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 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….
On 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.
So 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.