Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Book review: Breaking Dawn Stephenie Meyer

**Don't worry, no spoilers here!**
When I think back to my wedding day, I remember the anxiety and stress over the planning, the guests, the weather, and all of the details. And here I had one of the most laid back weddings I've ever attended. Add a bunch more guests and compound the fact that the groom is a vampire, some of the guests are werewolves, and you have people that want to kill you, and the anxiety and stress get kicked up to a whole new level. This is a wedding that makes even the biggest bridezillas go "you've got issues girlfriend."

This is how the fourth and final book in the Twilight Saga, "Breaking Dawn" begins. From there, Bella Swan attempts to live a life like any other girl who has just gotten married--she goes on her honeymoon and attempts to enjoy life with her new husband. Only life isn't quite so simple for Bella.

Meyer didn't disappoint in the same rich character development that sucked me into all of her other stories. At one point she was talking about over 30 vampires and actually created an index to help keep them all straight. Yet her description and personalities of each of them were so defined, I never once had to question which vampire was who. But one thing that I really enjoyed about Bella in the earlier books was that I felt like I could be her. In the third book she annoyed me because she was being too immature and making bad decisions, but I went with it. In this book, at some point she stopped being mostly identifiable to me. And that was disappointing. But there was one way in which she was entirely identifiable to me, and that's what kept me reading and kept me engrossed. I won't tell you why because I'd give you a spoiler, but there was one theme with Bella that I identified with body, mind, and soul.

As far as the story line, I appreciated that I felt like I didn't know the entire story 50 pages in, like I did with some of the other stories. I liked that this story had a bit more complexity to it than some of the earlier books. But I have to admit after reading over 500 pages to get to the climax, I was disappointed with how it went. I expected more than what I got for all of my time leading up to it. I appreciated that she filled in the blanks from some of the earlier stories, but some of them seem to have been filled in a little too conveniently.

All in all, I still really enjoyed this book. I am a true fan and didn't want to put it down once I picked it up. I even found myself moved to tears at one point, something I hadn't done in any of the other books. More than anything, I'm disappointed that this is the last book in the series. I thought there was plenty more she could have done with it, but I guess she has other things she wants to do.

One of her upcoming projects is "Midnight Sun" which is "Twilight" from Edward's perspective. At first I thought, "Ugh, how boring. I already know how that book goes. Give me something new." But when I thought about it some more, I am actually really excited about it. One of the primary reasons I like Meyer is her character development and "Midnight Sun" is a giant study in character development. I think she'll actually be able to do a lot in making the original story much more complex and compelling when written from silent Edward's perspective. The more I thought about it, I think it actually has the potential to be even better than "Twilight." We shall see.


Joanna said...

Oh no, I thought you were going to give spoilers. Phew. I'm only two chapters in. I'm glad to hear that it was worth reading, and I'll know not to set my expectations too high.

JenFen said...

I knew knew knew that you were reading BD and that's why you had not been around.
I have been saying something similar in that I was a little disappointed, not with the major plot points like some people but the book seemed a little disjointed from the others - it failed to captivate my emotion in the same way.
I want to know at what point you cried, especially if you didn't with the others because when Edward left Bella in New Moon, I lost it! Was it the "My brother, my son" quote.
Also, and yes I realize YOU were the one who turned me on to SM in the first place but on her website you can read the first chapter of Midnight Sun. I think she can do a lot with it.

-Bridget said...

Joanna- I wouldn't give spoilers and ruin it for you! Enjoy the read!

Jen- I didn't cry when Edward left Bella in New Moon because I never believed it to be sincere. I don't want to give spoilers, but here's what I will say about where I cried in Breaking Dawn: nothing has changed me more emotionally than becoming a mom. Where I first cried was page 575-576. :-)

Kat said...

I am having this love/hate thing with Breaking Dawn. I love it because it was perfect - but hate it for the same reason. It was like reading fanfiction rather than a Stephenie Meyer book.

Belle said...

My daughter is finishing up the book now and I'm next. I think I'm in love with Edward Cullen so the books from his perspective will probably suck me in just like the others have.