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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Breaking Dawn Review WARNING **SPOILERS**

My rating: 2 of 5 stars = it was ok.



So, first of all, I felt like Stephenie Meyer just jumped off the fantasy cliff. Her last three books were a bit more intertwined with reality, involving her father and the La Push "humans" as well as the Forks High School kids. This book was absolutely and totally all about mythical creatures. Okay, Charlie was still there, but come on, accepting all the weird changes on a "need to know" basis?? What's up with that? "Yeah, sure Jacob, I still love ya kid. The fact that you just turned into a werewolf in front of me doesn't bother me one bit as long as I don't think about it." Right. Out of touch with reality - not bad, just different. It was a bit of an adjustment.

In the beginning, I felt like I was reading the front page of a National Enquirer magazine: abnormally swollen pregnant belly harboring a monstrous half-human. And, as if that wasn't enough of a stretch, suddenly the vampire husband was offering his wife to the werewolf for mating purposes so that they could kill the violent unborn half-vampire fetus and save the mother, allowing her to try again later???? Yikes. Did anybody else see those odd pulsing lights over Utah Lake last night?

After Bella became a vampire, I became more interested. I really like reading about the different "talents" and "abilities" the fantasy creatures possess. I especially loved the introduction of many more vampires in preparation for the meeting with the Volturi. I must harbor a secret desire for a super power.

The end was anticlimactic for me. I totally was looking forward to this epic battle between the over-reaching Volturi and the innocent, more-likable Cullens. When the issue was resolved without a proper fight, I was disappointed. I wanted to see them match up to the egotistical Guard and crush them one-by-one. It's not that I like blood and gore or anything, it's just that I feel like Stephenie Meyer didn't provide true closure, especially since Carlisle says in the end that the Volturi would probably try to hunt them down individually and pick them off that way after they finished licking their wounds. Anyway, anticlimactic.

And last, but not least, I've been noticing the increasing sensuality between the characters and the multiple "sex scenes" in this book were a little much for me. Unnecessary. Maybe it's because I'm wondering how Stephenie Meyer will keep Hollywood from having a hay day with the sex in the future movies. I hope she is able to or we'll have an R-rated "Eclipse" on our hands (and you can guess what "Breaking Dawn" will be rated, therefore). Can you imagine reading this with a teenage girl and having to answer questions about bruised arms and legs and broken furniture? No thanks!

In summary, I liked the book, but I didn't love it. In the words of a good friend, "I'm all Twilighted out." Farewell Stephenie Meyer ... until December, anyway.

*Afterthought: I really wasn't a fan of the name Renesmee, either. Dumb.


scott and megan said...

With you on "renesmee"...wierd. AND I was reading it with my 13 year old sister and I asked, "Do you like it so far?" Her response,"Yeah, but I don't get why she had bruises on her arms when she woke up." My response,"Oh- um, er-, well... ask your mom." (Followed with a quick explanation to my stepmom of what had happened. Can we say awkward???)

Kari said...

I have to agree with your assesment on the book. I liked it, but overall was a bit disappointed. But she had created a lot of different conflicts in the story that had to be resolved somehow. But it seemed like she was just finding anyway to make them all come together without creating any more, other than the Volturi. So overall I guess I enjoyed reading it, but don't think its one I'll read again, (I read the others like 4 times lol)But I think it was good to end the series like this though, now I'm not left wanting more.

scott and megan said...

Whoa, I just realized I posted on your (liz) blog, thinking it was on another friends blog, and that I already told you that story... I'm wierd, sorry. That's what I get for trying to look at 3 blogs at once.

ScottnLisa said...

Sorry Liz. I respectfully disagree. I love fantasy, so the fantasy aspect didn't bother me. The books are fiction...fake...pretend. For me that means anything can happen. The beginning was a little slow for me, but I liked this book. I do, think, however that this book was a little more for grown ups than the last three. Okay, so reasons why I liked it:
Even though the book had some heightened sensuality, it was bound to happen between the two sooner or later, and it's good that they were married first. I was happy she got pregnant, because my biggest problem with the whole series was that she was giving up her right to have children. Like Rosalie, I was kind of mad at her for just giving up a future with a family and grandchildren. I liked that she chose not to have her baby killed because that's what I would do. I liked that she grows up in the book. In the other three she complains and whines a lot more. She finally matures a little bit and learns the value of loving a child and motherhood. Edwards beliefs have always been different than Bella's. He never thought he was good for her in the first place. He wasn't in his right mind when she was dying, he just knew he wanted her to live, even if that meant giving her to Jacob...she was the only reason for his existence, and he didn't want anything to happen to her...which is why he tried to dump her in new moon in the first place, because he always felt like she deserved a better life than what he could offer her. I think an epic battle scene between good and evil at the end would have been too cliche...it's been done way too many times...in the end, they used their brains and outsmarted the enemy with preparation and thanks to Alice, thinking ahead. It turned out to be a battle of wits instead of violence. I like at the end when they think they're going to die and they're strangely at peace because they have each other to die with. If they were going out, it was going to be hand in hand. The name Renesme didn't bother me cause we live in a day and age when people name their kids all kinds of goofy names. Gweneth paltrow has a kid named Apple for crying out loud. I have a friend who has a sister named harvest, and a brother named loggins. Wierd names are more and more popular so it didn't phase me there. Just because there was sex I don't think that makes it rated R either. There are tons of pg-13 movies that are much more sexually graphic than what Stephenie wrote in her books. (Hello, Titanic and the famous window grasp?) torn pillows and broken headboards may be too much information, (Like titanic) but at least she didn't describe it while it was happening. She only agreed to having the movie twilight be made because they promised her nothing beyond a PG-13 rating, I suspect it would be the same if they decide to make the other movies pending on the success of the first. Anyway, I hope you don't think I'm bashing on you or anything, like you, I'm just giving my point of you. I think this book wasn't what a lot of people expected, but that's why I liked it. I think that New Moon and Eclipse were a little on the predictable side. That and there was too much teenage high school drama. I liked that Bella grew up by the end of the series and learned to live, love, and die for her family.

ScottnLisa said...

Hey Liz, it's me again...I found an interview with Stephenie Meyer online that answers most of your questions about the book. You should check it out. (it's in 10 parts) go to
and click on the parts of the interviews on the right. It's worth hearing why she wrote what she did.

Liz said...

All good points, Lisa. I think you're right. It just wasn't what I was expecting and the shift from light, adolescent reading to adult coming-of-age, self-discovery and sacrifice was a bit much for me. Suddenly it wasn't just fantasy anymore - it was self-guidance fantasy. It was too different for me. And the thing that gets my goat the most is that these books build unreal expectations in adolescents who view the world not in black and white but in full-color spectrum - easily influenced by moving sagas, heartrending love stories and happily ever after endings. Teenagers build their self-image and social views around books like these - girls seeking for the perfect man in an Edward-like, super controlling and protective hero. Girls will think it's cute to be clueless and clutzy because for Bella, that's what got her the guy. Guys will think that they have to look like a supermodel, have a perfectly chiseled body and possess superhuman power in order to get a second thought from a girl since Bella swiftly and succinctly dismisses three boys just a matter of weeks after first laying eyes on Edward. Real people can't live up to the characters Stephenie Meyer has created in her semi-fantasy world and yet, teenage girls in particular, will probably now be spending a good portion of their time daydreaming about when their perfect Edward will come along to rescue them from this mundane life.

And the sex, well, just because they're married now doesn't mean we have to hear about it. Sex is naturally the next step in a married relationship, but it's not natural for there to be an audience. Bella could have gotten pregnant without our being witness to the act. And, think of the target audience here! Sure, there's a ton of hopeless romantic adults reading these, but they are billed as adolescent literature. I sure don't want any of my (future) adolescents reading about the sexual practices of a couple, married or otherwise. When I threw those ratings out there, I wasn't speaking of the book, I was speaking of the inevitable over-the-top, inappropriate Hollywood visual interpretations that are bound to come into play in the makings of the later movies.

And last, never apologize for your opinions. I am thoroughly enjoying the debate! This life would be boring if we all thought alike.

ScottnLisa said...

Yeah I totally agree with you on the teenagers taking the books too seriously...my husbands friends niece dumped her boyfriend cause he "should act more like Edward" When I heard that I said that was the most idiotic thing I'd ever heard. When I was in line at the cash register getting this book there were a group of 14-15 year old girls in front of me that were saying ridiculous things as well, and I wanted to punch them. I seriously wanted to put the book down and just go home rather than stand in line behind them and buying the same thing they were, for fear of being grouped as someone who thought that way. Unfortunately, that's going to happen not just with books, but with movies and actors, etc, teenagers allow themselves to be influenced by just about everything. I think the biggest thing is that because Stephenie is LDS, other LDS people are being harsher on her than she would normally get being a different religion. In her interviews she said that some people were criticizing her for too much sensuality, while others were mad at her for not having enough. She said that she wouldn't let her 15 year old son read breaking dawn because of what was written in there, and thought about putting a warning label on the book, but the publishers wouldn't let her.

Karin said...

This book is totally NOT young adult. That is my major problem with it. I would NOT want my teenage daughter reading it. I liked it well enough and it gave it the closure it needed, just not in the exciting way the other three books were written. I also thought it was dumb that Jacob imprinted on her daughter, I mean, COME ON! That was a little much. I think I pretty much agree with you on everything.

Lindsey said...

Okay. So I am reading Breaking Dawn (hope you are okay with me borrowing it from Dan - I decided I was wrong to think I could avoid the final installment of Bella and her Edward). Question: where it the world do the Cullens get their money from? Missile-proof Mercedes, Alice's porsche, first-class flights, Isla Esme, a house at Dartmouth... I realize the Cullens do not have a grocery budget but clearly this extravagance goes beyond that. And you cannot tell me that Carlisle is rolling in the dough as a doctor in nowhere Washington. Does money grow on trees in Vampireville????

I am only a little in to the book (they are on their honeymoon on Isle Esme) but I am already reminded of how much I adore Edward. :) CRUSH!