The Engagement Game Book Club Guide BY KALYN WILSON
1. Joi-Marie often paints the picture of her sometimes frazzled morning routine (Page 20). What significance does this motif carry throughout the memoir? 2. Joi-Marie reels over the pressure to wed -from popular culture to friends and family to social media (Page 37). Have you felt that pressure in your own life? If so, how has it manifested?
3. In Chapter 6, Joi-Marie discussed how she struggled to patiently wait on God's timing when it came to love. How does the church's narrative today, which tells women to wait (Proverbs 18:22), impact her dating experiences? 4. Joi-Marie plays "The Engagement Game" (Page 39) to convince her boyfriend to propose. Have there been passive aggressive tactics that you've used in your own relationships to obtain what you really want? If so, what were those tactics? Did they succeed or fail? 5. What were some "red flags" in Joi-Marie's exes that foreshadowed their eventual demise? Did Joi-Marie have blind spots? 6. Adam dropped a bomb on Joi-Marie by confirming her biggest fears, and she felt like it was the death of her dream. Why do people feel that their lives often end when a relationship does? (Page 94-98) 7. Joi-Marie often discussed hiding her feelings of sadness, disappointment and loneliness from her friends and family -except from her mother because "mothers be knowing." (Page 93, 138) #THEENGAGEMENTGAME
How did shame play a part in this? How does the idea of shame affect a person's sense of self? How does it affect their relationships with others? 8. What role did Cody, Chinedu and Gary play in Joi-Marie's story? (Page 142) How did they affect her heartbreak, her healing and her ultimate goals? 9. In Chapter 21, Joi-Marie, who discussed which prayers she recited during each phase of her life, was excited to pray this one: “God, surprise me,” meaning she wanted God to take control. (Page 150-151) How important is it to be specific in your conversations with God? 10. What role did Shawn really play in JoiMarie’s story? How may he have helped her in the long-run? How did he hurt her? 11. In Chapter 24, Joi-Marie really contemplated the voice of God, the “still, small voice” that she admits she’s heard before. (Page 188) What does God’s voice sound like to you? Can you hear it? Do you listen? If so, do you act on it?
12. Joi-Marie’s interview with Jill Scott was a game-changer. (Page 218) How did this brief interaction serve as a checkpoint along the way? In thinking of all of her celebrity interviews, do you think these nuggets of wisdom were a coincidence, or the synchronicity Joi-Marie often yields to? 13. Once Joi-Marie told Adam she did not know if he was "The One," he deemed her a "lost queen." (Page 223-227) What do you think he meant by that? Do you think Adam said this out of a place of truth, hurt or manipulation? 14. Joi-Marie finally told Adam that she was done with their relationship. (Page 251-252) What was different about this time from all the others? What new steps -- and missteps -- did she take that helped propel her forward? 15. What role did Joi-Marie's sisters, friends and sorors play during her relationship with Adam? How do these relationships shift as JoiMarie’s mindset toward love changes? 16. Joi-Marie made a new list detailing who she wanted to be instead of what she wanted her husband to be. (Page 260-263) #THEENGAGEMENTGAME
How did this affect her road to selfdevelopment? 17. What do you think is the significance of Joi-Marie embracing her grandmother’s favorite color by choosing to paint her nails yellow ahead of attending the Black Ivy Alumni Gala? (Page 266) 18. What do you think about performance artist Ayana Evans, who wore the sign on her back at the gala? (Page 274) How do you think this speaks to the balancing-act single women who hope to be married tend to play? What significance did this carry in Joi-Marie’s story? Have you felt this way in your own life? 19. Joi-Marie mentioned that "life loves beginnings” while cutting out bad habits in exchange for better ones. (Page 276) Do you agree or disagree? 20. When Joi-Marie was faced with such an enticing “proposal” from Kemuel, she explained the kairos moment that persuaded her to say “yes.” (Page 287) After heartbreak, when do you know it's time to say yes again to the prospect of love? #THEENGAGEMENTGAME
This is a comprehensive 20-question guide for book clubs when reading Joi-Marie McKenzie's debut memoir, "The Engagement Game: Why I Said 'I...