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Throw a spooky story society party with The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

Grab your ghouls (er, your girls) and call the coven: It's time for a bone-chilling book club featuring The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, a story of betrayal, revenge, fiends and friendship from best-selling author Alexandra Bracken. Be sure your guests read the book before the bash (find the spooky summary below)—then follow our complete party-planning primer for a smart, chic (and frightening!) fête.

The story 
Prosper seems just like your ordinary kid. The problem? He comes from a very extraordinary family. In the long history of his fam, it seems like everyone is exceptional (think military generals, Congressmen, CEOs)—everyone except him, that is. But that all changes when he discovers a demon living inside of him.

Thousands of years before, Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great (omg!) grandfather made a deal with a malefactor (aka a demon) who exchanges wealth and fortune for eternal servitude. Unfortunately, Prosper’s ancestor betrayed Alastor—and the four-thousand-year-old demon has come to seek revenge while living in Prosper’s body. 

Alastor has one goal: to destroy the family who betrayed him. Prosper only has days to break the curse—and he must do it while the demon is living inside of him. He’s forced to deal with Alastor’s nasty insults and countless attempts to trick him into a new contract, which would mean Prosper would be in debt to Alastor forever. Will Prosper be able to save himself from the curse or will he be doomed with Alastor for all of eternity? 

The spooky soiree 
After you snag your copy of The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, have your girls all read it, then throw the *ultimate* book club bash. Follow the steps below...

 

The decor
There’s nothing creepier—or chicer—than a dark room lit by glowy candlelight. (Ask your parents for help setting up a bunch of candles, or just use a few dim lamps for a similar vibe.) Next, deck out your space with a myriad of mirrors—just try not to scream if you see the Malefactor staring back at you, since it’s one of the ways he can communicate with our world.

The costumes
Ask your guests to rock a look inspired by any of the characters: You could conjure up Nell’s vibe by DIYing a bunch of stars to stick throughout your hair or rocking bejeweled rainbow glasses; or, give a nod to Norton’s performance piece by dressing in head-to-toe monochrome color.

 

The treats
Whip up one of these demon-approved bites to nosh on all night.

Silence cakes: The residents of Redhood look forward to their special “Silence Cakes” on Founder’s Day. Make your own version of the chocolate- and honey-dipped fried pumpkin leaves by baking a batch of pumpkin cupcakes with chocolate frosting— garnished with a swirl of honey. Yum.

“Redd" punch: For a sweet sip, mix ginger beer with a bit of grenadine (start with a few drops, then add more to taste). The result is like a spicy Shirley Temple—sweet, but packs a punch. (Kind of like cutie critter Toad.)

 

The fun
Challenge your guests to spooky charades. Prosper is haunted by nightmares of an enormous, dark cat(eek!). What weird, wacky or wonderful dreams have *you* experienced? Ask every girl to write down a few of her own visions on a small slip of paper, then take turns pulling them out of a hat and acting them out silently, charades-style. The gal who guesses the most wins.

The discussion
Ask your girls these Q's to dive deeper into the terrifying tale.

1. At the heart of the story—the catalyst for all of the Malefactor’s anger—is the breaking of a contract; the betrayal of a promise. Throughout the novel, how did your opinion of the Malefactor change? Did you ever sympathize or empathize? Why or why not?

2. “So this was the present, then,” remarks the Malefactor during his first visit to the modern-day human world. “Loud, crowded, and altogether too clean.” What are some examples of how your world has changed over the course of your lifetime—both good and bad?

3. When Prosper goes into hiding, Nell makes a suggestion to him. "Maybe it'll be easier for you to act like the person you think you are." If you could reinvent yourself, what kind of person would you be? And what's stopping you?

4. "You know, it's okay to pretend to be braver than you are," Nell says. "I do it all the time." But is pretending to be brave any different than being brave? Discuss the various forms of bravery demonstrated by the characters—both the traditional and the more subtle.

5. Throughout the story, Prosper is trying to rid himself of the Malefactor. If *you* were possessed by a demon, what would you do? Would you act the same as Prosper or would you try a different fiend-fighting technique?

6. Which character could you relate to the most in the story—Prosper, Nell, maybe even the Malefactor? Describe why.

7. Did you like the way the book ended? Discuss how it made you feel, then try your hand at writing your own version. Have everyone read theirs out loud at the end of the night. 

Ready to host your *own* scary soiree? CLICK HERE to grab your copy of The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding online or find it in bookstores everywhere. 

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by Maddie McGee | 9/5/2017
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