Welcome to the first Novel Novice Read Along! We’re reading Breaking Dawn in preparation for the movie in November, going chapter by chapter and discussing. Our schedule has us taking two chapters per month which may seem very slow to many of you. Indeed, when I first read Breaking Dawn, I read it very quickly in a matter of days. Our goal here is to really read and think about the book and allow time for discussion. Maybe even change some opinions? I admit, of the four Twilight books, I feel Breaking Dawn is the weakest. Maybe taking the time to re-read, analyze, and discuss will change my mind?
Here are some questions to think about as you read the Preface and Chapter 1. Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Don’t feel obligated to answer every one. Find something you want to talk about while reading? Bring it up in the comments.
NOTE: I came up with this questions while reading Breaking Dawn on my Kindle. As the Kindle does not have page numbers, I cannot reference the page the quotes appear on. However, I will try to make sure the questions appear in order so that the quotes shouldn’t be too hard to find, if you want to go back and look them up for reference.
Please, let’s keep the discussion civil. It’s OK to disagree with each other. It’s NOT OK to call someone names or be rude or mean. Remember, there is a living person reading and responding. The same goes for Stephenie Meyer. It’s OK to discuss her story and her writing, but NOT OK to attack her as a person.
Book One: Bella, Preface
1. The first time you read the preface, who did you think Bella was referring to? What did you think the situation was?
2. In the movie Twilight, a small portion of the preface was spoken as a voiceover during the opening credits. In New Moon, we actually saw Bella running through the square in Volterra. In Eclipse, the preface was ignored in exchange for Riley’s transformation, however the epigraph (Fire and Ice by Robert Frost) was recited by Bella as part of her studying. How, if at all, do you think the preface of Breaking Dawn will be represented in the movie?
Chapter 1: Engaged
It was stupid to be so self-conscious, and I knew that. Besides my dad and mom, did it really matter what people were saying about my engagement? About my new car? About my mysterious acceptance into an Ivy League college? About the shiny black credit card that felt red-hot in my back pocket right now?
“Yeah, who cares what they think,” I muttered under my breath.
Why do you think Bella cares so much about what other people think?
Very, very convenient—too convenient—that my truck would wheeze its last wheeze just weeks after Edward and I had agreed to our lopsided compromise, one detail of which was that he be allowed to replace my truck when it passed on. Edward swore it was only to be expected; my truck had lived a long, full life and then expired of natural causes. According to him. And, of course, I had no way to verify his story or to try to raise my truck from the dead on my own.
Would you have accepted Edward’s explanation, or would you have called him out on it? Would it have affected how you felt about him, or would you accept it as part of his imperfections?
Or maybe, just maybe, a small voice whispered in my head, it’s not a joke, silly. Maybe he’s really that worried about you. This wouldn’t be the first time he’s gone a little overboard trying to protect you.
Edward has a history of being overprotective when it comes to Bella. Do you think he’s justified in this behavior?
The HAVE YOU SEEN THIS BOY? posters were not Jacob’s father’s idea. It had been my father, Charlie, who’d printed up the flyers and spread them all over town. And not just Forks, but Port Angeles and Sequim and Hoquiam and Aberdeen and every other town in the Olympic Peninsula. He’d made sure that all the police stations in the state of Washington had the same flyer hanging on the wall, too. His own station had a whole corkboard dedicated to finding Jacob. A corkboard that was mostly empty, much to his disappointment and frustration.
Charlie reacting strongly to Jake’s disappearance. How do you think he would have reacted/handled Bella’s disappearance?
“You know what’s best for you.” (Renee to Bella)
It seems someone else is always trying to make decision for Bella or tell her what’s best for her — Charlie, Edward, Jake, etc. Renee is the first one to step aside and trust that Bella will do the right thing. How do you think this made Bella feel? Do you think Renee was right in that Bella knows what’s best?
8. Several places in the first chapter, Stephenie Meyer summarizes events that have happened in the previous books. How do you feel about this? Did it bother you while reading or did you not even notice it?
9. What parts of Chapter 1 do you think will make it into the movie? What parts of Chapter 1 would you like to see in the movie?