Saturday, August 23, 2008

Book: Breaking Dawn (Twilight Saga #4)

I have been putting this post off for a bit. Be forewarned that I am not holding back on SPOILERS and my personal OPINIONS on Book 4 of the Twilight Quadruplogy (I don't know that that is a real word, but I heard it from Ben Stiller...).

Poor Stephenie Meyer. There has been a heck of a lot of backlash after the release of Twilight book 4, Breaking Dawn. But I guess you don't feel that sorry for her when you realize that Breaking Dawn sold 1.3 million copies in its first day of release.

My problems with this book (and compared to the prior 3):

1) That anticipation of whether Bella would ever actually become a vampire is what carries the reader through the first 3 books. While I was curious about what she would be like, I think it would have made a lot of sense for her to be "changed" at the very end of this one, without a lot of detail.

2) Bella as a vampire was a little too tidy. She didn't have the usual blood-lust that a newborn vampire has. Her relationship with Edward was improved, even though she had been worried it would be affected negatively the entire time she considered it. She had a very convenient vampire power.

3) There was no real climax to the story. It builds and builds, and then there is a big collective "nevermind" and then "the end." Not that I wanted any of our beloved Cullens to die, but it would have made for a better ending. Since everyone likes to compare this series (inappropriately, in my opinion) to Harry Potter, I will mention one thing here. Remember the losses we have suffered in the final books, that were so very painful, but made the story more real? We needed those here.

4) I knew Jacob was going to imprint on that baby the moment she was pregnant. It was kind of obvious. In fact, from the very moment you discover that the wolves imprint, you wait for it to happen. And since it isn't Bella, it has to be someone important.

Basically, Stephenie Meyer couldn't bear to make it anything other than a truly happy ending. What part of it didn't end up tied up with a big bow on top?

There have been some complaints that I didn't really agree with:

1) Bella is a poor role model. I don't remember reading books for a role model. From what I can tell, teenage girls couldn't care any less about Bella. They are too busy lusting after Edward (and Jacob). She is rather annoying, and often self-centered. A little unrelatable, but I didn't really concern myself with whether she was a proper role model. (Also, I should note that everyone I know personally who reads this series is at least mid-20s).

2) Not enough sex. Really? This is a young adult series, not a Harlequin romance novel.

3) Too much sex. Nah. It was kind of too important in their relationship to include much less than they included. I thought it was fine.

I still wasn't bored reading the book and found it entertaining. Twilight is by far my favorite book in the series.

I look forward to seeing how Twilight is portrayed in the movie adaptation being released in November. I am satisfied with the casting and the director. I don't know that any of the following novels would need to be adapted to the big screen.


Hollie Nell said...

I too was really disappointed with this book. I loved all three of them (though the second was my favorite). I hated the whole pregnancy, Rosemary's baby thing. It just felt wrong. I still finished the book in six straight hours but I think it should have been a much better last book.

Emily said...

Yes, I finally finished reading the Twilight series. Here are my thoughts on your main points:

1. Anticipating Bella as a vampire - I thought having it happen a good ways into the final book was fine. Otherwise, I don't think anything would have happened! It would have been another New Moon.

2. Bella as a vampire was too tidy - I totally agree! For all the complaining she does, this girl hasn't had to deal with too many major problems in her life, or afterlife.

3. No real climax - I agree again. I found the build up pretty riveting, but when the book just ended all nice and neat, I just closed it and went, "huh." There would have been a stronger, more lasting impression if there had been some madness and mayhem.

4. Jacob imprinting on Nessie - I didn't figure this out until way after you did. I was too hung up on the (incorrect) idea that she had evil mind control powers like Jasmine on Angel.

Overall, though, I would say that I liked the book. It felt more "grown up" than the other three, so I found less juvenile stuff to be annoyed by.

The series in order from my favorite to least favorite: Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Twilight, New Moon. So I guess the series ended on a high note for me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saying your opinion! I have almost the same one.. Hate hate hate the ending - what's with that? It's like she's writting it to please the fans.. And having a baby? no, no.. I do not understand the end, and it relly disappointed me to see that noone died or anything at all. God!

It went from cute teenage love to this big thing.. way too serious!