Friday, August 8, 2008

“Breaking Dawn” by Stephenie Meyer

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
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.
In preparing to write a review of Breaking Dawn, I realized how difficult it would be to compose a review unaffected by the massive hype surrounding this final book in the Twilight Saga. Having read the previous volumes as they came out prior to it becoming another cultural phenomenon, one could wish that it had remained one of those undiscovered secrets unblemished by the media spotlight. But no such luck. So as I am sure this book will be reviewed in exhaustive detail elsewhere, I will simply offer up a few personal impressions and observations in no particular order.
  1. The book is overly long.
  2. The major plot elements and their resolution suggest that Meyer was writing this to respond to the demands and expectations of her massive legion of fans. It may very well have been an entirely different (and better) book otherwise and a part of me wishes it was.
  3. Jacob is the best written character and strongest personality in the series.
  4. Bella’s exploration of her new vampire existence is nicely portrayed.
  5. I kept thinking Sopranos every time the Volturi came on stage. Caius was like Christopher saying to Tony - “Can we whack ‘em now boss?”
  6. Unexpectedly few plot twists or surprises, with one exception, again revolving around Jacob. For the most part this is a very linear, full-speed ahead and damn the torpedoes plot.
  7. Considering Edwards agonizing over Bella’s vampire conversion and concern about her soul throughout the initial books, there was very little angst about this evident in the finale.
  8. Humorous elements I liked included Jacobs collection of blonde jokes that he used to antagonize Rosalie and Emmet has the funniest line when taunting Bella about her love life with “Did Edward tell you how many houses Rose and I smashed?”
  9. Winner of the vampire powers race – Bella.
  10. As you might expect everybody gets their HEA and in fact the final chapter title is “The Happily Ever After”.
Perhaps there are still a few individuals out there unfamiliar with the books asking “what’s all the fuss about?” so by all means check out the series starting from the beginning and pay no attention to all the publicity. Is it that deserving - no, is it a worthwhile YA reading experience - yes.

Here’s a vid of Stephenie Meyer talking about the final book and the Twilight craze.



2 comments:

  1. Having read the previous volumes as they came out prior to it becoming another cultural phenomenon, one could wish that it had remained one of those undiscovered secrets unblemished by the media spotlight.

    I completely agree! I used to read a lot of YA fiction prior to 2006, and in fact, Twilight and New Moon were my gateway books to the adult paranormal romance and urban fantasy genres. So the Twilight saga books hold a special place in my heart, but I feel as though the excessive hype in the last year or so has somewhat tainted my love of this series. Maybe tainted isn't the correct word, but I think you might understand what I mean.

    I also agree wholeheartedly with every single line item in your list of 10 personal impressions and observations from Breaking Dawn. Jacob was the best part of the entire novel. And I totally laughed out loud at your comment about the Volturi reminding you of the Sopranos!

    Great post.

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  2. Hi Christine. exactly my point. Overexposure in the media dilutes the value of the experience like hearing a favorite song on the radio that gets played to death. For me the entry point into Paranormals was the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.

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