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Book Club Questions for Come and Get It by Kiley Reid

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come and get it discussion guide 1

Book club questions for Come and Get It by Kiley Reid explore the themes of personal growth, social hierarchies, and the complexities of relationships. Characters in this novel navigate the challenges of university life and grapple with issues such as class, financial struggles, and the consequences of their choices.

For me, the book is more about what happens when you don’t speak up or say no to things you know are not a good idea. Many times in the book, people go along with things just to fit in or look good to their friends. This then creates a snowball effect.

I did like the campus and dorm setting and felt like Reid did an excellent job describing college life. All of the students’ interactions felt real and believable. I found it interesting and would read the book again.

Let me know your thoughts about the novel! Feel free to comment below.

Come and Get It by Kiley Reid

In this blog post you will find the discussion questions for Come and Get It by Kiley Reid.

Book club questions may also prompt discussions on power dynamics, both in the university setting and personal relationships, the complexities of relationships, especially Agatha’s relationship with her wife, Robin, and ethical dilemmas, such as the questionable opportunities presented by Agatha Paul and weigh in on the characters’ moral compasses.

Have a wonderful book club discussion! ✨

About the Author | Book Club Questions

Additional Recommendations

About the Story

Come and Get It follows the story Millie Cousins, a determined 24-year-old senior resident assistant at University of Arkansas in 2017. Millie takes her responsibilities seriously, creating themed bulletin boards and navigating dorm tensions. Her ambition is to graduate, secure a job, and restore a rundown house she’s meticulously budgeting for.

However, everything changes when Millie encounters Agatha Paul, a visiting professor teaching creative nonfiction. Agatha, with financial freedom from her published books, presents Millie with a dubious opportunity that disrupts her plans.

As the relationship between Millie and Agatha deepens, the narrative builds tension with characters heading towards a collision course, creating a gripping story about college life and the choices that lead to potential trouble.

Release date: January 30, 2024
Genre: Black & African American Literary Fiction
Hardcover: 394 pages
Publisher: ‎G.P. Putnam’s Sons

About the Author

Kiley Reid, born in 1987 in Los Angeles, California, is an American novelist and writer. She is best known for her debut novel, Such a Fun Age, published in December 2019, which became a New York Times Best Seller and was longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize. The book explores the complex dynamics between a young black babysitter and her well-intentioned white employer.

kiley reid author

Following the success of her debut, Reid released her second novel, Come and Get It, on January 30, 2024, further establishing herself as a social observer of the highest order. The novel delves into the complexities of relationships, intertwining with the theme of money in a thought-provoking manner.

Growing up in Tucson, Arizona, Reid attended Salpointe Catholic High School before pursuing her passion for theater at the University of Arizona. She later transferred to Marymount Manhattan College and went on to graduate from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

In addition to her success as an author, Reid is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, where she brings her expertise to the field of creative writing. Currently residing in Philadelphia with her husband, Kiley Reid’s work reflects a deep understanding of societal nuances, making her a compelling voice in contemporary literature.

Book Club Questions for Come and Get It

Disclaimer: the following discussion questions contain spoilers, so proceed with caution if you haven’t finished the book yet.

  1. What are your thoughts on the characters’ interactions in the dorm setting? How does the setting contribute to the tension and drama in the story?
  2. Which character did you find most relatable or intriguing, and why?
  3. Share your most memorable roommate experience, whether good or bad. How did the dynamic among Kennedy, Peyton, and Tyler in “Come and Get It” resonate with any roommate experiences you’ve had? Explore the significance of the author, Kiley Reid, choosing to focus on a trio of roommates in the narrative.
  4. “Come and Get It” is situated in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with characters originating from different places. How do the diverse origins of Millie, Agatha, and Kennedy shape and challenge your expectations? Could this story have unfolded in a different location? Discuss the role of the setting in the narrative.
  5. The cover of “Come and Get It” features an illustration of a pig. Share your interpretation of this image in relation to the novel’s themes. How does the cover art align with or depart from the narrative presented in the book?
  6. The novel delves into desire, entitlement, and consumption within a capitalist society, particularly through characters like Kennedy, Agatha, and Millie. Explore how each character is compelled by these themes and how their respective life stages influence their actions.
  7. Kennedy, seeking a fresh start, transfers to Arkansas. Why do you think the author, Kiley Reid, chose to make her characters transfer students? How does Millie’s role as a fifth-year RA contribute to the unfolding of the story and its dynamics?
  8. How does the novel explore the themes of money and class? Discuss the different characters’ attitudes and expectations toward money, such as Millie’s scrimping, Kennedy’s “retail therapy,” and Tyler’s dog fund.
  9. Explore Millie’s ambitions as a senior resident assistant. How do her goals and dreams drive her decisions throughout the story? Were there instances where her ambition conflicted with other aspects of her life?
  10. Analyze Agatha’s role as a visiting professor and her influence on Millie. How does Agatha’s unique offer impact Millie’s life, and what are the consequences of Millie accepting it?
  11. Discuss the dorm pranks and their role in shaping relationships among the characters. How do these pranks contribute to the overall atmosphere in the dorm and influence character dynamics?
  12. The book emphasizes the consequences of not taking action. Can you recall specific instances where characters were presented with a bad idea but chose not to speak up or say no? How did this contribute to the overall narrative?
  13. Analyze the growth of the characters throughout the story. Did you find their choices realistic and well-developed? How did their decisions shape the course of the narrative?
  14. Discuss the social observations made by the author, particularly regarding money, relationships, and the dynamics of power. How effectively does the author comment on these aspects of modern society?
  15. How did you find Kiley Reid’s writing style in this novel? Did it enhance the storytelling, and did you appreciate any specific literary devices or techniques used?
  16. Tyler plays a vital role in the dorm’s unraveling, yet we only see her through the eyes of other characters. Discuss the choice of illustrating Tyler in this manner and the impact it has on the narrative. How does this approach shape our perception of Tyler?
  17. The novel is described as a tale of “illicit intrigue,” “bad behavior,” and “reckless abandon.” Explore the interplay between freedom, both general and financial, and morality in the story. In what ways do characters navigate the tension between personal freedom and moral considerations?
  18. Kennedy’s room is filled with materialistic items for comfort in a new environment. Analyze how Reid evokes the concept of “taking up space” in the novel. Discuss how each character asserts authority over the space they inhabit.
  19. Explore instances of microaggressions in the novel and how they reflect class differences. Can you identify specific scenes where characters’ backgrounds and financial situations create tension or misunderstanding?
  20. Dive into Kennedy’s character. What details in her portrayal make her stand out? How does her personality and choices contribute to the overall narrative, and did your perception of her change throughout the book?
  21. The title “Come and Get It” may have different interpretations. What do you think the title signifies, and how does it relate to the themes explored in the book?
  22. If you’ve read Kiley Reid’s previous work, “Such a Fun Age,” how does “Come and Get It” compare in terms of themes, characters, and storytelling?
  23. Kennedy undergoes two horrifying events in the narrative. Explore the characterization of these incidents. To what extent are they perceived as accidents, and why? How do these events shape Kennedy’s journey in the story?
  24. The novel reaches a climax with a shocking calamity. Share your immediate reaction to this scene and discuss whether you anticipated such a turn of events. How does this moment impact the overall narrative?
  25. Discuss the significance of the “Knife Fight” scene involving Agatha and Robin. How does it provide insight into their relationship, and what does it reveal about the broader themes of the novel?
  26. Reid keenly observes cultural norms among college students. Examine Agatha’s understanding of this subgroup and why she takes a keen interest in their motivations. Do you believe Agatha truly grasps their motivations, and why is it crucial to the story?
  27. Examine instances where characters choose inertia over action. How does this theme of inertia pick up speed and lead to significant consequences as the story progresses?
  28. Analyze the ending of the novel. How do the characters reflect on their experiences, and do you find their resolutions satisfying or surprising? Discuss any lingering questions or thoughts you have after finishing the book.
  29. Share your favorite moments or quotes from the book. Did any particular scene or dialogue stand out to you?
  30. What are your overall impressions of “Come and Get It”? How does it compare to your expectations before reading it?

Additional Recommendations

Hope you enjoyed the book club discussion questions and reading guide for Come and Get It by Kiley Reid. Here are some more of my book club recommendations with themes related to this book, along with their synopses:

Family Family by Laurie Frankel

​​“Not all stories of adoption are stories of pain and regret. Not even most of them. Why don’t we ever get that movie?”

India Allwood grew up wanting to be an actor. Armed with a stack of index cards (for research/line memorization/make-shift confetti), she goes from awkward sixteen-year-old to Broadway ingenue to TV superhero.

Her new movie is a prestige picture about adoption, but its spin is the same old tired story of tragedy. India is an adoptive mom in real life though. She wants everyone to know there’s more to her family than pain and regret. So she does something you should never do — she tells a journalist the truth: it’s a bad movie.

Soon she’s at the center of a media storm, battling accusations from the press and the paparazzi, from protesters on the right and advocates on the left. Her twin ten-year-olds know they need help – and who better to call than family? But that’s where it gets really messy because India’s not just an adoptive mother…

The one thing she knows for sure is what makes a family isn’t blood. And it isn’t love. No matter how they’re formed, the truth about family is this: it’s complicated.

Mercury by Amy Jo Burns

A roofing family’s bonds of loyalty are tested when they uncover a long-hidden secret at the heart of their blue-collar town—from Amy Jo Burns, author of the critically acclaimed novel Shiner

It’s 1990 and seventeen-year-old Marley West is blazing into the river valley town of Mercury, Pennsylvania. A perpetual loner, she seeks a place at someone’s table and a family of her own. The first thing she sees when she arrives in town is three men standing on a rooftop. Their silhouettes blot out the sun.

The Joseph brothers become Marley’s whole world before she can blink. Soon, she is young wife to one, The One Who Got Away to another, and adopted mother to them all. As their own mother fades away and their roofing business crumbles under the weight of their unwieldy father’s inflated ego, Marley steps in to shepherd these unruly men. Years later, an eerie discovery in the church attic causes old wounds to resurface and suddenly the family’s survival hangs in the balance. With Marley as their light, the Joseph brothers must decide whether they can save the family they’ve always known—or whether together they can build something stronger in its place.

You Only Call When You’re in Trouble by Stephen McCauley

Is it ever okay to stop caring for others and start living for yourself?

After a lifetime of taking care of his impossible but irresistible sister and his cherished niece, Tom is ready to put himself first. An architect specializing in tiny houses, he finally has an opportunity to build his masterpiece—“his last shot at leaving a footprint on the dying planet.” Assuming, that is, he can stick to his resolution to keep the demands of his needy family at bay.

Naturally, that’s when his phone rings. His niece, Cecily—the real love of Tom’s life, as his boyfriend reminded him when moving out—is embroiled in a Title IX investigation at the college where she teaches that threatens her career and relationship. And after decades of lying, his sister wants him to help her tell Cecily the real identity of her father.

Tom does what he’s always done—answers the call. Thus begins a journey that will change everyone’s life and demonstrate the beauty or dysfunction (or both?) of the ties that bind families together and sometimes strangle them.

Warm, funny, and deeply moving, You Only Call When You’re in Trouble is an unforgettable showcase for Stephen McCauley’s distinctive voice and unique ability to create complex characters that jump off the page and straight into your heart.

Happy reading! ❤️