1. In the first scene of the book, Kate is in Dr. Lowell's office and finds out her leukemia has returned for the third time. How does this first scene set the mood for the story?
2. Kate's first response to learning she's out of remission is to buy a new diary. What purpose does her diary play in the development of the story, Kate's character, and Damian's character?
3. Kate deals with her disease first-hand, but it also affects her parents. How do Mr. and Mrs. Browdy handle Kate's illness this time around? How does that affect their relationship with their daughter?
4. Damian and his father have a much different relationship with each other than Kate has with her parents. How is Damian's relationship with Dr. Lowell different?
5. Kate is on a first name basis with the staff of the pediatric oncology unit. Describe her relationship with Leslie, Dr. Lowell, and other patients. How doe those differ from Damian's relationship with them?
6. Leslie warns Kate to stay away from Damian. Do you think her reasons were justified?
7. When Damian comes into Kate's life, her response to his good looks is immediate. But after she learns more about him from Leslie, she doesn't slink away. Why does she pursue him and insist on seeing him differently than others see him? How does this affect her feelings for him?
8. There are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. What stage is Damian in, and why do you think that? What stage is Dr. Lowell in?
9. Damian asks Kate two questions early into their relationship: Are you happy? Are all the treatments worth all the junk that comes along with them? These are repeated themes throughout the book. How do the answers to these questions change for Kate from the beginning of the story to the end? How do they change for Damian?
10. Damian's attraction to Kate is slower than hers to him. What keeps Damian coming back to her? Does his response to her fit his character? Why or why not?
11. Ellie is Liam's girlfriend and Damian's bed buddy after Liam's death. What was your initial opinion of Ellie? Did that change by the end of the book? Why or why not?
12. Damian went all out for Christmas dinner. Why do you think he pulled out all the stops to make this night so special?
13. The Christmas date ended with Kate feeling rejected, and the reader seeing Damian's struggle with his growing feelings for her. How does this night change Damian's outlook? Kate's? Was Kate's response natural?
14. Damian accuses Kate of being so scared of the reality of her disease that she minimizes is as to pretend it doesn't bother her. Kate then accuses Damian of pushing people away and drowning himself in booze to hide from the pain he so desperately needs to feel. Are they right about each other? Why or why not?
15. Kate learns about Ellie when she reads Damian's journal. What is Kate's response to Ellie after learning about her? What's her response to Damian? Why does she choose to overlook his past behavior? Would you have made the same decision Kate made?
16. Kate's cancer progresses throughout the story. How does this affect her relationship with Damian? With her parents? With hospital staff?
17. Brennan is a little boy who's just beginning chemo treatments for the first time. What is his purpose in the story? Why does he relate so well to Damian?
18. When Kate finds out the chemo isn't working and her only options are to wait for a transplant or try a new experimental drug, she takes some time to think about it. Do you agree with her parents' decision to let Kate decide the next step? Do you agree with Kate's final decision to wait for a transplant? Discuss how the story would have been different had Kate's decision been different.
19. Hope is an overarching theme of this book. In what ways did Kate bring Damian hope? In what ways did Damian bring Kate hope?
20. Kate comes up with five wishes for Damian to fulfill. What were her purposes for each wish?
21. Kate's dad says, "Sometime, what might seem like giving up is when we're in the midst of the toughest battle we'll ever face." What did Jason Browdy mean by this? Is he right?
22. Kate doesn't want to die a virgin and eventually sleeps with Damian. How does this act make her doubt her previous choice to not take the drug? How does it change her feelings for Damian?
23. Even though Kate knows she's going to die, she stays strong for Damian and for her parents. How does this show her growth as a person?
24. Kate is a strong female character, yet she's quiet and content. How does she show her strength throughout the story?
25. Before she dies, Kate requests a few minutes alone with each of her parents and with Damian. Do her conversations fit her relationship with each person? How?
26. Most of the story is told from Kate's POV. Then, at the very end, it changes. The tense of the story also changes from past to present. Why do you think the author made this shift? Did the story change for you after the shift? If so, how?
27. Damian never said the words "I love you" to Kate until the very end. Why do you think he never said them before? How does him finally saying those words affect Kate?
28. After Kate's death, Damian slips back into his old habits. When he finds Ellie in Liam's bedroom, he uses her again to drown out his pain. It's also the only scene where Ellie makes an appearance. What do you think the author's purpose for this scene was? Why do you think Ellie indulged him? Afterward, Ellie tells him that letting someone go doesn't mean you forget them. It means you love them from here and move on with your life like they would have wanted. Why do you think she says this?
29. One of the biggest heartbreaks of this story is when Damian receives a letter from the lab saying he's a positive HLA match to Kate. Why do you think the author did this? How would the story have been different had the test been negative?
30. Kate's final letter to Damian tells him everything she's learned, as well as gives him her final wish. If you were to write a letter to give to someone after you're gone, who would you write to? What is the one most important thing you'd want them to know?