Welcome to the first ever YALLWEST Read-a-thon!

We’re getting closer and closer to YALLWEST 2018 and we know anticipation grows with each passing day… readers “patiently” await the panel schedule, pile their backpacks and wagons and wheelbarrows with books to be signed, and reminisce about YALLWESTs past... 

To make the waiting a little less agonizing, our Teen Ambassador super-star, *Emma*, invites you all to get in the YA spirit and join her  in the YALLWEST Read-a-thon

In the four weeks preceding the festival, we’ll read and discuss two books a week by authors coming to the festival this year. You can read one or both, or if you've already read the book, you're still more than welcome to join in. Emma will provide discussion questions to kick off the conversation 

To add to the excitement, we’ll be giving out PRIZES to read-a-thon readers every week!

Let us know you’re participating by posting a photo of the book and/or your thoughts on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with #YALLWESTReadAThon and @YALLWEST, or by submitting your responses to the discussion questions below. 


Here’s the schedule!

April 6-12

The Darkest Minds

Alexandra Bracken

Tiny Pretty Things

Sona Charaipotra and  Dhonielle Clayton

April 13-19


Veronica Roth

Everything, Everything

Nicola Yoon

April 20-26

The Education of Margot Sanchez

Lilliam Rivera

The Hate U Give

 Angie Thomas

April 27-May 3

American Panda

Gloria Chao

We Were Liars

E. Lockhart



Discussion questions ***WITH SPOILERS*** are below.






Everything Everything Discussion Questions

(submit your responses in the form at the bottom)

  1.  “Everything, Everything” follows the life of Maddy, whose illness confines her to her house. She attempts to overcome this through reading books and living voraciously through their characters. What are the issues she is faced with in being unable to explore the world? Do you think that Maddy is well adjusted considering her situation? How do you use books as an escape?
  2. Maddy is faced with a near impossible choice: stay safe inside but removed from the rest of the world, or risk her life for a trip to Hawaii with Olly. Do you think that she made the right choice with the information that she had? If it were you, what would you choose?
  3. When Maddy finds out that her mother has been lying to her, she is shocked. Do you agree that Maddy’s mother was just trying to protect her? And if you think her intentions were good, does that excuse her actions? Do you think that Maddy will eventually forgive her mother, and do you think that she should?
  4. “Everything, Everything” features complex and resilient female characters, from the fearless Maddy to her steadfast nurse, Carla. How do the strong women in Maddy’s life affect her? Do you believe that Yoon portrays the strong women in her novel in a realistic way? If so, what can writers learn from Yoon’s writing of female characters?
  5. Olly encourages Maddy to leave her home and see the world. Do you think that he is right to encourage her to go to Hawaii? What are your thoughts on their relationship, and how the end of the novel leaves it?
  6. “Everything, Everything” is a story about taking chances and having new experiences. Did reading the novel inspire you to try anything new or think about your own life differently?

Divergent Discussion Questions

(submit your responses in the form at the bottom)

  1. In “Divergent,” Tris struggles with wanting to be the perfect daughter for her parents yet desiring to follow her own path. Do you think that she makes the right choice in joining Dauntless? Do you believe that she should feel guilty for leaving her parent’s faction? Have you made any defining decisions that are reminiscent of Tris’s Choosing Ceremony?
  2. Tris’s original faction is Abnegation, a group that advocates selflessness and charity. How have the teachings of the Abnegation affected Tris? How is selflessness a driving force in Tris’s actions? In the book, Four states that selflessness is an act of bravery in and of itself. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?
  3. The leaders of Dauntless advocate for bravery through force. Tris disagrees, and believes that one can find bravery in small acts, like standing up for another person. In this way, there is a disconnect between the priorities of the faction leaders and the goals of some of the citizens. How does this reflect the world around you- in school, in work, in your family? Do you think that this applies to the state of politics in America? If so, why?
  4. Tris and Four develop a deep bond over the course of Divergent. In what ways do the support one another? In what ways do they push one another? How does their shared background influence their relationship? This is really just a great opportunity to fangirl over Fourtris! ☺
  5. Tris must overcome several obstacles over the course of the novel, from hiding her Divergence to avoiding being killed by her classmates. How does she grow over the course of the novel as she adjusts to life as a Dauntless? In what ways does she she retain traits from her old faction even though she has left it behind? Do you think that her selflessness helps her or hurts her throughout the Dauntless initiation process?
Please indicate which book and question number(s) you are responding to.