Review: “Breaking Dawn” by Stephenie Meyer

For the love of books

Is Breaking Dawn, the final volume in the Twilight series, more of a shock than a disappointment, or is it equally both?  When it comes to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, all faithful readers will have already chosen a feeling of like or dislike early on after reading Twilight.  One can side with Bella and her choice or side with Jacob when he says that Bella’s decision is insane.  When reading the fourth volume, it is too late to change sides.  A reader can either sympathize with Bella’s conscious choices or be only engaged in Breaking Dawn in order to finish the series.  However, Meyer still makes Breaking Dawn about choices, although she still emphasizes how effective their consequences are.

Bella is choosing between life and death again, between mortality and immortality as a vampire.  The Volturi’s true natures and the La Push werewolves are conclusively reckoned with, promising action, gore, and the culmination of Jacob’s fate as Bella’s other romantic interest and best friend.  The conflict between the werewolves and vampires must end in either war or peace, so the author works hard to bring her saga to a close by filling all the gaps she has opened for her characters.  First of all, why on earth did Meyer choose to have Jacob imprint on Renesmee, Bella’s and Edward’s daughter? Isn’t that asking too much for pity’s sake?

It’s understandable that the author wanted to give her character a deserved happy ending, but having Jacob imprint on a half-vampire infant is not satisfying or even worthy of Meyer’s imagination, which has been proven to be quite creative when it comes to fantasy twists.  It is actually kind of insulting that she would expect her readers to blandly accept a romantic tie-in like that for Jacob.  Moreover, Meyer chooses to reveal now that the La Push werewolves are not “real” werewolves but only shape-shifters; the “real” werewolves that transform during the full moon are the “Children of the Moon” and deadly enemies to both human- and vampire kind.

Secondly, Bella is even more exasperating than usual with her self-sacrificing act.  The never-ending possibility of the inevitable happens when Bella becomes a vampire during a life emergency she imposed this time—refusing to abort her dangerous half-vampire child during her abnormal one-month pregnancy.  Did Meyer purposely try to make Breaking Dawn one of the most confusing volumes in her series?  Bella almost dies by agreeing to bear Edward’s child, and her sudden feeling of motherhood doesn’t sound very convincing next to her love for Edward and Renesmee’s gory birth scene.  Meyer tries to present Jacob’s side of the story in his own words, which will only arouse more pathetic feelings of disgust in regards to the Twilight love triangle.  How much mental torture can Meyer impose verbally until it is obvious that Jacob is suffering terribly from Bella’s choices?

Is every reader meant to feel sorry for Jacob or Bella until the end of the book?  Or is Meyer merely sympathizing with her own dismissed suitor of a lead character?  However, Bella’s perceptive angle of the story takes over pretty quickly, for Jacob’s narrative is only so long.  Then there is another major problem—Meyer’s handling of Bella’s honeymoon.  After treading so carefully around sexual content in her previous three volumes, the author now decides to be more explicit and include numerous sex scenes and also sexual innuendo that, combined, are completely unromantic.  As momentous as the final confrontation between the Cullens and the Volturi is, it is not enough to compensate for the novel’s many flaws, such as no real development of Renesmee’s character and a lack of realistic romance throughout the storyline.

In light of the continuation of Jacob’s emotional heartbreak spread over the pages of the stagnant plot, Breaking Dawn has too much action, too little romance, too much sexual content, and an obtuse perspective that ruins any chance of it being a suitable climax to the infamous love triangle between Bella, Jacob, and Edward.  Breaking Dawn is both shocking and disappointing as a culmination to the Twilight series, and it is unnecessarily long.  One can only be relieved that this finale to Meyer’s series means that there will be no more tragic additions to the series like Breaking Dawn was.

Original review: Part 1: The end of the Twilight series; Part 2: The end of the Twilight series; Part 3: The end of the Twilight series, Examiner.com

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2 thoughts on “Review: “Breaking Dawn” by Stephenie Meyer

  1. I read somewhere that Meyer wanted to make sure Bella didn’t miss out on anything before she turned her into a vampire. I can’t remember where, though.

    I had a lot of issues with BD also. Scanning the contents and seeing Jacob had his own section bothered me because it’s not like we ever got to see Edward’s POV. I didn’t want it to take away from the story.

    It’s my own opinion that Meyer had Jacob imprint on Renesmee to keep him bound to Bella, despite her choosing Edward to share her life. If she hadn’t made that connection between them, what reason would Jacob have to stay? BUT I didn’t say I like it LOL

    Bella’s sacrificial, martyr act became worse than ever this time around. I agree with every point you made!

    My biggest problem with the whole thing? I didn’t feel Edward’s devotion as a father. For him, his life revolved around this order of things: 1) Bella 2) Renesmee 3) The rest of the Cullen clan. I never really felt that his daughter was equal to his wife. But then again, I’m a mom and maybe I’m looking too much into this 😛

    Great review, by the way!

    • Thanks for your feedback! I don’t have fond memories of this book, so I’ve put it to rest in the archive of my past reading. 😉 All things considered, I’m glad I’m done with the Twilight series for good.

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