1. Did you feel a sense of foreboding in this chapter? At what point did you feel what was coming? Or did it take you by surprise?
I did, ever since the birthday party at the Cullen's. Although this was the first book of the series I read and thus I had none of the background of Twilight, I understood enough by at least Edward's reaction and then the chapter title "The End" to know something was going to happen.
2. Just as Bella did, have you ever felt that subconscious desire to grasp a hold of a relationship slipping away?
I have, although being an introvert I usually am not very good at salvaging relationships. However I am much more contained than Bella, or I have never had quite as life-changing or dramatic a relationship as her, and thus my reaction was not really the same on finding the relationship disappearing.
3. Edward's speech was definitely a harsh one, but did it grasp reality for you as it did for Bella? Or were you expecting him to run back to her at any moment? Did you believe him as readily as Bella did?
I did, actually. Remember I had no background from Twilight to even vaguely understand the immense attraction or lust (if perhaps love, this is an arguable point) Edward and Bella share mutually. As compared to most books, I was expecting that this was just some high school relationship not destined to last, and could not fully appreciate the damaging, horrific effect until the second time I read the book, by which time the plot had already been revealed. In a way, all Edward acts in New Moon is rather distant to Bella, which for a first time reader is not exactly what one needs to jumpstart the understanding of the life-changing relationship. In a weird way (don't hurt me, please), I sort of expected... and wanted... it to end. Which made it all the more surprising her reaction to his departure, although understanding her character better than his I should have expected it.
4. When Sam appeared during the search, describe your gut reaction to his presence.
I did not have any notion of who he was, but he seemed like an understanding character to comprehend the difference between "Have you been hurt?" and "Are you hurt?". I wondered if he would be a more central character in the novel.
5. Describe your reaction as you read the "months" pages.
The first time I read the pages, I did not look closely enough to see the words as I thought they were blank and I was flipping past them. I thought the blank pages were misprints in my copy, only a few seconds later I flipped back to find the wondrous amazingness that is the months pages. Although I had no background, although I didn't understand the characters, although I had no notion of the depth of the relationship between Bella and Edward, each of those pages cut me deeply and helped me understand the blankness and passage of time, and how much hurt Bella was experiencing. Looking back, it is probably one of the most amazing literary devices I've ever seen in contemporary (modern?) literature. Effectively communicates the meaning of the space, and at the same time emotionally affects and challenges the reader.
A fabulous chapter overall, extremely well-written, and one of my favorites from New Moon, if not the entire series.
If you're not really here, I don't want to be either. I want to be next to you.
black and gold, black and gold, black and gold, black and gold, black and gold, black and gold.