Tuesday, August 5, 2008

my feelings on "breaking dawn" with big time spoilers, so don't read this if you haven't finished your book yet

Do NOT read this until you've read "Breaking Dawn."

You hear me?

Don't even be tempted.

I know I'm dashing and witty and tempting but no.

Don't do it.

Lot's revealed in this post.


You've been warned?

Still reading?

All right then. . . onward.

Holy cow, this is one long book!  756 pages with lots of detail, plot, characters, and twists.  Stephenie Meyer really has an amazing mind.  I am constantly in awe that she wrote this in. . . what?  One year?

Let me start by saying I loved the first half, even the first 2/3 of this book.  The rest was just so-so.  I loved the wedding-even the drama with Jacob!  His howl after the happy couple drove away for their honeymoon just killed me!  Oh Jacob.  You just feel so sorry for him.

The honeymoon chapter was awesome!  So fun and romantic and hot!  I love how tastefully SM described (or lacked to describe) the first night.  Very well done.  And the feathers.  And the headboard.  L. O. L.

Then of course things got interesting.  A baby.  Holy crap!  Holy surprise!  Holy twist of fate, batman!  Wasn't expecting that.  I found it just plain bizarre that Bella was pregnant for all of what. . . 20 days?  It had a very distinct "Alien" feel to it, what with the threat of it popping out of her stomach and all. And, like most, I don't care for the baby's name. Renesmee (taken from Renee and Esme). I think Carli (taken from Carlisle and Charlie) would have been a better choice for the first name rather than the middle, but that's just me.

I found it very interesting that the book switched to Jacob's narrative after the first part.  Cool to see his point of view and I think this part was written very well.  Certainly a different writing style for the two characters, as it should be.  I also found it very believable how he kept switching back and forth, changing his mind on if he was going to kill the Cullens or protect them, love Bella, or hate her.  From defending her as he separates from his pack to being ready to kill her daughter after he fears Bella's death. I came out of this liking Jacob a lot more--I felt that he'd grown quite a bit, matured.

And then the imprinting.

Whoa!  Another shocker! This seemed so neat and tidy, but essentially, I think it's a bit icky. In 6.5 years when Renesmee's all grown up, Jacob can tell her how he used to make out with her mom. I was actually looking forward to him becoming closer with Leah, or even imprinting one someone in a future book told by his point of view. This kind of disappointed me. Oh, and I hated when Edward called him "my brother, my son" at the end. Ick ick ick.

Bella's turning from a human to an immortal was great. . . something we've all wanted for a while.  I'm glad Stephenie included the details; we've all been so curious!  I found it very 'safe' that it was done just to save her life though, not because she was ready and asked for it.  But it was an amazing chapter.  I was scared and excited and of course anguishing over her possible death.  But it was very well played out.

As I  mentioned, the first 2/3 of the book is definitely better than the rest.  The first is full of "oh my gosh!" moments and parts where I giggled and squealed out loud.  The "quotes of the day" were fun to read in context and of course the progression of the story was just good.  Fun.

The last 1/3 is so different.  For one, I think it got really slow.  I also think it went about 200 pages longer than it needed.  I actually found myself getting bored (and maybe just tired from reading all day).  She brought in about 20-30 new characters that I personally had a hard time following and keeping up with.  With all of their vampy super-powers, it started to feel much more "X-Men" than "Twilight." 

Missing from this book was all the Edward/Bella relationship moments that we love from the rest of the saga.  I know she's immortal and they are married now, but the romance is key to why so many love this series.  Almost literally overnight, they go from Edward and Bella crazy in love/lust with each other, to Edward and Bella parents of a three year old.  Just odd, and lacking all that lovey dovey excitement. As someone else said recently, where was my Edward? Where was he in this book? There was "no crooked smile, no dazzling, no components that made up the Edward that I've grown to know and love! I feel like a chunk of my heart has been lost." Edward should have been the best dad in the world. But THIS Edward was different. I wasn't dazzled.

The book is much more sci-fi than any of the others.  At one point, I had to remind myself that I was reading "Breaking Dawn", and not "The Host"!

I was disappointed that three books in a row now, we have finished with a stand-off between the Cullens and the Volturi.  And again, no clash of the titans.  All the training, all the worry, all the build-up of the creepy italian royalty vamps visiting again to just have them be able to talk their way out of the pickle once more.  I found it fairly flat, boring, safe.  I'm kind of tired of the volturi and everyone being scared of them. 'Course, she left it open for them to come back in later installments of "Twilight" from whomever's perspective "(Renesmee, anyone? that's my guess), but I was hoping for a good butt-whooping this time.  The resolution was fairly anti-climactic! 

Also safe was the way they dealt with Charlie.  I was disappointed that it was Jacob who informed Charlie of Bella's changes and the fact that there was never an "I'm a vampire, Dad" moment.  I find it slightly unbelievable that Charlie would be able to know Jacob was a werewolf, to see Bella so changed, to know he has a granddaughter, and not demand answers.

And Renee-what?  We just expect her to live her happy life with Phil in Arizona and not need to see her daughter anymore?  To never see her again?  No big explanations?  Again, so safe and pretty unrealistic.

Safe again that since there was no physical confrontation with volturi, that no one died.    Sure, Irina, but she was a very minor character and I hardly flinched when she was killed.

I was happy to see that I was right in so many of my predictions:  Bella and Edward marrying, Bella becoming a vampire, Jacob imprinting, Bella's power, the fact that Tanya's family and the Volturi would play a larger part. . . all things I figured would happen.  I guess I just figured a lot of that would happen with a bit more oomph!

But again, I really pushed myself to finish the last 200+ pages.  I thought the whole disappearance of Alice and the clue thing with J.Jenks was just stupid and unnecessary.  I felt let down to find that the only reason for all that was to get a fake birth certificate for Renesmee.  I expected more, I guess.  And really, did you believe Alice and "Jazz" were really gone, for one second?

With about 40 pages to go, I literally had to stop, wake myself up, and do something else for 1/2 an hour before I could continue on.  It wasn't pulling me through as the other books did.

So, in the end, I loved the first 2/3, but the last 1/3 fell quite flat.  I thought the book was 200 pages too long and I felt the ending was just safe.  Although I liked it and I recommend it, it's probably my least favorite of the series. It really just didn't tie in with the rest of the series. There was so little Alice and Emmett, so little Edward. . . and that was just disappointing.    I'd love to hear your opinions as well!

By the way...didja notice my new Twilight widget to the left there? It's not great, but there aren't a lot out there yet. I've only seen one or two other ones but I wasn't crazy about them. If you see some you like, let me know! The next countdown is on!


Toni said...

O.k. I totally agree with you. I felt this book was all rainbows and bunnies and "happily ever after". Where was the fight, the tragedy, the realism. I mean I know it's fiction but it was so unrealistic. I also wished there was more of the original characters and less of the x-men type new characters in the book. On the whole I guess I enjoyed reading it but it definitely was not what I expected and not my favorite.

Christine said...

Well, you and I have talked about this pretty much everyday and you know that I agree with ya. I thought Toni would too....Christine? How about you?

Here's to reading it a 2nd time...perhaps I'll enjoy it more.

Heidi said...

yep. pretty much spot on - with few differences in my opinion than yours!

LIZZEE said...

I haven't read any of them...

Jenna said...

Yeah, I do agree with a lot of what you said. I was excited about the baby and Jacob imprinting on it (someone in my ward actually predicted that!). I liked that Bella and Edward were more mature in this book, they seriously needed to grow up a bit in my opinion. They never seemed to worry too much about anything other than 'their love.' I also had to push myself to finish the book. Even my husband knew I wasn't as into it because I didn't have my face shoved in it all day and night. All in all, I'm glad the series came to a good conclusion with the ends tied up-albeit a little too neatly. :) I agree that the end was very anticlimactic.

The Bluths said...

You didn't mention how crazy Bella was when she found out she was pregnant. All I could think of was that this horrible demon child was inside her and why didn't she want to get rid of it after those horrible dreams she had been having of it standing on a pile of her loved ones? It didn't seem like Bella to me, I guess all the characters didn't seem like themselves. Felt more like fanfiction. I totally agree about the X-Men comment. I think I told Jenna that is what it felt like to me except there was no awesome fight like there would be in X-Men.
You had mentioned before that this should have been 2 books...what? No way, that would be a really boring first book because no climactic ending.
My favorite part of the whole book?: The very last page. I totally forgot that she could lift her shield from her and what a great idea to have Edward read her mind. I could have read more of that!

hairball said...

The lack of fight at the end with the Volturi just gives the writer that "option" to write one more book for the series. She might she might not, she just left it open. I think the bodyguard vampires are gonna kill the really old vampires and go after the Cullens for the final showdown in the next book that doesn't exist.....

Karen said...

Okay- whats the deal about these books? I have another friend who reads them and she stayed up till 12 to buy it then read all night. I am starting to think that I am missing out on something here! Dont feel bad about not knowing that I had a boy, I didn't know that tthe boys were in an accident untill I saw your scrap pages... Wait... did you have a tongue ring instead of a belly ring or was it both? Maybe you are kinkier than we all thought... LOL. Anyway- it was great to hear from you. we are really out of the loop here. tell Danny Hello too. Karen

leaner said...

Normally I graze over fight scenes. I dislike them a lot. However this books lack of a fight at the end, the simple "Oh we were wrong and now we'll go away to fight another day" was crap.

You are so right on this. I was propelled through the first three books, barely able to set them down. This one? Not so much. More like I forced myself to stay awake last night to finish it. Instead of obsessing about the characters, they didn't even enter my dreams while I was reading the book.

I have to say that Stephanie totally let me down with this one. She pulled a classic Rowlings move. Maybe she was just in to big of a hurry to get this book done, or maybe it was the publishers. In any event, LET DOWN.

And I am not that excited about the movie. So what to look forward to now?

Christine said...

Ok - keep in mind I'm a lit major and professionally trained. This book had no surprises at all. The foreshowing gave away all the gasp moments 20 pages before they were revealed. I lost interest in the story when Bella got pregnant. I only kept reading because I really wanted it to get better. And oh come on could we get any more cliché than Jacob imprinting on Bella's daughter. I did love the second narrator being Jacob and was very involved in his thoughts, mostly because it was the first time we'd been in his head. Over all I'm thoroughly disappointed and ended with a well that was purely for profit feeling. Oh well I'll always have the first three to tantalize me, this one may just have to sit there for a while before I try again. Sigh....stupid high expectations.

Lindsay said...

I absolutely agree with all of your comments and am really glad that I'm not the only one who thought this book could have been about 200 pages less and been better! I was actually in the hospital with nothing better to do at all and struggled to pick the book up and finish reading the last 1/3rd!

I didn't get at all why 4 pages from the end SM was still developing the character/story of other half-breed (I dont have the book w/. his name in front of me). So much of it just felt really unnecissary. I really think that she left it very open for further books though.

sunshineperri said...

Well, I just have to be different and say I liked the book. Remember she is writing for the "younger" Twilight fans and I felt it was done tastefully and I liked the happily ever after. I am glad that the Voltri and Cullens didn't fight. I would have hated to lose any of the Cullens!! Or even the shapeshifters. Bella needs to work on her powers before we can take care of the Voltris. Of course we will have help from the Romanians.
I LOVE that Jacob imprinted on Renesmee. He really is part of the family.
I feel that Jacob told Charlie so Bella wouldn't get in trouble with the law from the Voltri!!!!
Well, that's my two cents worth.

Mindy said...

I agree with pretty much everything you said. "renesmee" is the most ridiculous name! I was also looking forward to Jacob getting closer with Leah. And SOOOOO disappointed about not having a fight at the end. VERY anticlimatic! I think her characters are also very inconsistent. Bella is very stupid typically - she doesn't realize things that are super obvious - and then she's supposed to all of a sudden figure out that the reason she's sent to J Jenks is to make a fake passport? (Which she didn't even need to have after all). I was SUPER bored after Nessie was born until the end. I only kept reading to get to the fight with the Volturi at the end. So, needless to say, I was very disappointed. I was definitely more captivated in the first 2/3 and I have always liked Jacob so I enjoy it from his perspective more than from Bella's. She drives me crazy complaining all the time. OK That's my beef :)

Kendra said...

AMEN! to all, except I hated the part from Jacob's perspective. That was confusing, and disrupted the flow of the story. I had to keep reminding myself that it was Jacob & not Bella talking. That's what made the book waaahahay to long. Save Jacob's perspective for his own book. She'd make a lot more money that way.

I hated this book. I kept reading, hoping it would get better, but it didn't. The 20 day pregnancy and the blood drinking, along with the pointless wolf patrol of the forest, seemed to go on for eternity. The only thing that made me giggle was every time someone would call the baby Nessie, I thought of Napoleon Dynamite (his book report at the begining of the movie). The talking baby is freaky. Also, Bella goes from the whiniest, sulkiest, angst driven teenager in the world, to super mom in about 2.5? Right.

I did enjoy the wedding, except for the fact that no one, including Bella, thought to have her look in a mirror before she went downstairs. I don't care how plain you think you are. There's no way any girl on the planet could resist looking at herself in a wedding dress, right before she marries the "reason for her existence." The honeymoon was interesting. This is not a series I would let my teenager read. Only because we spent the first three books doing nothing but smoldering & anticipating constantly, then on the honeymoon the floodgates opened & stayed open throughout the whole book. I know how it affected me, and I don't think I'd want a hormone driven teeneager imagining those scenes. I found the suggestions that she have a baby with Jacob wildly innapropriate for a teenage book.

I don't think she ever really explained the freaky behavior of the staff on Esme's island. I expected them to tie in somehow to the answers the Cullens went to South America looking for. There are a lot of unanswered, pointless things in this book. I kind of want to throw it at SM's head for wasting my time. Is that bad?

I could go on & on & on... Unlike SM, I won't.

cmecham2000 said...

Wow!! Thank you for guiding me here. I liked your review, I love when people can be honest. Most people I have talked to so far just they like the book or gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. But I ask them why? I want to know more, why did you love it or hate it? It was nice to be able to read others opinions on the book. I actually did enjoy reading the book just not as much as the others.
I enjoyed the first part of the book, who didn't. Well until the creepy cleaning lady, BLEK! I liked the Jacob part of the book for one reason and that was his wonderful sarcastic remarks about the baby (FUNNY). Definantly no forshadowing there that soon he would actually Love her. Boy was that a crazy turn. I hated this part because I feel really bad for Leah and I really need some closure there, funny how that became the story I actually wanted to finish. The last part of the book was disappointing, if its the last book of the saga than lets finish it PLEASE!! I wanted to see some vampire action which coming from me is very funny because that is exactly the reason I was relcutant to read the books in the first place. I did love the very end when he could see her thoughts, I mean just when we thought SM wrapped up ALL of the happy endings !KABOOM! now Edward finally gets to read her thoughts.
So overall I wish she would have gone with a totally different story line starring: Bella the crazed vampire, Edward the dreamy vampire fighting for his love, Jacob the protector, and I actually like the creepy Volturi I have a very strong image of them in my head (hope the movie doesn't ruin that) so they would have to be present also. Notice there is no BABY!! Thank you for letting me share.

Lorie said...

I remembered you posting this and came to find it because I have read the first three books in three days and CAN NOT read the 4th book today (I sort of have to catch up on three days of doing NOTHING!!)

And I knew I wouldn't be able to do it unless I knew what happened! Sick! I know!

Now I can wait until tomorrow to start the last book.

Thank you for saving my sanity!