The Divine Divas. They're fifteen and they're fine, and they want to be the hottest, hippest new girl group to hit gospel music. First they'll have to win the team talent competition. But with looks, energy, and voices like theirs, they are sure they'll go right to the top.
Diamond Winters is the one who formed the Divas. With her wealthy, loving parents and an endless supply of charm, she's always been able to sweet-talk her way into anything. But this time, has Diamond talked her way right into trouble? Diamond has support for her group from her family and church, but she has a lot going on. She's made it onto the school's varsity cheerleading squad, and she's caught the eye of the totally cool senior Jason Xavier. Jax is sweeping her off her feet, but Diamond is starting to feel as if she's in over her head.
Diamond has always been so sure she's in control. Will she have the courage to ask for help and guidance when she needs it? And will the Divas even manage to stay together long enough for the first round of the talent competition?
Reader's Group Guide 1. Diamond says that she "loved [her] crew like they were [her] own sisters" (page 2). In what ways do the Divine Divas treat each other as family? Do you have any friends you think of as family? What is the difference between "sisters" and "sistahs" as you see it? 2. Do you think all of the girls are motivated to form the Divine Divas for the same reasons? Which girls seem driven by the money and fame? Does anyone seem to be in it for the friendship? Or to offer praise to God through singing? 3. Diamond seems to get all of her advice on love and fashion from magazines. To whom do you go when you need some advice? Do you talk to your friends, parents, teachers, or neighbors? Do you think magazines are a good source for dating advice? 4. Discuss Diamond's relationships with her parents. How does she view her mother as being different from her father? Do you think their rules for her are fair? Did any of their actions end up surprising you? 5. When Diamond begins talking to Jax, her friends don't seem to approve. What do they see in Jax that Diamond is blind to? What did you, as a reader, notice about Jax that might be a warning sign for how he would eventually treat Diamond? 6. Were you surprised about how Diamond's parents and Pastor Ford reacted to Diamond's news about her night with Jax? Do you think that they were successful in helping Diamond recognize where she went wrong, and how to make better decisions in the future? 7. Do you think Diamond's experiences with a player like Jax are common for sophomores in high school? Were the characters in the book believable as high school students? 8. Veronique tells Diamond that "the only way to keep the boy is to keep the boy waiting" (page 229). Do you think this is true in Jax's case? Do you think that is always the proper approach? 9. Throughout the book Diamond talks about her "happy" as a noun. She views her contentment as tangible, something she can see and touch, and something that someone else can take away. Who and what affects her "happy"? How can she take more control of keeping her "happy" in place? 10. Pastor Ford asks Diamond if she would ever be willing to speak to other girls at the church about what happened between her and Jax. Why do you think Diamond refuses so quickly? Do you think she has reason to be embarrassed? Do you think she has an opportunity to help other teens by sharing her story? 11. Discuss Diamond's relationship with God. Do you think her religious views changed at all over the course of the novel? 12. At the City Championships there is some tension between the Divine Divas and the Faithful Five. How did the girls handle themselves? Do you think they showed maturity? What would you have done? 13. What lessons did you as a reader take away from the story? What did you learn about love from Diamond's experiences with Jax? What did you learn about friendship from the relationships among the Divine Divas? 14. Diamond's story is the first in The Divas series. Whose story do you most look forward to reading? With which girl do you most identify? What do you think the future holds for the Divine Divas? Are they prepared for a life of fame? Enhancing Your Book Club 1. Make a mix CD of songs by youth gospel choirs, like the Divine Divas, to play at your book club meeting. 2. Diamond, India, Veronique, and Aaliyah have fun trying to come up with a name for their singing group. Come up with a name for your book club. Try putting your names together, or working in the name of your neighborhood, church, or school. 3. India makes personalized Divine Diva earrings for the performance. If you are hosting the book club, collect some materials so that members can make personalized bookmarks. 4. Visit the author's website at www.victoriachristopher murray.com. You can also visit her at www.thedivine divas.com to see what else she is working on. You can even sign her guest book with your book club's new name and let her know what you thought of Diamond. 5. Are some of the lessons you learned from Diamond's story reflected in the Bible? Can you pick out any verses you'd like to share with the book club?
Victoria Christopher Murray is the author of more than twenty novels including: Greed; Envy;Lust;The Ex Files; Lady Jasmine; The Deal, the Dance, and the Devil; and Stand Your Ground, which was named a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Winner of nine African American Literary Awards for Fiction and Author of the Year (Female), Murray is also a four-time NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Fiction. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Visit her website at VictoriaChristopherMurray.com.