The False Friend Teen Book Group Guide

  1. The False Friend begins with Celia remembering what happened to Djuna after having blocked out the memory for most of her life. How easy or hard was it for you to believe that something like that could happen?
  2. Celia and Djuna’s friendship alternates between being “a party others were desperate to attend, or a traffic accident too psectacular to avoid.” In your opinion, how common is that sort of friendship?
  3. Is there such a thing as a healthy clique? Is it possible to be in a clique without doing harm to someone else? Are cliques a preventable or unavoidable part of life?
  4. Each of the five girls in Celia’s group of friends had their own role in the clique, whether they were leaders or followers, enablers or victims. How would you divide these roles between Celia, Djuna, Josie, Becky, and Leanne? Did some of these girls play more than one role?
  5. Of the five girls, why do you think it was Leanne who got picked on? Do certain qualities make a person more likely to be bullied? Do certain qualities make a person more likely to be a bully?
  6. Could someone–either one of the girls or someone outside the clique–have stopped what happened to Leanne or to Djuna? If so, who could have stopped it, and what could they have done?
  7. What do you think is worse: physical bullying, or psychological and emotional bullying?
  8. In what ways is Celia the adult different from Celia the girl? What do you think made her change?
  9. How could or should Celia’s parents have acted after Djuna’s disappearance when Celia was a girl? How could or should Celia’s parents have acted when Celia returned home as an adult?
  10. Imagine that you’re a parent. What would you do if your child had a friend you disapproved of? At what age should someone be allowed to make their own choices about what they do and who they do it with?