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Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Better late than never, right? I've got good excuses, though. Had a baby. Was reading it aloud with DH. Snatching moments to read whenever and wherever we could...you get the picture. The problem is, what to say now that I finally finished it. Because the truth is the real reason it took me so long to reach the end is that it was....well....boring. Not just the ending, which was utterly lacking in anything resembling a climax, but the entire story. By the end of Book Two I had been sapped of the will to live. Let alone the will to care about the characters anymore.

So, yeah. I'm sitting here feeling a bit betrayed and a bit disappointed. But mostly I'm mystified. I sat there shaking my head throughout the entire third book, my brow furrowed, one sentence on an endless loop in my head, "Wh-, wh-, what happened?" To Bella who was first and foremost an everygirl and not a superhero. To Edward who was vivid and dangerous and not a mere vehicle for exposition. To Jacob who was a protector and friend and not Edward's best bud, stripped of his will and happy about it. And to Alice who was lovely and awesome and present, not absent and useless for the majority of the 700+ pages. None of the characters I'd cared about for three books were themselves in this final volume. Not one.

So set aside the fact that Bella would never name her child that. Set aside the fact that the only enjoyable section (Jacob's) ended in the most absurd (read: revolting) way imaginable. Set aside even the fact that nobody had to sacrifice anything to get their heart's desire (and thus the fact that they achieved that desire is rendered null and void in my mind). The important thing is the characters were not true to themselves. They, like the carefully laid out rules of their world, were summarily bent and reformed into unrecognizable shapes for the sake of providing the bewildered reader with a universal happy ending for every. single. character. It wasn't what this reader wanted and it wasn't what the story needed. But it's what we got.

All of this said, I am glad this most unfortunate of endings hasn't tainted Twilight for me in the least. It remains a favorite and one I'll certainly reread. I'll just stop there.

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Comments

  1. Sigh. I wish this book had been better. My thoughts (unsurprisingly similar to yours!) are over in my new blog. (Did I remember to tell you about my new blog?)

    http://acuriostiyshop.blogspot.com

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  2. Double sigh.

    Hey, I was wondering what your new URL was! I'll head right over and read your thoughts.

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  3. Angie, I couldn't agree with you more... it was such a disappointment! How could she have created such great books three times and then failed so COMPLETELY with this one? It's a mystery. Oh well. =)

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  4. Angie, I can't tell you how happy I am to find someone else who will actually admit to feeling this way about this book!!! All my friends here just say, "loved it!" and grin. I agree with you 100%. When I finished the book, there was no sense of fulfillment - yeah, it was a happy ending, but at the expense of...everything! The whole second half was so anticlimactic, especially after the dramatic birth (terrible name - ugh!) and the way she ended the other three books. I felt so let down when I finished it that I actually read it a second time hoping that I had just gone through it too fast the first time. Nope. Such a bummer. But you're right, at least it hasn't tainted Twilight.

    (Sorry this was so long. This book made me crazy and it's nice to vent!)

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  5. Angie--first off, congrats for the new baby :)

    And...yeah I totally feel you on the sad, strange mess that was Breaking Dawn. Unfortunately, I was already iffy about the Twilight movie, and now am left pretty cold towards watching it. Sigh. I'll just continue to pretend that the series ended at Eclipse and leave it at that!

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  6. Camie, I know. I'm just bewildered. There seems to be such a gap between this one and the first three. It's inexplicable.

    Allison, vent away! I'm currently spending the majority of my day trying to quash the hope that this was all a bad joke and the "real" book will be coming soon to a bookstore near me...

    Thanks, Thea! I think having just had a baby myself made the drippy, syrupy disgustingness that was every character's reaction to Nessie worse in my mind. I'm with you. From now on, this book never happened. It is dead to me now.

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  7. It's like she wanted it to be a happy ending on all levels regardless of whether or not it was possible. I felt like the entire book was just a long way of saying "...and they all lived happily ever after." Come on!

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  8. I agree with your insights, too, Angie. There were parts that I did enjoy, specifically any parts with Jacob. I think he was one character who stayed relatively true to character, I loved his 'voice' and he was rather heroic. I think because of Quil and Claire's story, I can actually picture a future between Jacob and Nessie a few years down the road, but I still feel he was a bit shortchanged of a true happily ever after that he deserved.

    I also really enjoyed Leah's character in this novel. I thought Meyer did a great job at building her character in the beginning of the novel. Unfortunately, she didn't get the page time she deserved in the last part of the story. Like every other character, she just sort of faded out into a foggy boring ending without solid closure. :(

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  9. You're right, Carrie. It was like wave after wave of everything working out perfectly. Dangle another possible crisis in front of the reader and then miraculously do away with the need for it.

    Christine, I liked Leah a lot. I started getting excited when she joined Jacob's pack. I would even have liked to see something happen between them. It would have been nice to have two werewolves happy together without having to imprint on each other...

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  10. I can't believe we haven't actually discused this topic at length, because Matt is always there. I've had a hard time verbalizing the way I felt about this book. At parts I just enjoyed it because I needed something familiar at the depressing and sick time of my life. Then at three different times I set it down out of exasperation and boredom. I kept waiting for something great to happen and nothing great ever did. And by the end I felt like all the characters were new characters...because they weren't themselves, obviously. If that makes sense. Most my friends hated the 2nd book from Jacob's point of view, and that was my favorite part, however dumb the ending of it. It was all too fake and gave readers the happy ending everyone hoped for. With no struggle, no work, no sacrifice, and certainly no excitment! And not having Alice there was stupid. I loved Twlight. I really enjoyed New Moon. I actually quite disliked Eclipse, and she totally lost it in Breaking Dawn.

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  11. I know. I felt bad being so negative, but the whole experience was seriously so scarring that the only way to exorcise the demons was to write out the review. And I agree, the Jacob part remains my favorite part. Particularly the chapter titles.

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  12. I just finished this book this week, because I just finished school so I now have time to read. I was entertained by it, but I also felt that everything shouldn't have wrapped up so tight. Somebody should have died for someone else. That would have proven something about Bella or Edward.

    And anyway...broken headboards and slashed pillows? Geez Louise.

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  13. Lol! I know, Kos. Those details sort of robbed the honeymoon section of any sort of gravitas. And I agree about someone biting it. As much as I love him, Jacob should have died. That's all there is to it.

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  14. I like to just pretend that this book wasn't written and that such an abomination never even existed. I -hate-, with the full definition of this word, this book.

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  15. Jane, *sigh* yeah. It's the only thing to do.

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  16. Anonymous7:52 PM

    You know for this book.....I really hoped there would have been a fight scene!! :P

    I was dissapointed in this book but then again I have never really liked the Twilight Series! :)

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