I’m so excited to kick off pride month with an aro ace debut author’s cover reveal! Other People’s Butterflies is a story about Gwen, and her (mis)adventures before learning she’s aro ace. I deeply wish I had this book in high school. But so happy I can be a part of hyping it now. This cover is so sharp and bright.
Gwen Foster has never been kissed. But when she gets the chance to finally see what all the hype is about, it’s with her best friend’s crush. Embroiled in relationship drama she doesn’t understand, and ostracized from her friend group, Gwen escapes the angst by using her favorite femme fatale as a role model… and makes snooping on her classmates her new pastime.
Gwen’s detective work appears to be going well, until an unknown social media account starts spilling all the scandalous personal details she’s uncovered. Now this wannabe spy must stop whoever is behind it before everyone’s dirty laundry is aired, and Gwen is forced to finish high school without any friends.
Other People’s Butterflies is a coming-of-age contemporary mystery about not needing to find your first love – but yourself – and how to mend the relationships that matter to you.
The Hello World Discussion Questions are here! GreatAce.Club is our sister book club. It mostly reads asexual books by asexual authors for asexual readers, but has expanded to read really whatever our host Amy wants. Because great books are great books and aces can do whatever they please. April’s book was Hello World, the first in the .Exe series!
Brew up that cup of coffee because it’s discussion time!
Suggested Reading Schedule:
Week One – Prologue through Chapter 4
Week Two – Chapters 5-11
Week Three – Chapters 12-19
Week Four – Chapters 20-26
Week Five: Chapter 27 through Epilogue
Hello World Week One Discussion Questions
Hello World deals a lot with technology, data, and what it means to be a person living with that. What do you think about the world we are currently living in?
What do you think is more important, convenience or privacy? How much privacy should society be willing to give up to feel safe? To have information and necessities at their fingertips?
It’s a common trope in media for a character to be motivated to save a loved one. How do you predict Scott will undertake this going forward?
Like all good techy books, Hello World takes pieces of technology that already exist and create logical extensions from them. What technology can you see existing now or in the near future that we’ve experienced in these first few chapters?
We are already getting a sense of what Scott and Sonia’s relationship will be. What can you pick up on how they will befriend each other, or more? What are your predictions about their relationship?
What sort of qualities do you think UltSyn wants for its HIDs?
Besides college job fairs, where do you think UltSyn looks for candidates?
Hello World Week Two Discussion Questions
Have I mentioned recently that I love Scott? Because I love Scott. Now that we are getting into the thick of things, there is so much more to discuss, especially as we start to see more discussion about Scott’s asexuality. Without further ado, let’s read!
As we begin to see more asexual characters in media (see: FuckYeahAsexual’s Character Database or even the Goodreads List), and as asexuality becomes seen more in the mainstream, creators may begin to think about how to incorporate asexual characters into their work. What do you think about how Scott talks about his sexual attraction? Does it match with your own feelings as being ace?
Sinclair and Tauber have so much deliberate representation in Hello World. How many casual LGBT+ characters can you pick up on? Is this something you think is going to continue in more mainstream books? Out of the characters mentioned in this section, is there anyone you want to learn more about? Anyone you want to see in future books?
HIDs are pieces of technology, but they are also people. This is definitely something that the people fighting against UltSyn have to deal with. Do you think that Scott or Terry or Jesse feel the same way about Sonia? What do you think about the morality of HIDs in general? If UltSyn is using them for nefarious purposes, what is the best way to fight back?
Discuss Scott’s choice to sell Sonia. Did it make sense at the time? What did Jesse get out of it besides money? Do you think Jesse is a double agent, or just in it for whoever pays more?
Scott almost immediately regrets his actions. What does this tell you about his character?
Sinclair and Tauber do a lot to humanize their characters, like Scott “pretending” to get a text. How does this make the book more relatable? When’s a time you’ve done something similar?
How many people in Hello World are “just doing their jobs” despite basically experimenting on other human beings? How is a reflection of the real world?
We finally get our first Sonia chapter! What do we learn about her from her actions in this chapter?
How is their relationship changing? What predictions do you have about them?
In between the fast paced action, Sinclair and Tauber insert moments of humanity, like shopping in Paris. How does that help us associate with the characters more? What can we learn about them in these moments of relative quiet?
What technology in this section have you seen happening in real life? What technology would you like to see?
What predictions do you have about the party? What are you hoping will happen?
Hello World Discussion Questions Week 3
We left off last week with Scott and Sonia preparing to go to the fancy UltSyn party! What do you think they’re going to find there? Let’s read on to find out!
What do you think Scott found in the office?
Do you think all of Scott’s hijinks might spur UltSyn to tighten their security? What could this mean for Scott and Sonia in the future?
Could Scott’s background and experience with UltSyn and HIDs affect how he sees Sonia? Is seeing her as a person first different from how others would see and therefore treat her? Do you think Sonia is different from other HIDs? How could Scott’s treatment help her as well?
In what ways do Sinclair and Tauber use real life security hacks in Hello World? Which things stand out to you as something real people or companies should be concerned about?
After seeing this second HID, does to confirm any belief that Sonia is different? What do you think happened to make her different? What struggles might Scott have if this is how most HIDs behave?
It is easy to see that in universe, HIDs are not considered entirely human. Does this track with how real life humans act about each other? How might incorporating people and technology change society’s view of them?
What have we learned about both Scott and Sonia so far, using the humanizing sections of the book? How has this changed from the beginning of the book?
How does what UltSyn does match up with real world for-profit health care companies?
What do we learn about Scott’s motivations in this section?
Is Scott and Sonia’s relationship fair? Why or why not?
What might Sonia find in her search for her family?
We are ending on quite the cliffhanger! What predictions do you have about what will happen in Denmark?
Hello World Discussion Questions Week 4
Ready to pick up in Denmark? Who has time for an intro when there’s cliffhangers to get through!
How does Scott use his understanding of Sonia to track her? How does this compare to real life tracking and how could UltSyn also use this knowledge?
Do you think UltSyn sends people after Sonia who have knowledge of her life before being an HID? Would that help them or hinder them?
What are some possible meanings of Sonia’s tattoo?
Does one person ever have an obligation or right to withhold information about another from that person? Would you want to know bad information about your past or prefer to leave it there?
Is Sonia/Lydia’s reaction to losing her family appropriate? How might someone dealing with grief react to the promise of losing their memories?
What implications does Sonia’s background raise about HIDs? About UltSyn?
”Sometimes, one act of kindness can change everything.” How does this quote really describe Scott?
At this point and after having several Sonia chapters, how is she different from other HIDs? What might this do to Scott’s expectations about his sister?
What were your thoughts and emotions as the scene with Victoria played out? Should Scott or Sonia have seen this coming? What could they have done to prevent it?
How does almost losing someone we love bring out our feelings? How do we see that in Sonia taking care of Scott?
How much of what Scott is going through is related to his physical wound, shock, and the mental toll of Victoria? What do you think will help him the most?
What do we learn about Sonia with her actions while Scott is hurt? Is what she did brave, foolish, or some combination?
What do you think would help get Scott out of his despair? Is it possible that even knowing it would be hard, he didn’t realize how hard it would be? Is he too close to this situation?
What do we learn about the HID program and UltSyn from Sonia and Victoria talking?
Could the first step of HID deprogramming be developing sarcasm? 2/2 HIDs say yes!
We get an opportunity to see more of Scott’s asexuality. How do you relate to this?
We are leaving this section off in one of the humanizing areas. What are we learning about Scott and Sonia? Where could their relationship be going?
What predictions do you have for the end of the book? What role will Victoria and Sonia play in working against UltSyn? Scott got his sister back; now what?
Hello World Discussion Questions Week 5
Amy here again, I’ve fully learned how to hijack the publisher’s accounts after reading Hello World! 😉 You know the posts that are like “when everything is wrapped up but there’s still a lot of pages left”? Am I the only one feeling that way about Hello World? If we stop here, they can all just live happily ever after, right? Just kidding! Let’s read on to see how Scott’s motivations might change and how Victoria will play a part in that!
Scott throughout the book very much claims to work on his own and to be in it for himself; but is he really? If his actions cause consequences that expose UltSyn, does that mean he did something selfless, even if he didn’t mean to? How much of his actions are actually selfish?
How does having Victoria back change him? How does it change Sonia?
We get to learn more about Terry and his crew in the last part of the book. Who are you hoping to see again in the sequel? What benefits are there in having a secure home base? How can it also be a liability?
How many people in UltSyn do you think know about the system? How could the people of UltSyn be exploiting the system for their own advancement? How do people in real life do that?
How does needing to take down a computer system change the narrative of taking UltSyn down? How does this change the central conflict of the series?
Scott finally tells someone he’s asexual in this final section. How does this confirm the behavior and thoughts we’ve already seen? How does his description match or not match with your experiences?
What does Sonia’s reaction say about her?
What are some benefits of Scott being part of a group now? What might be some drawbacks?
How is the system different than what they expected?
Do Scott and Victoria get a happily ever after? What does coming home mean to both of them? To their parents?
How could UltSyn exploit this? How motivated do you think they are to do so?
Share your favorite parts of the book; what did you love the most? What do you hope to see in the sequel? Do you have any favorite quotes or characters? We’d love to see them here or in the #GreatAceClub tag!
Did you see any overarching themes or tones you found while reading?
What does the teaser chapter hint at in the next book? What could this mean for Scott and Sonia?
Can we peer pressure Art Over Chaos Publishing (wait a second…) to release the next book sooner? (Warning: Amy’s peer pressure is coming from inside the house!!!) Be sure to sign up for the newsletter at GreatAce.Club to be the first to see what May’s read is!
Greeting Friends! I wanted to make a post with all the discussion questions and a sample schedule so anyone can start reading whenever they were able. For February, Amy featured Our Bloody Pearl. So brew up some coffee and let’s dive in!
The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear. — That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs. [Full Blurb]
If you want to participate, we’ll be reading the following each week:
One: Chapters 1-3
Two: Chapters 4-8
Three: Chapters 9-12
Four: Chapters 13-16
Use #GreatAceClub for updates and to see what other people are saying about Our Bloody Pearl. Add your own thoughts any time, about this book, other features, or books you’d like to see featured next.
Our Bloody Pearl Discussion Questions
Week One Questions:
Have you ever read other books about sirens or mermaids? What sorts of background understanding are you bringing to Our Bloody Pearl?
Siren songs are usually about wanting, luring people to the depths with longing. Often in popular culture, the songs have a sexual nature. What other types of longing do you think could lead people into the sea?
How does Perle match up to what you believe about sirens?
There is definitely a power dynamic at play; while Dejean doesn’t want to hurt Perle, he still has power over them. How do you see that power dynamic at play? Do you think he is actually kind or just wants to be? Can a person who inflicts violence to get what they want inherently be a good person? What about a person who keeps another hostage?
How does the sirens’ song and behavior match up with your background thoughts?
Perle says the sea rejects them; why do you think this is so? Do you think Perle is right, that they are rejected, or that Kian did something to them?
The conflict between humans and sirens seems to be at least partially due to a miscommunication. Do you think that the two can reconcile that?
What have you enjoyed the most about these opening chapters?
How do you feel about the representation in the book so far?
Week Two Questions
With the book being first person, we get to be a part of Perle’s thoughts and feelings about the tank that Dejean built for them; How do you think Dejean feels about it? Do you think he feels like he is helping Perle? Does Perle feel helped? How is this a microview into the larger miscommunication between humans and sirens?
What do you think Dejean dreams about?
How did what Kian do to Perle affect them? Is it a physical issue, as in Kian physically did something to Perle to make them not able to function as a siren should, or a mental issue, reacting to the physical and mental abuse? Do you believe it is something Perle can get over on their own or will they eventually need Dejean’s help to confront Kian? Why do you think that?
What can you tell about Murielle and Simone’s relationship based on her interaction with Perle? If you develop any headcanons, please share them!
Murielle and Dejean’s offer to help Perle with their tail brings to question how Sirens handle injuries in their own societies. In what ways are Perle’s reactions an indication of their experience with other injuries like theirs? How do you imagine Sirens handle their brethren becoming disabled or being born with a disability? In what ways could you imagine Sirens creating assistive devices to swim for Sirens who are injured?
Do you relate to Perle and Dejean’s discussion about gender and pronouns? How did Bryn pull from our world to describe Sirens’ genders?
In what ways are Perle and Dejean saving each other?
Is what happened to Storm justified? What does this mean for Perle?
Do you have any predictions about what will happen with Kian? Perle and Dejean think that the blocker she developed could die with her, do you agree?
What other predictions do you have?
Week Three Questions
How has being around humans changed Perle? How might cooperating change all the sirens? Would those changes be for the better or worse, in your opinion?
Perle talks about wanting to change the system rather than changing the individual. In what ways is this reflective of our society as a whole? What would you want to change about society?
Are the other human’s reactions to Perle justified or no? Why?
Sirens, specifically Perle, have their own ways of showing love, which Perle is learning to meld with the humans in their pod. In what ways does Perle show Dejean, Murielle, and Simone love? How do they show love in return?
Bryn makes a point of showing various sides of humanity; how do you feel about these depictions? What does the humans’ reaction to Storm and Perle say about humans in general? What about Dejean’s reaction?
How are Kian’s blockers worsening the relationship between the sirens and humans? If another human had made that discovery, do you think that the outcome would be any different?
How can Dejean and Perle fix the damage done by Kian? Do you think they can heal the rift between sirens and humans?
Do you have any predictions about the final week of reading?
Week Four Questions
How would you describe Perle at this point in the book? Stubborn, loving, willing to learn? How is that different from the beginning of the book?
How does Perle’s growth help them fight Kian?
Do you think Kian is a good villain? What makes her a good villain or a bad villain?
Do you feel Perle offering the choice was the right thing to do? Is it possible for monsters to change?
Now that we’ve finished the book, what are your thoughts and feelings about the representation? What might you want to see expanded on in any future books?
Our Bloody Pearl deals a lot with themes of change, forgiveness, and what makes a monster. How did you see each of the characters grow and change? How did forgiveness, or lack thereof, play into their characters?
What makes a monster? Are humans inherently monstrous? Are sirens? Is it possible for a perceived monster to be anything else?
Share any and all feelings you have about all things Our Bloody Pearl!
Be sure you tell us your thoughts and consider leaving review, especially if you liked this book! It helps authors and readers and only takes a minute or two. And PS GreatAce.Club’s next feature will be announced soon!
Welcome to another edition of Rose Reviews today we have Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Dyrn! The book review series where I quickly since you my opinion of a book, and then allow you to run off so you can enjoy it for yourself. Because I’m sure you will!
First stop in this treasure hunt? Our Bloody Pearl has a great cover.
I see this book cycle around from time to time in ace places. The books protagonist, Dejean, is an ace of color and everything is respectfully done. Honestly that can turn into a trash fire if written by someone who didn’t care about the community. It’s super clear D. N. Bryn did here.
But wait there’s more! Ace rep isn’t the only plus this book has going for it. The story ✨ shines ✨ the brightest when it talks about disability and healing from abuse. That’s where the heart of this novel is to me. Almost every line about accepting your disabilities is a popular highlight. For good reason.
If you even passively like mermaids and pirates I’d absolutely recommend this book. Hell, if you don’t. Try this. Let Our Bloodly Pearl change your mind.