Discussion Questions for Skim

  1. At moments in the text, Kim (Skim) disappears into lines.  What is the significance of her disappearance in those moments?  When does shading put her firmly on the page?  How are these moments contrasted?
  2. The novel starts with Kim’s diary entry: “Dear Diary, Today Lisa said, ‘Everyone thinks they are unique.’ That is not unique!!”  The entry sits on top of a white page that is split in half by leaves blowing in the breeze.  Rather than introduce us to the main character, the novel introduces us to her regurgitation of someone else’s words.  What is the significance of hearing before seeing the characters?  Why do Lisa’s thoughts seem more prominent than Kim’s, whose “That is not unique” is written below, like an afterthought?
  3. The novel begins with Kim and Lisa as friends and ends with Kim and Katie as friends.  How do their friendships differ?  How does GCL function?  Is there a female care community present?  What defines “true” friendship?
  4. The novel is decidedly female.  Men play secondary, fleeting parts in Kim’s narrative.  What is the effect on the narrative?  On the characters?
  5. Kim catches Katie vandalizing the GCL board, suggesting that this is not the first time she has done this.  Later, the photo of John on the GCL board is seen with “fag” written on the forehead.  Is Katie implemented in this act?  If so, how does that change her relationship with Kim?  Is there relationship merely friendship or more?  [Also, is the heart symbol Ms. Archer draws on both their casts a beacon of their connected nature, or simply, a mark to show that Ms. Archer has given both of them extra (and inappropriate due to her position and age) attention?]

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