Breaking Dawn (Twilight #4) by Stephenie Meyer | Rating: ★★☆☆☆
"You could run from someone you feared, you could try to fight someone you hated. All my reactions were geared toward those kinds of killers – the monsters, the enemies. 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 your beloved, how could you not give it?"
Breaking Dawn gave me a m a s s i v e headache this time around. That’s my first thought when rereading it: BD is headache inducing.
Way back when, I loved this novel with all my heart but now my feelings about it are mixed at best. As I’ve said before in past revisions and reviews, the Twilight Saga will always have a special place in my heart–it’s just that I’ve grown out of it and in place of the love I once had for it, I mostly am indifferent towards it.
Hailed as a romantic and action packed finale to the much beloved series, Breaking Dawn follows Bella and Edward as they prepare and celebrate their upcoming nuptials with friends and family. Together, they plan their future and Bella attempts to make a compromise when it comes down to sex, college and when she shall be changed to a vampire. After all, becoming one is the only way Bella and Edward can have a “true” happily ever after.
But is happily ever after really in the cards for these two?
Well, weirdly enough, the answer is a partial yes. The two have their usual struggles as they pass through the wedding. We also see the effect on Bella and Jacob after Bella made her decision to choose Edward. Bella is thrilled to be marrying the love of her life, but clearly missing her best friend–and Jacob is naturally heart broken. Although the love triangle mostly came to an end in Eclipse, it did leave its mark on everyone.
As the wedding progresses, we have many light moments throughout that make other cringe worthy passages worth it. And when Jacob surprises Bella at her wedding, things are looking promising. She feels lucky–her family, Edward’s family, their friends are all right beside her. Of course things don’t always stay so peaceful in Forks.
It had its sweet moments and as usual Stephenie captures emotion really well, but once we reach the honeymoon things start to get trickier and well, weird. Edward is hesitant to have sex with Bella, blah-blah-blah, they do successfully have it more than once. I can’t really remember what all happens on their honeymoon until things get thrown into some weird supernatural soap opera garbage–Bella is pregnant.
Because the pregnancy is super unexpected and dangerous the two go home almost immediately. For Edward, it’s mostly because he wants to get rid of the baby because it could kill his wife but Bella has other plans. I can’t figure out if I’m suppose to yawn, cringe or roll my eyes more at this turn of events but here we are. Jessica bored, Jessica disturbed, Jessica confused.
(Speaking of Jessica, Breaking Dawn is sorely lacking Jessica Stanley. Just throwing that out there, you know.)
With her pregnancy progressing at an insanely fast pace, Bella needs a friends help. Rosalie is the only one who would understand her desire to save the unborn child and together they bond and hatch a plan for Bella to carry the baby full term, however long that is.
Bella and Edward have a few tense moments during the pregnancy because it is killing Bella and blah-blah-blah. The Cullens do take care of her and lie, claiming that Bella fell ill on her honeymoon and needs to be taken care of and not have visitors for the time being. We know what’s coming: the pregnancy will kill her and she will have to become a vampire to survive.
But it’s a risk.
Meanwhile, after running off on his own Jacob is back in the picture because Bella’s very keen on seeing her best friend. I mean she is very attached to him being there and there’s some sort of pull between the two that isn’t romantic for her but is certainly stronger than before. Obviously his former pack isn’t pleased with how things are going, and he isn’t quite happy about it either. Leah and Seth join him as they form their own pack.
Bella’s pregnancy reaches its full term and in an unsurprising play of events, it is gross and she does die. And after a bit of time, she comes back to life as a vampire and shows surprising strength and control over her hunger. Her number one thought is her baby, Renesmee, much like everyone else–surprisingly including Jacob.
It is, oh God I can’t stop laughing, revealed that Jacob has imprinted on Renesmee. I’m laughing because the whole thing is really, really disturbing and it makes me uncomfortable and apparently when I am uncomfortable like this I just start laughing. And of course–of course–Jacob would imprint on Bella and Edward’s newborn child.
Of. Fucking. Course.
Anyways, I was certainly cheering Bella’s reaction on as she finds out the news. I mean, really? Really? It’s certainly the creepiest thing that the saga managed to do and even all these years later I don’t have the slightest idea what to say about it.
Throughout the remainder of the novel, a lot happens at a fast pace that it’s hard to keep track of and get invested in. Bella’s vampire powers are revealed and explored, the Cullens find themselves in hot water after a betrayal/misunderstanding re: Renesmee’s birth and must prepare for battle and reach out to old friends to join them.
Overall Breaking Dawn is a solid ending on many levels but also a little disturbing in some not-so-good ways. I’m not fond of a lot of plots in this one and while it’s better than New Moon on a lot of levels it still isn’t my favorite. I certainly won’t be rereading it any time soon, if ever.
Stephenie does a decent job at weaving new plots with old and showing us a little more history and layers to things, her descriptions are spot on as usual but there’s something about it as a whole that I just couldn’t get into. It felt like it dragged on longer than it should have.
Her writing absolutely improved by this installment but it still was shaky and not engaging from time to time. Fans of the series will surely enjoy it due to the way Steph wrapped up plots and gave a relatively happy ending to all--it just takes a while to get there. Looking past the flaws, it was pretty entertaining but the older I get the less I enjoy it.