Thanks to her loving Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Reed, Divine Matthews-Hardison has a place to call home after the Hollywood life she was accustomed to fell apart at the seams. Getting away from the spotlight that nearly destroyed her own parents, Divine has changed for the better -- though there's still enough diva in Divine to keep life in Temple, Georgia, very lively, from mall shopping with her cousin Alyssa and her fashion-challenged aunt, to worshipping at her uncle's church, to dating.
But what if it's too much too soon?
Divine has boys on the brain and she's itching for a social life -- at least as much as is allowed under Uncle Reed's watchful eyes. She knows she's too young for the kind of secretive drama her cousin Chance is going through with his girlfriend, but still.... Turning to the internet, Divine gets a major crush on sixteen-year-old Sean, who sounds and looks like the perfect guy. But she is about to learn a difficult -- and potentially dangerous -- lesson: Things are not always what they appear to be....
Reading Group Guide
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Summary Divine Matthews-Hardison is back! After spending the summer in the glamorous world of Hollywood, Divine returns in the sequel to Simply Divine, to live with her aunt, uncle and cousins in the small town of Temple, Georgia. She can't wait to get back to her family. . . and her boyfriend, Madison. But tenth grade holds some surprises. Her aunt and uncle won't allow her to see boys outside of school, her cousin Alyssa doesn't seem to have time for her anymore, and the kids around her are getting into trouble -- serious trouble. When Divine turns to internet chat rooms for support, she finds an internet predator instead. Once again, Divine finds that she must turn to her family, and to her faith, for answers and support.
Questions for Discussion
Describe Divine's arrival in Atlanta in the opening scene of the book. What do you gather about Divine's relationship to her aunt, uncle, and cousin Alyssa from the way she greets them in the first few pages?
"Blood is thicker than water," Kara says when she learns that Divine and Alyssa have been fighting. Family ties are tested and strained many times in this novel. What are some of the things that threaten to pull Divine's family apart? How does the family overcome these problems?
Trust is an important theme in Divine Confidential. Discuss the ways that trust is gained, lost and restored in the relationships portrayed in the novel.
At the end of chapter one, Divine says, "I feel like I've changed a lot since becoming a Christian a few months ago, but then there are days when I think I'm the same Divine I've always been." How has Divine changed? How is she the same?
How does Trina's pregnancy affect the lives of the other characters in the book? What type of mother would Trina be?
Is Divine's anger over Alyssa and Madison's friendship justified? How should Divine have handled the situation?
Do you think Aunt Phoebe and Uncle Reed are overprotective? Are their rules about dating fair?
What compels Divine to get involved in internet chat rooms? Is this behavior in character, or do other factors contribute to this activity?
How does sex affect Divine and the other teenagers in the book? Do you think their experiences are typical of most teenagers?
Why do predators like Theopolis Mack use the internet to connect to their victims? What are some of the dangers of the internet, especially for teenagers, and how can people avoid them?
Activities to Enhance Your Book Club
Do some research on internet safety. How do internet predators gain access to their victims? What can teenagers do to stay safe on the internet? Find a way to spread the word about what you've learned. Write an email message and forward it to friends, or design posters to display at your school.
Fashion is very important to Divine. For your next meeting, everyone should come dressed as their favorite character from Divine Confidential.
Jacquelin Thomas’ books have garnered several awards, including two EMMA awards, the Romance In Color Reviewers Award, Readers Choice Award, and the Atlanta Choice Award in the Religious & Spiritual category. She was nominated for a 2008 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction in the Young Adult category. Jacquelin has published in the romance, inspirational fiction, and young adult genres.