Friday, August 8

"Breaking Dawn" - Stephenie Meyer

" 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, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate 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?"

If you haven't read the book yet, this review does have some spoilers...which is why I've left this enormous white space. So the spoilers don't hurt your eyes when you first wander in, and you can still exit without coming into contact with them. For those who've finished (or just don't care), scroll down!

I finally finished ‘Breaking Dawn’ yesterday – a fair task, considering its width. When I brought it home I immediately compared it to the thickest book in my collection, ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’, and discovered it was about the same size, although its actual length is probably closer to ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ once you take font size into account. But that is by the by – I finished this mammoth book in the same week I was busy studying for, and taking, my yearly exams. Now that’s dedication. (Or perhaps just obsession.)

I am glad with the way it turned out, though. Finally, here is an author who is not afraid to have a story with a happy ending for everyone! It really annoys me when authors inflict terrible events on their characters just for that added shock value, or to get in a real twist (again, Harry Potter springs to mind…). Meyer manages to avoid this and still spins a decent tale.

I think it’s interesting to note that her book has received negative reviews from some people, due to the fact that Bella becomes pregnant, and they believe Meyer is condoning teenage pregnancy. They, however, have missed the most important point – Meyer is not condoning teenage pregnancy, per se, but is condoning waiting until you have been married before having sex. Additionally, Bella decides to keep the baby, rather than just shrieking ‘Ah! Baby! I’m a teenager! Abortion!’ straight away. I applaud Meyer for upholding these basic moral values that seem to have slipped through the cracks of our society.

Speaking of which, ‘Breaking Dawn’ and the rest of the Twilight Saga is proof that you can write a dramatic, seductive and sexy romance novel (and believe me, there were many eyebrow-raising lines that put the ‘adult’ in ‘young adult novel’) while still only having couples that are committed to one another! Sexy romance, but married! Imagine that.

Admittedly, this book was a slight let-down (emphasis on 'slight'). Despite its length, it seemed over very quickly. Also, I think having Jacob narrate about a quarter of the book was a bad move - sure, it will please the Jacob fans, but as for everyone else (me included)? Annoying! I deliberately pushed my way through Jacob's bit in order to get to Bella's narration again. Although I did enjoy the chapter titles for Jacob's section - a nice contrast, with humour too.

'Breaking Dawn' just seemed to be lacking the pizazz of its predecessors, like there was something missing - something indefinable, but something that was definitely there in the first three books. I did enjoy it, but my final reaction was the same after reading the final Harry Potter book - "what, is that it? After all that hype?" I just feel the ending could have been better.

Good story, happy ending, but I still think 'Eclipse' and 'Twilight' managed to surpass this one overall. 4 STARS

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