Bestie Book Club
To kick off the new year, Chloe's Book Club is going to Go With the Flow this January
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!
GO WITH THE FLOW — THE BOOK CLUB AT-A-GLANCE
+ Buy the book
+ Quick-Read Recap
+ Chloe's Commentary
+ The Playlist
+ Chloe's Discussion Questions
+ Details on how to participate
Periods are normal. Period. If you want to feel empowered about your natural, healthy body, you definitely need to breeze through this graphic novel. Go With the Flow focuses on the important issue of menstrual equality, but it also has an awesome cast of BFFs who you'll want to hang out with way after the book is over. Yes, the fact is that female needs aren't always given equal priority—but friendship is strong, and girl power can make *all* the difference!
Ready to get started? Read on...
Spoiler level: High
This empowering book starts off on a busy first day of school. Brit is scrambling to get out the door on time so she and her mom can pick up her bestie, the funny and chill Christine. Once the pair arrives at Hazelton High, they meet up with their other bestie Abby, who always takes underdog stances on social issue. Next, we meet the new girl, Sasha. She's super afraid of not having any friends—and also of all the things a new kid at school has to go through.
Including some bullying: When Sasha makes the junior varsity cross country team, the popular girls are mean and tell her everyone makes it. Christine steps in and sticks up for Sasha. The three OG BFFs get together later to talk and say they really like Sasha.
Then, the real drama begins. Sasha is wearing white pants—and gets her period for the first time while she's at school. The worst part? She doesn't know it! The blood shows through her pants as she walks the halls, with everyone laughing at her instead of telling her what's going on.
Abby grabs Sasha, and they head straight to the bathroom with Brit and Christine in tow. Sasha is so embarrassed—and she really needs a pad. Of course, the bathroom's machine is all out of them...because, hello, it's always out!
Luckily, Abby has an emergency pad and the girls talk Sasha through the whole situation—giving her a sweatshirt to tie around her waist, advice about her period and lots of comfort since the other kids were super mean to her.
Once Sasha is set, Abby goes to the nurse's office to complain about the lack of supplies, but the nurse tells her the school doesn't have the budget to stock sanitary items.
Abby goes home to do research and finds all kinds of news items about menstrual equality, like high tampon taxes and no products at all for women who can't afford them. Meanwhile, Sasha tries to figure out tampons at home by herself. The next day at school, mean girls write Bloody Mary on her locker. So harsh! But her new buds Brit, Christine and Abby always have her back.
Sasha gets a new lab partner, Thomas. He's British and also new at school. They have instant, um, chemistry. The girls all go to the Homecoming Dance together. Sasha and Thomas are crushing. And so is Christine...on Abby.
Now that she's done her research, Abby writes a blog posts about periods, but she isn't just about words, she's about action. The boys football team gets new uniforms and equipment—and the girls can't even get a filled pad and tampon machine in the bathroom. And even if it was stocked? They'd still have to pay for their periods!
Soon, Abby ramps up her activism by hanging posters all around the school—without permission. She writes stuff like, "Period stigma hurts us all!" and "Periods are bloody awesome." The principal freaks and all four girls get in trouble (even though Abby did it without telling them). Abby apologizes to her besties, especially Sasha, who is horrified since kids still make fun of her. Abby writes another powerful blog about what she did—and that she's sorry she hurt her friends. It goes viral!
Hundreds of messages of support pour in and Abby starts a project to get donations for every girl in the Hazelton school district to get free pads and tampons. She raises 500% more than she asked for! Kids at other schools around the country are inspired and they start movements in their own schools. Abby feels like she's done something great for period equality. The girls have fun at the prom—and the mean girls ask *them* for a tampon. Sasha gives them one.
Spoiler level: Medium
Hi guys, it's Chloe here!
This is an awesome book! Period equality is an important issue. Let me explain what this means because even though periods have been around forever, the concept of period equality is a new one for some.
Period equality has to do with a few things. First, everyone should be accepting and understanding that people have periods. It's not weird or scary. Second, people who menstruate should not have to pay unfair prices or taxes on pads or tampons. And finally, people who menstruate should have easy access to these products at school—and at work. Most schools don't even keep their sanitary product vending machines stocked.
Go With the Flow highlights a really good message. People are just so uncomfortable talking about periods—and periods are normal! It shouldn't be something that's shunned from everyone else. All girls understand what we go through. My friends and I talk about periods. We love to tell our first period stories! Some of my friends are more open about it than others (which is fine) but the point is that everyone should feel free to talk about periods if they want to. No shame. No guilt. No secrecy. Periods are natural, healthy parts of life.
I really sympathize with Sasha. Once, I started my period at school, and I had to stuff toilet paper in my underwear because there were no pads, and I had forgotten mine at home. That's the worst! TP is so uncomfortable and itchy and doesn't even work that well. What if I had been wearing white leggings like Sasha that day?
But, like Sasha, I had friends who would've had my back no matter what. I love how the girls in this book are so close, like my besties. They're all really cool and relatable.
I'm inspired by Abby and her friends, and how they took action so everyone at their school could have free pads and tampons. Read this book—and maybe you and your friends will want to start a revolution, too.
Spoiler level: Low
You need a girl power playlist while you read this book. I chose songs that make me and my friends feel strong and confident. You'll know all the words, so go ahead and sing and dance with your BFFs to these tunes that totally go with the flow.
Spoiler level: High
1. In the first part of the book. The girls are getting ready for their first day of school. Brit is scrambling to get out of the door on time. Christine is running late. Abby takes the bus. And Sasha is the new girl, who wears headphones the whole time her mom drives her to school. What can you infer about each character just based on these first-day-of-school facts and details? What was your first day of school this year like? And what does that say about you and your personality?
2. When did you first get your period? Where were you? Did you have any experiences like Sasha did on page 48? What would you do if you accidentally bled through and didn't know it? How would you feel?
3. Who of your friends is most like Abby? She really cares about social issues and wants people to be treated fairly. Do you think she did something that bad when she hung the period posters without permission at school? Would you be mad at her if you were her friend? How would you help or support her?
4. On page 108, the girls find out that the boys football team gets free new uniforms and equipment. Yet, they can't even get pads and tampons in the vending machine in the bathroom. How do you feel about that? Is that fair? What would you do about it?
5. Do you think sanitary products should be free for all people who menstruate? Why or why not? On page 328, the popular mean girl needed a tampon—and Sasha gave her one. Would you do that for someone who was awful to you before? Why or why not?
So you've read the book and you're ready to talk all things Go With the Flow? 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 Go With the Flow using the hashtag #chloesbookclub 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.