REVIEW: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

So after a marathon reading weekend, I have finished reading Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn. And now I’m going to talk about it so LOOK AWAY if you don’t want to read the spoilers!!!

So in some ways, the book was everything I wanted it to be…yet, in so many other ways, I felt bitterly disappointed. I vividly remember reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and thinking, if only for a moment, “Oh my god, Rowling’s going to do it! She’s really going to kill off Harry!” I really believed she might…after all, there was an 800-page build-up to The Moment. But as you all know, Rowling copped out. Not only that, but she even gave us a damned epilogue that is now the bane of the entire Harry Potter series.

Yeah, so Meyer did the same thing. Long story short, I feverishly read 700-pages, building up to the final showdown with the Volturi. And I actually found myself thinking, “Yes! Meyer’s gonna kill of Bella and Edward!” I actually found myself hoping she would, hoping that she’d be the rare brave author who wasn’t so infatuated with her own creation that she couldn’t take that big leap. It would have been so rad to have Bella and Edward die on the battlefield together, while Jacob lives happily ever with “Nessie” (!). But we all know that Meyer didn’t go there. Hell, she didn’t even give me a single battle scene, let alone any deaths (whatever, who cared about Irina anyway?).

The bane of the Twilight Saga will be Bella getting married and having a baby at 18 years old. Really. I can’t believe, with all the possible endings to a series, this is seemed to be the right conclusion to Meyer. A half-vampire, half-human baby that grows at an insane rate?! Wha…?!

What did please me, though, was that Meyer still managed to surprise me. For one, I really didn’t think she’d turn Bella into a vampire. So that was cool. For another thing, the whole middle section being narrated by Jacob was friggin awesome – it’s about time we got inside his head. Also, I wasn’t even convinced Meyer would have them get married. I certainly wasn’t prepared for Bella to get knocked up (yes, kids, you can get pregnant on your first time)! And have her body ripped apart by the monster fetus! And then have Jacob imprint on the baby! And, um, the sex was pretty incredible – down pillows torn to shreds! Bedposts totally destroyed! Vampires never get tired and can do it all night! Wow, we could all use a little vampire sex!

So I didn’t hate it…but I didn’t love it. I’ll always remember the first book…there’s no way Breaking Dawn will be memorable for me.

In conclusion, a couple more things:

- Okay, I’m admitting this publicly: I still don’t get the chess pieces on the cover. Can someone make me feel like an arse and explain it to me? I have no doubt I’m missing something obvious, particularly since nothing about this series is particularly subtle.

- Anyone else actually see Stephenie Meyer’s playlists for the series on her website? In the past year I’ve downloaded most of the songs and have them in their own playlist on my iPod (which I consequently listened to most of the time I was reading Breaking Dawn). That’s because I’m the biggest nerd ever. But I can thank Meyer for introducing me to Blue October and Muse.

- Check out Bookshelves of Doom’s spoiler-laden review. Yeah, what she said.

- I also agreed with Entertainment Weekly's review. And Teen Book Review put it well when she made a distinction between loving a book and enjoying your time reading it: I also did not love this book but I did enjoy reading it this weekend. Dear Author also had a good review with some interesting discussion going on in the comments section: with Bella getting married and pregnant at 18 years old, can we ignore the "inadvertent subtext informed by the religious culture of the author"? Another commenter also wrote this: "A masochistic girl who is in love with a gay vampire while a pedophilic werewolf loves her." This made me snort-laugh and reminded how silly all of this is, really.


Lisa said...

Ok, I'm behind the times here, but after realizing that I would NEVER get any of the books in this series at the library I bought the first on Friday....and the second on Saturday night and stayed up until 3am to get through it.

How can I not love a vampire that drives a Volvo?

Unknown said...

Man, it took you this long to realize that you weren't going to be able to get the books from the library? Do you have any idea how many hormonal, angsty teenagers there are out there?!

Yeah, the series is kinda like CRACK, isn't it?

Unknown said...

Oooops, I accidentally posted as Adam...

Lisa said...

I went to FOUR bookstores yesterday to get Eclipse. It's time for an intervention!!!

Unknown said...

So you haven't finished the series yet? I certainly hope you didn't read my spoiler-laden review of Breaking Dawn!

Anonymous said...

thank you very much for this recommendation. an entire weekend lost, lisa up until dawn reading and totally useless the next day. couldn't you recommend some nice "how-to" plumbing guides instead, and really make a difference in the world?