Breaking Dawn

I know this review is late in coming, but for what it’s worth, here are my two cents on Breaking Dawn…the title that needs no introduction.

Okay, by now many of you may already know the controversy surrounding this final installment in the Twilight series—how Breaking Dawn was a major disappointment, how readers were so dissatisfied with the book that they demanded their money back, how the ending was a cop out, and yada yada yada.   I for one, straddle the fine line down the middle: I didn’t love Breaking Dawn, I didn’t hate Breaking Dawn, and if pressed to state my exact feelings about the book, I’d say I thought it was ho-hum—enjoyable, yet tepid as a cup of lukewarm tea.

To spare you a rehash of the plot, I’d like to provide some thoughts on some of the finer plot points.

Caution: Spoilers Below!

Bella and Edward’s Honeymoon: I read this part with one hand clutching my chest because I thought I was going to have a heart attack from a too-romantic-to-handle overload!   I don’t know about you, but I have been anticipating this scene since the beginning so when it finally happened, I felt like I was Bella about to consummate my relationship to Edward and the thought made me swoon so I had to pause, fan myself, sigh dreamily, and continue.  As you can see, I thought the first half of BD was good.  Not much happened in terms of action (strike that, there was action, but only for two people), but that’s what I wanted to read about!   I tune in to the Twilight series because of the romance and in the first section, there was plenty of it: the regency wedding dress, the island love nest, the skinny dipping…skinny dipping with Edward Cullen (sigh).  Perfect. Perfect.  Perfect.

Then Bella gets pregnant….

And I did a double take and said, “Come again?”   I thought it was a truth universally acknowledged that vampires couldn’t procreate.   I guess I was wrong because according to the Meyer’s vampire rule book, female vampires are barren, male vampires can father babies with human females, but none of them have, until now.

So Bella is knocked up and goes through the most gruesome pregnancy ever written about since Rosemary’s Baby and I was like, “Holy crap, she’s about to have a demon spawn.  Abort!  Abort!”   It’s not a cute, cuddly baby, it’s a fetus. Say that to yourself.  Fetus. Our sweet little Bella is a host to an abnormally large fetus who is sucking the life out of her like a…like a parasite.   Guys, I don’t know; when she introduced the demon spawn, Meyers kinda killed the romance for me.   Maybe I’m bringing my own personal experience into the reading; maybe in the distant future, when I’ve experienced the joys of pregnancy and motherhood, I wouldn’t be so quick to refer to babies as demon spawns and life-sucking parasites, but as it is, the honeymoon is sooo over.

Edward cullen image by ugotitbad001 on PhotobucketEdward got on my nerves.  Yes, you heard right.   Edward you-are-a-golden-god-Cullen got on my nerves!   How did that happen?  He’s never gotten on my nerves no matter how controlling or emo or suicidal he’s been in the past.  He was my Heathcliffe, my Mr. Darcy…but this time, he spent a large chunk of the book in a state of perpetual despair—mopping around, head in hands, curled up in the winter of his discontent.  He was too emo for me to handle.  Whine whine whine: “This was all my fault.  If Bella dies, I don’t know what I’ll do.”  I wanted to reach into the book and give him a good backhand, “You can be a man!  That’s what you can do!”   At times, the whining got so bad that I thought about chucking my Team Edward membership card.

I’ll join Team Jacob instead….

But Jacob’s gone.  He’s imprinted on Renesmee.  So what are you saying?   The love triangle is finito?   All that torture Jacob went through over unrequited love only to find his soul mate in Bella’s baby?    Well, isn’t everything tied up in a neat little package?   Although I understand that you can’t help who you imprint on, I’ve always thought Jacob imprinted on Bella, and if Bella is indeed his soul mate, it would make things incredibly complicated and thus, a good story…   But to imprint on the demon spawn…er… Nessie… is kind of a cop out, a deus ex machina if you will.  Granted, this is the story Stephenie Meyer wanted to write and I respect that, but then she goes and inserts the part where Edward asks Jacob for his ‘stud services’ and got me thinking.  Suppose Jacob takes Edward up on that offer?   Suppose Bella agrees?   That would definitely complicate things.   That  would make such a gripping human melodrama because heartbreak is inevitable.  But that’s all speculation….

Crepusculo Meyer - Galeria - Imagenes/Calendario de TwilightOn a side note, although I’m not too crazy about the imprinting, I thought the scene in itself was beautifully written.   You know the one I’m talking about:  Jacob stares into Nessie’s face and his entire world collapses.   I will always remember the last line of Jacob’s narrative: “A changing heart…”      This scene was, in my opinion, very powerful.

Bella becomes a vampire:   I wish she hadn’t.  She was an insecure, clumsy high school girl, a narrator I could relate to.   Now she’s a perfect, immortal vampire supermodel.   And a mother.    Um.  Can’t say I relate to that at all.

Bella saves the Cullens from the Volturi: The much anticipated final battle between vampire kind reminded me of X-Men.   You’ve got the vampires who ‘vant to suck your blood’ and the vampires who want to coexist peacefully with human kind…like in the mutant struggle in X-Men.  Each faction has a leader: Aro and Carlisle, old friends with different ideologies… like Magnito and Professor Xavier.   And then you’ve got Bella, a newborn vamp with phenomenal cosmic mind power…like Jean Grey.  Well, you get the picture.    Let the battle of the bloodsuckers begin and end…anti-climactically…with no deaths (strike that, no important deaths).  Let’s resolve it in a mutual agreement in which both sides talk it out in a diplomatic fashion as if they were ambassadors at a UN peace conference.  Peace?  In a vampire novel?   I want fangs!  Carnage!  Locust!  Werewolves with laser beams strapped to their heads!   But peace?   I spit on the word.

Edward and bella image by luvbeex on PhotobucketSo what am I saying here?   I am disappointed, that much is obvious.  However, I don’t hate BD.   It has its good moments, its beautifully written passages and it has its flaws.   Upon reading Stephenie Meyer’s statement regarding all the negative reactions her book has recieved, I respect that this is the story she wanted to tell, this is the novel she wanted to write, she gave it her all, and most importantly, she’s satisfied with the outcome.  That’s as understandable as it is commendable.  But as a reader, a devoted fan of Twilight, I just couldn’t help thinking how much better this story could be if there was never a baby, if Bella never became a vampire, if Jacob was still in love with Bella, etc…   But that, like this post, is just my opinion.

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16 thoughts on “Breaking Dawn”

  1. yup
    I sat open mouthed, unable to read for hours after torturing my eyes and mind with some of the crap in that book, but in the end there were a few things I liked and I had to admit that this was a story written for barely out of their tweens teenagers. Isn’t that exactly what you’d want if you were 14? The perfect guy – forever, to be as beautiful as he thinks you are, provide him with a child, and settle the old issues with your best friends and get to keep him in your life?
    I just wish I wasn’t such a jaded 30 something, I might have enjoyed it a bit more. Then again, maybe I was a smarter 14 than I give myself credit for.

  2. I thought it was very well written! Left me wanting more. Was very pleased with the outcome. Was hungering for Midnight Sun to read also. I’m 56 yrs. old and thoroughly enjoyed the complete story. Keep up the good work STEPH and please reconsider writing Midnight Sun. Cant wait or the movie and only hope there is a sequel.

  3. I haven’t read these books, but my daughter was very disappointed in this one. The baby thing turned her off completely. She said it seemed as if Meyer was forced to write this by her publisher and that she must have hated every minute of it!

  4. I pretty much agree with everything you said. There were bits I loved and bits I loathed. I saw the imprinting thing coming and I was so annoyed she did that to Jacob (I was always team Jacob) it was just wrong.
    It could have been so much better and yes where was the final battle!

  5. EDWARD CULLEN IS FREKIN HOTT!!!!!!
    OH AND DANG I FELL IN LOVE WITH A FICTIONAL CHARACTER!!!! TER

  6. I think in the end, if Bella didn’t become a vampire, her and Edward could never be together, would we want that? If Jacob hadn’t imprinted on Nessie, he would have either a) been unhappy forever, b) imprinted on someone else, or c) ended up with Bella… Would we really have been happy with any of those? I think in the end, what happened needed to happen. The only thing that really bothered me was Leah who I perceived to be the most sympathetic character. Where was her happy ever after?

  7. Didn’t even know these books existed two weeks ago, and now I have read all of them. I must say I enjoyed them too…even Breaking Dawn. I guess because I had little to no expectation I would like any of them at all, and then was pleasantly surprised at the draw that the books held for me. It was a fantasy book which I rarely read so it was just nice to have a book end happily for once. It has been a long time since I’ve read a book (in high school or college) that wasn’t completely tragic in one way or another…of course I was just coming off my toni morrison phase so ‘happily ever after’ was the Prozac I needed. That being said, from the get go I wasn’t expecting an epic tale, just her writing style or lack thereof alone was almost to much for me…how many times can you use the word chagrined? (wince…) or smoldering? getting so bad to the point she actually wrote “his eye’s did that smoldering thing again.” (hahhahhahhahhahahhahhha) So you see my friends what we should all take out of this is just what it is an emotional roller coaster for women that finally had a feel good ending. Try not to set your expectations so high on a teen romance novel…that might help you in the future to enjoy the books…worked for me!

  8. I concur with everything you said above. I felt the exact same way. I didn’t like Bella as a vampire, what made her endearing was her mortality. You lost something in the love between her and Edward when she became immortal, it just wasn’t the same anymore. And I still haven’t forgivin her for attempting to hurt Jacob when she found out about the imprinting. People say I’m overreacting, and maybe they’re right, but the fact that she broke Seth trying to get to Jacob and never apologized to Jacob… its the perfect example of the fact that she really wasn’t ‘Bella’ anymore. I didn’t mind Nessie, though the story would have been better without her. And I thought that if Jacob wasn’t going to get to be with Bella (Team Switzerland here), he should have at least gotten to imprint on someone worthwhile and not a child (I was hoping for an awesome vampire, what a story that would have been). He got shafted.
    My overall opinion of the book was that Stephanie Meyers knew how she wanted it to end before she started it, she wanted to wrap things up in a neat little way that told the ‘story she wanted to tell’. My opinion is that a true storyteller lets the story unfold naturally, they would let the story lead them, and this felt very forced. It felt almost as though, because the story unfolded in a way she didn’t expect, she had to wrestle it around to fit it in her intended 4 book package, with her perfect ending. Anyway, its just my opinion.
    Also, maybe I did expect too much out of a teenage book. But with all the hype the book was getting plus reading it shortly after finishing Harry Potter, an exceptional series written for teenagers, to me I feel unbiased when I say it fell far short of the mark.

  9. forget breaking dawn. (dissapointind to say the least) bring on midnight sun. that would be good.

  10. well…..i didn’t knew about the twilight saga until this july…..i’m from romania and in our country the books didn’t appear so fast….i was talking to my best friend and she told me she wants to see the movie-twlight-…..after i’ve seen the movie something inside me wanted to know more about the story….and because i couldn’t buy the books because in my country they hadn’t appear yet i searched like crazy on the internet…and finally 4 days ago i found all 4 books only-in English of course,but i have no problem in reading in English…i know the language since i was 5-….it was like the sky fallen over me…..i started to read them and in 3 days I read them all……twilight was exciting,new moon shocking ,eclipse-which is my favorite one -was exciting shocking truly keeping me in front of the pc…..and breaking dawn….which was low to my expectations ….i can’t say it wasn’t good but i wanted more action more edward and bella-like in the first chapters of the book-….i really liked the fact that all lived happily ever after but i wanted more suspans before that ending….i wanted actions that make fell horrified ….i liked also the part with the pregnancy….it felt like i was in pain too….but after…..i don’t know….it felt like something broke….i wanted the fight to be like in eclipse….i wanted the suspans from that fight to be in this one too…..anyway i bet midnight sun will be too good..i read the partial draft -a lot of times-and it was what i was searching from breaking dawn…..i hope the movie will be better than the book……..i love twilight and i am a huge fan of robert and kirsten…and also taylor…..they are perfect for the roles even though many don’t think like me…..they are like i pictured them from the books-i tried not to be influenced by the movie…..this books really changed the way i see life….now i want a vampire as my true love….

  11. Just found your blog–OMG, it’s as if I wrote this review myself, right down to the words “demon spawn.” So much of BD was wonderful, but at the end of the day, it was a hot trannie mess.

    Love love LOVE your blog, btw.

  12. I agree with everything written here, except I can’t respect Stephanie Meyers statement that ‘it was the story she wanted to write’. She had good books in Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse. You read them and were hooked. Breaking Dawn was sloppy and half a–ed. I feel like it isn’t a part of the same series of books. (The later half after the wedding, of course.) it was almost as if a third of the way through the book she was told that she couldn’t write a fifth so she just closed it up all neat and tidy by going all crazy.

    Of course she says “its the book I wanted to write”, she can’t say “your right, it sucks, I’m sorry to be disappointing”.

    I despised it more then some, I guess. I plan to lose my copy of Breaking Dawn and pretend that Eclipse was the final book.

  13. i LOVE Twilight and i cant wait til Breaking Dawn come out as a movie!! U ppl r such haters, so why are you here?

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