'Breaking Dawn' Book Excerpt Exclusive!

Author Stephenie Meyer calls "Breaking Dawn" -- the fourth and final book in her wildly popular "Twilight" saga -- "the end of Bella's story." The book, which went on sale at midnight, has spawned bookstore parties and vampire and werewolf costume-wearing fans, the likes of which haven't been seen since Harry Potter mania. Meyer told "Good Morning America" on July 31 that "I don't know if I'm completely finished with the characters." This could be great news for old and new fans alike. Since the release of "Twilight" in 2005, the books in the series have spent a combined 143 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. With inter-human-vampire-werewolf relations, this series has something for everyone, including a wedding in "Breaking Dawn." Get a taste of Meyer's most recent work, below.

Beginning of "Breaking Dawn":


Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age The child is grown, and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay



Preface

I'd had more than my fair share of near-death experiences; it wasn't something you ever really got used to.

It seemed oddly inevitable, though, facing death again. Like I really was marked for disaster. I'd escaped time and time again, but it kept coming back for me.

Still, this time was so different from the others.

You could run from someone you feared, you could try to fight someone you hated. All my reactions were geared toward those kinds of killers—the monsters, the enemies.

When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give your beloved, how could you not give it?

If it was someone you truly loved?

1. Engaged


No one is staring at you, I promised myself. No one is staring at you. No one is staring at you.

But, because I couldn't lie convincingly even to myself, I had to check.

As I sat waiting for one of the three traffic lights in town to turn green, I peeked to the right—in her minivan, Mrs. Weber had turned her whole torso in my direction. Her eyes bored into mine, and I flinched back, wondering why she didn't drop her gaze or look ashamed. It was still considered rude to stare at people, wasn't it? Didn't that apply to me anymore?

Then I remembered that these windows were so darkly tinted that she probably had no idea if it was even me in here, let alone that I'd caught her looking. I tried to take some comfort in the fact that she wasn't really staring at me, just the car.

My car. Sigh.

I glanced to the left and groaned. Two pedestrians were frozen on the sidewalk, missing their chance to cross as they stared. Behind them, Mr. Marshall was gawking through the plate glass window of his little souvenir shop. At least he didn't have his nose pressed up against the glass. Yet.

The light turned green and, in my hurry to escape, I stomped on the gas pedal without thinking—the normal way I would have punched it to get my ancient Chevy truck moving.

Engine snarling like a hunting panther, the car jolted forward so fast that my body slammed into the black leather seat and my stomach flattened against my spine.

"Arg!" I gasped as I fumbled for the brake. Keeping my head, I merely tapped the pedal. The car lurched to an absolute standstill anyway.

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