**spoiler alert** Hoo, boy. Here's where we stand on this one: vampers v. wereboys, Jacob is an obsessive douche, but Edward is perhaps more obsessive**spoiler alert** Hoo, boy. Here's where we stand on this one: vampers v. wereboys, Jacob is an obsessive douche, but Edward is perhaps more obsessive and douchey. No vamping before marriage. Never piss off a she-vamp.
We did get histories on a couple of the Cullens--Rosalie's upsetting gang-rape story, which I will glide past for everyone's sake, and Jasper's genuinely interesting story. A Confederate soldier in the Civil War, he was vamped by some Mexican vampers and forced to join and then manage a Southern Vampire Army. Props to Meyer for getting me to care about Jasper's past and empathize with him as a character. The tail end of his story--meeting Alice, who had, of course, seen them together already, was positively sweet.
While there's significantly more plot than there was in New Moon, we do spend quite a bit of time ignoring the blatant rash of vampire-committed murders across the Pacific Northwest; Stephenie Meyer does a disservice to her readers by...well, by writing these books, frankly. Edward is beige and sparkly, Bella is bland and boring, Alice is awesome, and that's all you need to know....more
**spoiler alert** Breaking Dawn was the first of the Twilight books that I actually read at the same time as all the hardcore fans, and so I was keepi**spoiler alert** Breaking Dawn was the first of the Twilight books that I actually read at the same time as all the hardcore fans, and so I was keeping an eye on the fan reactions on the internet while I waited for my copy from the library. I, like a lot of other readers, was pleased that Meyer didn't spend chapters putting off the wedding (the sparkly event of the season), and actually breezed right through the whole thing. I appreciated the lack of dwelling on just how radiant a bride Bella was. So, thanks for the small mercy, Steph.
THEN. The sparkly honeymoon. We very nearly got some decent sex in there, how about that! It was actually interesting to see just a touch of teenage married life, and seeing the people be all nervous around Edward was a nice reminder that no, he's not normal and not human. That reminder of monstrosity made for a good precursor to the stupidest plot twist of all: RENESMEE.
I understand that Meyer had a baby in mind for the whole series, and that even Jacob's annoying attachment to annoying Bella Swan had everything to do with her unborn futurechild rather than with Bella herself, but seriously? Really? We had to go there? Particularly the unnecessary graphic birth scene? Ugh.
I did like getting a third of the book through Jacob's perspective; it was a refreshing break from Bella and gave us an outsider's perspective on the Cullens, who Bella has practically deified over the course of three books (and yes, Rosalie really is that big a bitch).
Bella as the perfect vampire was a little too much to take, and her creepy vampire hybrid daughter was so much worse, but the heinous characterization was positively palatable by the time I closed the book. Why? The battle that never was.
Meyer spends the last third of the book gearing up for a vamp battle of epic proportions against the Volturi, one that will certainly kill off at least some of the Cullens and their vampire friends. They meet on the battlefield, tension palpable and then--
They resolve their differences and everybody goes home to live happily ever after. Including Jacob. With Renesmee.