Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion:Week 3

Posted 16 November, 2010 by Danny in / 18 Comments

Welcome to the Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion!! Over the next ten weeks we will be discussing Beautiful Darkness a few chapters at a time with posts and discussion questions by a variety of guest posters. Posts and discussion questions will go up on Tuesdays and recaps of the discussion question answers will go up on Sundays. For the complete schedule of chapters and dates click here.

Also, as we are the Bookworms and are physically incapable of not hosting a give-away for any major event on this blog, there’s a give-away going on in conjunction with the discussion! WOOT!! Find out all about that here as well.

And now a warning….while we will keep each week’s post spoiler free for those who have only read up to and including the chapters being discussed that week, if you haven’t read the book at all you will find spoilers about the sections of the book being discussed. SO…if you haven’t read the book at all…STOP. GET THE BOOK. READ IT. RETURN. Easy, peasy, extra cheesy, right, Cutie? And in conjunction with that, we do ask that all of you participating in the discussion please keep your responses spoiler free. We know this can be hard but please have a heart for those who are enjoying the read-along aspect of the discussion and do your best. We in turn will do our best to monitor the comments.

And finally….on with this week’s discussion written by Pushy, Danny and Fragile!!!!

This week’s chapters:

5.16 The Call

Ethan starts off this chapter stressing about the latest sign of Lena’s negative attitude, the return of the countdown. Unfortunately for Ethan, when he finally confronts Lena about what she’s counting down to, she claims not to know. Not particularly reassuring.

Added to the tension between Ethan and Lena, Ethan has to deal with his father’s awkward homecoming from Blue Horizons. Ethan clearly needs Lena to stay, he kelts her, “Please,” but she ignores the plea in his voice and leaves after giving him a brief kiss. Ethan follows his family back inside the house to find out his aunt’s cat is missing (this is a bigger deal for Aunt Mercy than it would be for any normal person) and that his father wants to clear the air and offer Ethan some advice about women. *cringe* Poor Ethan! He’s really getting it from every angle.

Later that night, full up on fried chicken and guilt, Ethan goes looking for his Aunt Mercy’s cat with Link. Link broaches the topic of Lena and how much she’s changing as she deals (or rather doesn’t) with Macon’s death. Ethan defends her, telling Link how hard it is for her but his reasoning sounds hollow. And they end their conversation listening to yet another one of Link’s songs inspired by Ridley: The Girl’s Gone Away.

Once Ethan’s at home in his room, he can’t help thinking about what Link has said, and the truth in it.

Link was right. Lena was acting strange. But it had only been a few months. She’d snap out of it, and things would be the way they were before.

While looking for a book on his desk to distract him, Ethan comes upon a package from Marian that Lena had refused to take. Opening it, he finds Macon’s letters. Touching one drags him into another vision, though this time it’s not Genevieve’s vision, it’s her father, Abraham’s. And in it, Abraham is getting The Book of Moons. The vision ends with Ethan puzzled about why he was seeing Abraham and what it was he was supposed to learn from what he had witnessed.

5.17 All That Remains

Ethan realizes that Lena is in a depression and when he’s in class he hears Lena citing a poetry, and strange noise and ..smoke. He runs to Lena and finds Lena having a total nervous breakdown, all furniture is trashed.

“Nobody the dead man & Nobody the living
Nobody is giving in and & Nobody is giving
Nobody hears me but just Nobody cares
Nobody fears me but Nobody just stares
Nobody belongs to me & Nobody remains
No Nobody knows Nothing
All that remains are remains.”

*shivers* That is dark, hu? Poor Lena….this really shows how broken she is and finally Ethan realizes that she’s not just in a post-grief depression – this is more.

One of the most heartbreaking scenes in that chapter was probably when Ethan and Lena had a real fight, over Lena’s grief and unwillingness to accept Macon’s death. The scene ended with Ethan crying. Also he begins to loose the connection to Lena, normally they always kelt but they don’t do this all the time anymore. Lena pushes Ethan away…

6.12 The Girl In My Dreams

The chapter starts with Ethan having a dream about the happenings and at Greenbrier and how Serafine killed him. When he wakes up he realizes that there is a faint scar where she stabbed him. Only, he can’t remember any of this, so the dream doesn’t make sense for him.

When he’s riding to school with Link – who is phenomenal in this book btw – he suddenly hears a new version of the Seventeen Moons:

“Seventeen moons, seventeen turns,
Eves so dark and bright it burns,
Times is high but one is higher,
Draws the moon into the fire….”

What the heck does that mean now? Time is high ? But Lena’s Birthday is still 8 months away?

It’s the last day of school and everyone is prepared to go to the beach. Unlike most other days, Lena’s at school, but she looks different – wearing Macon’s clothes. When the girls at school are being mean to Lena about Macon’s death, Lena freaks out and starts burning Emily’s test.

Later, Lena tells Ethan that she will leave Gaitlin with her family – for a while. Ethan is so hurt and angry and he tells her that she can’t simply run away from her grief. In all his anger he also tells her about his dream – assuming that she had the same dream as usual. But Lena didn’t had that dream. Ethan is so hurt – he sees Lena drifting away farther and farther. They always shared the same dreams, since their connection was so strong – now that’s gone too.

My heart broke with him… Of course Lena can’t talk to him about his dream. She would have to admit what really happened the night Macon died – that Ethan was really dead! Honestly, I’m waiting for Ethan to figure out what really happened, how will he feel? Guilty?

Then they realize that all wheels from all cars in the lot are slashed!! All cars except Lena’s… and ..there is a guy on a Harley that just drives off…. Wohooo! Who might that be?????

6.12 The Lake

Neither of us believed in coincidences.

Ethan doesn’t understand why he recognized the motorcycle or why Lena’s tires weren’t slashed. Still, he was at the lake with his girl, and his mind quickly turned to imagining her in a bathing suit. After a little flirting and the removal of Ethan’s shirt (take it off, baby!!), he and Lena end up splashing around in the lake.

Things turn steamy quickly, and they end up making out on the shore. Ethan soon finds that things are out of control and Lena isn’t the Lena he’s used to.

She threw her head back and laughed, and a chill ran up my back. I remembered that laugh, straight out of my dream. It was Sarafine’s laugh.

In pain and bleeding after Lena bites his lip, Ethan pushes her away. She tells him to get away from her and runs through the woods surrounding the lake. When Ethan follows, Lena begins felling trees around him. He keeps up with her just enough to see her reach the highway and jump on the back of the motorcycle from school.

The motorcycle from Lena’s graveyard pictures.

Discussion Question:

Lena is getting more and more distant in these chapters, and it’s heaping pain on to Ethan. She’s got issues to work through: her grief over Macon’s death and the fact that she was the cause of it, the guilt over choosing Ethan over Macon, despite the fact that they can never be together in a physical way, the fact that her claiming may have been delayed by a year, but it’s still coming. She’s got a lot on her plate, but instead of turning to Ethan for support, she appears to be pushing him away.

From what you know so far,
is Lena pushing Ethan away
to protect herself
or him?

Leave your answer in a comment below and remember that each answer to this week’s discussion question is an entry into the Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion contest!

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18 Responses to “Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion:Week 3”

  1. These discussion questions are very difficult when I've already read the book… But from that point, I would say to protect Ethan. Lena has always pushed Ethan away, even in BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, for his own good. Alot has changed in BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS, but Lena hasn't, in my opinion at least. Her fears, and inner emotions have just been escalated to greater proportions in BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS. Which would mean that she cares more for Ethan than she ever has, which gives her more of a reason to push him away (in her mind at least). Lena has always conjured up storms, that is not something new that makes her dark and changes her emotions. She is still Lena, and still neither dark nor light.
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  2. This is a difficult question. From what I have read so far, I would have to say that Lena is pushing Ethan away to protect herself?Ethan? I really don't have an answer for this. Lena has been so hot and cold that she is just confusing me!
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  3. Heather

    I tried really hard to read the chapters as we went along, but I have no self control and read the whole thing in a few days over the weekend.

    So, I thought that Lena was pushing Ethan for her own selfish reasons at this point in the book.


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  4. Britta, this is a great answer! I know it's so hard to be spoiler free in your answers since you KNOW how things will go further in the book, but I think you bring up an excellent point in that even in BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, Lena was pushing Ethan away, ostensibly for his own good. But I can't help but wonder if that's just an excuse, especially after all the pain she's in because of Macon, if SHE just can't stand to be the cause of more pain for someone she loves, so it's really for herself that she's putting distance between her and Ethan. Perhaps I'm reading a bit too much into it thought. 😀

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  5. I agree that it's hard to tell, Elizabeth. Her motives, at least on the surface, seem so selfless but in the end she's still hurting the person she loves the most (or at least that's what I assumed Ethan was to her….). It's possible the answer truly is both and neither! Thanks for giving your thoughts!!

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  6. Isalys

    I just finished the book too so it's tricky trying to go back and recapture my thoughts up to that point.

    Up to the last scene on this post, I felt that Lena was trying to protect Ethan in her own way. I think she figured that if she distanced herself, physically & emotionally, she could protect him from her volatile powers. Compared to her, he was so fragile…

    However, I do agree with OnePushyFox that in trying to "protect" Ethan she also tried to protect herself. She was so hurt from losing Macon and his death sent her to such a dark place, could she really have handled losing Ethan too?!

    PS: Yes, I was very tempted to bitch slap Lena a few times…lol.

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  7. uhyesplease

    These comments crack me up!

    Nice recap, Pushy!

    I think Lena was being super emo and in her head she was doing it to protect Ethan. But really she was just a scared, silly teenager who was focused on her own life, to hell with anyone else. Which really pissed me off. But hey, we've all been there.

    Ok, except for the casting part – just the normal teenage stuff… lol

    Is anyone else sad that the rest of the fam seem to be left out of this book so far since Macon is gone…I miss them…..

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  8. I do believe that Lena was trying to protect herself a little, but honestly, can you blame her? But wouldn't being with Ethan protect her more than being without? I dunno. She is confused, scared and sad. Maybe even she didn't know what she was doing.
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  9. I was sad! I don't know why I love them so much, but I do. I really like Reece. Maybe just because I feel like I wasn't supposed to like her, but I did. She sounded kind of cold, even though she is light. I dunno…. I missed her. And Ryan! She is so cute 😉
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  10. I was sad too!!! I was hoping this book would focus more on Lena's family and save the drama for the third book….but….well…not so much. Anywhozle, I do look forward to seeing more of them soon. 🙂

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  11. Greta is Erikasbuddy

    I feel Lena is pushing Ethan away to protect HIM. Kinda like how Edward pushed Bella away then how Nora pushed Patch away. Classic classic. I think in the end it will bite her in the ass though. Not sure how yet… but something's major mondo is going to happen then she's going to be like 'OH snap!! I mucked up and now I have to win my boy back."

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  12. AHfromGoodreads

    It is really bothering me that Lena is pushing Ethan away. I understand that she is most likely doing it to protect Ethan, but if she would just tell him why, I'm sure he would give her the space that she needs.

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  13. There really is something to this second book, the superhero has to push his/her significant other way for their own good hunh? But I still contend this has more to do with Lena's inability to handle the issues in her own life and feeling like by pushing Ethan away she's controlling at least one thing: preventing him (at least she reasons to herself) from getting seriously hurt. But as we've seen again and again, this is false logic. Oh well, thanks for the great comment though!

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  14. Don't you just want to shout at these characters, "JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER, ALREADY!!!!"? Of course, if they were communicating clearly, we wouldn't have any angst and drama for the book, right? Thanks for the great comment, AH!

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  15. It's a bit of both for me at this point. I think Lena thinks she's pushing him away to protect him, but it's more for herself. I think she doesn't trust herself and she's lost something that meant so much to her. Ugh…okay, can't say what I really want to here because it's spoilery, lol.

    I think she's pushing him away because she cannot bear to lose anything else that matters to her. If she pushes Ethan away first, he can't hurt her by pushing her away. I hope that makes sense. It sounded right in my head.

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