Tangerine by Christine Mangan is a different type of read. I thought it was an interesting take on psychological suspense and the setting made the book for me. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, check out my preview and review first.
So first things first, Lucy is clearly the college roommate from hell. If you thought you had a bad roommate, at least it wasn’t Lucy. Right away we can tell she has romantic feelings for Alice. But we soon learn those feelings are fleeting. In some ways, it was hard to believe Alice was so oblivious to Lucy in college but she’s obviously dealing with trauma from her parents passing. After what happens to Alice’s college boyfriend, she does put her guard up. And then the reader tries to decipher if her paranoia is real.
The story is told in alternating perspectives of Lucy and Alice and it worked in some ways, for instance, we see how different they view each other. I think it might have been more impactful if we had the perspective of Lucy the entire time. I say this because she seems to make such a quick switch from loving Alice to deciding to ruin her. But maybe we’re not meant to know more than that, Lucy might never have actually cared for Alice. Just the idea of her.
I also want to point out that I thought a bigger twist was going to happen. And one point, I wondered if Lucy was even there or just a figment of Alice’s imagination, but none of that was true. Thanks to the prologue, It was actually pretty straight forward of what will happen with few twists.
Let’s get into the book club questions.
- Which perspective did you enjoy more Lucy or Alice? What was your initial impressions of both characters?
- What are some qualities that make Lucy a master manipulator?
- What did you think about the setting of Tangier? What about the story taking place in the 1950s? How did the setting and time period impact the story, characters’ decisions as well as how the investigation unfolded?
- Do you think Lucy ever did actually care for Alice or was it just envy? What were Lucy’s motives?
- Did you hope for more from Alice? Such as standing up to her husband, aunt or Lucy? Where did she miss chances to do so?
- What did you think of the pace of the novel?
- Would you classify this story as a thriller, suspense or something else?
- What did you think of the ending? Did you feel it was predictable?
- What happens next for Lucy? Will she ever get caught?
- How do you think this story will play out in the movie version? Do you plan to see it?
- Do you believe this book was similar to Hitchcock films? Why or why not?
- If you’ve seen The Talented Mr. Ripley, how are these stories similar and different?
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