Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Breaking down Breaking Dawn

***This post contains many spoilers. If you haven't read the book yet and still plan to, you may want to skip this one!***
I loved Twilight. I enjoyed New Moon and Eclipse. I have always felt slightly embarrassed to admit that, but then I guess I shouldn’t, considering every other woman I know who’s remotely near my age has read them or is currently reading them. The books were exciting, the writing entertaining, the series full of potential. I waited anxiously for Breaking Dawn to come out, and re-read the first three books in anticipation. I even went so far as to cave in and buy it three days before my hold came up at the library because I couldn’t wait any longer.

And I feel terribly let down. Until I read Angie’s review, I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Everybody I know keeps talking about how much they loved it. Not me. Oh, I tried to love it, I really did. I tried to be all excited and bask in the happiness and perfection of Bella's vampiric self and family and all that, and it worked for a little while, but I just kept coming back to the disappointment. What happened to the story? The characters? Where did everyone go? Who on earth, in any world – with or without vampires and werewolves – names their child that??? The first half of the book was kind of exciting, in a bizarre, creepy (not good-creepy) sort of way. The second half was unbearably boring. I was so bewildered when I finished that I read the entire book again, just to see if I’d gone through too fast the first time (read it in two days the first time around - I will admit that I couldn't put it down). Sadly, no. It felt like the “climax” of the book was all the characters standing around in a field waiting for something exciting to happen. Wait, they were all standing around in a field waiting for something exciting to happen. Aha. Twilight had an intense ending, with the James chase and the ballet studio. New Moon had the rush to Italy and the encounter with the Volturi. Eclipse had the big Victoria/newborn battle, with everyone we loved involved. Breaking Dawn had…a bunch of people in a field, a creeping mist, and newborn vampire so completely in control of herself that she’s just plain boring – where’s the action and excitement? It was the most anticlimactic book I have read in a long time. Possibly ever. Such a disappointment.

Do I sound bitter? I am. I was all geared up to love it. I may consider myself too old for these books. I may be embarrassed to admit that I’ve read them and enjoyed them. But for crying out loud, I wanted to see how it all came together! I wanted Bella to sacrifice everything she had or could have had in order to get everything she desired. I wanted her to end up with Edward without losing her relationship with Jacob. Okay, so that part happened…sort of. But where was the sacrifice? What did Bella give up? Not a thing. She got everything she never even wanted, and everything she ever dreamed of. The Bella in this book seemed like a completely different person from the Bella we know and love (or at least love to roll our eyes at) from the first three books. And Edward…where was he? He went from a caricature of his beloved tortured self during the honeymoon and horrible pregnancy and birth to wallpaper in the rest of the book. He was there, but he was just a shell. And Alice! My favorite character, gone, for essentially the entire book. It was interesting to have Jacob’s perspective for a while, but even he became irritating – so angry and bitter all. the. time.

I have a theory. Stephenie Meyer has said that she wrote a book called Forever Dawn after Twilight as a gift to her sister. She also said that it would never need to be published because everything important that happens in it is in Breaking Dawn. I think Forever Dawn was written before the characters were fully formulated, and my theory is that she ran out of time for writing Breaking Dawn, so she just…borrowed. But never updated. I could be totally wrong, so please nobody quote me on this. But it feels like Breaking Dawn was never revised or edited from its original draft. Great idea, awful book.

So, since this is a blog and not simply a book review (and moreover, it’s my own personal blog and I can do what I want, darnit!), tell me what you thought. Did you love it or hate it? Or fall somewhere in between? The first meeting of the Breaking Dawn Rant book club will now come to order.


  1. Honestly I got so sick of Bella's lack of backbone, her desire to give up everything to become a vampire but inability to swallow the idea of marriage, as well as her inability to breath whenever Edward was around that I haven't even read Breaking Dawn and don't plan on it. I loved Twilight but that is about as far as it goes.

  2. One more comment. I have wasted the last 20 minutes reading the Daring Young Mom blog, linking it to my page and thinking you are just as good a writer as she is. (PS There is now a way to link blogs that lets you know when the person has

  3. I loved it. I loved all 4 of the books. I was just as engrossed in Breaking Dawn as I was when I read Twilight. Stephenie Meyer has said she knew 5 years ago how she was going to end the Twlight Saga. In all honesty I have only talked with one person didn't like Breaking Dawn and that was because she was a huge Jacob fan. Everyone else that I know loved it.

  4. Ah, but that's my point, Kara! She knew five years ago how it would end, but that was before the characters developed through New Moon and Eclipse. J.K. Rowling has always said she knew how the Harry Potter would end, but I bet the steps to get to that ending changed as the series was written. It's one thing to know how things work out five years in advance, and quite another to actually write it all five years in advance. I'm not dissing Stephenie Meyer - I think she's a great writer and I loved Twilight, I just don't feel like things were wrapped up the way they could and should have been.

  5. I left a commentary on my blog, but it is not very clear. I just read it and the effects of sleep deprivation are very evident. Katy needs to start sleeping through the night. :)

  6. Go to

    for S.M.'s reasons for writing Breaking Dawn this way.

  7. I liked the book, but when I was done reading it for the first time, I too had to go back and re-read it because it left me puzzled. I thought it was weird that Jacob imprinted on Renesmee (which I don't like that name either. I like Carlie though.)

    I didn't know what to think about the ending. I was waiting for the climax too, but couldn't feel it like you could in the other books.

    All in all, I liked the book, but it could've been better.

  8. You don't know me, I am a friend of Pamela's, and 29 years old. After listening to me rant about my disappointment of the fourth book, she sent me a link to your blog. I feel exactly the same as you in regards to the series, and have talked to many others (one who is a high school student!) that share those feelings. It is not that I didn't like the book, or enjoy reading it, but I felt disappointment in the predictability of it all. Thanks for sharing your honest opinion!


Will blog for comments

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