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Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) Hardcover – August 2, 2008
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Great love stories thrive on sacrifice. Throughout The Twilight Saga (Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse), Stephenie Meyer has emulated great love stories--Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights--with the fated, yet perpetually doomed love of Bella (the human girl) and Edward (the vampire who feeds on animals instead of humans). In Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final installment in the series, Bella’s story plays out in some unexpected ways. The ongoing conflicts that made this series so compelling--a human girl in love with a vampire, a werewolf in love with a human girl, the generations-long feud between werewolves and vampires--resolve pretty quickly, apparently so that Meyer could focus on Bella’s latest opportunity for self-sacrifice: giving her life for someone she loves even more than Edward. How close she comes to actually making that sacrifice is questionable, which is a big shift from the earlier books. Even though you knew Bella would make it through somehow, the threats to her life, and to her relationship with Edward, had previously always felt real. It’s as if Meyer was afraid of hurting her characters too much, which is unfortunate, because the pain Bella suffered at losing Edward in New Moon, and the pain Jacob suffered at losing Bella again and again, are the fire and the heart that drive the whole series. Diehard fans will stick with Bella, Edward, and Jacob for as many twists and turns as possible, but after most of the characters get what they want with little sacrifice, some readers may have a harder time caring what happens next. (Ages 12 and up) --Heidi Broadhead
From Publishers Weekly
It might seem redundant to dismiss the fourth and final Twilight novel as escapist fantasy--but how else could anyone look at a romance about an ordinary, even clumsy teenager torn between a vampire and a werewolf, both of whom are willing to sacrifice their happiness for hers? Flaws and all, however, Meyer's first three novels touched on something powerful in their weird refraction of our culture's paradoxical messages about sex and sexuality. The conclusion is much thinner, despite its interminable length. [...] But that's not the main problem. Essentially, everyone gets everything they want, even if their desires necessitate an about-face in characterization or the messy introduction of some back story. Nobody has to renounce anything or suffer more than temporarily--in other words, grandeur is out. This isn't about happy endings; it's about gratification. A sign of the times? Ages 12–up. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
It's not as bad as I thought it would be, but I'm still disappointed in what we did get. It's not at all what I had thought or hoped for. I knew that Edward and Bella would get married and that Bella would become a vampire. The wedding was nice, but I don't think that Jacob should have been there, I don't think that he should have been in this book at all, and I hate the fact that a good portion of the book is told by him. I had to force myself to read his part; I think Ms. Meyer would have been better off writing Jacob's part from Edward's POV instead. I find Jacob extremely racist, boring and one dimensional, I just can't bring myself to like him. Inviting him to the wedding was just a bad idea all around and Jacob proved it when he threatens to kill Edward for his plan to turn Bella.
Another thing I didn't like was how Meyer shoved her religion down everyone throat in this book. Namely waiting until marriage to have sex and that sex is had to only have children. While that may work for some, it doesn't work for everyone and being sexually compatible is something most people figure out before they get married. If Edward had been thinking straight, he would have turned Bella before they had sex, with his strength, he could have easily crushed her pelvis during sex. Instead he doesn't and the morning after the wedding night, bitches and moans about how he tore up a few pillows during sex with Bella for the first time and left some bruises on her body. FYI Edward, sex on occasion leaves bruises, VERY good sex (which you apparently had for the first time ever) WILL leave bruises. Get over it and stop killing Bella's happiness.
Furthermore, Bella should have never gotten pregnant to begin with. Vampire's bodies are frozen in time, as far as body fluids go, male vampires wouldn't have sperm, all they do have is the blood they drink and the ability to turn others into vampires. Nessie should not exist at all and Bella never said anything about wanting children in any of the other books, but because it's Edward's, she suddenly wants it and it's okay. Bella gets everything Rosalie wanted in life, a husband that loves her and a child; it spits in the face of that character and shows that Meyer is more than willing to give her Mary Sue whatever she wants to make her happy.
And Jacob imprinting on the baby just screams that Meyer just gave him the next best thing to Bella. And what kind of name is NESSIE or Renesmee, really, for that matter? If I were that child, I'd change my name as soon as I turned 18. Also throw in the message of "Women are good for nothing but getting married and having children and that those two things are just what they should aim for, instead of going to college and having a life of their own."
Also the entire book was just type on a page, the only part I ever saw in my mind, was when Bella used her strength and speed for the first time. That was mostly because I could see the dress that Alice put her in and I liked it. When she jumped out of a second story window, leapt a river and ran in the forest with Edward to hunt for the first time was neat. The part where it came unbelievable for me was when she smelled humans and was able to resist their scent and not hunt them at all. Excuse me, but we've been told, time and time again that the first few YEARS of a newborn's life, centers around the thirst and their need to quench it. Again Meyer can't have her favorite suffer, so Bella is just so special and super that she can bypass all of this...
The entire book needs to be taken apart and totally redone and turned into a book where I don't want to go up to Ms. Meyer and say "Very funny, where's the real book? Because if this is it, I want my money back." while handing her Breaking Dawn. It makes me very sad to think that, while the first book wasn't perfect, it was better than New Moon or Eclipse and was tons better than this book. I love reading and re reading Twilight, I've read it five times since I bought it last year, the other two I've only read twice. Breaking Dawn, I'll only read this once. The characters don't even feel like the same people I was introduced to a year ago, I know they're supposed to grow and evolve, but it doesn't feel like they have and I'm seriously thinking of not getting Midnight Sun when it comes out or of seeing the movie.
After the first lack of production, I nearly tossed my Android out my window. And the other scenes, or lack thereof, only led to more disheartenment. Was I a bit overzealous? Possibly a bit too overeager? Probably. But I bring you back to that number again: 2500. Did Stephenie Meyer need to go into pornographic detail? Absolutely not. But if this was a relationship that changed both Bella and Edward and their entire families, and a relationship worth confronting the Volturi over, then I wanted more than a bit of French kissing, longing glances, and heavy petting: I wanted a peek inside the walls of the bedroom. In fact, I feel like I deserved more, so BREAKING DAWN ended up being one giant letdown for me. I'd even go so far to say it was the mother of all letdowns.
But what scares me even more than that is that this is a book (and a series) marketed toward teenagers. What kind of a message does it send when your baby eats you from the inside out? What kind of a message does it send when Bella was meant to be a vampire? She literally transforms from an awkward, uncoordinated teenager to a perfect vampire with grace, precision, and poise in a matter of days, completely capable of controlling her thoughts and thirst. Every other vampire and every other vampire series places much more emphasis on the control factor (control of thirst and desires), and that it is never really under the vampire's complete control, and yet here we are with Bella, the perfect vampire. It's almost laughable in its utter simplicity.
But yet why did I have such a hard time buying it? People and society aren't perfect, so this whole concept seems a little too perfect for me. What message does this really send? That if you just become a vampire you can have it all: you can walk out in the sunlight (as long as it's cloudy outside), you can have the perfect daughter, you can be more graceful and controlled than you ever thought possible, and you can have gifts that you couldn't have in human form. Let's sign up right now because I want in on this crap.
I mean, it's gotta be better than the imperfect life that I'm leading right now. As for all those teenage readers that have consumed this series, let's face it, being a teenager is a rather imperfect life. All those awkward moments, awkward situations, and that never-ending series of first times, these four novels say let's skip right to being a vampire, because that's where the promise land is baby. And that's one promise I'm not really buying into.
Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator