Breaking Dawn Read-along: Preface, Chapter 1

Posted January 31, 2011 by addicted2edward 8 Comments

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?


Posted in: Feature, read Along Tags:

8 responses to “Breaking Dawn Read-along: Preface, Chapter 1

  1. carrie marie

    To answer number 1, I would have to say I don’t know what I thought she was refferring to.

    to number 2, I really wish they would put it in, but it doesn’t really fit the movie.

    number 3, I was guessing the money involved

    number 4, i would have called it out on him, i’d also be really annoyed.

    number 5, he’s justified in this situation.

    number 6, much, much worse, he probably would be a wreck, i can just imagine it

    number 7, she was right,

    number 8, i dont really care. she’s the writer, she can do whateer she wants.

    number 9, there is alot. i cant even write, it’d be too long. i do want that flashback scene!!!

    is there more questions? more passages from the book?

  2. Crystal

    Renee must of had a mother-like sense, because I’ve read part 1 and 2 of Breakling Dawn, and thought it may not seem like it at times, Bella does a brillant job of taking care of her-self and her-own(family).

  3. 1. I thought she was referring to her getting married at her age and to a young man with what seem’d as much money he could ever want and how others (her friends her parents and strangers alike saw this and what they thought about it.
    2.I’m an not real sure how they are going to get the preface in this movie but I can’t wait to see this movie period so it’ll be interesting to see what they do.
    3.Bella cares so much about what other people think because she’s so young! She’s at that crucial age where decisions in ones life can be very dramatic and because she has so much going on that no one would even think to believe if they were told that I’m sure she is constantly watching herself in every way as to not give it away and that may make her look a certain way to others, shy, stuck up, scary etc … And so she struggled I’m sure with how she looks to others as well.
    4.I absolutely would have called him on it but I wouldn’t have been angry about it and I would still love him just the same.
    5.I can see why he thinks he needs to protect Bella and why it’s to the extreme. I mean heh monsters are real after all. But I do think maybe he should loosen the grip. If anything he can follow her w/o her even knowing and all is well.
    6.well we see a bit of how frantic Charlie is when Bella goes missing in the forest in the movie New Moon and they did s real good job of getting it on film from the words in the book so from that I think most of us would say that Charlie would be up dsy and night and going over board on posters etc… To find his Bella!
    7. I think that renne is right yes. After all she is an adult and I’m sure she realizes that Bella is no doubt going to do what she wants anyway so she let’s her make her own decisions and then be there for her if Bella ever needs her due to a bad decisio and I think this makes Bella feel more like an adult and good that someone trusts her as her own person and it also probably makes her feel like Renee is a person she can go to to talk if she needs rather than avoid if you know what I mean.
    8.ah I really don’t notice. I just keep reading because I am always wanting to get to the next awesome part of the book I’m just so glued to this story that nothing is a let down to me.
    9.I’d love to see the part where she at the has station in her “new” super awesome car and the two guys that stop for gas can’t believe what thier seeing and ask to take a picture with the car. I can just see that in the movie!

  4. Amanda

    I know that I am a bit late to respond to this but I wanted to anyway.

    1. When I first read the preface I thought Bella was referring to Edward, because she was giving up her human life for him.

    2. I really like the idea of them doing a voiceover for this preface like they did with Twilight. There isn’t anything visual in the preface; it is all emotion so it would be best as a voiceover.

    7. I think Bella was kind of in shock at the thought of someone believing she was making the right decision for herself. She felt relief in the fact that Renee was on her side. I agree with Renee belief that Bella knows whats best for herself. of course in the real world her decisions are crazy, but in the realm of Twilight they are right.

    8. I have to admit when I first read Breaking Dawn I got it at midnight and read it straight through, I wanted to know what happened so bad. Reading summarized portions annoyed me because I wanted to get on with the story. I realize that summary is needed of course, but upon first reading it the summary is an inconvenience.

    9.I believe that they will probably begin the movie with the wedding, since none of the first chapter is really crucial for the plot (other than Jacob being gone). What I really want to see from the first chapter though is the scene where Bella and Edward tell Charlie they’re engaged.

Leave a Reply