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Friday, January 2, 2009

Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn
by Stephenie Meyer
768 pages

In keeping with the "fluffy" nature of the Twilight books I've been doing some rather "fluffy" reviews. This one will be no exception! Before I get to my review though, there are a few things I have to say. (This first part is spoiler-free so no worries if you haven't read this book yet.)

First, I have never, in my entire life, felt the NEED to go to the bookstore to buy a book RIGHT NOW. I happily wait for my turn on the long library lists, for my friends to finish their copies and lend them to me, for a book to come out in paperback, etc. I'm not an impatient person.

Along with that, although I do read constantly I don't read obsessively. I like to watch tv, hang out with my family, sleep (!), and in general have a life. Never have I ever felt a burning desire to NOT PUT DOWN THIS BOOK, or at least if I did feel that way I was able to take a deep breath and do it anyway.

The Twilight Saga screwed up my track record on both of those fronts. I did borrow the first book from a friend, but the 2nd book I bought (even though that same friend said she'd buy it for me when she got back from vacation), and the 3rd I got for Christmas (before I had finished book 1). On Dec. 30th on my lunch break I rushed to the store to buy book 4 - I couldn't stand the though of being without it. What's the deal with that?!

That same afternoon I started reading around 4:30pm. I had to put it down to go to a New Year's Eve party but I picked it up again the next morning, Jan. 1st. Luckily kiddo wanted to play outside with his friends most of the day because I couldn't stop reading (almost) all day. I finished it that same night at exactly midnight. That's 768 pages in about 32 hours! Am I crazy?! It's not like the writing is even all that great - it's just that I'm so involved in the story that my heart starts racing if I even try to put it down. That's what you call an addiction, right?!

I told hubby that I would be seriously relieved when I got through this series because I could go back to my normal reading patterns and my LIFE. Now that I AM finished, I'm just waiting for girls night with that same friend who lent me her book so we can discuss the books and I can finally get this out of my system!

Ok, now on to my review. Be forewarned - there are spoilers galore in here! And also, there is nothing chronological about this list at all ...

  • So I figured out that Bella would get pregnant, or at the very least that she would get a baby somehow. I really wasn't all that surprised there. I had heard there was a big twist in this last book and I was quite disappointed that I'd figured it out so easily.

  • HOLY COW!!!!!!!! Jacob imprinted on the baby?!?!?!!!?! Now THAT'S a twist I didn't see coming (although I should have since the hints were everywhere). Hubby and kiddo thought I was nuts because I kept shouting "No WAY!" when I got to that part.

  • Bella's passion on the island made me smile. I was so glad that Edward finally chilled out a bit, even if he did get all stiff and formal again so quickly.

  • I loved spending time with Jacob's pack. My 14 year old cousin said she hated that part of the book, but since I'm a huge Jacob fan (and I seem to have a thing for wolves too) I quite enjoyed it.

  • I got worried for a while that Jacob and Leah would end up together simply because of their similar situations. I was not happy with that potential outcome - it would have just been a sad solution.

  • I know this is a Young Adult book, but where is all the carnage?! I mean, the Happy Ever After ending IS appealing - and less stressful - than any other ending, but like I said in my review of Eclipse, a BIT more realism would be nice (again, I KNOW that realism and Twilight shouldn't be in the same sentence, but WHATEVER!). I guess I read too much adult sci-fi/fantasy ... the author seemed to take the easy way out here.

  • I liked Bella much better as I vampire. I liked how she had to be turned in order to save her life, I liked how Jacob was involved, and I liked her personality and behavior MUCH more after the change.

  • Speaking of that, I liked Bella and Edward's relationship much better after her change as well. They seemed on much more equal footing (duh!) and their relationship felt healthier and more balanced than before. Finally.

  • And speaking of THAT, I have to give the author credit here. I've been a fan of Jacob since book 2. I loved the passion he and Bella had, their crazy friendship, and the obvious love he had for her. HE is the one I was fantasizing about as I read. But when the relationship between he and Bella changed, my passion unconsciously changed as well. I didn't realize it until the end, but I started thinking of Jacob more as a friend than as a lover (oh, darn, he was MUCH more appealing as a lover too). I'm sure it was in part due to the changing relationship between Edward and Bella (that cold skin thing really turned me off, but now they are the same temperature, so that's a good thing). But my point is that the author was quite deft in manipulating my emotions that way.

  • And back to the ending, it is really satisfying in a teenage-girl kind of way. She gets her prince, her baby, her best friend, and her daddy, all wrapped up with a bow. *swoon* The tiny part of me that remembers being a teenager is really pleased with that too. The adult part of me wants to yell at the author for the "cop out" but oh well ... I'll just listen to the giggling teenager for a while longer.

And now, I can get back to reality. My addiction has just about run its course. I promise to post about my girls night discussion once it happens, but after that I'm back to reading at a normal pace and reading something with MUCH LESS fluff!


Katie said...

the books are 'literary crack' for sure! I'd finish one book and immediately pick up the next.

Isn't it fun to let out that 'inner teenager' once in awhile??

Literary Feline said...

As I read through your bullet points, I found myself nodding in agreement. I shared much of the same thoughts as I read this one.

As Katie said, these books definitely are "literary crack". They may not be the best written, but they sure are fun.

I'm glad you enjoyed the series, Heather.

Anonymous said...

This series is my guilty pleasure and I have to agree with you & everyone else about literary crack, although I frequently read obessively. Here's to letting out the inner teenager. Thanks for the great review.

Anonymous said...

I whole-heartedly agree with all of your points. I can't wait to read your discussion guide!!!

Anonymous said...

Erika left that last comment. Sorry I forgot to fill out my name.

Erika :)

Anonymous said...

Heather, I want to congratulate you on your reviews of the whole Twilight series. You captured my feelings so well. I felt the same as you about racing through the books. I know they are YA fiction, but who cares? I, too, loved Jacob. I, too, came back to loving Edward at the end. I didn't seem Jacob imprinting on the baby, but it makes sense. You did a great job expressing my feelings! Ha!

shrink on the couch said...

I've just started BD. I resisted reading beyond the spoiler zone of your review. I'm going to look for your reviews of the earlier books. I have to admit, though, I've had trouble getting into this one. Feeling more of the same, "ok, so she's going to be a vampire, so what".. but then I took my kids to see the movie and I wanted more of Edward and Bella.

Ingrid Brosas said...

Addiction? Obsession? I don't know what you'd classify it as, but I've read the entire series twice and I'm craving more! Not classical literature, but she sure can weave an enticing story.

Unknown said...

I agree with you on a lot of that and I also have to agree with Katie, these books are literary crack haha I have never heard/read that before.

Christi said...

Okay, I'm just glad to have found this post. I was feeling a little embarassed about being so wrapped up in this series! My hubby even commented, "Isn't that for kids?" Although I'm 30 now (eek!,) I still like a happy ending and crave the romance that seems to fizzle a little after children, work, reality, etc.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I had the exact opposite take on Breaking Dawn:

I have to say, I was so excited to find your blog! I guess I don't surf the Internet enough, but I didn't realize how many other people were blogging passionately about books. :)

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