Review: Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga #4) by Stephenie Meyer - .Red Wine & Books

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Review: Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga #4) by Stephenie Meyer


Print Length: 756 pages
Publisher: Little Brown & Company (August 2, 2008)

From Goodreads.com:  WHEN YOU LOVED THE ONE WHO WAS KILLING YOU, IT LEFT YOU NO OPTIONS. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

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



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This was definitely the best out of the four books, but unfortunately, that isn't saying much. It feels like the author forgot where she was trying to go with these books. Let me see if I can explain.

Eclipse did a very thorough job of highlighting not only how dangerous and blood-crazed a newborn vampire is, but it also made Bella take a step back and realize just how much she was going to be giving up by changing. Her parents, her friends, her entire life as she knew it was going to be over. 

And then we get to Breaking Dawn. Bella once again shows her inability to accept anything gracefully (or gratefully). She complains about the fact that Edward is so worried about her safety that he buys her a car that could withstand a tank attack (is it overkill yes, but she knows better than anyone how overprotective Edward is and she knows better than anyone how accident prone she is). She even complains about the wedding. I still can't grasp what her problem is with getting married. YES her parents had a bad experience, but for heaven's sake, she was planning to become a vampire. Something much more permanent than marriage. Time and again she asks Edward to go against what he wanted, what he believed in, and all the while balking and making a huge deal of the things he asked for (which seemed tiny in comparison). 

As I mentioned above, one of the things Edward has been concerned about throughout the entire series is Bella's safety where he is concerned. She wants to have sex. He's worried he could kill her. She pushes the issue, he caves - again with the stipulation that she marries him first. So she marries him. They have a honeymoon. And thankfully, while Bella wakes up bruised from head to toe in the morning, she is otherwise unharmed. But of course, we get to listen to Edward beat himself up for several pages over it. It was enough that he made it his mission to keep her exhausted every day after. But of course, that isn't enough, Bella has to go out of her way to try and seduce him (not that I can really blame her for wanting to have sex with her husband, but it's another point in how she puts her wants and needs above his). 

Things are going good. Bella is starting to realize that maybe she doesn't have to become a vampire right now. Being human does have its advantages right? Especially now that she and Edward are having sex. Perhaps she will go off to college after all. That would be fun? And entirely human right? Only... Bella finds herself pregnant. 

Yeah yeah yeah. I know. A lot of people have an issue with this, but apparently, there are actually legends of half-vampire, half-human offspring. And not just ones related to Twilight. Anyway, they go home, Edward with the intention to have Carlise "get that thing out of her", and Bella determined to have Rosalie help her protect "her little nudger". 

Then suddenly, the book switches points of view. And suddenly instead of seeing the world from Bella's point of view, we are seeing the world from Jacob's. Poor, poor Jacob. He ends up inadvertently starting a war between the packs and the Cullen's by bringing his memories Bella's pregnancy back. Forcing him to leave Sam's pack, which ends up with the Clearwater siblings joining him. 

There is a lot of angst. A lot of back and forth and a lot of uncertainty. Jacob and Edward are forced to watch as the baby breaks Bella's bones, and doesn't allow her to get any nutrients (until she starts drinking blood because of course, the human who couldn't even stand the sight of blood in Twilight is now drinking it as a human). Eventually, Edward starts to be able to hear the "thoughts" of the child and they make a plan to "safely" remove it. Buuuut since this is the Twilight saga, of course, things go bad at the worst possible time. The placenta detaches, the baby is dying, Bella is dying and Carlisle is not home to deal with it. 

The boys deliver the baby, Bella "dies", lot's of angsty drama ensues. Jacob imprints on the newborn Renesemee.. and here I have a problem. I KNOW the author tried to make it "not weird" saying that it's more a friendship/big brother thing, but it's still really, REALLY, weird. 

And then Bella wakes up as a vampire. And suddenly everything is shiny and new and perfect. She isn't crazed, she isn't dying of thirst, she's... normal. Just a non-breakable version of herself. The pair go hunting, and somehow she's got this super self-control that lets her run away from the scent of human blood, even though more mature vampires than her have problems with this (I AM LOOKING AT YOU JASPER). 

Life is perfect. She not only isn't a blood-crazed newborn, but she gets to have everything. She has Jacob in her life. She has her daughter. She even has Charlie. Suddenly the set up from Eclipse is rendered pointless. She has given up nothing, but gotten everything in return. 

And what is a Twilight novel without even more drama and angst. Irina (who still is butt-hurt over the fact that her new sexbuddy Laurant was killed by wolves for trying to kill Bella) sees Bella with Jacob and the kid and of course jumps to the conclusion that her long-standing friends who know what a crime it would be to bite a child has done so and instead of giving them time to explain runs off to play tattle-tale to the Volturi. 

Who of course decide to come. 

Cue the rest of the book. The Cullen family gathering witnesses, while Edward and Bella explain what their child really is. Bella learns she's a shield, starts working on that power. Alice and Jasper leave the family, Bella finds a way (thanks to Alice) to save Jacob and her daughter.  

EVERYTHING BUILDS AND BUILDS TO A VERY....... anti-climatic conclusion. I remember YEARS ago seeing Breaking Dawn part 2 and going OH MY GOD THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE BOOK. And you know what?? It's NOT. 

IT'S BETTER. 

And in my opinion, a movie should NEVER BE BETTER than the book it came from. At least I can say I'm done with these books. Again. For now? Who knows. 



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                                Breaking Dawn is available from Amazon.com

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