Friday, October 20, 2017

Review: BREAKING DAWN by Stephenie Meyer

Rating: 4/5 stars

*Warning: spoilers ahead*

I think Breaking Dawn is my favourite book in this series. I have been very invested in Edward and Bella's relationship since the beginning, so I was very excited to read about their wedding and honeymoon and the next stage for them. (Also, I'm a sucker for a good romance.)

By this book in the series, Meyer has created such a strong, realistic world. The details are flushed out, the characters are all evolved and familiar, and the histories and lore run deep through the story. I loved jumping right in, knowing everyone and everything that had happened so far.

I think this book was a good conclusion to the story developed in the first three books. It wasn't until after I finished it that I learned that there was a huge controversy about this book, and I still can't figure out why. I liked it, and I won't be ashamed to admit that.

This book is one of those rare instances where I didn't have any idea how it was going to end. I already knew Bella turned into a vampire and had a child with Edward, but I had no clue what happened after that, so I was really eager to find out. There were a lot of events that I was surprised about. I'm really glad that Bella was able to keep Charlie in her life after she changed. I didn't expect that to happen (I kept waiting for the scene when the Cullens would tell him that she died), and I mourned for their relationship because he is such a great character. So I'm pleased that Meyer was able to work him into Bella's immortal life.

I'm also glad that Jacob still plays a key role in Bella's life. Even though I didn't like him as her love interest, and I didn't even like him at all sometimes, he is such a prominent character that I would be sad to see him go. I also think it's better for Bella that he's still around. But man, I did not ever expect him to imprint on Renesmee! That scene totally caught me off guard. It was funny though, and clever, to keep Jacob around that way. In the end, I'm happy that he and Edward could be on cordial terms with each other. I think that's a friendship that will keep growing and surprise everyone with how strong it will become. (Look at me, talking like these characters are real. . . .)

The main reason I docked one star from this book was that I felt it was a little rushed and confusing at parts. I can think of four scenes in particular when I had no idea what was happening until about ten pages later when it all came together and I had to go back and reread some dialogue. I don't believe that a reader should ever have to go back and reread a scene to understand it; I think the writing should be clear the first time through. I didn't have this problem with any of the other books in the series, just this one.

I am satisfied with the happy ending, but I do feel like it was a little too happy. I was honestly expecting a fight and expecting people to die, and it kind of feels like a cop-out to make everyone resolve the conflict in peace and survive (save Irina, but she wasn't really a pertinent character). However, I know if there were a fight, there would be a LOT of casualties and I would be very sad (I actually cried during this scene in the movie because I thought everyone was dead and I couldn't believe the directors would do that to us). Ultimately I'm not complaining that everyone lived because I would miss any character that didn't. However, I was noticing that the books kept on telling us that to kill a vampire, you must tear its limbs off and then burn them; if you don't burn them, the vampire can reconstitute itself. We never actually saw that happen in the whole series, and I think it would have been quite interesting to include that somewhere, to see a vampire put itself back together. That would have been a good psych-out at the end, like you thought Edward (or someone else) was dead, but he was just temporarily dismantled. Ha.

What I really want to read (now that I have a book hangover) is a spin-off series about Jacob and Renesmee after she has reached maturity. How is that relationship going to work? Can a human-vampire hybrid mate with a werewolf, and what kind of child does that produce? Does Jacob stop aging permanently now that he is constantly near a vampire? I just really want all the answers about that couple, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for another book someday. Until then, I will be reading The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide to satiate my desire for more in the Twilight world.

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