Kate's Reviews > Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
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Mar 19, 09

bookshelves: 6-young-adult-lit
Read in August, 2008

One of my friends recently read the first two books in this series. We've had an interesting discussion since we both feel very similar about this series. She sent me a link to an article that sums up my problems with these books: http://psa.blastmagazine.com/2008/08/...

It's not that I don't think that people shouldn't enjoy these books - they're fine for entertainment purposes (although the ick-factor really got to me in the final volume), and everyone is entitled to their opinions. It's the mass hype that disturbs me. I don't like a lot of the underlying messages that these books send, especially to impressionable teenage girls, about love and relationships that just aren't real, sustainable, or ideal. Anyway, I've edited my ratings on this series in light of my recent discussion with my friend, with the above article link sealing the deal on why this series has bothered me so much.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Angela (new)

Angela Mondragon I'm glad to hear that our conversation had this much meaning for you. I am mildly curious about the film now that it's coming out on DVD, mostly for laughs at what I consider a poorly written book and a poorly written screenplay, but I've yet to pick up the next book, and I'm almost bored by the thought. I dunno if I'll ever finish the series, though occasionally when I feel mildly emo I kind of want to start the first one over again so I can remind myself how stupid being emo really is.

message 2: by Emily (new)

Emily Joyal i loved the articles. very insightful :)

message 3: by Kate (new) - rated it 1 star

Kate Angela, I read that first article you linked to me, and then two additional ones by the same author. They pinpointed exactly my issues with these novels and how disturbing the examples in the story really are. I have the movie on my netflix queue - I never went to see it in the theater - and while I do want to see it one day (out of curiosity, mostly), it's not too much of a priority, so I probably won't see it for a few months. Let me know when you've seen it.

Emily, it sounds like you enjoyed the articles as much as I did. And, it's not that I am about bashing a particular story or book, but with all the hype and infatuation I keep seeing about this series, it's nice to read something a little more critical from a literary standpoint. Of course then I've had friends who have told me, "It's just a story, Kate, c'mon, don't take it so seriously." My answer is that I don't. But, the hype that it's caused both amazes me (it's not really deserving of such hype) and concerns me (the relationships are abusive for example), so when I see someone who shares my same perspective and writes it better than I can, I want to share it because I think it's helpful to reflect on what these novels are teaching young girls in particular. It feels like the days when girls read about Elizabeth Bennett or Jane Eyre are long gone, and that makes me sad.

message 4: by Angela (new)

Angela Mondragon I'm glad you enjoyed the articles, Kate. I've read and heard a lot of things about the Twilight books, some of it not at all respectful, that shares the same attitude, and yet I'm still amazed at how many of my friends, all intelligent, are infatuated with a story that in many respects is basically a very bad example of what a relationship should be. I've been accused before of being a literary snob, taking the things I read too seriously, making too big a deal about something I don't like, but in this case, perhaps that's a good thing, because too many impressionable girls are reading this or seeing it and using it as a model, and they'll be the ones to be hurt if they allow themselves to stay in an abusive relationship or be treated poorly by men who also see this as an example of what is ok. Call me a snob if you want, but I won't stand by and let young girls, especially those dear to me, read this kind of nonsense and use it as a bad example.

As for the film, my little cousin did see it, and she said it was poorly written as a screenplay, and that the actors seemed so awkward that it was pretty laughable. I may pick it up today just out of curiosity. I'll let you know what I think.

message 5: by Kate (new) - rated it 1 star

Kate When I first picked up Twilight, I could see how people could find it enjoyable - I liked it, myself. I was unimpressed with the amateur writing, but the story itself was pretty captivating.

However, as the novel progressed, one of the creepy things to me was that the guy was watching the girl sleep night after night - at first without her knowledge. That's just not a message I'd want a teenage daughter of mine to read.

The rest of the first novel was okay, and I did enjoy it. And, I loved Jacob Black in New Moon. However, it was the third book where things had decidedly taken a turn for the worst. The controlling and manipulative relationships that Bella had with both boys was really disturbing. I felt that the abusive actions both boys used were masked under the name of love. That's not a message I want young girls to get, thinking that such control is normal or healthy in a relationship.

So, I guess I'm just surprised that a lot of people I know don't really have a problem with things like this. I've read various defenses to these critiques like: 'it's just a book' or 'you're taking this too seriously.' But, what we put into our minds does help shape who we are and how we view the world. For an adult that's had a variety of experiences, sure, the Twilight novels are probably more about fun and 'reliving' the teenage years. But for young girls who are learning about relationships with boys, they don't have the foundation of experience to discern between light fluff in a book and what is right and ideal in real life relationships.

message 6: by Angela (new)

Angela Mondragon I'll agree that the first book, while poorly written, is mildly enjoyable, even if it's basically stalking that Edward sits and watches Bella sleep. I learned how the rest of the books go, and that's probably why I have no desire to start Eclipse, even though I bought a copy. Even the charm that Jacob has is supposed to disintegrate.

These boys even in the first two books treat Bella very poorly in some ways, she's so manipulated and misled, and that by itself is a poor message, but as it progresses I would say it can go all the way to being described as abuse. People's reactions to things like that are always shock and horror, and yet when abuse is masked by vampires who shower in glitter and werewolves who are built like wrestlers, it's somehow ok. And then they cry about how screwed up their kids are and how society could let it get to such a point. Well done, America. Way to dodge responsibility and blind yourself to the truth.

message 7: by Kate (new) - rated it 1 star

Kate Return the book! Get your money back!

I read about people having book burning parties...that's a little Fahrenheit 451 for me, but I do understand the sentiment. :D

message 8: by Angela (new)

Angela Mondragon I consider it a waste to burn a book, and I wouldn't return it until I'd read it and decided for sure that I didn't want it. It may be a while though.

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