Tuesday 13 January 2009

Breaking Dawn / Stephenie Meyer

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life—first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse—seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever? Goodreads

Review - So I was unfortunately exposed to a range of plot points prior to receiving the book on Monday. I was not a happy camper. That being said I deliberately read it in one sitting so no one else could do it to me.

Lots of people are disappointed in the book as a whole. Reading the amazon.com reviews is a nasty experience and I hope that Stephenie Meyer avoids that site like the plague, no one needs to be that nasty in summarising their thoughts on a book (no matter how justified). This is someone’s work.

I am going to dot point the parts of the book that I enjoyed or connected with:

1. The honeymoon - I liked the whole bruises/feathers impact of their first time together. I loved hearing that Edward has discussed it with his father and brothers, I always thought he was so self-contained that it hadn’t occured to me that he’d be nervous too.

2. Rosalie - now this is contentious. She is a prickly son of a gun but her motivations were very clear - envy. That being said she would die for Bella and Edward’s child. I also loved the repartee between Jacob and herself. I loved that she got a lot more featured time in this novel and that Bella thought to call her from Rio de Janeiro.

3. Alice - the doubt of her own gift in regards to Bella’s child was great. I loved that the werewolf clouding was the only thing that could give her respite when in proximity to Bella. It would be horrible for Alice to actively avoid her best friend in this time and Jacob made it possible. I loved Alice’s role in the back end of this book too.

4. Bella - apart from the glorious happiness, I liked the way Meyer showed the progression from bratty teen to mature mother, the evolution from human to vampire. Bella grew in many ways not just in her genetic makeup.

5. Book 2 - I liked that Meyer decided the have part of the book from Jacob’s perspective. Do I think she wrote a boy’s point of view accurately? Not particularly, it was the weaker written part of the book. That being said, I liked the plot points of this section the most. This was my favourite segment of the book and it makes me even more eager to read Midnight Sun.

6. Imprinting - the whole concept was explained with Quil so I find is amazing that people found it disgusting. Jacob’s feelings for the child (I refuse to write that abysmal name) were pure of heart and intention. Bella and Jacob’s attachment to one another was all that child, that her presence as an egg in Bella’s ovaries was the reason Jacob was unable to let go until the child was born. This has got to annoy Jacob/Bella fans but to me it made sense.

7. The details presented upon Bella’s transformation to vampire, her acclimatation to her new strengths was amazing to read.

Now for the negative aspects that I took me away from the book:

1. The whole birth scene - it went way too long. It was writtten well but it could have been edited down significantly. I kind of object to the fact that we don’t have a fully formed sex scene but I do have to read every gory tale about the baby breaking Bella’s spine, pelvis and ribs.

2. Edward - where was he really? His role was minimal in this book and that disappointed me. I loved seeing him carefree and treating Bella as an equal but he wasn’t in the book enough.

3. The whole idea that the Cullens will stay in Folks, that Charlie “kinda” knows and that everything is a-okay. Everything in life doesn’t have it’s place, there needed to be some more messiness to the resolution of Bella and Edward’s life together. There were no deaths, no real sacrifices and Bella got everything she wanted. I think this is what people objected to the most. Most people in life know that this isn’t realistic, she made the tough choice knowing there would be definite repercussions and their weren’t any really. She adjusted to vampire life in a snap, was able to control herself, was able to see and sort of explain to her father and also have a baby. There was too much that fell into place.

4. Too much about new vampire characters that I didn’t care about. Focus on the one’s we know and love. Poor Jasper, Emmett and even Esme got very little time in this book and that disappointed me greatly. I really don’t care about the Denali sisters or nomadic vampires, give me more of the characters I love.

5. Folks Tribe - the teens that we knew from the first three books are non-existant in this book. I am sure most of them would’ve wanted to contact Bella after the honeymoon, reported quarantine or not. It annoyed me that so many relationships set up in novels 1-3 were disregarded.

6. Reneesme - quite possibly the ugliest name in history. Why couldn’t they have gone with Carlie? It was just a plot point to get to the Nessie joke, which still didn’t make it worth it. I find this child in no way near endearing as the author clearly intended. This child is a freak. I find it disturbing that she engenders such faith and loyalty in vampires when all I could think was of the movie, Children of the Corn. I love the connection she has with Bella and also her power, which made sense but I didn’t like her.

7. Bella’s power and the final showdown - too much of a poor man’s X-men for me. The conclusion to the war that was rising was tame, tepid and anitclimatic. I objected to Bella’s all emcompassing power, ridiculous.

Lastly - can someone explain to me why, as a human, Bella was so atune to blood? Was it due to Reneesme being in her body as an egg?

I enjoyed this book. Any book that completes a book series is going to be contentious because people want different things. That’s why movie trilogies often disappoint people. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows disappointed me, in part, as Rowling similarly felt the need to roll up everything nicely in the epilogue. Threads can be left hanging.

Published: 2008
Format: Softcover, Way too long
Publisher: Little Brown
Origin: USA


jocelyn said...

The ending was far too tidy for my taste as well. I read this book twice: once to make fun of it and once to enjoy it! Making fun of it was far easier. And, Renesmee is pretty much the most horrible name ever.

Anonymous said...

one thing i love about your blog is your honesty. i LOVE this post and i agree with most of the things you said! and renesmee is just....I'm gonna go with what you said!