Bestie Book Club
Chloe's Book Club's June selection is the enthralling Broken Throne
Welcome back to Chloe’s Book Club — a community for book lovers from Chloe Lukasiak and Girls’ Life magazine.
If you're new here, hello and welcome, book lovers! Here's how this works: Each month we read, discuss and obsess over a new book; so if you haven’t signed up already, be sure to CLICK THIS LINK and officially join the club. We’ll email you with Chloe’s Book Club updates, reading guides, special contests and giveaways, event invitations and more.
Here's a quick list of everything you'll find inside this post (and beyond). Just remember, *major spoilers* are ahead (so look for the spoiler ratings before you read!).
The enthralling June installment of Chloe’s Book Club stars Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard, book 4.5 in the well-loved series that features a smattering of new and old epic short stories as well as exclusives. To get 15% off your copy, head over to Barnes & Noble and use the code chloereads at checkout (offer available through June 30, 2019). Or, if you're shopping in store, CLICK HERE to snag a coupon. Pssst: Be sure to share the discount with all the friends in your book club!
Ready to get started? Read on...
Spoiler level: Low
In Red Queen, the inaugural book in the Red Queen series, we discovered exactly what Mare Barrow was made of. Book two, Glass Sword, proved the pure power (literally) of the newbloods. Come book three, King's Cage, Maven, Evangeline and more showed us their true colors. With War Storm, the finale book, Mare chose her fate—and Maven met his.
Now, we're obsessing over Broken Throne. This book, which is lauded as title 4.5 in the collection, is made of the stuff of Victoria Aveyard fans' dreams. It contains two previously published novellas *and* three totally new ones: Queen Song and Steel Scars, plus newcomers World Behind, Iron Heart and Fire Light—each of which provides a unique look into Evangeline's life, Julian's journals, Mare's mind and more.
This four-book series tells the tale of the Silver Bloods (those with powers) versus the Red Bloods (those without powers)—and what happens when an unstoppable rebellion rears its head to disrupt that imbalance. The dystopian fantasy novel is teaming with schemes and internal conflict, action and regret, and a deeply flawed and relatable heroine (hi, Mare!) that will steal your heart (just like she stole Chloe's—more on that below...).
While each novel took readers on a unique and thrilling journey, one thing remained consistent throughout the series: fans couldn't get enough of these characters and this story. That's why Broken Throne is such a necessary next step in the well-loved collection.
The most enticing elements of it? All the bonus bits and bobs any member of the Scarlet Guard would be be thrilled to get their hands on: never-before-seen maps, flags, bonus scenes, family trees, diary entries and more.
All in all, the book is basically a love letter from author Victoria Aveyard to her fans. In this collection, she provides us with the ideal ending for our little lightning girl. And if you're unfamiliar with the series? Looks like you've just found yourself a stack of books to sink your teeth into this summer. Time to hit up a Barnes & Noble, babe.
Spoiler level: Low
Over the past few years, I've lost myself in many great dystopian novels led by many great heroines. Any time a strong female lead pops up in a book I'm reading, I'm overjoyed. And honestly, reading about Mare Barrow, the protagonist of the Red Queen series, made me smile from ear to ear. I *love* her.
My adoration for Mare started in 2015. I was 14 years old and my mom was badgering me to start reading a new book she'd picked up for me: Red Queen. I'd just finished up an intense fantasy series, so I wasn't exactly in the market or mood for another. But she'd heard great things about it and thought I would enjoy it, so I picked it up anyway.
As with most things, my mom was right.
Once I decided to crack its spine, I couldn't put the book down. I stayed up all night reading. By the time I was finished, the sun was rising...but I was too enthralled by Mare, Cal, Maven and the rest of the characters to even notice.
When I look back at that first reading experience, I realize that Red Queen was the book that sparked my true appreciation for the fantasy genre. Sure, I'd read fantasy in the past. But before I opened Red Queen up, I remember feeling stuck in this revolving door of books about damsels in distress who, at the end of the day, always had a guy by their side to rescue them. Thankfully, Red Queen and Mare were different.
Don't get me wrong: I love a good guy-saves-girl moment. Honestly, I couldn't get enough of the encounters between Mare and Cal and Mare and Maven (what a love triangle, right?!). But when it comes down to it, it was Mare that kept me coming back book after book.
It's actually difficult to put into words what this character means to me. Each time I read a new installment of the series, I felt a bit closer to her. Watching her go from uncertain newblood to noble prisoner to rebel leader was incredibly interesting—and impactful.
I read the Red Queen series during such a formative time in my life, and Mare helped me grow into myself. While I'm certainly not leading a rebellion of my own, she inspired me to be more outspoken, more independent and a stronger leader. Basically, she pushed me to tap into my potential, and become someone great: someone who enjoys sharing their thoughts on fashion (despite what fashionistas could say about my style) and voicing my political opinions (despite some of my Instagram followers encouraging me not to). Doing those things—rather than hiding those parts of me away just because I was scared of what others would think of me—is beyond empowering.
I'm also obsessed with Mare's electrokinetic powers, but that's pretty much a given, right?
Without Mare, the series would not be what it is today—and neither would I. I don't think fans would love it as much as they did (and do!)—or have craved Broken Throne as much as they did (myself included, TBH).
This book is the perfect cap to a series that changed my life.
Spoiler level: Low
It's time to press play on a royally amazing, rebellion-inspired playlist. Get ready for lots of electric feels, songs fit for fierce battle scenes and more than a few deep cuts. This is our official Broken Throne playlist...
Spoiler level: High
1. The backbone of the Red Queen series' storyline is the Silver Bloods versus the Red Bloods. The Silver Bloods possess powers while the Red Bloods do not. This created a deep societal imbalance, which led to the rise of the Red Blood and newblood (aka Reds with Silver-like abilities) rebels. This group made up the Scarlett Guard. Think back to history class: Can you recall another group who rebelled against what they felt was wrong? What social issues do you feel passionately enough about to rebel for?
2. Mare herself is a Red Blood who just so happens to have supernatural, Silver-like abilities. This makes her a newblood. She's constantly caught between the elite world of the Silvers and the lowly Reds. Have you ever found yourself caught between two worlds, people or choices? Which did you choose and how did you work through the situation to come to your choice?
3. Like many great novels, the series features an enticing love triangle: Mare and Maven vs Mare and Cal. What makes this one most interesting? Maven and Cal are brothers. Who do you think Mare should have ended up with: Maven or Cal? Have you ever found yourself in a love triangle? If so, how did you work through the sitch?
4. In Glass Sword, Mare traded herself to Maven in order to spare the lives of the Scarlet Guard and their allies. Why do you think that she did this? What does this move say about her as a person? How did this change the course of her journey? Of Maven's journey?
5. Big spoiler ahead! At the end of all the war and sacrifice, the Silver Bloods, Red Bloods and newbloods end up living together in harmony in The Free Republic of Montfort. Do you think it's possible for people with very different beliefs, experiences and world views to coexist in peace? Why or why not?
One Scarlet Guard member will win a Broken Throne prize pack, bundle of fashion accessories from Claire's, a $50 giftcard from Barnes & Noble, *plus* a copy of the book itself.
Ready to enter—and, fingers crossed, win? Here's how...
1) CLICK HERE to sign up for the Chloe’s Book Club newsletter (you must be on the newsletter list to win!).
2) Make sure you're logged into your GL account and make sure it has your full name and address linked to it—otherwise, you won't be selected to win.
3) Click on the pink "Enter" button at the bottom of this post as many times as you want between now and June 30 at 11:59 P.M. EST.
4) We'll announce one winner on the Winners List on July 1. Good luck!
So you've read the book and you're ready to talk all things Broken Throne? Wondering *exactly* how Chloe’s Book Club works and what it means to be a member? There are so many ways you can get involved—whether it’s solo, on social media or with your whole squad. Here's a quick list…
+ SOLO. Take your personal reading game to the next level by using Chloe's discussion questions as a guide for your own journaling and personal reflection. If you love to read, it could be fun to start a special book diary where you keep track of all your favorite novels—and the personal musings they inspired.
+ ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Share your thoughts on Broken Throne using the hashtag #chloesbookclub and on Twitter and Instagram. (Just remember: You have to have a public account for us to be able to see and respond to your posts!)
+ WITH YOUR SQUAD. Host an IRL book club party, of course! Check out the playlist for music ideas and Chloe's discussion questions for convo starters — then be sure to tag us in your snaps so we can share them.