Monday, February 9, 2009

Breaking Dawn

About two weeks ago, I finished reading Breaking Dawn, the fourth book in the Twilight series. Normally when I complete a book, good or bad, I have to fight the urge to turn on the computer and write about it immediately. That hasn't been the case this time. In fact, I've been avoiding writing about it. I have so many mixed feelings about this book that the thought of putting them down in writing was incredibly overwhelming to me, but here I go........

(Some details about the book will be revealed, so read at your own risk.)

In the beginning of the book Bella and Edward get married and go on their honeymoon. It's on the honeymoon that Bella becomes pregnant with her crazy-weird, half human-half vampire baby. This basically sets the stage for everything that is going to happen in the book and here is where some of my issues with it begin:

*It really bugs me that Bella and Edward didn't bother to use some type of birth control. I know they're married so in Stephenie Meyer's mind they don't have to and I know that they didn't think Bella could get pregnant but the fact that we're dealing with the unknown and Edward being a Vampire and all, I would have made him wrap it up. Call me a prude.

*Edward, Carlisle, and most of the other vampires want to terminate the monster pregnancy, because they think it will end up killing Bella. Bella wants nothing to do with this idea and insists she's keeping her baby. I really feel like this is a thinly veiled anti-abortion message and I think the story would have been fine without it. Especially because the baby does end up killing Bella, and that is when she begins her transformation into a vampire, which we all know is what she wanted all along. It's as if the author is saying, "Look, Bella kept her baby and her life turned out exactly as she wanted it to." I really don't care what someones views on the abortion issue are, I just don't want a morality lesson from a fluff novel.

*They name the baby Renesmee. Um, yuck. Stephenie Meyer has said that she did a lot of research trying to find a name for "the most unique baby in the world" but no "human" name worked for her so she had to make up a name. I really wish she hadn't.

*When werewolf Jacob sees Renesmee, he imprints on her. Barf. Frankly, the whole idea of imprinting has kinda turned my stomach from the beginning but my nausea is exacerbated by the fact that he imprints on an infant. For those unfamiliar with the term, imprinting is something a werewolf does when he finds the love of his life. In the case of someone underage, it starts out with the werewolf just wanting to make sure that the other person is always happy and safe, but it is assumed that eventually the relationship will become romantic. Yeah, barf.

As much as I despised parts of the story, I didn't hate the book as a whole. I thought the last 250 or so pages were really interesting, at times even stressful, and they kept me on the edge of my seat. It's just that the first portion of the book was more about tying up loose ends and explaining things, than it was about building any kind of story. Which, in a way, is nice because I do feel like this book brought a sense of closure to the whole tale, it just didn't offer me the escape from reality I had when I read the first three books. I didn't quite feel like I was part of that world anymore.

A few weeks ago I read a news article where Stephen King said that he didn't think Stephenie Meyer was a very good writer. I would have to partially agree. I don't think Meyer is good at character development at all. I love Edward, yet I don't think I could name ten facts about him or really describe his personality. There just is nothing there. On the other hand, this is also what I loved so much about the other books---everything is so vague that it's easy to step into the world and get lost in the story. Unfortunately, in her effort to try and package everything neatly in Breaking Dawn, she lost sight of her true gift of creating places to lose yourself in and I was left feeling like an outsider.


Daphne said...

I so agree with you. It didn't pull me in at all like the other books did, but it did offer a nice sense of closure. It felt a little surreal, since this was the book in which all the rules changed (now they can have sex, now Bella's a vampire, now there's a baby, now the werewolves are on.. whose side??), but I think part of that was that Meyer had told her tale and there was so much pressure to wrap it up that this was a little forced, and there was much less character development than the usual bare minimum. But, whatever. I still enjoyed it, even though I thought it was painfully awkward and bad in some places. For some reason I didn't really pick up on the anti-abortion message although I totally see it now -- I just thought it was Bella's usual short-sightedness and selfishness. But, yeah. I was also disappointed in the lack of description about the sex. I KNOW it's for teenagers but come on. Us adults need some payback, here! It's vampire sex! Best in the world! We need details, Meyer!!

Anyway. Yes. The other three were much better, but this was necessary (and I agree about the end). And the baby's name was beyond stupid.

Tammie said...

I really wanted more descriptions about the sex too...I mean, I didn't need it to be like porn or anything, but I felt like between all the books there were thousands of pages of build up, then when it finally happened, if i had blinked i would have missed it.

i, too, feel like this book was kinda forced, maybe even that Meyer was almost sick of writing about these characters.

btw: after i read the book, i read your review and it was almost impossible for me to write my own because you said pretty much exactly what i was thinking. :)

Mari said...

Not much I can say, as I agree with it all. Such an annoying book until the end!

BloomingAlmond said...

I never had the urge to read Stephanie Meyer's books, only a few sentences and that was engough for me... Here in Portugal her first 3 books are bestsellers @ Bertrand publisher but I have to agree with Stephen King on this one. She sucks :/

Betts said...

I haven't read the books, but I might eventually. I'm glad you explain "imprinting". I was thinking that it might mean he peed on her to mark his territory. Hehehe.

Veronica said...

I started book 1, but never had the motivation to read out the whole series.

Anyway, after reading your review and finding out they have a BABY, does that mean that the baby is a vampire now too? And if the baby IS a vampire, does the baby get to develop physically or is the baby forever a baby?