Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is probably the best book of the series. Well, the first half is. For me, that’s primarily because a large proportion of the book is told from Jacob’s perspective. A lot more goes on in his head than Bella’s. As soon as it goes back to her, the plot slows back down again. We go from the complexities of the wolf-pack’s splintering dynamics and the stress and worry over whether Bella will survive her “condition”, immediately to “Edward is sooooo beautiful!”. I almost didn’t read the second half of the book!
I can see why the movie version made the changes that they did in terms of plot-pacing (and action sequences)! Other than the gathering of the witnesses, not much else really happens. Kind of anti-climactic after that long saga. All talk, no action. Not even a watered-down sex scene! That’s skipped over (several times!).
As for the wolf-imprinting thing, that could have been a really dodgy situation, imprinting on a child… but luckily that’s handled in a fairly sensitive manner. It did however sew up all the loose ends of the story in almost too-neat a fashion. Everything is just too perfect at the end. Which is why I think I couldn’t properly lose myself in this “reality” because there wasn’t any part of it which was linked to the real world. None of the characters were flawed. Only Bella had flaws, and only when she were human, as it turned out that her impenetrable mind and constant worry became her strongest asset. Her clumsiness vanished along with her humanity.
I can see why teens and YA are drawn to this story, planning for a perfect future with the perfect spouse. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really teach the young adult that the real world doesn’t work that way. It’s definitely a fairy story, with a “and they all lived happily ever after…” at the end. No description of how to stay together with the same spouse for several hundred years! What about all those annoying personal habits that people have? Oh right, they’re perfect, of course!
If nobody had any flaws, and everyone were the same, what a dull world this would be. People need their flaws and idiosyncrasies to make them believable.
In short, this whole saga was OK. But I hope that any young adult (or adult!) reading these books takes away the message of having to fight for what you believe in, and not the “happily ever after” stuff.
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