Every morning, seventeen-year-old Maria Anís Rosario takes the subway an hour from her boisterous and close-knit family in Queens to her private high school on the Upper East Side, where she struggles to fit in as one of the only Latina students—until Rocky welcomes her into this new life. White, rebellious, and ignored by her wealthy parents, Rocky uses her money toward one goal: to get away with anything. To Maria, it’s a dazzling privilege.
As a bond develops between these unlikely friends, neither can see what they share most—jealousy and the desire for each other’s lives. But crackling under the surface of their seemingly supportive alliance, the girls begin to commit little betrayals as they strive to get closer to their ideals regardless of the consequences.
Told from the perspectives of Maria, Rocky, and their fathers, They Could Have Named Her Anything explores the heartfelt expectation of what it means to live up to the name you’ve been given and the more rewarding discovery of what really matters.
What did you think of the book?
What did you think of the main characters, especially Maria and Rocky? Did they seem realistic? Were they likable?
What role does identity play in the book? How is Maria’s experience shaped by the intersections of her gender, class, and racial identity? Are there ways in which she is privileged?
The title of the book is They Could Have Named Her Anything and the books pays a lot of attention to the names that characters are given and choose for themselves. What is the significance of names in the book?
About the book [CW: sexual assault]
When Mara’s twin brother Owen is accused of rape by her friend Hannah, it turns Mara’s life upside down. She is forced to confront her own trauma while navigating the tension between her commitment to believing survivors and her bond with her brother. School Library Journal calls Girl Made of Stars "a compassionate and engaging novel about what it means to tell your truth, no matter how painful it might be.”
March 11, 2021, 7-8:30 PM
We Were Liars Discussion Questions
October 1, 2020, 7-8 PM via Zoom.
Adapted from https://www.readinggroupguides.com/reviews/the-hate-u-give/guide