Breaking Dawn

I never intended this blog to be so Stephanie Meyer centric. It’s about me – and the thoughts on my mind right now – and it just so happens that her books are on my mind recently. I was a little late to the Twilight mania, so devouring them left me thinking a lot about the books.

Just like countless others, I spent my day Saturday and Sunday morning reading Breaking Dawn, the latest in the Twilight series. It has taken me about 24 hours to be able to answer the question, did I like it? And my answer – yes and no.

Let’s start with what I liked (spoilers alert – and forgive the stream of consciousness):

  • The message about sex and pregnancy – don’t assume you can’t get pregnant. While I disliked the rationale behind why Edward could get Belle pregnant (I didn’t think it made sense), I did like that message whether intentional or not. They entered into that part of their relationship not even thinking about the possibility – then BAM! guess who can still procreate. And, I also liked the fact Bella was thinking she could stay human a bit longer because they made that part of their relationship work. She was thinking beyond hormones – and realizing that her life is with Edward whether or not she is a vampire now or later. But, just like how it happens in real life – you can get pregnant unexpectedly, and the plans are out the window.
  • Jacob’s section is another part I liked. No one could tell that part of the story except Jacob. And, given how much pain he was in after finding out that there would be a honeymoon, we had to crawl into his head for a while. Bella was not in a state to tell the story nor was Edward. This was Jacob’s time to shine and determine his own destiny – and he did. I also found it entertaining. From the names of the chapters to his blond jokes directed at Rose, we saw his wit and his true reflections of what was going on. And, I thought his section was perfectly ended…a true transition for both of them.
  • Bella’s sacrifice. I read someone’s reaction, and they asserted she had no sacrifice – she got it all in the end. In thinking about that statement, I decided I disagreed. Bella almost sacrificed her life for the baby. Yes, I know….almost isn’t the same, but she was willing to die. As she said a couple time, she only had to keep her heart beating in order to become a vampire and survive. In the end, she lived, but she almost died for her child. And that part of the story was horrific and suspenseful and heart-wrenching. She did get everything in the end, but she had to be willing to lose it all before she could get it. That’s a pretty classic story and test of maturity and courage – and it should not be ignored.
  • Bella’s powers and Edward’s reaction to Bella’s overall vampire change. I wish there was a bit more of Edward adjusting to Bella’s powers and her change. I liked the fact Edward could not teach her to fight thus making Bella seek out her own teachers. I wish there was a bit more of that interaction because I can’t believe there wouldn’t have been other situations like it. I mean, three books of protecting Bella ….that would be a hard habit for Edward to break. I loved Bella’s power of protection. I think it showed her true power even as a human. Bella spent her life taking care of and protecting people. Think about her relationship with her parents, how she reacts to Jake when he’s hurting, how she wants to run away in Twilight to lure the danger away from those she loves, how she rushes to protect Edward in Full Moon, how she gives the tickets to Angela, Ben, Mike and Jessica to protect them from the newborns in Eclipse….she’s a protector – no two-ways about it. Her actually being able to protect people with an invisible force is amazing. It’s a flavor of Jean Grey from the X-Men….just minus the psychic stuff.
  • Leah and Jacob ….until Stephanie mentioned it via Leah’s character, I never put her and Rose together as similar. Both have ended up in a life they would prefer not to have. I liked having more insight into her character. I liked the chemistry between she and Jacob – that they have an understanding. It also explains why Leah is there at the end of Eclipse trying to talk to him. She understands. I liked the verbal sparring and the fact Jacob made her his #2. I was almost sad when they didn’t imprint on each other….but maybe they were just comrades in heart break never meant to be nothing else.
  • I liked all of the vampires we meet. I like the message of love binding more than anything else. I liked the various stories – and the connections. It was a very neat way of exposing the universe. And, I liked these sort of super-hero-ish vampires….paints a neat picture especially at the end.
  • Stephanie did a great job writing the show-down in the meadow scene. I almost wanted to stop reading before it ended. Everyone realizing this could be the end and kissing good-bye. Yikes. I didn’t want it to happen. Knowing there were only a few pages left, I felt it could go either way….they either live together forever or die forever. Very tense moment.

In my “weird stuff that shouldn’t have surprised us” column:

  • Jacob imprinting on Nessie. Why is this not a surprise? Why would she have introduced it in Eclipse than revisited it again when Jacob runs into Quil and Claire at the beach in Breaking Dawn? She was trying to show that it was not unheard of, and she was trying to demonstrate the nature of the connection (no one is a pedophile). While I wanted Jacob and Bella together, I liked the fact they will be together this way….not ideal, but they are still in each other’s life. And, it will be interesting to see what turn this takes as it looks like the half-vamp/half-human may be interested in Nessie too.
  • Charlie’s reaction to everything. Why is this not a surprise? Edward tells Bella that Charlie chooses what he wants to believe even if he knows she’s lying. You see this throughout the series. Parts where you cannot believe that Charlie is that clueless. Bella ran off for three days and was only in LA, for example. Sometimes the lie is clearly all he is prepared to deal with. So, I like that he doesn’t have to go away. I like she gets to still have him around.
  • Bella’s behavior as a newborn. Why is this not a surprise? She’s an old soul – Rene’s middle-aged daughter. She has never been impulsive. Even her rebellion in New Moon is carefully planned. This did not surprise me. Plus, could you imagine if she was a typical newborn? How would the story end – with Forks being destroyed?

What I didn’t like:

  • The pacing of the story – there were areas of drag in the story.
  • The Volturi – I wanted one of them to be destroyed…Caius preferably.
  • The explanation of the skin of the Volturi – an interesting message (you don’t live, you will slowly die) – but not satisfying.
  • Jasper’s nickname – since when have they called him Jazz?
  • Renesme’s name – way too clever. Same goes for her middle name.
  • Bella doesn’t mind the money now – or the expensive gifts?? This confused me a bit….too much of a 180 turn in my mind.
  • No La Push, no walks on the beach….too bad.

Unlike others, I don’t mind the lack of sexual tension….the three-way love triangle. I’m okay with those things being resolved. Overall, I just wonder if people would have been happier if she did this in two books. Book 1 – wedding, honeymoon, baby, transformation. Book 2 – the Volturi. I’m not sure if that would work either, but not it was an idea have been tossing around.

So, that’s where my head is at. Don’t love it – don’t hate it. I do understand it. Overall, this is a wonderfully, scary fairy tale….and fairy tales get happy endings…..especially if the princess is constantly on the run from rogue vampires….she deserves it.

What do you think?