions for book groups reading The A to Z of You and Me.

  1. Why do you think Ivo chose to address his stories directly to Mia, referring to her as “You”?
  2. How did your perception of Ivo change throughout the book? As the picture of his lifestyle, choices, and friendships came into focus, did you grow to like or dislike him more?
  3. What could Ivo have done to salvage his relationship with Mia? Would it have changed anything, or would the outcome of the book still have been the same?
  4. Mia and Mal are arguably the two most important people in Ivo’s life, but between them they have a complicated relationship. Why do you believe their interactions are so difficult?
  5. The A to Z of You and Me jumps back and forth in time through Ivo’s life. In your opinion, did that help to paint a fuller picture of him, or did you wish the book had followed a more linear structure?
  6. How does Ivo’s humour and attitude change as the book progresses? Does the seriousness of his situation reflect back in the body parts and stories he chooses?
  7. Was there a story in the A-Z game that resonated more strongly with you than others? If so, why was it particularly affecting?
  8. Ivo’s eventual fate doesn’t come as a surprise, as the novel revolves around his stay in hospice. How did your general expectation of the ending affect your experience of the book?
  9. If you had to pick a letter of the alphabet and tell a story of your life, what would it be?
  10. “Love ends at death. Does it?” Discuss what you think, and how Ivo, Mia, or other characters throughout the book support your opinion.
  11. Why do you think Laura chose to stay loyal to Mal rather than Ivo after the accident?
  12. In the last weeks of Ivo’s life, he forms relationships with a number of new people. How important are these in his development as a character?
  13. Why do you think Ivo and Mal are repeatedly drawn back to each other?
  14. To what extent do you blame Ivo for the situation he is in?
  15. Ivo has experienced a great deal of loss in his life; how do you think this informs his view of his own mortality?
  16. The reader only experiences Mia through Ivo’s recollections; to what extent do we get to know her?
  17. What do you think appeals to Mia about Ivo?
  18. Ivo is angry with Laura for having betrayed him by allying herself with Mal. How fair is this?
  19. What bad choices does Mia make?
  20. Who is to blame for what happens to Mia?