4 Rated Books Book Reviews

Book Discussion: Breaking Dawn – Part II

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS.

As I said in my review of Breaking Dawn – Part I ,I’m doing something a little different here–due to the nature of Breaking Dawn and the issues I had with it, I’m putting up a two part review. Part I is SPOILER FREE, whereas Part II (this post) will be more of an in depth discussion with SPOILERS. Holly of The Book Binge also has a twofer spoiler free review and spoiler filled review for you to check out!

If you have read Breaking Dawn and wish to discuss it (I certainly do!), please leave any comments after this post.


Review and Discussion:

So, from my earlier spoiler-free post, I mentioned the main reasons why I was not happy with Breaking Dawn:

  1. Melodramatic plot
  2. Poor characterizations (and no real character growth)
  3. The “Message” to younger readers

In that spirit, here we go…

1. The Characters

“Who cares about Derek Zoolander anyway? The man has only one look, for Christ’s sake! Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigra? They’re the same face! Doesn’t anybody notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” ~ Mugatu, Zoolander

About 1/4 into this book, I was already starting to have some serious doubts. I think the beginning was solid–Bella’s anxiousness over the wedding, her self-doubts, her concern for Jacob all felt very in-tune with the earlier books. Even through the wedding itself, I was nodding along, excited to see where the newlyweds would be heading, both for their honeymoon, and in terms of plot direction.

When they got to Esmee’s romantic island and Bella turned into seductress extraordinaire, however, things started to look iffy. Bella, the girl so shy she blushed at the sight of lacy underwear all of a sudden is so carried away by her hormones that she nonchalantly entices Edward by begging for more sex in return for her staying human for a year or two longer and maybe going to a semester of university? What?! I’ll admit here that the whole “bargaining” idea (from Eclipse and carried through to fruition here) to become a vampire–trading marriage so she can have human sex and then become immortal–has never sat well with me, but Bella’s actions in this book and her cavalier attitude towards her life–her education, her family, her humanity (AT 18 NO LESS!)–leaves even more of a bitter aftertaste.

But that’s merely the beginning.

Bella the Seductress is incredibly effective. So effective, that two weeks into their little honeymoon, Bella misses a period, and feels a kick in her womb. Yep–Bella’s knocked up, with a super vampire baby that is growing at an exponential rate. So far as any of them know, there is no precedent. Vampires aren’t supposed to be able to have babies. So, Edward is freaking out, yanking them both on the next plane home.
– – – – – – – – – –
**NOTE: Did I mention that earlier in the book–out of nowhere–there is a mention of “Immortal Children” and the incredible threat they posed to humanity? Bella is reminiscing, and recalls when Edward told her about these beautiful little children turned into vampires, but were so incredibly dangerous because they had no way to control their hunger. I suppose I should have seen “BABY STORYLINE!” in flashing lights from that first mention.**
– – – – – – – – – –
How does Bella react to being pregnant? Why–by completely embracing her shotgun pregnancy, calling Rosalie and telling her to protect her baby at all costs, of course!

Wait a minute. What?

This from Bella who was scared to get married because of the finality of the whole thing? At 18 years old, no less!?!?!?!

Something stinks in the state of Forks.

If that’s not all, Bella continues with her determination to have her beloved 1/2 vampire 1/2 human baby, even when it starts to kill her. When she finally does give birth, she dies in the process and is transformed into a vampire. But not just any vampire–Bella becomes a beautiful, perfect, self-confident, non-clumsy vampire. But that’s not all! She’s also a vampire that has the power of SELF-CONTROL (i.e. she is not possessed with uncontrollable bloodlust). The difference is that Bella transforms from shy, uncertain 18 year old girl to Immortal, Infallible Mature Goddess Vampire Mother and Wife instantaneously. This is what really ticks me off–any growth or maturity Bella could have come to through her own reasoning, any of the inner dialogue Ms. Meyer could have written beautifully is sidestepped. It’s all so very…cookie cutter. No hard feelings, no need for Bella to realize that she has made some pretty shoddy immature decisions–just instantaneous metamorphosis from meekling to lioness.

But how about the other characters? Edward is pretty much the same unwaveringly devoted figure. This dynamic has kinda creeped me out since the beginning–Edward doesn’t have much of a purpose or personality outside of his mindless devotion/obsession with Bella. Jacob I think is characterized beautifully, but it’s the plot that kills it for me (more on that later). Alice shops a lot. Emmett makes jokes about Bella and Edward’s sex life. Rosalie is blonde and wants a baybay of her own. Jasper scowls. Esmee wrings her hands and Carlisle sighs a lot.

On the flip side, I did enjoy seeing more of Seth and Leigh as they defect with Jacob to his separate pack. We get much more of a feel for both of these characters–especially the prickly Leigh and her plight as the only female werewolf. In comparison, the Cullens are pretty drab.

II. The Plot

Here’s where the ‘freaky-deaky’ comes in. First off, I hated the pregnancy storyline. I kinda felt like I was watching LOST again, where the writer’s idea of a compelling female plotline showing character growth without doing any of the work is to give a character a baby. I hated that Bella’s CHOICE to sacrifice her life to become a vampire was forfeit and all the moral issues it would have conjured up were tidily sidestepped by making her transformation to a vampire a matter of necessity for her survival. When I first read Bella was preggers, I could actually feel my eyes popping out of their sockets, desperately rereading the last passage to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. No such luck.

While Bella is pregnant and her health continues to deteriorate (since the baby is a vampire and sucking her dry from the inside), the narrative switches over to Jacob’s POV. He comes in and sees the desperate situation, and a distraught Edward pulls him aside. Edward asks Jacob to talk to Bella since she won’t listen to him or even consider giving up her baby. Edward wants Jacob to tell Bella that if she really wants a baby, she can have one from him–and by “him” I mean Jacob. That’s right! Edward tells Jacob that he’s cool with him impregnating Bella at a later date, if having a baby is that important to her. Just so long as she aborts this one.

!?!?!?! This is wrong and weird on so many levels. Jacob considers, tells Bella, Bella refuses. Her condition continues to deteriorate.

Finally, they realize that–ZOMG! The Baby is a VAMPIRE! Bella needs BLOOD, not solid food to feed the baby!! Way to go geniuses. Call me crazy, but I think getting Bella some extra blood would be one of the first methods vampires would explore to help save the vampire baby’s life. Just sayin’.

And then, to add insult to injury, Bella finally gives birth…and she decides to name her baby RENESMEE!!!!! Affectionately nicknamed “NESSIE”!!!! How the hell did this name make it past the editors?! Renesmee, for those who maybe be a little baffled, is for “Renee” (Bella’s mother) plus “Esmee” (Edward’s surrogate mother). Y’know, it’s like TomKat or Brangelina or what have you. Oh and her midle name is Carlie–for “Charlie” (Bella’s father) plus “Carlisle” (Edward’s surrogate father). And “Nessie” is the Loch Ness Monster. Oh HELL yes.

Stupid name aside, even more drama ensues–when Jacob sees Renesmee…he IMPRINTS ON HER!!!! Woot! I can imagine that conversation in a few years, “Well, I WAS desperately in love with your mother, I fantasized about us being together, heck I even agreed to put a human baby in her at your daddy’s request, but YOU are the one I want to listen to beautiful music with Nessie. Just you.”

So…Jacob’s heartbreak is erased because he imprints on Bella’s infant daughter! Goodbye angst and all the events from New Moon and Eclipse–that tangle of emotion, all those feelings Bella and Jacob had for each other are completely bypassed with this resolution. No fuss, no mess, just Bella loving Jacob as her Brother/Son and best friend, and Jacob loving Bella as his Mother-In-Law and best friend. At one point in the story, Edward actually calls Jacob “son”. I cannot begin to express my disappointment and frustration with this squeaky-clean end to everything that had been simmering so effectively and heart-wrenchingly in the prior books. Heck–this was my favorite aspect of the earlier books and the one thing I really admired the author for taking on, daring to make emotions on the page just as complicated and messy as they are in real life. And, with a single plot point, all that was negated.

For the next 100 or so pages, everyone’s happy. Then, one final conflict rears its ugly head, in the form of the Volturi (who we met in New Moon). They hear from a misinformed informant that the Cullen coven has an Immortal Child, and they come full force to destroy them all. In preparation, the Cullens call everyone they know to their side, and vampires filter in from around the world to Forks, ready for a last stand against the dread Volturi. Probably around 100-200 pages is focused on leading up to the conflict–meeting new vampire characters, discovering their talents and figuring out what to tell the Volturi. It is here that Bella learns in addition to possessing unheard of self control, she ALSO is a “sheild” (this is the reason Edward cannot hear her thoughts, and why the Volturi could not harm her with their powers earlier in the series). Of course, Bella masters her power in time for the final conflict and is able to sheild everyone on the side of the Cullens against any impending attack.

And then…with this epic final battle all ready to go…it NEVER HAPPENS. Again, I’m disappointed, and more than a little pissed off. All that buildup for nothing–it’s kinda the story of this series.

III. The “Message”

This is what bothers me the most with this book. Not that I think all books need to have a “message”, but when you’re writing for young impressionable tweens and teens, this is something that has to cross a reader’s mind. I’m more than a little uncomfortable with the ultimate ending of this series, and the message it sends out to those younger female readers.

Bella makes a lot of bad decisions. Her entire sense of self-worth and her entire future is based on other characters–she willingly, without exploring the consequences of her actions, trades in her mortality to be with the hot, deadly guy from school. Which would have been fine had Ms. Meyer shown that every decision and action comes with a necessary consequence or sacrifice. For Bella to become a vampire and choose her true love over everything else, she would have to sacrifice her future, family and friends. I would have been fine with reading this–but as it stands, Bella makes these decisions and magically has to sacrifice NOTHING.

So, in the end, Bella can be the immature character she has been for the entire book and make calamitous decisions with absolutely NO negative consequences. In the end Bella gets to: become an ethereally beautiful immortal vampire, powerful beyond measure for the first time in her life, she gets to have Edward, Nessie, AND her human family (thanks to her unprecedented self control), Jacob (by his imprinting on her daughter), no one is hurt (there is no epic battle due to Bella’s shielding superpowers), everything is settled with the La Push werewolf pack (because Jacob imprinted on Bella’s daughter), and she gets to live happily ever after in her magic fairy tale cottage in the woods. Oh yeah, and she’s rich balls too.

I’m all for happy endings–but this is plain ridiculous. What exactly are young girls supposed to take away from this sprawling saga? That it is ok to make all those bad choices, without any hallmark for the future, because everything will magically be ok in the end? There are no consequences to stupid decisions because there will always be someone there to save you? The 18 year old wedding, pregnancy and happy ever after will find you no matter what mess you make of things, so long as you are ready to die for your true love?

I doubt this is what Ms. Meyer had in mind when she wrote this fairy tale…but it’s the impression I get after finishing the book, and it does not sit well with me at all.

So that’s my say–I’m curious to see what anyone else thinks? Agreements or disagreements? I open the floor to discussion–I’m anxious to see how others interpreted the book, I’m especially keen to see how those who enjoyed the book see things.

32 Comments

  • Katie(babs)
    August 5, 2008 at 4:20 am

    I'm sorry Buttercup and Bubbles but I can't read your review because I don't have my book. Why you ask? BECAUSE AMAZON HASN'T SENT IT YET!!!!! And here I work in a city with a B&N right down the street from me!!!!
    Am I put out. yes. So once I read about Bella and Edward making house, I must refrain from reading all reviews even though there are some assess who posted reviews on Amazon which everything in the book, and of course I had to read them. ๐Ÿ™
    Everyone has read BD except me!!! I feel so left out. But if I have read your review I would say good job! ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Sarai
    August 5, 2008 at 6:47 am

    LOL OMG I am so glad I read this before i wasted money on the book. I was seriously up oin the air about it b/c money is super tight and now I know I made the right decision! Thank you so much for the review EXCELLENT JOB ladies!!!

    Not to mention you CRACK ME UP!

  • kmont
    August 5, 2008 at 7:01 am

    You now, you illustrate (I feel) perfectly why so many people are disappointed with this book.

    I picked up my copy yesterday, danced through it last night like a kid on pixie sticks cuz for some reason I could not read straight through. Knew I would not be able to read it all in one night, but when I got to the pregnancy part, I needed to see how that ended up and so away I went on that sugar crack dance.

    I dunno, this is definitely NOT the best book of the series (understatement of the year??). I’m a bit meh at this point. Need to finish it of course, but the excitement for it is a bit off now. I like some parts, others not so much. Ugh, cannot seem to find the right words.

    I kinda felt Bella almost dying to be a sacrifice or difficulty for her. Yes, it does end up OK, but she was in major pain. Too, and I know her wub for Ed eclipses this again, but she did seem to want to stay human longer, before realizing she carried a baby. Had to give that up. But it was neatly swept aside that’s for sure.

    Anyhow, you illustrate your feelings on the book soundly. The more I read discussions on this, I can see why all the flabbergasted WTFs surrounding opinions on Bella.

    Great review and discussion!

    I have one Q about Jacob. Is he pretty well tied up in this book, or does it feel like there could be a spin-off with him, his pack and Renesseme (Oye indeed, it a verra strange name)?

  • JenB
    August 5, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Wow. What a mess. I’ve always kind of felt like I was missing out on something by not reading this series (I own Twilight but haven’t read it), but now I’m kind of glad I never jumped on the Twilight Train.

    This book sounds kind of like what would happen if the Branch Davidians got turned into vampires and were transported into the world of General Hospital, and then mated with the cast of Lost.

  • Daphne
    August 5, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I was given the first three Twilight books without knowing anything about them, and I kind of loved them (keeping in mind that they are not exactly high literature — the extremely tortured teenage love appealed to me, as did the fantastic atmosphere and moral struggles Bella was having (slightly creepy obsession themes aside). I thought that it was a fairly realistic, if dramatic, story of head-over-heels love, where you don’t always make the best decisions and then your life gets all f**ked up and you’re left going, now what? You know, kinda like real life…

    That said, I haven’t read BD yet, and I was dithering over whether to buy the book or wait for it from the library (I’m 15th in line on the request queue!!!!) I was all impatient, but now I think I’ll be fine waiting. I do want to read it, but it sounds kind of silly. I think I will be able to hold off buying the book now. I *am* looking forward to the movie, knowing that it will be something of a disappointment but hoping that they get the misty NW atmosphere right (I’m from Oregon and part of the reason I loved these so much was because of the atmosphere). Thank you for the excellent review!!

  • Patty
    August 5, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I finished up the book last night, so I was looking forward to your comments.

    I’m with Kmont- I don’t really have good words to describe how I feel about the book. At first, I was really disappointed. It truly wasn’t up to the standards of the previous 3 books. But, about mid-way through the book, I talked to my mom about it. She’s read the books as well. We are both WELL past the young adult age, and not reading critically as reviewers. We decided that maybe the whole Twilight saga thing just got out-of-hand for Stephenie Meyers. When she began to write the series, she didn’t have any idea it was going to turn into this huge monstrous thing with millions of women, young and old, from around the world, hanging on every word she wrote and the outcome of the story. I had a sense that she (and her editors/publishing house) was trying to make sure all her fans were happy in the end. She had hundreds of fan-sites! From teeny-boppers to twilightmoms.com. Then there were the concerts, the Breaking Dawn parties, TV talk show bits, etc. Yeesh.

    So who does she write for? The YA? The adults? I think there was too much graphic description of hunting-ick!- blood all over Bella’s face killing the cougar. I also think she ran a very fine line on the whole sex business; that, too, went beyond where any 13year old should be reading.

    I decided to cut Stephenie Meyer some slack because I think she wasn’t probably totally in control of the final look of the book. However, having said that, there is one thing that really bothered me about the vampires from around the world. I thought they were very stereotypical in their characterization, especially those from the Amazon.

    I’m glad I finished the book, so I can read some real adult writing- geared strictly to adults- and not feel all over the place in terms of audience.

  • Kate
    August 5, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Tee hee. I’ll comment at more length later but I had to drop in a “well done, you!”

    (Daph, I’m #269 on my library hold list!)

  • Thea
    August 5, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Aw Katie, still? What are those yoyos at Amazon doing? I refuse to preorder books or DVDs from Amazon for this reason ๐Ÿ™ And that really sucks you were spoiled–man, that's irritating. Jerks. It's not that hard to type "SPOILER WARNING" before divulging. Sigh.

    And you work across from a B&N?? Oh I would be bankrupt!

    When you finally get your copy, let me know what you think! *hugs*

    Sarai–I feel kinda bad for dis-promoting this book…but I'm sure Ms. Meyer made a killing this weekend and is sitting atop her pile o' moneys, Scrooge McDuck style, and couldn't care less about a less than glowing review ๐Ÿ˜‰ I still think it's worth reading yourself for closure (I'm weird like that), but I'd definitely wait for the library to have it in stock.

    And glad we can crack you up ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks!

    Kmont–hee. Pixie stix! I remember those. I know what you mean about needing to read the book all the way through. When I got to the pregnancy part, and then Jacob's imprinting, I had the strong urge to put the book down and leave it be…but I had to see it through to the end.

    In that vein, I did think the later portion of the book (Bella's wonky characterization as supermomvamp aside) was better. I enjoyed reading about the other vampires, the upcoming battle…but then was disappointed yet again when everything was all prettily concluded without the battle actually taking place.

    I understand where you are coming from with Bella, and she does suffer in her transformation…but it's just the concept of all that evaporated responsibility that irks me.

    As for Jacob, yeah, I suppose there is enough material to examine his story in another book with Nessie *snorts*, although the daddy/infant relationship they have going on now is pretty creepy (**on a side note, is anyone else a little leery of this? Ms. Meyer has had this weirdo adult true love with a child soulmate in New Moon, in this book AND in The Host). There’s also the introduction of a bunch of new vampires at the end, and one character in particular who I think could be explored more…I don’t know if I would read any of these books though.

    JenB–The sad thing is, I really did love the first three books in the series. I’d still recommend reading them, but cutting it off at Eclipse. Kinda like the Rocky movies–you just pretend Rocky V never happened.

    This book sounds kind of like what would happen if the Branch Davidians got turned into vampires and were transported into the world of General Hospital, and then mated with the cast of Lost.

    Bwahahahaha! I’m dying here. Yes Yes YES.

  • JenB
    August 5, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Thea – I probably will still go ahead and read Twilight…maybe the next two as well, even though I usually only read the first one or two books in a series (it’s a disease…I can’t cure it).

    A lot of series go to crap after a certain number of books. I’m kind of sad that it happened to this one.

    Hehe…glad you liked my cult-soap-opera-desert island analogy.

  • Holly
    August 5, 2008 at 9:42 am

    As you know, I completely agree with you on all points. It’s beyond disturbing to me that Bella suffered no consequences for any of her actions, and had every difficult choice taken from her and yet magically got a happily ever after. I realize this is fiction, but that sends the wrong message to teens and tweens everywhere. I absolutely WILL NOT be letting my daughter read this series. And I’m very glad I kept them from her until I’d read through to the end.

    Don’t even get me started on the Jacob imprinting thing. *shudder* How fun for him to explain, at some later date, to his “one true love” that, “Well, sure I kissed your mom, with my TONGUE, before you were born, but that’s because I thought SHE was my ONE TRUE LOVE”. That’s every Southern Cliche/Soap Opera you’ve ever heard about right there. There was a major squick factor for me. I don’t think I can ever be comfortable with the idea of a grown man being bound to an infant.

    Definitely a frustrating read.

  • Thea
    August 5, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Daphne–I really did love the first three books as well, and had such high expectations going into this one. I know what you mean–the dramatic, effed up love story definitely appealed to me as well! And after reading all these books set in the beautiful, brooding Northwest, I have an urge to move there ๐Ÿ™‚ You lucky Oregon and Washington dwellers you.

    Patty–
    We decided that maybe the whole Twilight saga thing just got out-of-hand for Stephenie Meyers.

    I think this is the best assessment of BD I’ve read–I think Ms. Meyer wrote herself into a corner and found herself caught trying to make everyone happy (hence the sex for the moms, the all-encompassing HEA, the love story resolution for Jacob without him being hurt).

    IMO the sex scenes were tastefully done, but it was strange to read Bella becoming this wanton seductress in comparison to the first three books. I also liked the blood and the hunting–but again, it felt so out of whack with the Bella we have come to know over the past books. And I think you hit it spot on when you say:

    So who does she write for? The YA? The adults?

    I know I always throw out the LOST comparisons–but the love triangle/quadrangle debacle on the show is an apt comparison to how BD was handled–in trying to please everyone (YA, adults, Edward and Jacob enthusiasts), the book suffers.

    Kate ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks!

    Those library hold lists are insane! Yipes.

  • Thea
    August 5, 2008 at 10:03 am

    JenB–I agree with you on the plight of lengthy series’. It’s a rare thing indeed for loooong series’ to end in a way that satisfies readers (heck, my favorite series, The Dark Tower by Stephen King, has a final book that does not do the rest of the series justice). And your habit of reading just the first couple of books will come in handy with the Twilight Saga ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Holly, exactly (I’m heading over to comment at your spot now!). On letting teens/tweens read these books…I think it’s definitely subjective, depending on the maturity level of the reader–on the one hand I would not let my little sister read this book until she’s much older since the maturity level isn’t there yet, but I do encourage her to read Harry Potter without a second thought. At the same time, I’m sure some level headed more mature young tweens/teens can read this book, no problem–I’m just extremely disappointed that the message Ms. Meyer chose to convey with the series warrants this kind of dilemma in the first place.

    RE: Jacob and imprinting
    That’s every Southern Cliche/Soap Opera you’ve ever heard about right there.
    LOL! Unfortunately–yes, it’s completely true. For a while there I thought Jacob would imprint on Leigh–which I think would have been a much more favorable alternative (even though I kinda wish he didn’t imprint on anyone so that his greif would be DEALT with–not written away–in this book).

    Frustrating indeed. Hmph.

  • Patty
    August 5, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Thea, I love this discussion. I hate to throw this out there, but for the sake of discussion, I’m going to anyway. I wonder how much of the content of the book is influenced by Ms. Meyer’s religious up-bringing. I don’t know her background very well, and I probably should do more research before bringing this up, but I believe she is a practicing member of the Mormon church. I know she has 3 sons which is why she likes to write the “girly-girl” wedding scenes and having the “little nudger.” It might also account for the relative lack of ethnicity in her stories. Again, I have to qualify myself by saying I don’t know a lot about the practices of her church, nor do I know about her personally. This is a point just for the sake of thought and discussion.

  • Holly
    August 5, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Patty,
    I did consider that and I think you may be right in a sense. I’m sure her religious background did play a part in the overall “message” and tone of the story, but I’m not sure it actually influenced it otherwise.

    I think that’s probably something only Meyer can answer.

  • Thea
    August 5, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Patty–this is a very interesting, and I think valid, point to bring to the table. I have to admit that while reading this book (and even the books before it), my thoughts did turn to the question of the author’s personal experiences and upbringing and how they factored in here. While I don’t think there’s anything overly-religious in this book, the notions of marriage (at a very young age), sex after marriage, and motherhood do stand out significantly.

    The most glaring point for me was the whole marriage plot point–Edward’s insistence that they get hitched before Bella becomes a vampire, and Bella trading that for sex (after marriage of course). I found the whole bargain to be strange and overblown–Bella is going to become an immortal and be with Edward forever, so…why the need for marriage? I know this is explained as Edward being old fashioned, but I can’t help but think that there was something else going on.

    And then the ending of the series, with Bella and her happy family together forever–darling husband, young wife and beautiful baby (at 18 years old!), also seems like something that could be a product of a more religious background.

    Again, as Patty said,this is for the sake of discussion and NOT meant to belittle religion/Mormon beliefs/different backgrounds at all. I think it definitely is a valid point to raise–when discussing any piece of literature, inevitably the author’s background is a part of their work. So…anyone else have thoughts on the subject?

    Great topic, Patty ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Patty
    August 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    We’ve all had the yips about the young child-imprinting relationships in both Twilight and to a certain extent The Host. I just finished reading Elizabeth Lowell’s book “Blue Smoke and Murder” where this was part of the heroine’s background. Entirely different religious group- WAY different- but it just got me wondering. Anyway, we can let it go. It’s kind of an uncomfortable topic when one can’t really speak with any kind of authority- which I can’t. But thanks for considering it!

  • Holly
    August 5, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I actually know quite a bit about the Mormon religion as my husband grew up one and as a curious person I constantly pepper him with questions.

    But it’s hard to say for sure if Meyer’s religion itself fueled the nature of the book, or if it was just her personality, or as other have claimed, pressure from her fans/publisher. Probably a combination of.

  • talia
    August 6, 2008 at 7:00 am

    phew. ok so i just finally finished this book and all i have to say is GAHHHH! you hit pretty much everything in your wonderful review. i LOVED the other books and how the whole tortured love triangle would ultimately lead to huge sacrifices and i CANNOT BELIEVE she made everything “happy ever after”. it shouldn’t have been that way… honestly after edward left bella the first time i thought that there would be some serious consequences to the relationships between her and edward and her and jake. but noooooo. no consequences. just lots of human sex and then vampire sex and no sacrifice at all.

    honestly i wanted bella to end up with jake, but even when she was preggers with renesmee i would have settled with jake suffering from this choice with no one to imprint on – bella mentioned her and jake’s path that went wrong before giving birth and i thought that it was maybe that they were destined to imprint each other BUT edward got in the way? gosh when i used to read jake howling in agony over bella i felt like crying and then in this book stephenie meyers just SIDESTEPPED IT !!!!

    i had wayyyy high expectations for this book. and sadly they were crushed. i thought the whole vampire gathering at the end was pretty cool, but like you said, where was the ACTION. they could have afforded an awesome battle where some people died.

    CRAZY PILLS! hahahahaha that picture made me LAUGH.

    not so good book, but great review thea ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thea
    August 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    bella mentioned her and jake’s path that went wrong before giving birth and i thought that it was maybe that they were destined to imprint each other BUT edward got in the way? gosh when i used to read jake howling in agony over bella i felt like crying and then in this book stephenie meyers just SIDESTEPPED IT !!!! Talia, EXACTLY!!!! This is what I was hoping for/thinking. In Eclipse when Jake tells Bella (and Bella says it herself) they are soulmates, and they would have been perfect together I was thinking that they were supposed to imprint…but Jake came too late and the obsession/drug-like relationship that Bella and Edward had them finished from the start.

    You know how I love Jacob ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And yes…CRAZY PILLS! I INVENTED THE PIANO KEY NECKTIE! I INVENTED IT!

  • Katiebabs
    August 7, 2008 at 4:42 am

    I am up to the point where Bella is going into labor, which I have this vision of the movie Alien where the alien pops out of John Hurt’s chest.
    The phrase that keeps going through my head is WTF WTF WTF??!?!?

    I have no clue what to expect now, well that is a lie because I did look ahead and read this review because I don’t care. I feel like I am in a car and there is a horrible accident on the side of the road and I can’t turn away. Sounds harsh?

    I will carry on because I invested my emotions into this series and this book.

  • Thea
    August 7, 2008 at 7:49 am

    I am up to the point where Bella is going into labor, which I have this vision of the movie Alien where the alien pops out of John Hurt’s chest.
    Bwahahaha! Seriously though!

    I think many of the Twilight fans are in the same boat Katie–WTF indeed.

    But, you’ve made it this far–keep powering through. Might as well see it off to the end, even if it is with a kind of shocked/horrific fascination.

  • Katiebabs
    August 7, 2008 at 7:54 am

    I will say this, Jacob does really shine in BD. I adore him now more than Edward. Well, that may change as I move along. Meyer is seriously messing with my emotions here! LOL

  • Anonymous
    August 7, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Wow, it’s nice to finally find a actual discussion of the book and not “omg, I’m in love with Edward Cullen” or ” Lets kill Stephenie Meyer”
    I loved your review and I agree with almost everything.
    Stephenie usually does such a wonderful job of making you feel intuned with the characters. In Breaking Dawn, Jacob was the only one I felt was actually “himself”. I realize that characters develop throught a series but not so drastically and without reason. We never really heard much from other characters other than the ones we just met.
    I also agree with Patty. I’m sure Stephenie never anticipated this much publicity for her book. Actually, I’ve considered her maybe making the book the way it is to get some of the spot light off her…eventually. That way after all the wtf goes away she can get back to her normal life. I really do not think that’s the reason, but it is definitely something to think about. I wouldn’t blame her either. It can’t be easy having a bunch of screaming girls watching her every move waiting for her next book.
    I applaud her for all her books. I really wish she could have wrote more for herself in Breaking Dawn. (she couldn’t possibly have in this book with so much change in it. But she has done a great job. They were far from great literature but it was something that easily took your mind away from the real world and brought yourself in her fanatsy.

  • Miss eclectic
    August 8, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    Breaking Dawn left me scratching my head…and desperately searching for the shreds of what was left of one of my favorite stories of all time.

    It’s 2 AM lol

    So here I try to review this book.

    BD starts out with a healthy dose of very HUMAN emotion from Bella. Bella is still, well Bella. She is anxious about all that is to come, teeming with self doubt…and clumsy as ever.

    Still in love with Edward as much as she did in the previous novels, SM leads us back a step in time where Bella and Edward announce their engagements to Bella’s parents. Charlie winds up laughing after turning more colors then a pack of skittles. Weird right…WAIT.

    When Bella finally tells her mom, Renee (who as we in the past has young marriage…marriage in general ranked high on her shit list) becomes as crazy about planning the wedding as ALICE. No words of warning, no hesitency…RAW support.

    This is where I checked my book to make sure I didn’t get a fake.

    After this point the book becomes surreal…until the point where Charlie cries, I just wanted to hug him=]

    Now to the reception. The guest list was huge. And the majority consisted of Vampire covens (plural!) that I have never heard of. Which is okay since I GET it now. But it really put me off…and overwhelmed me when I read it.

    Jacob comes backand brings tragic-cheery ness *aww, them dancing to their heartbeats was so amazing!* to the book until he freaks out when he finds out that Bella and Ed plan to have sex while Bella is still human. [One phrase: Breakable Bella.]

    *I think that it’s really low that Bella only cared about sex. That was basically the only reason and motivation she wanted to stay human. How pathetic?

    The honeymoon was lame! SM killed the romance. I loved the longing and wanting: the tension between my starcrossed lovers in Book 1-3. I miss their shyness and innocence of before and am disappointed that when they were finally at this point…finally going to give eachother “all” that they could…

    that SM ruined it by giving us NO suspsense. there was no tension. no longing…edward didn;t even look at Bella when she walked torwads him naked…totally exposed…Edwards blushing bride…as she would never be again once she turned.

    Edward didn’t revel Bella’s delicate body or anything of the sort…no kisses or tender scenes, just a guess * on the reader’s side* and then “and then he lead me into deeper water”.

    Then it skips to morning.

    Edwards reaction to the bruises is understandable. I just wanted to hug him. =[

    But bella’s transformation to sex obsessed tempress was weirddd

    BD lost all sensuality till the end of the book.

    The pregnancy was frightening=\ but although I know it’s weird that Bella switches to mommy mode…that’s probably exactly how it happens…you don’t know how bad you want what you didn’t want before until it’s given to you…and then might be taken away.

    But you lose Bella before the first sex scene, RIP

    I hated the name Renesmee but the baby was amazing. And as soon as she laughs at bella and ffromt here on the book is good, and I love a happy ending

    but…I’ll edit it this later, i’m tired.

  • Vivi
    September 21, 2008 at 9:30 am

    I stumbled across your post by mistake, but I’m glad I did.
    You summed up exactly how I felt about BD! It was exactly like some kind of melodramatic teenage-fantasy fanfiction with a pretty cover. I was extremely disappointed. I suppose after reading the seventh Harry Potter book, I was expecting something similar in terms of an excellent finale – a more realistic happily-ever-after. But I was sadly disappointed ๐Ÿ™ Hopefully the movie will be enjoyable enough to make up for it, lol.

  • marissa.north
    September 29, 2008 at 7:18 am

    My feelings, exactly, Thea! No need to say more. :p

  • Lulu
    December 26, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I totally get what you were saying on this review. I really loved the 3 books especially Eclipse and I was really psyched to read Breaking Dawn… but Dang! When I finished the book, I was all for the happy ending and all but it was just too… comfortable… like everything just fell into place into a very perfect outcome… there is a little bit of struggle, but I would have expected more.

    I did really got a kick on how Bella had super vampire control even being a newborn. It was all very convenient.

    Thank you for the wonderful review. You voiced my emotions exactly about the book but I was too afraid to voice it out here coz people here in my place are just so crazy about Bella and Edward ending up together… regardless of how that happened. Thanks a lot. Best review I have read!

  • spiceybiscuit
    May 12, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I know I am way late w/this post but I came across your amazing blog a few weeks ago and now I am totally addicted. I am so glad I found your review; most of my friends (whom I all let borrow my Twilight books and they fell in love with the story)think I am insane that I hated BD. The honeymoon was so disappointing and I pretty much figured when Bella was “so tired and sleepy” she was knocked up. When it was actually confirmed in writing a few pages later, I actually put DOWN the book, walked away and didn’t start reading it again until the next day. I was beyond the point of disgust. Not because of the pregnancy but the direction that I KNEW the book would take. I was shocked and amazing at this book; was this the same author that just gave us the Host? Eclipse? The empty, lonely pages of New Moon when Edward left? The neat Pink Bow ending was a total failure…what, wait? The bad guys are just leaving? No one dies? Can’t Someone die? Esme? One of the pack? There were so many WTF! moments in the book I couldn’t even start nor do I want to. I agree totally with your issue about the “Message” 18, marriage, pregnant..sure why not! Ugh! I actually waited in line for the midnight release of this. I knew, KNEW, when I went to her signing here in Phoenix and there was a question about the book she was evasive…it gave me that Ohno! moment. And by the way, it doesn’t get better the 3rd time reading it either ๐Ÿ™

  • Malina
    June 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    um,hello!?

    you dont get it.yes,you are right in some points,but the story does have a message-as long as there is love you can have anything.i mean,cant you just get it?the story is a little like u said but it is well written.and how would you like it to end?bella dying,jacob beeing a lonely wolf for his life,edward commiting suicide,and volturi get away?i mean wtf?

  • jennygirl
    July 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I was looking for some fantasy sci-fi suggestions and stumbled across this. I read this book before I started reviewing, and so didn’t think as critically about it as I was reading it. But things did seem odd to me. The whole Jacob imprinting business irritated and grossed me out to be honest. Like come on…are you kidding me?
    And yes, I pictured a Scottish moat monster every time Nessie was brought up.

    I didn’t even think about how Bella had no negative consequences to her actions. I know it’s a book and all, but life doesn’t work that way. The end was definitely too neat and tidy as well. A lot of stuff I chalked up to teenage things/issues/feelings and I haven’t been a teenager in a long time. But the more I think about it everything you have stated in your review is dead on point.
    Brilliant and insightful review.

  • Jasmin
    December 26, 2009 at 12:48 am

    ๐Ÿ‘ฟ Well, im only 12 but i agree.
    Like wtf happened with Jacob & Bella?
    All that crying and heartbreak for nothing?
    And Jacob imprinted on Renesmee?
    I was like so mad! Meyer showed Leah and Jacob getting closer maybe even connecting and he imprints on that fetus! It doesnt even have an ending for Leah And The Pack. Did Sam and Emily have children? Did Leah imprint? Did Seth? Did Embry? B.D left me with so many unanswered questions. I would have also liked a 10 years later thing for Jacob and Renesmee? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  • Casey
    October 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I know I’m late to the game on this one so I won’t be surprised if no one answers me but after reading hundreds of comments here and everywhere else, and listening to dozens of women bemoan Meyer for the โ€œbad messageโ€ I still have two questions that no one has been able to answer for me:

    1.) Who made Meyer responsible for providing a “good message” to “teens and tweens?”

    2.) Isnโ€™t it a parentโ€™s responsibility to monitor what their children read and to help them come to the โ€œmorally rightโ€ conclusions?

    The way I see it, if youโ€™re looking to paranormal romance for anything other than entertainment – you have a whole other set of problems. One book won’t make much difference either way.

    Itโ€™s not that paranormal romance is incapable of providing substance and โ€œgood messages,โ€ but the point of publishing books is usually profit. The good messages that come out are a bonus and usually a special intention of the author.

    Why so hard on Meyer?

    Just wondering – so thanks in advance. ๐Ÿ˜€

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