Wednesday, March 25, 2009

'Breaking Dawn'

by Stephenie Meyer
Fiction/Fantasy/YA, 2008
Little, Brown & Co., hardback, 753 p.
Twilight series, Book 4
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, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate 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?

This is probably my least favourite book in the series, but I still couldn’t stop reading it. I don’t know what it is that makes these books such addictive reads, but I did have some issues with this last instalment. It started out well enough with the wedding and the honeymoon, and I know it’s written for a YA audience, but I wanted more details, if you know what I mean. ;)
And then Jacob’s section was way way too long! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading the story from his perspective, and loved getting to know Seth better, as well as the dynamics of the pack, but nothing much happened for those couple hundred pages and I got really tired of reading about Bella’s pregnancy. It was the first time in the series that I was actually bored. So I did something I almost never do – I randomly flipped through the later part of the book and peeked at the end just to see if or when the story would move on.

Well, luckily it did finally pick up in the second half of the book when at last Bella becomes a vampire. This was what I’d been waiting for and this part of the book was a lot of fun to read as Bella adjusts to her new abilities. Arm-wrestling with Emmett, hunting with Edward, plus meeting some of the other vampires and facing off with the Volturi. So even though I didn’t like most of the first half of the book, and the ending wasn’t as dramatic as I might have wished, it was still a pretty satisfying conclusion to the series.

I guess I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye though because I found myself printing out and reading Midnight Sun, the unfinished manuscript telling the story of Twilight from Edward’s perspective. It was fantastic getting to ‘hear’ everyone else’s thoughts, as Edward hears them, and finding out exactly what Edward was doing when he was away from Bella. I’d love to read the whole of Twilight – it ended just when it was getting good - from his viewpoint and think it’s too bad that Stephenie Meyer has decided not to complete it simply because it was leaked. Oh well, maybe she’ll change her mind someday.

Having ‘lived’ with these characters in my head for the last couple of weeks, I’m really going to miss them. In the meantime, cheesy as I've heard it is, I’m looking forward to finally being able to see the film next month.

Author's website
Review in The Guardian

First sentence: I’d had more than my fair share of near-death experiences; it wasn’t something you ever really got used to.

My Rating: 3.5/5
(#16 for 2009, What's in a Name Challenge - Time of Day)

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  1. I actually read did things backwards ... saw the movie, read Midnight Sun, then read all the books. And you're right, the movie is cheesy (as are the books) but I'm going to watch it again anyway! ~LOL~

  2. Hi Nat :D

    I have yet to read any of Stephenie Meyer's novels. However I did watch TWILIGHT on DVD last week and to my surprise liked it. I felt that the mac-up and hair was a bit overdone on Edward but the movie held my attention.

  3. This was my least favorite book in the series too. I hated the name of the baby, the "sex" scene and some other parts. To me, it almost read as if someone else wrote it. I didn't recognize Bella's voice in this book at all.

  4. The movie is just a chick-flick but still nice to spend leaisure time...and comparing the characters you imagined in your mind with the ones on the widescreen is quite amusing:)

  5. I find it interesting that most people seem to have Breaking Dawn as either their most or least favourite in the series. There's not a lot of sitting on the fence, except muggins here. I really enjoyed it, more than New Moon, but not as much as Twilight. I'm still avoiding Midnight Sun, although I have it on my hard drive. I think I would be frustrated by reading something incomplete, and I do feel bad for Meyer that it got leaked.

    Great review Tanabata! You are so right about the series being addictive, what are we going to read now?

  6. I don’t know what it is that makes these books such addictive reads

    I know just what you mean - my guess is crack-coated pages. :)

  7. I am glad you enjoyed the series, Nat. :-) I picked up a copy of the movie Twilight over the weekend and hope to watch it again soon. I hope you will enjoy it.

  8. Heather J. - I rarely buy movies when they're just released, instead choosing to wait a few months until they go down in price, but I can't help myself this time!

    Sylvie - I've heard the makeup and hair, and some of the action sequences were overdone, but I still want to see it. LOL. You'll have to read the books now. :P

    Staci - I totally agree, the name was very lame, and what sex scene? LOL. It was very different from the previous 3 books, but I still miss the characters now that it's done.

    iselldreams - I'm not sure the actors in the movie, especially for the rest of the Cullen family, actually match the image of them I had in my head, so it will be interesting to compare.

    mariel - If I had to rank them, Twilight would be my favourite, then Eclipse, then New Moon, and last Breaking Dawn.
    At least with Midnight Sun, even though it's not complete, we do know the rest of the story from Bella's perspective so you're not completely left hanging.
    And I know! What are we going to read now? ;)

    Fyrefly - That's so funny because I was thinking the same thing! But then I thought that if the publisher had somehow worked it into the pages, surely they would've done it to their other books as well. LOL.

    Wendy - I'm looking forward to seeing the movie. I think because I've heard so many complaints about the makeup, the action sequences, etc., I'm going into it with low expectations. So I think I'll be able to just enjoy it for what it is.

  9. This whole series happened a little different for me. I saw the movie then read the books. I have to admit, once I started reading I couldn't stop!! I finished breaking dawn yesterday and I have to say I was a little sad. Sad that the series ended. I agree, breaking dawn wasn't the best. I would rate twilight and eclipse as my faves followed evenly by new moon and breaking dawn. I'm so looking forward to the new moon movie. I hope it's done properly, following the book closely. I wonder if the author will continue on with something on jacob and renesme and that other vamp that was eying her up at the end of breaking dawn. That might be a possibility. As I said though, I'm sad that it's done. I've decided to read them again as I think I'm addicted :D

  10. Becki - They certainly are addictive reads! Even though I didn't love Breaking Dawn I was still sad because the series was finished and I had no more books to look forward to. Twilight and Eclipse were my favourites too. I can't wait to see the movie of Twilight, and look forward to seeing how New Moon turns out.


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