Angie's Reviews > Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
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Aug 25, 08

Recommended for: Someone wanting some mindless entertainment
Read in August, 2008

If you haven't read Breaking Dawn, be aware that this review contains spoilers. I'm kind of late posting this, but here it is.

I've never been a big fan of this series, but this book topped it off for me. Stephenie Meyer's characters have never been anything special (where are the little details/great lines that give characters life?), but in this book the characters become inconsistent as well. (By the way, why are Edward and Bella in love?---as far as I can tell, it's because he's exceptionally good looking, and she smells good---which smell she should lose when she becomes a vampire, but Meyer isn't about following her own rules.) Edward goes from control freak to doormat (but he still seems to retain that one window to his soul---the fact that he likes expensive cars, so Bella gets to continue to whine about driving a Mercedes), but as Jacob's been my favorite character, I think what happens to him is worse. Until the second half of Breaking Dawn, he's the character with the most personality, at least. In fact, though I think it's kinda cheap of Meyer to conveniently go shifting to his viewpoint when it's always been Bella's before, I like getting his point of view because finally her writing shows a little voice. Then Jacob imprints on---I know people say it's non-sexual, but since imprinting's really all about reproduction, I can't help but think "pedophilia" here---Bella's baby, and he's done. His personality is totally lost, and he becomes some kind of odd nanny. I guess Meyer is too attached to her characters (flat, though they are) to kill any of them, but having him die for Bella or something would've killed him less than what she does to him in this book. So now we're supposed to believe that the whole thing pulling Bella and Jacob together was Bella's unborn child? I guess before the child was conceived, the egg must've been doing it. Speaking of the rapidly aging child (again, convenient---that speeds the plot along) with the unfortunate name, why not just change all the rules Meyer had set for vampires and have vampire babies with some lame scientific excuse about how men can have babies even when they're old, so that's why male vampires can do it---what? On to Bella---wow, I thought she was annoying as a human, but I could hardly stomach perfect vampire Bella with her cottage, and she loses her one, trite personality trait (other than whiny selfishness)---clumsiness ---when she goes vampire.

That brings me to my next point: weak major conflict. I would say the major conflict of this series has been, should Bella become a vampire? Even when I read Twilight, I thought this was flimsy because I didn't see that Meyer had given becoming a vampire enough drawbacks---the sun doesn't shrivel them, they don't lose their souls, and *bonus* they're total lookers. Now that Bella has become a vampire, and it's like she's been resurrected and is in heaven, we can see that, yes, that conflict has always been hollow. Shoot, Bella doesn't even have to give up Charlie (who accepted all the weirdness so easily and didn't even want to ask questions---yeah, right) or having children.

People have told me this book has some great surprises. Maybe. But that's because, in fact, Meyer didn't set things up properly. Think of, say, The Sixth Sense, that's good story crafting! Most people didn't see the end coming, but once we got there, we could see that it had been building to that point all along. Or consider Harry Potter, books that I think, unlike the Twilight books, deserve the hype. When we learn all of Snape's history and what he's really been doing all along, we see that it's been there since Book 1. Meyer just kind of forgets how she's set things up, makes vampires into superheroes, and throws this thing at us.

Somehow Meyer marketed these books as "vampire books for people who don't like vampire books" as though that's something new---what? There are tons of teeny-bopper-vampire-romances and adult-vampire-romances out there. The adult ones are generally really heavy on the sex, but Meyer goes about as far as she can without mentioning a---you know I have to say it---"throbbing manhood" in Breaking Dawn anyway. I will say the one thing Meyer does well is sexual tension, and now that the deed's been done, I'm not sure the whole nymphomania thing she has going in Breaking Dawn is as good. Look, if you find you like this genre, go check out DVDs of the first couple seasons of Buffy. Joss Whedon pulls off great drama AND great humor (something Meyer almost completely lacks). Or check out some L.J. Smith---her Night World series isn't anything special, but at least she doesn't take herself so seriously, and her work isn't pretentious. Come on, it's teeny-bopper-vampire-romance!

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