Study Guide

Doll Bones Friendship

By Holly Black


In a world with so many absent adults, Zach, Alice, and Poppy rely on one another for companionship and comfort. But their friendships are tested over the course of Doll Bones. For one, during their adventure, they really get on each other's nerves (like, a lot). More broadly, as they get older, they're experiencing a lot of personal changes that impact their relationships with each other. Zach and Alice's friendship in particular seems on the precipice of change; by the end of the book, they're planning a date. Meanwhile, Poppy already feels like a third wheel. These three might need each other, but that doesn't mean sticking together will always be easy.

Questions About Friendship

  1. Do you think Zach, Alice, and Poppy's friendships weaken or strengthen over the course of the book? Explain your reasoning using examples from the book.
  2. The three friends betray each other often. Which betrayal do you think is worst? Why? What role does betrayal in general play in their friendship dynamic?
  3. Who would you most want to be friends with—Zach, Alice, or Poppy? Why? What makes them the ultimate friend material?

Chew on This

Zach, Alice, and Poppy will inevitably drift apart as they get older. In fact, they already are by the time the book ends.

Zach, Alice, and Poppy will remain friends forever. Sure, they'll have to adjust as they age, but they're more family than friends at this point, and nothing will truly change that.

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