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Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga Book 4)

January 11th, 2011

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When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved? To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life-first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse-seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever?The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.


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Science Fiction When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved? To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life-first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse-seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever?The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.
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  1. GeekGirl
    January 14th, 2011 at 06:26 | #1

    Rating

    UGH. This whole series was a travesty really, but like any good masochist I plodded through. By the time I got to Breaking Dawn I knew I was in it just for the laughs but sadly, it failed in that department too. I can honestly say this is one of the few books in my life that I’ve literally had to refrain from throwing against the wall in sheer frustration. There are just so many things WRONG here that it’s hard to sum them all up succinctly.

    Reasons why this thing almost ended up as wall fodder ( **warning, spoilers below**)

    1. Our heroine barely out of high school really REALLY wants to have sex with her sparkly boyfriend. Okay, whatever. There’s a catch though. Sparkly boyfriend wants to wait until marriage. Bella doesn’t want to get married, in fact the idea utterly repulses her. But sparkly boyfriend just won’t let it go and our fearless heroine ends up “caving” because she really, really wants the sex that badly. The whole “engagement” scene amounts to Bella trying to jump him and getting denied, then accepting the ring with a lackluster “sigh….FINE. If that’s what It takes to get laid then I’ll do it. Give me the ring that I don’t want to wear already, damn!!” Really Steph?? That’s the best you can do for two people who are supposedly passionately in love?! Nice.

    2. Oh and screw college while you’re at it. Because who needs an education when your ultimate goal in life is to marry a rich vampire and spend 24/7 with him. What a message to send to your target audience.

    3. The Pregnancy. This has to be the saddest excuse of pro-life propaganda disguised as sexy YA fiction ever. If that’s your cup of tea then great, you’ll really like the first half of this book. If not then be prepared for massive headaches caused by excessive eye-rolling.

    4. The Birth. I find it fascinating that the author tiptoes gently over the whole implied sex thing, yet goes above and beyond (wayyyy above and wayyyy beyond) to make sure the Miracle of Childbirth is depicted in a way that would make the makers of the Saw movie franchise proud. If the readers were expecting no less than a monster bloodaholic baby to come out of this romantic union, then this delivers (no pun intended). I will give Meyers credit in that she definitely has a promising future in the horror/scifi genre.

    5. A Dingo Ate My Baby? No honey, that’s just the werewolf imprinting himself on the newborn. But the Cullens have more important things to worry about, like keeping Bella away from her newborn lest she find the Bundle of Joy appetizing. To her credit though Bella isn’t exactly down with the whole imprinting thing at first. That is, until she realizes that having your kid get engaged to the family dog means a built-in babysitter and thus more time for sex with Edward. Awesome.

    6. Vampire p*ssing contest. What happens for the rest of the book is pretty much pointless, as the whole thing gears up to to be one big showdown that never amounts to anything. Basically the leaders of the vampire underworld, the Volturi, aren’t down with Bellaward’s freaky kid and plot to destroy them all. So the Cullens gather their frenemies to lead into battle Lord of the Rings style. Except the battle doesn’t happen, except in Bella’s and the Volturi leader’s minds. Because now that Bella is a vamp she has super awesome magical powers like an invisible shield that she spreads over the frenemies to protect them from an equally freaky vampire that can make them pretend they are in pain. And then they all live happily ever after. Not joking.

  2. Leah
    January 16th, 2011 at 07:37 | #2

    Rating

    There was so much wrong with this book that I can’t even begin to explain. Note that this review will have SPOILERS.

    I think I’ll start with the fact that to me, the entire book seemed lacking some key element that all the other books have had. And that key element was what made me one of the obsessed Twilighters. Breaking Dawn throughly cured that obsession, though.

    While reading the book, I was constantly crying “no! What?? NO!” I admit, I couldn’t put the book down, because I was waiting for Stephenie Meyer to pull it together. I simply couldn’t believe what I was reading.

    The first couple chapters of the book start with Edward and Bella having sex. That’s all very nice, but Bella didn’t give a dang about Jake. She “locked him away in her Jacob drawer.” Pardon me, but he saved her life. However, by all means, lets “lock him away”, shall we?

    After the wedding, all the human characters were barely mentioned again. Bella doesn’t need to be troubled with THEM anymore.

    Bella gets pregnant. I must have missed something, because Edward has only venom in him. And if he does have anything else, shouldn’t it be frozen?

    Along with this, wasn’t there supposed to be a sacrifice? Bella didn’t have to spend a year as a newborn, and she developed amazing powers and “saved the day”, and she certainly got that family. I was hoping for Bella to die in her pregnancy, especially when she continued going on about “Jake, are you coming back?” “Maybe…” “I might get cold, so come back.”

    SHE’S MARRIED! She should have tried to act like it.

    So then when she gets changed, she manages to have one of those “rare” talents, just as Jake has one of those “rare” imprints. The imprinting destroys characters, and so as Bella gets everything she’s ever wanted, Jake gets stuck with the daughter of the girl he once dreamed of sleeping with.

    Well.

    I was also more than a little disturbed at how Edward could offer Bella to Jake to have sex with for the weekend, merely so that she could become pregnant. I’m a solid Jake fan, and I found that disgusting as well as immoral.

    Bella, as a vampire, was disgustingly perfect. To be real, a character should have imperfections. Now she is a horribly cliche Mary-Sue.

    There was no climax. It’s called an ANTI-climax. Nothing happened. All is well. The end. In fact, not much was even resolved. There are quite a few unanswered questions, one such as Embry’s parentage that were not resolved with the series. And who’s to say the Volturi won’t come back? The problem was not even eliminated.

    Sadly, the entire book was exactly like terrible fanfictions I’ve read. That is distressing to me.

    Everyone can have their own opinions, and this one is mine. It sounds harsh, but the book was a shocking disappointment. Not only did I dislike the book, but it killed the rest of the series for me. I have felt like I wasted my time and my money, and I’ve lost all my respect for Stephenie Meyer.

  3. J. Martin
    January 19th, 2011 at 01:24 | #3

    Rating

    I’ve only recently entered the Twilight fold. Having initially read reviews of the series in library journals and having heard passionate testimonials from avid fans, I thought I would give it a try.

    Inexorably, I fell absolutely and positively in love with the first three Twilight books. I read them (the first time, that is) in three days. Then, like a junkie, I feverishly searched the media for news on the movie, the books, and all things Stephanie Meyers.

    Stephenie Meyer’s books were my brand of heroin.

    So, like millions of other strung out addicts, I lined up until midnight to score the ultimate fix. The final installment was in my hands.

    I didn’t know I was holding a ticking time bomb in my hands. One which would ultimately implode, destroying the magic spell of Meyer’s world and the intense affection I held for its inhabitants.

    Like many of you, I kept asking myself: “Who actually wrote this book? What happened? This must be a cruel joke…I will wake up tomorrow, and learn that Breaking Dawn is an elaborate hoax perpetrated to discredit Meyer.”

    Meyer has commented on her love of Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Having read these books dozens of times, I saw glimmers of their bittersweet brilliance in the first three Twilight books. I cried for Bella as I had cried for Cathy, Elizabeth, and Juliet.

    And then I read Breaking Dawn.

    For the first one hundred pages, I was entranced. I couldn’t put the book down. I thought, “Finally, Bella and Edward can consummate their love, against seemingly impossible odds! Finally, the big payoff is here!”

    Then, the heartbreak began…

    Remember when Bella’s heart cracks in two in Eclipse? Mine shattered the moment I read the words “little nudger.”

    When I read the first three books, I felt seventeen again. The butterflies in my stomach, the blinding tunnel vision, and the intense emotions experienced during that first love washed over me during Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse.

    When Jacob left at the end of Eclipse, I cried. The price of true love was justly paid with his departure.

    Price…A lot of the reviews I’ve read here aptly speak of “paying a price.” Intense, obsessive, passionate love–a love of the Wuthering Heights variety, anyway–demands an exacting price. Bella cannot have Jacob and Edward, just as Catherine cannot have both Edgar and her beloved Heathcliffe.

    The price of an extraordinary love is an ordinary life.

    But the price–the sacrifice–makes the purchase more dear, makes it all the sweeter.

    In Breaking Dawn, what price is paid? Bella gets Edward. Bella gets Jacob. Bella gets beauty and grace. Bella gets a baby. Bella gets a fairytale cottage. Bella gets all the powerful trappings of vampiric power without all the burden of newborn instincts. Bella gets to keep her human family. Bella gets Meyer’s “perfect ending.”

    The perfect ending comes at what price?

    The price is the love story, the plot, and the character development. The price is seeing Jacob turn from a noble suitor who knows when to bow out, into a toddler’s pet.

    The price is seeing the endearingly vulnerable Bella turn into a perfect shell of her former self.

    The price is seeing Edward, who was once a continuously smoldering cauldron of desire, degraded to a level of abject affliction.

    The price is watching Charlie turn from a loving and protective father into a “don’t need to know” Homer Simpson.

    The price is having to stomach a bloodbath,a mutant birth which rivals the absurdity of the alien reptile baby delivery of the “V” TV miniseries of the 1980′s. (Remember that one, gentle reader?)

    Bella’s surrender of her human life to Edward should have ended intimately with his lips caressing her throat, not with fountains of blood spewing from her mouth as Jacob watches.

    The price is too steep–much too heartbreaking–for me to pay.

    My opinion is inconsequential. It matters to no one but me, but…

    Not that you asked but…Ms. Meyer, you are a fantastically talented writer. You have the power to spin a story which transcends the ordinary and transports teens and housewives alike into a world of sparkling, amorous, and compelling fantasy. You are the real deal.

    What hast thou wrought?

    I know that you, like any writer worth his or her salt, wrote this book for yourself, for your own satisfaction. You wrote the story of Breaking Dawn for you.

    I’m just so heartbroken that it wasn’t written for me.

  4. Leah Walters
    January 19th, 2011 at 10:54 | #4

    Rating

    I really liked Twilight (never as good as any of the HPs, but it was a good book), but after New Moon I knew I would hate the rest of the series– and I do! I hope Meyers would fix all the problems in her storyline, but it seems her mind- at least in writing this series is as weak and flawed as her characters! I suppose it all was just a weak rip off of Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet, but it lacks enough back-story to allow the reader to understand why so many of the characters are so pathetic, especially the main character, Isabella. You’ll end up not liking her more so than sympathizing with her, and her man, Edward goes from being the sharp, keen type, to a pillar to hold up the asinine Bella.

    **Series Recap**

    Bella is totally pathetic, she’s a weak, selfish, flimsy woman. She falls for the VAMPIRE WHO TRIES TO NO AVAIL TO CONVINCE HER LIFE IS WORTH LIVING. He leaves her to protect her, but she will only allow herself to believe he left because she is so worthless! (Which, as the series goes on, you may believe she is.) Through the series Bella laments time and time again, how unworthy she is, and constantly has some man to remind her of her importance! If you have a daughter with any kind of self-esteem issue PLEASE KEEP THESE BOOKS AWAY FROM HER!! Bella uses the young and innocent Native American (Jacob) as a crutch to survive her depression. She knows he loves her but won’t deny herself the relief she gets from presence even though she knows she her only love is the vampire (Edward).

    Jacob risks his life time and time again to protect her, he’s called to duty in the first place because of her relationship with Edward. Despite all Jacob gives to Bella as soon as Edward needs her she tosses Jacob to the side to rescue Edward. When Edward vows to never leave her again, she more or less forgets Jacob, there are some extenuating circumstances but still she does not put up the fight for him that she put up to have Edward in her life. She disrespects her father, lies to her mother, and does all the things that would break any parent’s heart to be with the vampire, and no matter how much she’ll think of her poor parents, they’re always some kind of afterthought. Granted, in the first book she tries to save her mom, but you’ll soon see, if confronted with the idea of leaving Edward to spare them, she’ll leave them to have Edward.

    Bella refuses to accept that she cannot have both Edward and Jacob as they are mortal enemies, she’s determined to have things her way and actually feels like Jacob is wrong for not giving her what she wants, which is to be her best friend while she loves the vampire…to make matter worse Jacob’s people have always existed to protect mankind, while Edward is just an oddity who no-longer tries to destroy humanity.

    Through the series Bella causes trouble time and time again, but is always rescued. She never develops any self-esteem or any ability to take care of herself. At one point, she actually risks her life just to have delusions of Edward. She doesn’t care about how her parents, or Jacob, who she uses to help induce these hallucinations, would feel if she died. She doesn’t even care that she could be risking Jacob’s life too! She abandons her friends and her family to be with Edward, who never really requested that of her. Edward has to fight with her to attend college, he has to beg her to have a normal human but she desires nothing more than to give it all up. She fears marrying Edward, but is dying to give up her soul to be a vampire; she at one point rationalizes that if she were a vampire, Edward would never want to leave her again…does that make any sense? Her value relies on rather or not a man- a vampire wants her, a horrible self-esteem lesson for every young girl, in a world where you hear of the abuse against women almost daily! A woman fought to be present, while books such as these teach young adult woman, a man is the beginning and ending of existence. I know it’s a fantasy book, but books are meant as educational tools in one way or another. In Harry Potter the message is persistence, faith and overcoming, in Wuthering Heights it’s a lesson on karma, and to do unto others etc…

    Meyers gave her characters a happy ending they didn’t deserve–and if they did deserve it, it’s never explained why they did. She uses four pages, every time she mentions Edwards’s name to explain his beauty, but practically never explains why he’d crave human love. Simply because he’s a vampire isn’t enough, because there are plenty of other vampires who get along fine, without love. Is it because he’s lonely? She doesn’t explain it, but in a way that’s too bad too, if he were truly interested in Bella’s well being and enjoying what he missed out on–a life. His actions however clearly show that’s not the case either, so what? Is he just selfish? Hardly the kind of character you’d want to have a happy ending.

    In the end she marries Edward, coaxes him into sex, gets pregnant which according to Meyers own outline should have been impossible. She’s a young mom, who must hide the dramatic time from her own mother, who she professes to love so very much. She has the kid, and accepts and expects Jacob to protect it, but then gets angry when he does so the best way he knows how. Never mind the fact, that he is still in love with her, she’s inconsiderate! She won’t have him, but won’t let him go either! And finally Bella and Edward live happily ever after!

    It’s a sick, sick series! You wouldn’t know it by the first book, you’d believe it’s a coming of age thing, that Bella will mature, and that you will see her relationship with Edward and Jacob actually gain some substance. Through the series, you’re never given any actual reason for the love, not between Ed and Bella or between Jake and Bella. With Edward especially is seems more like lust or some kind of spell, because all she can ever talk about his how handsome, beautifully angelic he is and how his smell makes her forget her thoughts, how his breath lulls her to sleep– total nonsense.

    I know a love story is dramatic, heart wrenching, and usually someone gets jilted, but she takes it to a mental level. It should have some practical basis, or some redeeming qualities. It should make you believe in it, or admire something about it. In the case of The Meyers Series, all she gives you is a self-centered teenage girl who is incapable of not only taking care of herself, but Bella can’t even spare others her destruction because she chooses not to. It also sends the message that all little girls need in life, is a man and a baby, and I’ve wondered if that comes from Meyer’s Mormon upbringing? I do not mean to insult any religion, and I do not know anything about Meyers other than what I’ve read, but this series she’s created is truly horrific. It exemplifies some sort of misogynistic idea; women, Bella is clearly the weaker, albeit more manipulative sex.

    Spare yourself the trouble, read something else. I usually don’t write reviews but this series was so idiotic that I had to say something. I know it’s just a book and I know it’s a fantasy, but just as we try to hold TV and music responsible for the messages, they send to the youth we must do the same with what our children read. It’s problem enough to talk about losing your soul, it’s another to happily give it up, but when you add in destructiveness, selfishness, mental illness in the form of self-esteem issues, you have a serious problem that doesn’t need to be shared.

  5. Amanda MD
    January 19th, 2011 at 12:40 | #5

    Rating

    Sorry about the length of this, but I am absolutely livid about this book. I am angry at myself for reading the trash, but exponentially more furious at Stephenie Meyer for writing it. This book is an insult. If you are a fan of the series, over the age of 12 and/or have an IQ above 50, then DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. PLEASE listen to me. Thank God I didn’t spend a penny on it.

    Everything that made the romance between Edward and Bella so great has absolutely been destroyed. Gone are the cute, innocent teenagers who fall into an impossible romance in the cafeteria. I don’t think I can ever read or watch Twilight again. I mean, I always slightly cringed when it was obvious that a modern teenager had nothing to do with any of these books. (ex. “Holy Crow?” Even my GRANDMOTHER doesn’t say that.) Or the sometimes over-the-top sappy exposition and dialogue. But I could deal. But this BOOK. It was like watching my childhood stuffed animal get… um, defiled. It was that horrifying.

    I understand the concept of author’s prerogative, but ANY author has a responsibility to 1) Keep leaps of logic to a minimum, which definitely excludes some weird, mutant child of the corn, 2) Keep the plots and characters consistent throughout the series within the framework which the author has set up, and 3) Follow basic rules of writing and editing a novel designed for an intelligent audience. All 3 of which were shockingly snubbed in Breaking Dawn.

    Please, please, please. Do yourself a favor and stop reading at Eclipse, or better yet, at New Moon or Twilight, and fill in the very few blanks for yourself. I will never criticize an author for having an ambiguous ending again. Just click on “Most Helpful Reviews” and you will see the many, many people who feel the same way.

    *SPOILERS AHEAD, but you should probably read this part anyway to realize just how awful this book is*

    Here are a few of the many, many problems I have with this book:

    1) So Edward and Bella get married and that part’s pretty cute, even though I think it would have made more sense to transform her first, since that’s how they’re planning to spend their marriage. They get married at the very beginning of the book, and Bella doesn’t even really want to. She agreed because she wants to get laid. Wow, warms the heart.

    Then begins the vomit-inducing 700 pages.

    2) Edward and Bella have sex. A lot. Effectively ruining the innocence of their cute romance and turning it into some trashy, thinly-veiled-porn novella you buy at the airport. Sex is at the very least alluded to in almost every scene they have together. They like it. We get it.

    But that’s not the worst part. Even while she is HUMAN. Um, Edward is a creature who literally turns iron into dust and moves as fast as a speeding car without breaking a sweat. And she wants him to have SEX with her as she is?! How the HELL would that be 1) Enjoyable for him, and 2) Not life-threatening for her?! Not only does Bella whine, manipulate, and cry her way into doing this outrageously stupid and selfish thing (totally decimated my respect for her character), but then Edward, totally out of character, gives into her crap and agrees to TRY. TRY?! Why don’t I just TRY to juggle chainsaws?! And for what? So she can GET SOME a little bit ahead of schedule? She can’t bear to have her first time unless she’s worried about Edward breaking her in HALF?! If I was Edward, had Bella even suggested such a thing I would have first laughed myself silly, then run screaming in the other direction from such a reckless lunatic. That whole thing really pissed me off.

    3) Pregnant. 17-year-old vampire Edward and 18-year-old human Bella. Ew. Ew. Ew. I can accept the marriage, because Edward will never get older, and they love each other. But when I got to that part, and both of their reactions to it, I wanted to scream I was so angry. It is just so small and stupid, so out of place in the story, and CONTRIVED. Ugh! As so many other people said, I thought it was Fanfiction I was reading, not a published work, let alone from the actual author. I’m curious as to what Meyer was smoking when she thought this was an appropriate plot line. But it got worse. What suspension of disbelief I had left broke, and I became permanently removed from the story. I began to hate Bella, and resent Edward’s cardboard characterization.

    4) Their weird mutant spawn literally kills Bella slowly. And she couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

    The fact that Meyer had made the ridiculously immature, but lovable and relatable teenager Bella PREGNANT was bad enough. But then it is with some weird, unknown mutant parasite, that saps all her strength, breaks several of her bones (including her SPINE) and causes various bruises, and makes her drink HUMAN BLOOD. During Bella’s pregnancy, I was literally shuddering with disgust on almost every page. That is not an exaggeration. And I’m 19.

    No joke, I was rooting for the wolves to attack the Cullens and kill the thing. Bella and Edward’s characters fly so far off their character rails that you can’t even see them any more. Bella whole-heartedly embraces the thing while it slowly kills her, and Edward does nothing but hopelessly mope about it.

    5) The birth and Bella’s transformation.

    UGGGGHHHH. This was hands-down the most disturbing passage I have ever read. I had to put the book down to take some deep breaths several times out of anger and disgust, and then wrestle with myself about whether or not to keep reading multiple times on one page. My Edward and Bella. Who fell in love as lab partners, and cutely fought because of their stubborn personalities.

    Here, Bella, dieing and screaming in agony, vomits blood while the mutant baby inside of her destroys her body, internal organs and spine. Edward uses his teeth to bite the baby out of her uterus. Bella dies and then Edward injects vampire venom into her heart with a syringe.

    This is how Bella starts her new life with him. TOTAL Slap. In. The. Face.

    I was ready to drive to Arizona, find Stephenie Meyer’s house, and burn it down.

    6) Renesmee. This is what Bella names their child. Ruh. Nez. May. A combination of Renee and Esme. Seriously?

    Seriously, Stephenie Meyer?

    Why didn’t you just sell a book that just says, “To all my fans: F%*# YOU.”

    When Bella tells her father that the baby’s middle name is Carlie, I thought, “well, that’s not so bad.” Then she says that it’s a combination of “Charlie” and “Carlisle.”

    Again, I considered driving to Arizona.

    7) Bella as vampire. One of the things that made this series so great was how seemingly-impossible and different the relationship with her and Edward was. She literally had to give up her humanity, her family, and her whole life, in order to have a future with him, but she decided that the love of her life was worth it. It’s a difficult, heart-breaking choice and I really liked that. But no. All of a sudden, Bella has it all. She is infinitely more beautiful, graceful, powerful, inexplicably becomes supermom at 18, and still retains all the parts of her humanity she was afraid to lose. She has a child, she stays in Forks, and tells her family. There are mentions of her carrying wads of five thousand dollars like it was chump change, which is BEYOND out of character. Waiters “gasp” at her beauty. She also becomes sickeningly vain. Then they run off to a little storybook cottage her new family has just given her for free, and Edward and Bella “make love” in it like rabbits every chance they get. If Bella had any relatability left, especially for teenagers, she lost it. This also applies to the believability of the story as a whole and the complexity of the Twilight characters.

    8) Jacob and Renesmee.

    Jacob, the cute and friendly guy (but also rapist-in-training in Eclipse) who is painfully in love with and loyal to Bella, imprints (falls in love with) on her newborn BABY. This is beyond sick and pedophilic. But it’s ok. He’s willing to “share” the baby with Bella and Edward. Bella and Edward quickly realize this whole thing is great. WHAT the F#*%?!

    If it weren’t bad enough that this annoyingly perfect child that absolutely everyone in the book ADORES exists, she is destined to be with JACOB. At the end of the book, Edward calls Jacob SON. I just shuddered again WRITING that.

    9) The climax, or lack thereof.

    After several stupid and pointless pages, and GIANT letdowns with weak plotlines about secret messages and hidden motives that go nowhere, nothing happens. Bella puts up her magical, super-scary mental shield around everyone and all of a sudden the infinitely powerful and wizened vampire royalty runs away, peeing their pants.

    In conclusion, Breaking Down is not only literary trash that should have returned from the editor’s office soaked in red ink, but it also completely destroys the story as a whole. It makes me sick to my stomach what this book did to Edward and Bella in my mind and everyone else’s. I will never read a single page of this absolute rubbish again, and hopefully I’ll forget about it in a few years. I pray this book will never make it into theaters.

    Do yourself a favor and don’t buy this.

  6. Earroway
    January 19th, 2011 at 18:58 | #6

    Rating

    To quickly qualify my review – I discovered the Twilight Saga about a month ago, so I have basically read all four books as one 2500-page novel. I’m in my fifties, and the series was recommended to me by a 20 something guy at a bookstore. Bottom line, I can’t speak to the young adult audience for whom the saga was written, and I didn’t have years between books to ruminate about how it would all end. Also, whether the laws of Meyer’s supernatural world were bent or broken during the writing of this book is for other reviewers to debate.

    As I read the Twilight saga, the two things that carried me were the romance and suspense. The romance (whether you’re a member of Team Edward or Team Jacob) was palpable throughout. The works that inspired the first three books in the saga – Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, and Wuthering Heights – number among the great romantic stories of our time, and Meyer adapted them brilliantly to her story of first love in town of Forks, WA. In terms of suspense, big battles never seemed to be the author’s choice. Tense moments were built more out of implication than body count. The final showdown with James in Twilight seemed to me the most graphic battle of the first three books. The scenes with Laurent and the Volturi in New Moon were suspenseful, but no blood was shed in either. Even in Eclipse, the confrontation with Victoria and her minions played out like the chorus describing an off-stage battle in a Greek tragedy (with a bit of head rolling tossed in for good measure). So, tense and dramatic, yes. But violent and filled with depictions of hand-to-hand combat, no.

    Having said that, I think that Breaking Dawn needed more of the kind of “Cowbell” that made me a fan in the first place. All the heat of that torchy, end-of-the-world, young love was reduced to a patio-sized chiminea. The newlywed’s preoccupation with sex was not a problem for me. After all, these kids had two years of pent-up passion to work out of their systems. Heck, I was almost as frustrated as they were by the time they hit that island. For me, the issue had more to do with the small amount of screen time given to Bella and Edward’s great LOVE. It seemed as though the wedding guests were still picking rice of our their hair when Bella’s first bout of morning sickness made an appearance. Where was the cuddling, the pillow talk, the connection between two young lovers who have finally become one? As for the other kind of Cowbell, i.e., suspense, there’s a good reason that no one ever refers to The Merchant of Venice as real page turner. While the play includes a great bit of debate over a pound of flesh, I never for one moment thought that a pound of flesh would actually be extracted. Same here. I didn’t expect a limb-tearing, flying-head, re-do of The 300. That’s never been Meyer’s style. What I did expect, though, was to believe that the characters believed – even for a moment – that they were really in danger. And I didn’t.

    If I’d been Meyer’s editor, I’d have advised her to go for more romance (with a capital R) between Bella and Edward, less Shylock and more Buffy on the battlefield, and I’d have given that vampire UN (like the U.S. Congress) the rest of the summer off. I wasn’t Meyer’s editor, though. I was just one of her many readers. And as one of her readers, I have to say that I had a pretty bitchin’ summer thanks to the Twilight Saga. The story kept me turning pages for about a month, and I can’t remember the last time I did that much reading without a thesis paper due at the end. Also, I think Meyer does a great acknowledgements page and, based on her recommendation, I discovered the band Muse. If it’s possible for music to “sound like” a book, Muse actually evokes for me memories of the Twilight Saga. Pretty cool, eh?

    I hope that the negative reviews of Breaking Dawn don’t keep people from making a stop in the town of Forks. It’s actually a pretty interesting place with some pretty interesting people — and an inordinate number of really cool cars.

  7. Sleepless Leah
    January 21st, 2011 at 01:42 | #7

    Rating

    So, I guess that consistency, logic and entertainment were out of the question, then?

    I was never a rabid fan of this series. Seriously. Why? Because, let’s be honest, they’re not, and never were, well-written. It has always felt like a fan fiction to me. The way the books are written in first person, the way the main character is proclaimed to be (not really ever BEING it, though) and the way every single character acts around her, always made me feel like an intruder in Stephenie Meyer’s deep wet fantasies. And yes, I noticed. I noticed how you were supposed to insert yourself in Isabella’s shoes (ahah!) to make it your OWN fantasy. Durr, I see what you did thar!!

    “Why did you read it then, stoopid?” – you might ask.

    Well, I might answer, though they were never the great books they were hyped out to be, and Meyer still isn’t the best writer evah (not even the greatest storyteller, in my opinion) and these series is not (or should not be) best-selling material, they were fairly entertaining. They were simple, entertaining, simple and entertaining. That’s it. A good escape read. So yes, I kept reading them; if only so that I could get some closure on the story and the complete set of the series (I hate incomplete series on my bookshelf).

    My opinion never changed, though. It only grew stronger and became more and more confirmed by Meyer herself with each new book. I don’t hate the author. I just don’t think she deserves this much attention. I mean it. Her writing doesn’t even sound to me as a college literature graduated one. These books are only successful because a LOT of teenage girls and bored housewives lived through Meyer’s fantasy as their own: a simple, regular girl (*ahem* you!) draws the attention of hot, mysterious, popular and rich guy. Not only that but she’s the ONLY one he ever got interested in (in 107 years! Really?! Talk about dead hormones and some serious sex issues!) AND everyone seems to love you AND you get some action in your life, during which you can play damsel in distress (over and over and over and over again!) and be saved by hot guy, ALWAYS. YAY! Fantasy fulfilling time!

    Twilight was, when compared to the others, good. The best of the series, I think. Maybe that’s because it is the beginning and as so, it didn’t ask so much for all those pesky things like: consistent characterization, character development and continuity. Then, the other books needed it much more. Oh noes! New Moon was bo-ring. And honestly, annoying. With all the Romeo and Juliet pseudo-crap! Bella showed herself as being even weaker, needier, dumber and more pathetic than previously. I don’t think I ever saw a character go back in development before but, alas, she did. And Edward too. I didn’t find it endearing that he tried to kill himself. Nor did I find attractive that Jacob was all around the place moping for Bella. Can you spell pathetic? As in, the most pathetic, needy and weak characters’ cast in the history of ever? Eclipse just accentuated that so much more. Is there anyone with a personality in here, somewhere? And a strong one at that? Why can’t, any of the main three characters, really stand up for themselves (and for the right reasons), grow a spine and stop being so damn miserable? Why can’t they just grow and be strong and go away from what’s hurting them? These characters and their interactions with each other remind more of a bunch of drug addicts and their drugs. Because Meyer’s characters are addicted to each other.

    Breaking Dawn just delved deeper and deeper into the waters of mediocrity. Its continuity with the other books is zero. Everything that produced even the tiniest spark of thought in my brain on the other books was totally erased, stepped on and vomited by Bella in this thing. Serves me right for trying to think at all about the previous themes of choice, sacrifice and consequence. How dare I, trying to take something actually meaningful from this series…

    Breaking Dawn was worse because it made me laugh when I don’t think I was supposed to. Also, it reached new degrees of disgusting, all in the wrong places. It was so uninteresting; it was painful to read sometimes. Never before had I ever had to force myself to keep turning pages. It was also way too long. How can anyone say so much about nothing, I will never know. I seriously doubt this was edited at all. Heck, I almost doubt even Meyer herself read it more than once. Grammatical mistakes, bad and sloppy writing, obvious OOCness, all mistakes that can NOT be in a best selling product. Heavy chunks and entire sections could and should be erased. My biologist’s heart weeps for all those poor innocent trees. IF an editor looked at this thing I would like to meet this person and ask him/her what the hell…?! And also what were you high on, because it must be good.

    It’s the final book in a best-selling series, yet it’s extremely and amazingly amateurish. All the bad choices were taken. Not to mention that it’s a YA romance novel that it’s neither YA nor romantic. Meyer says she never wrote a YA book in her life. Really?? Well, my darling, then either you’re not the one writing this or someone doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing. Because they are being sold as much, so you have to write to YA. Not the case with this book.

    The Positive:

    -Leah and Seth ruled! They were fun and interesting and had a personality.

    -Jacob also ruled until the sad, sad end.

    -Jacob’s chapter titles actually made me smile.

    -The final scene with Edward and Bella because it was the only shadow of romance and the only bit in the entire lengthy book where they were like their previous selves. AND maybe by entering her mind Eddie will finally understand how boring Bella is. Take that, Edwarckle! Yeah, I had to put up with that for four books! And you’ll have to put up with her for eternity! Ahah! Not to mention it was the final scene!

    The Negative:

    -Everything freaking else.

    Now, on to the marvellous piece of WTF known as “plot”.

    The wedding was… meh. Short, uninspired and under described.

    The honeymoon was an unsexy joke. I did stop finding it funny when she started begging for sex. Way to go Bells, I guess dignity isn’t in your dictionary. And the sex was… also meh. THAT was what everyone’s been waiting for?! Thanks, Steph, I could barely contain myself with all the burning passion, desire and sensuality of that. When childish kisses and innocent holding are more sensual than the actual making of the love, you know you are in for one long crappy romance.

    The pregnancy was the biggest ridiculousness in the entire life of ridiculous. OMFGWTF?! I don’t even care about the impossibility of it all, but as soon as she started with all the chromosomal mumbo-jumbo, a lonely tear of anger made its way out of my biologist’s eye. It was sad, all that ignorance. Leave science out of it, damn it! Darwin actually rolled on his deathbed.

    Jacob’s book was a bunch of wah wah wah wah wah wah, but as I already noted, Leah and Seth were cool. I was annoyed that Jake had to go back to selfish Bella and more so with Edward just giving her away for sex. Well, I guess I would want to give her away too. But I actually enjoyed understanding Jacob better because he was cool (until the sad, sad end) and I love his sarcasm! I don’t love that he loves Beauty Swan. I wish Leah would’ve smashed the crap out of her instead of just making her cry, but oh well. I was rooting and cheering for Leah all the way! Seriously, it was about time that someone told Bella how lame and selfish and unbearable she is.

    Now, the birth scene. Can you say YUCK? I actually felt nauseated! Gross! Was that really necessary? Oh, and the ripping uterus with teeth thing? So romantic! Way to go, Meyer, you destroyed the last shred of hotness that Edwarckle might’ve still had at this point. Eww! “Fountain of blood” … I was prepared to vomit a fountain of actual vomit! And then, after all that, we’re supposed to just love cutey pie Renesmee?! She’s NOT adorable, she’s freaky and creepy. Oh, and the loving scene when a mother holds her child in her arms for the first time? Nope, the creepo mutant alien thingy just bite her! Oh, predator, where are you?

    The transformation was a disappointment. The vampire Bella was a disappointment. Of course she is the most beautiful, graceful, controlled, perfect vampire ever! Wow, Steph, another opportunity for character development completely destroyed. The transformation and the newborn phase, had they been made correctly, could’ve been a great time for struggle and pain and development of depth to both Bella and Edward alone, not to mention it was perfect to mature and take their relationship to a higher level of depth and connection. But, no. Just throw that away! The only thing that was done was make Bella even more annoying and perfect. Oh, and of course she had to have a power. A lame one, but still. Was I the only one waiting for a romantic, passionate but still difficult scene between Edward and Bella? One when he would actually bite her?

    Oh, and the motherly and fatherly vibes that I got from Renesfreaky’s parents were just amazing. I wish Edward and Bella would adopt me so I could be conveniently passed on to Rosalie and Jacob whenever they wanted to get it on – vampire style!

    The imprinting … God! I don’t even want to go there. Again, another opportunity for growth and development for Jacob completely raped and chewed on. Wouldn’t it be great if he just resisted the imprinting crap thing? And actually fell in love? Remember all his talk about not wanting to give up on his free will? Yeah, she basically just stepped over it, shred it to pieces and set it on fire. Because, you know, who wants to have freedom, anyway? Not to mention how severely disturbing it is that he imprinted on the child of his former target of obsession. AND the fact that the thing is still an infant. Well, he’s just going to have to raise it until it’s ready! ARGH!

    The new vampires were more of the same wah wah wah. And useless one, for that matter.

    The battle was the most epic non-battle that I have ever not-read. It was just disappointing. I only wanted for someone to die (and, please, Irina-whoever does NOT count)! Or at least suffer a little bit! God forbid, Stephenie, God forbid there’s actually some sacrifice or pain or struggle. It was lame and *yawn*.

    The cheesy happy ending was the saddest of all happy endings ever. Yes, absolutely EVERYONE got EVERYTHING without giving up ANYTHING. No one deserved it. No one. It was all so sparkly and happy, with rainbows and unicorns, all so sweet and candy that I think I got diabetes by just reading it.

    Now, the characters. Are you expecting to find any of the ones you met in the earlier books? Well, stop deceiving yourself, because you are not going to find them here. They’re simply gone.

    Bella has got to be the most annoying main character ever. And I refuse to use the word “heroine” because she just isn’t. She’s whiny; she’s selfish, immature and embarrassingly weak and needy. I just can’t understand why everyone, including Edward and Jacob, love her so much. It’s amazing, though, that without many qualities and so many faults she still manages to be the perfect Mary-Sue. She’s the sparkliest, most beautiful, perfect and most special and purest snowflake you can find. If sparkly, beautiful, perfect, special and pure snowflakes had a name it would be Bella. For now on, every time it snows, I’ll just call it “snowbells”. It makes me sick.

    Edward was reduced to a pathetic shell of self hatred, hidden in a pool of his own miserable impossible tears. Not sexy, at all! Maybe it’s just my Latin-Oriental roots talking, but really, cold and hard marble who just weeps in misery without stepping up and taking action just isn’t my type. I don’t want a man who just gives me what I want blindly and gives in to my every whim; I want one who can give me what I NEED and who can step up against me when necessary. Well, I guess I just find strong personalities hotter, it’s a matter of taste.

    Jacob was the ONLY developed character in this series. He actually had a personality, and a fun one! Ironically, he’s the one character that Meyer wasn’t planning on developing. Whoops! Well, he got butchered on the end with the imprinting thing and is now stuck to Bella and Renespooky for eternity so… I guess he got what he deserved for having depth.

    Renesmee… I think we’re supposed to love her. Aren’t we? I just love mutant babies that grow with repulsing speed, are born with teeth, chew their way out of mommy, drink blood and read. Such cuties. Again, I cannot understand why everyone loves her so damn much. I guess the Sueish gene runs in the family. She got that from her mommy.

    Leah and Seth were awesome. Too bad they were not even considered for development. Leah just… well, stayed there, I guess. She was developing a good, real relationship with Jacob but then … Puff! Sucks to be you, Leah! Maybe if Meyer had inserted herself in your shoes she wouldn’t have to do this.

    The Cullens weren’t there. Period. And when they were, they were so out of character it actually gave me physical pain. I don’t even remember reading Esme’s name, except in that idiot island’s one.

    The humans are just GONE. Minus Charlie, but after what she did to him, I wish she would’ve just lost him somewhere like she did to Renee, Jessica, Angela, Mike and Ben. Because, you know, humans just aren’t good enough to be in this dazzling book.

    The Vulturi … Oh Mother of God.

    In conclusion, it was a mess. A big, sloppy, illogical, unprofessional, uninteresting and unedited mess. I won’t even go into all the messages and innuendos out there because honestly I don’t even know if she understands them herself. And I’m tired of talking about this.

    Read it if you must, but borrow from someone or get it from the library.

    I am sorry for the lengthy review but hey, Meyer does it lengthy – ALWAYS – and somehow it seems to be working for her.

  8. E. Shelton
    January 21st, 2011 at 06:06 | #8

    Rating

    The fans who stuck by this series, regardless of age, will be dissatisfied with this product. I still love Stephenie Meyer’s first three in this saga, yet the fourth seemed to be written by someone who did not care for the established story. I loved Bella’s vulnerability and naiveté; Edward’s love, maturity, SENSIBILITY; Jacobs playfulness, loyalty and his love as well. The traits I fell in love with were almost forgotten. Edward gave into Bella’s irrational wants and the rest of the book hung on his indecisions.

    Sure, fans got what they wanted in every way possible. I agree with other fans: cop out. All of the tragic novels mentioned in the previous books (Romeo and Juliet for example) should have been a compass to what love stories inevitably are: tragic. There was a line that talked about how it was strange when puzzle pieces finally fit together for Bella, they were all about to come undone. That is real. This book? Not so much.

    Petition for rewrite? Sorry Stephenie Meyer seems like you missed the mark for a lot of people on this one. I refuse to believe this is what you have been dying for your fans to read.

  9. Trisha
    January 21st, 2011 at 16:13 | #9

    Rating

    Okay, I’m not going to lie: I am addicted to Twilight. I own actual, physical copies of the first three books and the copy of Breaking Dawn I ordered from Amazon is on the way (I read an online version). But I really cannot understand why anyone, ANYONE, can treat it seriously. The entire series is filled with convenient plot devices, shallow, one-dimensional characters, and Meyer is not a very concise writer, which means that the books are long. Really long.

    I’ll admit the initial plot is engaging: deadly yet benevolent vampires, a forbidden love. All very marketable and appealing. What bothers me is the lack of skill with which the stories are executed. Meyer’s writing is not bad, it’s just amateurish. Quite honestly, I think I or any other of my friends could have written it the way she had, and I’m not even out of high school. Everything in Breaking Dawn slots neatly into place, making all the fuss that precluded it practically useless. What was the point of building all that up if it’s just going to resolve it anyway?

    I hear people comparing her series to Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice, and wince. I sincerely hope that the masses don’t feel this way, or else I’ll lose faith in society’s ability to judge quality forever.

  10. Chicklet
    January 21st, 2011 at 19:49 | #10

    Rating

    I started reading this series after I heard a rave review on NPR during their “Guilty Pleasures” segment. The middle-aged gentleman described Twilight with such enthusiasm that I couldn’t resist temptation. I bought the four-book set and settled in for a long weekend of reading.

    Three days and 2400 pages later, I’d finished the four novels. I adored Twilight, tried not to slap whiny Bella during New Moon, and mostly skimmed through Eclipse trying to get to something interesting. Finally, I got to Breaking Dawn. I have never been so let down by a book in my entire life. I don’t even need to go into all the ways that this book was horrible – the other reviewers have done that well. But, here I go anyway:

    Wedding – So, Bella’s wedding to Edward was not what she wanted, but what she was willing to trade for sex and immortality. The wedding itself was not her vision and in no way represented their unique love, but was instead a fantasy created fully by Alice’s vision.

    Honeymoon – Meyer is telling us that sex is scary and awful. You will have a lot of pain your first time and your husband, who puts you up on a pedestal, will hate himself for “hurting” you, no matter how yummy delicious it is. Oh, and once you do get some, it’s pretty much the only thing you’ll want, and your new hubby will reject you, mercilessly, due to his own hang ups. Woo! I gotta get me some of that!

    Also, how come it’s either a little french kissing or sex? How come no one ever talks about alllll that space in between those two extremes? What a perfect place for her to talk about sex and the implications of it, especially given her target audience.

    Pregnancy – You will get pregnant the very first time you have sex. Pregnancy is the most horrible state you will ever experience. It will be stunningly painful as your body is taken over by something that hurts you, and tries to kill you, and eventually chews its way out of you. The bloodbath of child birth is fine – but it says a lot, to me, about Meyer that she can’t write the sex, but can write the gore. Or maybe it’s about society, and not Meyer at all. Take your pick.

    Renesmee – Say it out loud. I dare you. Look, I get what Meyer was trying to convey here about the beauty of having a child, the connection that a newborn’s family feels to the child and how fleeting childhood is. But come on! The massive gaps in logic and leaps of faith it takes you to get here are stunning. Stunning. And impossible.

    Jacob – Sigh. Poor Jacob. This boy never had an ounce of pride, he submitted it all to Bella, only to find himself a pedophile in the end. How utterly freaking awful. (and yeah, I tried to go with the whole “it’s fiction, not pedophilia” but I just couldn’t get there. It was creepy.)

    The Cullens – Who? No seriously though, Edward had a family? Where were they after page 150?

    Renee and Charlie – So, while Renee has been the primary parent and the person that Bella is closest to for the entire series, suddenly she’s just…absent. Laaaame. And suddenly Charlie is Bella’s first concern, but we’ve been given absolutely nothing by way of character development to buy into this. Again, I say: Come on!

    Editing: Look, I don’t know who edited this book, but ZOMG! fire that person. There were so many errors it was distracting. Dialog tagging: use it. Also, adverbs are not your friends. If Bella “shyly” does one more thing, I’m going beat her with her own arm. If you have to tell us that people are chuckling, giggling, that their eyes are “tightening” (wth does that even mean?) then you’re failing at description. If you must tell and not show, read some Willa Cather. She gets away with it. You don’t. So stop.

    Tone: I’m guessing that Meyer took a break from Twilight land to write “The Host” and that’s why the entire tone of this novel is off. It just doesn’t even sound like it was written by the same person.

    At the end of this novel, I wanted to rewrite the whole thing myself. I wanted to see why Bella decided that she would marry Edward. I wanted her to give a damn about the wedding and see some reverence in it. I wanted to see a real deepening in her relationship with Alice. I wanted Esme to be more than just a paper doll mother figure. I wanted a real, honest to goodness sex scene that lived up to three freaking novels worth of some of the steamiest kisses ever. I wanted Bella to pay a price for some of her choices. I wanted that epic battle with the Volturi to actually happen. I wanted someone to die. Meyer cheated us out of the thoughtful endings that we get when good triumphs over evil. That’s what makes life sweet, and makes us appreciate what we have – working for it, sacrificing for it.

    Bella would have actually wanted to marry Edward. She would have cared about the decorations and Alice would have developed into a real sister, and not some overblown party planner. There would have been real sex – not smutty, but real, nonetheless. Pregnancy would have disappeared. Bella would have had to make the choice – between having babies and having Edward. She would have been cruel to be kind and given Jacob his freedom. Jacob would have grown and gotten over her, and moved on and found real love with someone who loved him back – maybe even Leah, since that ground was laid pretty well. Bella would have spent months being a newborn, filled with nothing but bloodlust. Jessica would be her first victim. The Cullens would have worked tirelessly to help her transform, and we could have gotten to know them all so much better. Rosalie might have died, doing something selfless for once in her life. That would have been doubly meaningful if Meyer rewrites the whole series from Edward’s POV (ala Midnight Sun, which in rough draft form is head and shoulders better than Breaking Dawn.) Bella would have to give up Charlie and Renee for a while, but eventually they would be able to be in her life, altho in a much more limited way. There are a million possibilities that could have had a very nice happy ending, with a bit of bitter thrown in with the sweet.

    Meyer is a great storyteller and an okay writer. If she gets a better editor and learns some discipline, she could be very good. I found this particular book to be a total betrayal of the earlier books, which is why my review is so harsh. Overall, I hope she keeps going, and I *really* hope she keeps going with Midnight Sun, which so far, I love.

  11. DisneyMom
    January 22nd, 2011 at 06:49 | #11

    Rating

    I read Twilight and hated it, but since my friend loaned me the entire series, I decided to be as fair as possible and read the set. Wow. With specific regards to this particular installment, I can’t say I was disappointed because my expectations were abominably low, but I was nevertheless surprised. It didn’t seem to fit. Whereas Bella was whiny, obsessive, rather stupid, and really quite selfish and mean in the way she treated everyone but Edward (the first 3 installments), she finally developed some redeeming qualities in this book. All she had to do was become a vampire. Unfortunately, these qualities were so utterly out of character that I had a hard time believing any of it. Suddenly the incomprehensible klutz was graceful “even for a vampire.” Her, um, “passions” were raging out of control, except the ones that should have been raging out of control (aka blood lust). She had an unusual and never explained sense of control over those passions, which doesn’t fit the girl who was put in a catatonic state because her high school obsession of a couple months dumped her; the very same that fainted at a drop of blood and held her “splitting sides” in when she thought about Edward. She epitomized an obsessive lack of control over the mind, much less her ever-imperiled body. She was able to pick up on and figure out clues much too quickly for someone so dense, and yet other times, she was stupider than ever (“what? my immunity from other vampires is a gift? slow down, I don’t understand…”). I won’t linger on the absolute absurdity of Meyer’s feigned science (the terrible miscalcuations in Bella’s gestation… if 1 day= 2 weeks, she should have delivered by the time she found out she was pregnant; the chromosomal incompatibilities, the fact that love-making itself requires circulation, or the fact that even making sperm is still a cyclic, ongoing process that a vampire stuck in time should not have been able to accomplish). I will say that dragging Dr. Cullen’s scientific musings into the story only pulled me further out of the magic and pointed out the ludicrousness of each assertion. The largest problem with this book is that it was… boring. Nothing really happened. There was never any real fear of Bella not surviving childbirth, especially when there were still hundreds of pages left to go. The fight with the Volturi was tediously built up with such an anti-climatic resolution that I felt I’d waded through hundreds of pointless pages to get to nothing. Somebody (many) should have died, but nobody of consequence did, and I knew while reading that Meyer wouldn’t have the stomach to do it, which further reduced any suspense. The way that Bella abused Jacob was abominable, and the clean (?), simple, resolution to that, void of any consequence, felt disingenuous. In short, everything was wrapped up and presented with a bow on top, and it severely hampered the book. There was no real growth in Bella- she went from being pointlessly useless with no other aspirations in life than to have sex with Edward and become a vampire, to miraculously saving the day for everyone. All of this came at absolutely no cost or sacrifice to anyone; everything worked out even better than hoped for. I realize this is a YA novel, and maybe that’s what Meyer was going for: young teens will read this and see that you can have your cake and eat it too, and here are some sprinkles for that cake and may I get you a glass of milk? Be irresponsible, sluff off school, let your boyfriend sleep over every night, lie to your parents, do as many stupid things as humanly possible, treat your friends like crap, and not only will everything work out for you, but one day you’ll just magically wake up a gorgeous, mature, talented and wise adult with everything you ever hoped for. Truly, this is a fairy tale.

  12. Maya Jewel
    January 22nd, 2011 at 16:10 | #12

    Rating

    At the time, I was 12, and I had seen Twilight in book stores hundreds of times. I had never paid it any attention until one day I finally decided to read it. I had read the back cover, but it wasn’t too informative, but I did gather the fact that it was typically about vampire love. So, against my better judgment, I thought “Well, if I’ve seen it this many times it MUST be good.”

    The beginning of Stephenie Meyer’s writing leaves so much to be desired. In all of her books, for the first 150-200 pages I am bored out my mind, wishing for SOMETHING exciting to happen. I remember reading Twilight and being at least a hundred pages in and not caring about any of the characters at all. If they all decided to jump off a bridge I doubt I would have batted an eyelash. But then, something that changes the entire story occurs and it finally gets interesting ’till the point where I just can’t put the book down. That is, until Breaking Dawn. I remember being at page 107, and looking at the 550-600 more pages I had to read and feeling like breaking down and crying. I wanted to chuck the book out the window and just have my friends fill me in on what happened, because I was just sick of it all. I had to force myself to read what I did, and every five minutes or so I got distracted by something around me because the book just couldn’t hold my attention.

    In Twilight, I instantly liked Edward because of what I thought he’d be, but then later I realized I got his personality all wrong. I imagined he’d be . . . I don’t know, different. Deep, meaningful, calm, cool, collected. Not some overactive stalker. (He said to her face that when she got to Forks he WATCHED her SLEEP. I mean, mega ew much?) Bella, I hardly had much of an opinion on until much later. She wasn’t strong enough for me to respect, didn’t have enough of a personality for me to like, and wasn’t practical or smart enough for me to even comprehend. Her boyfriend was a freakin VAMPIRE, and she’s totally fine with that. She wasn’t terrified, or even the slightest bit nervous, which makes no sense. Think about it for a second: If your boyfriend is a VAMPIRE, would you be THAT cool about it? You wouldn’t be scared at all, when a month ago the thought of a vampire existing would have you laughing at the absurdity? But here, Bella is introduced to a world of vampires and werewolves and she’s pretty much chill with it all.

    Um, where’s the conflict? Where’s the “OMG YOU’RE A VAMPIRE?” Where’s the “Ohmygoodnesswhatonearthisgoingon?” panic attack? Vampires and werewolves don’t just waltz into everyday life and I expected at least SOME kind of resentment or hesitation Bella would have for Edward. But oh no, that would make too much sense.

    In New Moon, I had the slight hope that maybe through the course of the series Meyer would have Bella grow and develop into a strong, wonderful and mature character. Sadly, she didn’t. To the very end, Bella remains a selfish, impractical, and illogical girl who for the life of me I can’t stand. Jacob was the only one with a sliver of a complex personality. He had a goal and did everything in his power to achieve it, and throughout the books you saw the different faces of his personality. Everyone else’s personality could just be classified with one or two descriptions.

    I won’t even get into Eclipse, because I can never remember what it was about.

    [Spoilers]

    Okay, from the beginning. What was with that wedding? The wedding was something I was actually EXCITED about. I thought “Oh, wow, I wonder how Alice is going to out due herself.” Honestly, I don’t even remember what anything looked like. Weren’t the colors white and blue? That’s probably wrong, but then again that’s Stephenie Meyer’s horrible descriptions at work. Most of the time I just imagine what everything and everyone looks like for myself. I didn’t even KNOW Alice had spiky hair until the third book when Bella patted her head. “What? Alice has spiky hair? Since when?” And I didn’t have a single clue as to what Jasper looked like besides that he had golden eyes and was blonde, and then after Bella becomes a vampire they mention his scars. Oh, and there’s also the fact that Rosalie is gorgeous. Well, come on now, how descriptive is that? Gorgeous HOW? Like, pretty pretty model gorgeous? Or sophisticated gorgeous? Or seductress gorgeous? Meyer, come on girl, surely you can be more creative than just using vague descriptions about people.

    Now, the honeymoon was nice and all, something I thought she could have skipped until I saw the purpose it held. Bella gets pregnant! Oh joy! Oh hell. She’s 19, and she gets pregnant. What kind of message was Stephenie Meyer trying to send to the young audience that reads her books? At least Edward had the decency to call Carlisle and assure Bella they would get Nessie out of her. (I am going to call her Nessie, because I think Renesmee is a hideous name and Meyer should be slapped for even considering it for the girl.) But what does Bella do? She stops him. She suddenly gets an overpowering sense of maternal instincts and wants to keep her baby. Bella didn’t even really like children, and before then she never had the slightest thought about wanting one. But now, she’s suddenly ready to die for this thing that’s sucking the life out of her. In plain text, Bella isn’t the motherly type. I wouldn’t trust her to take care of my dog, let alone a baby. Isn’t this the same Bella who did dangerous stunts to hear a voice in her head? Isn’t this the same Bella who, on a whim, thought it was fine to jump off a cliff in a rainstorm? Being pregnant doesn’t magically make you a mom, or magically make you mature. It makes you utterly terrified. No matter whom you are or how old, for any woman who gets pregnant, her first instinct is to have her mom there at all times. But does Bella call Renee? Nope, she calls Rosalie. ROSALIE, PEOPLE. That makes SO much sense.

    Another point about Nessie: Wasn’t she just the PERFECT baby? I mean, she was disgustingly perfect. I mean, when at all did Bella ever show any true motherly characteristics? I was surprised at Meyer, because she actually does have children, and I wondered what she was thinking when she wrote about Nessie. When did Bella ever feel the horrible strain that comes with taking care of a baby? Nessie was way too perfect. There was no constant feedings every two hours, there was no changing diaper after diaper, there was no shopping for baby clothes and supplies, there was no Nessie waking up at 3 AM and crying – which was a surprise, considering the head-board destroying sex Bella and Edward have every night. You’d think it would wake her up – and there was not much of anything. The only time Nessie cried was when she wanted Bella, which I thought was just plain ridiculous. (So what, she never wanted Edward?) Now, I understand that sometimes there IS such a thing as a quiet baby. I was one myself, and I never cried unless something was wrong with me, but there is no baby that just doesn’t cry at all unless it wants its mom. That just doesn’t happen. (Did anyone else feel Alice’s statement that Nessie had never been set down in her life laughable? When I read that, I didn’t know whether to fall out my chair laughing or give myself a face-palm and chuck the book into the dirt where it belonged. Honestly, I was surprised Nessie could even walk.)

    May we move on to Jacob’s point of view? I thought it was going to be, like, Jacob traveling the world from Canada to Mexico to South America to Greece and such on a spiritual journey to find himself and realize that he really, really didn’t need Bella. But again, I was wrong and expected too much. No, instead he hangs around Forks, determined to stay with Bella until she has her monster baby and they turn her into a vampire. Oh, but there’s a solution! They can abort the baby, and then Jacob can have a baby with Bella the NORMAL way, so Bella can still have a child. Btw, this was Edward’s idea. Btw, Jacob agreed.

    Ew, much. Ew on so many levels.

    But I guess Bella isn’t THAT sick because he didn’t agree. One of the smartest moves she’s made this whole series.

    Another thing, I hated how Bella skipped the newborn stage. I was actually excited about that, wishing, praying that Bella would turn evil and start killing off humans. Wouldn’t that be so interesting?! Her, the heroine, suddenly becoming the evil villain, using her vampire powers for her evil deeds. And wouldn’t it have been beautiful if the Cullens and Blacks and Volturi and whatnot had to, oh goodness, KILL her to preserve the secret and save humanity? I would have loved Meyer if anything remotely relating to that had happened. But, as I’ve learned, I always expect this woman to redeem herself and the whole series be worthwhile, only to be continually disappointed.

    So, why did Bella skip the newborn stage? Oh right, because it was her state of mind. She didn’t WANT to be one, therefore she WASN’T. Because Bella is SPESHUL, therefore she can DEFY the natural laws Meyer has set up. But since Meyer just wants all her characters to be happy, even if it means doing so in the most illogical ways, she decided to have the most sugar-coated fairytale ending I’d ever read in my life that wasn’t in picture book.

    So, Bella gets everything she wants, including Edward, a baby, a family, immortality and tons and tons of sex? Check. Jacob has someone, even though she’s 2 months old and it makes him a pedo? Check. The Volturi are defeated without actually engaging them in battle, causing the most depressing let-down in the history of potential battle scenes ever? Check. Sugar cakes and muffins and gummy bears rain from a glittering sky and Carebears run frolicking through the meadows of innocence as the final ending? Check. Well, well, Meyer, you’ve outdone yourself if I do say so myself.

  13. P. Spangler
    January 23rd, 2011 at 10:57 | #13

    Rating

    While I’ve been known to exaggerate on occasion, I promise you I’m being completely serious when I say Breaking Dawn is the worst book I have ever read. The writing was atrocious, there was no drama and/or real conflict, and Meyer broke her own rules. Repeatedly.

    Let’s begin, shall we?

    First, the writing itself was a huge problem. It’s nearly impossible for me to believe Meyer was an English major in college. Maybe she was technically a literature major, but either way, she should have been exposed to enough decent writing to know how to produce it herself. And if she couldln’t produce it from her own head, she probably had enough references to replicate it. Instead, Breaking Dawn reads like a terrible fanfiction. Meyer tends to overuse adjectives and adverbs, but does so in the least descriptive way possible. How did Bella look on her wedding day? I couldn’t tell you, since Meyer never bothered to describe her dress other than to say it was satin-y. And how about the rest of the wedding ceremony? There were flowers “everywhere” and everyone looked “amazing.” Thanks. I can totally picture that.

    Bella is also the ultimate Mary Sue, which doesn’t help Meyer’s writing skills in my eyes. Bella is SO PERFECT. Everyone LOVES HER. Meyer’s lame attempts to make Bella relatable by making her clumsy fall flat (pun intended), because the other characters think injury-prone Bella is adorable. Will Charlie object to Bella Sue getting married at 18? Of course not! Will Bella Sue become the most graceful vampire ever, even though she was the world’s clumsiest person? You bet! Bella gets everything she wants in Breaking Dawn and sacrifices nothing.

    There was also a conspicuous lack of drama and conflict in what should have been an epic conclusion to a series. As I mentioned above, Bella had no problem convincing Charlie that marrying Edward was the right decision. I was expecting more of an objection from the ol’ sheriff. Denied. Jacob does make a small attempt to talk Bella out of turning into a vampire, but what could have been another interesting conversation is brushed aside by Bella. Why would she miss anybody she knew as a human? She’ll be with her beloved Edward for all eternity; that’s all she needs.

    The sexy-time was also lacking. I’m not much of a smut fan, but I was hoping for more than a cheezy “fade to black” when Edward and Bella finally do the deed. After three books of anticipation and denial, Meyer doesn’t have the balls to give us more than Bella walking toward Edward in the water. Seriously, Meyer? You can show Bella vomiting “a fountain of blood” but kissing before sex is too shocking? Nothing interesting here, folks.

    There is also the issue of Bella’s pregnancy. Nowhere in the previous three books, and I mean NOWHERE, did Bella mention a desire to be a mother. But as soon as Edward gets his vampire sperm inside her, she decides that motherhood is the most important thing on Earth. (Inconsistent much, Meyer? Another sign of bad writing!) I was expecting Bella to freak out, get angry at Edward, and blame him for ruining her life when she thought she could never get pregnant! But instead, Bella is inexplicably calm and instantly bonds with her “little nudger.” Again, any drama that could have been just melted like an ice cube in Death Valley. The plot floats along…

    The previously mentioned “fountain of blood” happens when Bella goes into labor. To make a long and rather gruesome story short, the baby almost kills Bella, and would have, had Edward not turned Bella into a vampire. Bella lays on a table for a couple of days until the venom stops her heart. She’s dead! Let the crazed baby vampire gather her bearings! She’s dangerous right now! Right? Wrong. Bella Sue is the perfect vampire, so graceful and strong. She requires almost no adjustment time, even though Meyer told us in previous books that new vampires are totally out of control. Again, all conflict nipped in the bud.

    This leads us to Meyer breaking her own rules. Bella is totally in control of herself as a new vampire even though, according to Meyer’s own words, it’s totally normal and EXPECTED to have a lenghty adjustment period. Jasper struggled for years, but Bella gets the hang of things in a day. Of course. Meyer breaks the rules so Bella Sue can have her perfect life.

    Meyer also gets into a sticky situation with Bella’s pregnancy. According to Meyer, speaking through (I believe) Carlisle, vampires don’t have any liquid in their bodies except for their venom. Last time I checked, sperm isn’t venomous. Getting Bella pregnant should have been impossible if Meyer followed her own rules! That entire plot device (which only served to give Jacob something to imprint on) was an amateurish cop out that I would expect to find in fanfiction, not a novel written by an adult with a college degree.

    Oh yeah, they named the baby Renesmee. Vomit.

    And then Jacob imprints on it. Double vomit.

    Allow me to backtrack for a second. I forgot to mention another scene that should have been exciting but wasn’t: the confrontation with the Volturi. Yep, the leaders are back and they want to kill the Cullens for making an “immortal child.” Finally, some action! The Cullens invite some vampire friends to gather at their house and fight the Volturi, which should be the epic conflict we’ve all been waiting for! Except it most definitely is not. It turns out that Bella has a shield she controls with her mind. All the does is put the sheild around everybody and they’re impervious to weapons. The Volturi stand around and talk for a while and then… leave.

    Breaking Dawn was a letdown in every sense. Meyer’s writing didn’t improve (it got worse, actually), there wasn’t any tension or action, and a lot of the rules established in the first three books got thrown out the window.

    Avoid this book at all costs.

    (Note: Don’t be fooled by the high number of five-star reviews; a lot of them are two sentences long and say things like, “BELLA AND EDWARD ARE IN LOVE!!!!1!11one” They may very well be, but that doesn’t make it a good book.)

  14. Alyssa
    January 24th, 2011 at 13:33 | #14

    Rating

    Okay, I know I’m probably going to get comments over me saying that the book has no logic. Yes I am well aware that the whole series based around the fantasy of vampires and werewolves etcetera. I can’t get past the fact that Stephenie Meyer broke the rules of her own world while writting this novel. Numerous times in interviews she has stated that it is impossible for her vampires to have children, and that once turned into a vampire all of their bodily fluids are replaced by venom.

    As reading this book I felt like all the elements circulated through the other three novels were thrown out the window, the characters for the most part were boring, Edward lost his charm, Bella went from being obsessed with Edward to obsessed with their child, and Rosalie flipped into a motherly role that just seemed out of place (I know Rosalie’s backstory and that she wanted to have children, I understand the way SMeyer was probably trying to go with getting Rosalie involved). If SMeyer was going to get Rosalie put into this motherly role then where was Esme? Last time I checked she had a yearn to bear her own children as well. As an author, SMeyer developed a seemingly okay plotline but just didn’t expand on it enough. It felt as though it was rushed in the end.

    The “explanation” of how Bella got pregnant was also put to fault later in the novel, when a Amazonian vampire explains how his father is trying to create a superior race by impregnating human females with his children. How would this even be possible if, when using SMeyer’s logic. She explains that Edward was able to get Bella pregnant was because he was a virgin and that he still had sperm in his system from when he was turned 100+ years ago. With that said, vampire males couldn’t create more sperm, so how could this Amazonian vampire keep going around and impregnating human females?

    After the birth of “Nessie” the book took a downward spiral and was nothing more than a borefest, everything just seemed to happen without any conflict whatsoever. Bella easily shifted into vampire life without any problems, she was able to care for her baby, keep her friendship with Jacob, and even was able to “slightly” let Charlie in on her secret. Even at the end of the story, we are led up to believe that there is going to be a fight between the Volturi and the Cullen coven along with other covens who agreed to support their cause. What you think is going to be a fight just turns into pages and pages of endless drabble between the Volturi and members of the Cullens’ defensive, and in the end lead Volturi member Aro agrees to let them be and he leads the rest of the Volturi on their way, so Bella and Edward could now begin their “happily ever after.” Where in the last pages Bella finally allows Edward to see inside her mind, one of the features that drew him towards he at the beginning of Twilight.

    What disappoints me the most is that this novel had potential, it seems to me that in anything SMeyer writes she has a generally good idea but can never expand on it. Breaking Dawn seems to me as though it was completely rushed, and that she just finished writing it because she had to. Not to mention I am curious as to what happened to the editors in this book. Has SMeyer ever heard of a thesaurus? I have never seen an author overuse the words “chagrin” and “dazzle” as much as she does. I am honestly curious as to how any editor would allow the sentence “He was both dazzling and dazzled” be put into print.

    Lastly, I find it really sad that there are so many people giving this a five-star review just because it is a SMeyer novel. Yes, it is nice to have loyalty but please a poorly written book is still a poorly written book no matter who writes it.

  15. Yuliana Contecha
    January 25th, 2011 at 03:19 | #15

    Rating

    Ok first let me say that I am 22 just to get that out of the way. Well I started reading the twilight series because as a hugeee fan of harry potter, a lot of the fandom was directing towards twilight so I decided to begin a new series. I am also a huge fan of vampires, so I didnt think the series could be a let down for me. So when I read Twilight for the first time I was slightly intrigued, I didnt love the book but didnt hate it so I moved on to New Moon and for some reason I loved New Moon, then continued to Eclipse, but wasnt too thrilled with it. Then that was that like everyone else I was excited for the 4th installment (I was probably more excited about waiting for the book to come out than the actual book itself). Well to make a long story short, I reread the series right before Breaking Dawn was released and realized that i absolutely hated it! I regretted ever reading it because I had probably been so hyped about reading the series that I didnt realize how amazingly childish and nonsensical the whole plot line was, but now it was pointless to not read the last installment.

    So now that I’ve read Breaking Dawn, all I can say is I WANT MY MONEY BACK!! what was this author thinking!! the point when Bella becomes pregnant i just literally laughed and threw my book and realized the whole thing was a joke! how more ridiculous can she get, and then on top of that the way stephanie ruined Jacob’s character, I cant believe it!! He was my favorite character and it went from being a strong one to just being like a sidekick for comic relief. I totally agree with what everyone is saying about the book sending out the wrong message to young girls, which is that the perfect life includes meeting an obsessive boyfriend marrying him and then having his baby, and forgetting about your family and your future just to be with this one guy! HELLO HOW RIDICULOUS CAN THAT GET! anywho I plan on returning the book as soon as I can and for gods sake

    PLEASE STOP COMPARING THIS TO HARRY POTTER!!! it doesnt even reach up to the standards and when I have kids ina far future this is one book I will not allow them to read because of its absurd message and overall bad writing!

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