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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

We Are Not Like Them

1. What emotions did you experience while reading the prologue? Why do you think the authors chose to open with this scene?

2. How did you interpret Kevin’s behaviors after the incident? Did you feel any sympathy for him, and do you think he deserved everything that happened after? Who do you blame for what happened?

3. Did you find yourself torn over how to feel about any of the characters’ reactions or decisions in the novel? What moments were particularly controversial to you, and how did they challenge your perceptions?

4. Discuss how this novel exhibits instances of prejudice based on privilege, class and race. What about instances of unconscious bias?

5. Riley says to Jen, “I didn’t want to be the Black girl always talking about race. That’s no fun. And I don’t know what your reaction would be if I told you about all the shit I have to deal with because I’m a Black woman. What if you didn’t have the right reaction?” (page 246). How might we be able to more openly discuss our feelings about these sensitive issues? Do you think there’s ever a reason these things should be left undiscussed? Have you ever struggled to express a feeling or observation about race out of fear of being dismissed or misunderstood?

6. Did Jen and Riley’s alternating voices highlight any important similarities or differences about their experiences during the novel? Did you relate to one character in particular?

7. Riley and Jen are pulled between their friendship and their commitments to their careers, families and communities. Do you think they made the right choices? Have you ever felt caught between your obligations to others and yourself?

8. Jen struggles with supporting her husband and her complicated feelings about his actions and innocence. Do you think she’s too afraid of his family to question him more? How does family influence your descisions?

9. How did you interpret the reactions from the media and social platforms throughout the novel? How are these mediums helpful or harmful to the people at the center of the story?

10. The tragedy that sparks the divide in Riley and Jen’s relationship exposes some fault lines in their shared history. When is a friendship worth hanging on to, and when is it time to let go? How did their bond change by the end of the novel, for better or worse?

11. Were there parts of the novel that made you uncomfortable, and why?

12. What do you think of the book’s title? What does it encapsulate about this story? Who are “We” and “Them” in the title?

We Are Not Like Them
by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

  • Publication Date: August 2, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • ISBN-10: 1982181044
  • ISBN-13: 9781982181048