Friday, August 15, 2008

Breaking Dawn by SMeyer: Stuck in the Middle

WARNING: Spoilers! Stop reading now!

Like everyone else in the Twilight world, I could barely wait to get my hands on Breaking Dawn. Although I did not attend the midnight release party (it’s a bit too juvenile for me), I did pick up the book the next day. I know the reviews for BD have not been good, and I understand why, but I certainly did not hate the book. I thought the book was pretty good, but could have it been better? Probably.

Here are some issues I thought I should bring up.


I know that Bella being pregnant is what sent readers up the wall. And I admit, when Bella confirmed it, I thought in my head “How ridiculous.” But I quickly got over it and thought “Oh wow, that was completely unexpected. How exciting.” And I know people have said that the pregnancy was completely bizarre and a little too grotesque. I would usually be the first one to agree in those types of situations, but surprisingly I was fine with the whole thing - the breaking of ribs, drinking blood, vomiting blood, and even the giving birth scene. (Although, I would probably faint or throw up if I actually had to watch that.) I mean come on people, it’s a half-vampire baby, those types of things are expected! But the baby’s name is where I draw the line…Renesmee? Come on, LAME.

[Then of course there are the questions, “How did Bella get pregnant? That’s impossible.” To my knowledge, vampire’s can either use the blood that they drank to create an erection or can use the venom in substitution for the blood. Also, I heard that frozen sperm can still be used to impregnate woman. And that’s exactly what Edward has.]

But to be honest, was Bella really ready to have a kid and a whole family? I know that she supposedly has an “old soul” and is very mature, but I think she’s still too young and naive. Also, Bella's only reason for staying human is to have sex, and that doesn’t exactly show mature reasoning. Anyway, I have also heard a lot of complaints about Bella giving up an independent life and an education in favor of getting married and popping out a kid. However, Bella has the rest of eternity to get an education. She can have both a child, which most woman do want, and an education. Nothing wrong there.


I loved book 1 and book 2, but book 3 was somewhat boring. I had to force myself through it. I think what annoyed me the most is that everything was too prefect and happy. I think Stephenie went out of her way in order to make sure everything turned out that way. Come on, Bella is a vampire. I know that's what she most wanted, but she had to give up something to get it, and I do not think she had to give up anything. Maybe its just me, but when I think of vampires, I don’t think of them as happy-go-lucky people. There is a darkness and despair to them that’s just a part of who they are, and I do not think Bella is anything like that.

Then again, I am not sure what else could have been done to make things less than prefect…With Charlie, for example, Bella had to tell him the truth and the only way to do that was for Bella to have self-control. (Although what about Renee? Stephenie never resolved that issue. Was Renee just supposed to forget she had a daughter?) Also, Bella had to have self-control in order to protect Nessie. And when the book says, theoretically, that self-control and the “shield” is her special ability, I say that her real special ability is love. Bella has had so much love for Edward (that she would risk death to be with him) and the other characters, that it would only seem natural that she would bring this love with her to her vampire life. She has a natural urge to protect those around her and die for them. So her having the ability to shield anyone she chooses and her amazing self-control makes sense. In addition, Bella somehow had the power to block her thoughts while she was human, so it would be expected that this would be amplified in vampire form.
And you know, I kind of liked how everything worked out perfectly for Bella and her family.


Overall, Breaking Dawn differed so drastically from the other three books that it did not seem I was reading a book from the Twilight Series. However, like all last books in a series, this change was necessary in order to bring the entire story together.
But even there, to be honest, the book did not tie up loose ends. With the Volturi, for example, I felt there needed to be closure and I didn’t think we got that. There was so much anticipation building up for the big climax of the book, and even the characters were preparing for the biggest fight of their lives, but alas, there was no fight at all. I mean I am happy that no one got hurt or anything, but it just felt so anti-climatic. It didn't feel like anything had been resolved. All we are left with is an embarrassed Volturi and a possibility of them coming back, which we’ll never know.

And what about Leah? I felt that the book was leading up to something involving her, especially since we were shown another side to her character, but she ended up right where she started. - Forced to belong to something that mocks her. [After leaving Sam’s pack for Jacob’s, she not only has to defend vampires, she has to witness Jacob’s infatuation with Nessie, which is a constant reminder of what she can not have.- She cannot have a child and she does not imprint. It seems she is the only one left without a happy ending]


Speaking of imprinting, I don’t really have a problem with Jacob imprinting on Nessie. In fact, the moment I found out he did, I was ecstatic. Here was Jacob’s happy ending. He can't have Bella, so here’s another version of Bella that does love him back. I thought it fit together perfectly, especially since I knew Jacob had an inevitable role in Bella’s life. Although, when I do think about it, it’s creepy how Jacob can fall madly in love with Nessie, when he has been after Bella since day one. (You don’t love the mother anymore, but you now love her child?) Oh well, I can get over that.

These were just some of the thoughts that crossed my mind once I had finished reading Breaking Dawn. Perhaps I’ll have a different view of the book once I read it again, but for know I’m in the middle. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. I’d really love to hear what you guys have to say about the book. So please leave some comments, because I’d really love to have a discussion with you.

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