Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

Posted August 4, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 12 Comments

Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephanie MeyerReviewer: Holly
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight #4
Also in this series: Eclipse, Eclipse, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Twilight, Twilight, Twilight

Publication Date: August 2nd 2008
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 768
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three-stars

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?

The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.

Book Cover

Twilight tempted the imagination. New Moon made readers thirsty for more. Eclipse turned the saga into a worldwide phenomenon. And now, the book that everyone has been waiting for….

Breaking Dawn, the final book in the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga, will take your breath away.

I’ve decided to review this without spoilers, and later in the week (possibly sooner) I’ll open a separate post for spoilers.

When I finished reading Eclipse, I was severely disappointed in the direction the series was headed. I had been looking for some sort of maturity from Bella Swan, the main protagonist and narrator of the series, but didn’t feel there had been any growth. As a matter of fact, I felt she’d digressed in her behavior, and seemed younger and more immature than ever. It came as quite a surprise to me that Bella not only seemed more mature in this entry, but she was also a character I identified with, and even…liked? At least in the beginning.

Breaking Dawn
picks up almost directly where Eclipse left off. Jacob is still gone and Edward and Bella are preparing for their wedding. I didn’t bother to re-read Eclipse in preparation. As a result, I felt a bit lost at first, trying to remember exactly what had happened at the end of Eclipse. It wasn’t long before I was caught up in the story.

Meyer’s writing is as strong as ever, and even though I had some major issues with the story, I can’t fault her writing style or voice. Just as with the previous three novels I was completely sucked in.

This was probably the most emotionally compelling of the series so far. I could actually feel the emotions leaping off the pages. I laughed, I cried, I was so angry I wanted to throw my book. I could absolutely empathize with the characters as they faced various trials and tribulations.

Parts of this novel were much less dark than the previous entries in the series. I think this is both good and bad. I think part of the appeal of the series to date has been it’s darker, somewhat morbid undertones. While I think the levity in this one was needed, it was still hard to reconcile it as being part of the series.

Despite the strong writing voice, this entry lacked the punch of the previous ones. It seemed to read like textbook novel. I predicted every.single.thing that happened. There wasn’t one surprise, one outcome I didn’t foresee. That severely disappointed me, because though I was angry about some things that happened in previously in the series, at least they weren’t what I was expecting.

I do think Meyer offered us another angle from which we could study and analyze the gift/curse of love, and the ways our lives are effected by the decisions we make. That aspect was certainly interesting.

Overall the writing was just as strong as always, but the storyline and characters were just a bit too neat and tidy for me to recommend this. Too many things happened to make me shake my head and roll my eyes. It’s definitely a disappointment, realizing Meyer took the easy way out.

3.0 out of 5

Personally, I’m glad to see the series come to an end.

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

This book is available from Little, Brown and Company. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-stars


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12 responses to “Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

  1. Ana

    I am so sad for everyone that was expecting great things from this book. I have only read Twilight and even though I LOVED it with every fibre of my being , I was waiting for BD to make a decision on whether to proceed with the series or not. Given yours and Thea’s reaction, I know now I won’t. This way, I will keep the memory of a really good book without any disappointment. I am chicken I know.

  2. My daughter is almost finished, so I’ll probably start reading it tonight. Like you, she seems a bit torn on whether or not she likes this story. I look forward to reading and discussing it with her… and you guys, too.

  3. Anonymous

    Spoiler Alert…

    First, I wouldn’t avoid reading this series because some feel this last book left something to be desired. Overall I thought the book was good enough to not put down until I finished it and in parts it was great (the delivery/transformation and final confrontation scenes, in particular were pretty intense). Ms. Meyer is a good writer and storyteller. And any book that you can’t put down is a book worth reading. Was it predictable? Yes. But so were ALL of the other books in this series. The surprises in this series have always been the journeys taken by these characters, not their ultimate destinations.

    This series ended with a happy ending for every one of its characters (well, except maybe Irina and her grieving sisters). If it had not ended happily I can guarantee that the reviews would be more negative (and there would be many more of them) than those noted above and elsewhere on various internet sites.

    Other thoughts… Being a 38-year old mother, I thought Ms. Meyer did a very good job with the romance/sex parts of this story. I thought the stickers that were given out at the midnight party gave away the ending (“Bella and Edward Forever”). Because of those darn stickers, I knew going into it that Bella would become a vampire eventually. Shame on you marketing team!

    Looking forward to seeing the movie(s) and to having my daughter read these very appropriate books when she reaches the recommended age of 12. I know she will enjoy them. As I enjoyed them for what they were — an incredibly fun summer read!

  4. melanis

    the series took me away from reality. i couldn’t put any of the books down.

    but as i finished breaking dawn i was disappointed in how it became. all the characters got there happy ending but i just wished there was more of a struggle for it. sure there was struggle but it was predictable that it would end happily.

    i just wished there was mor of a “fight” for the characters love and family.

    oh well. i just thought that breaking dawn would have been better than twilight.

    i’m looking forward to the movie and midnight sun to hear edwards part of the story.

  5. Hey Holly-

    Thank you for putting this up (since it has no spoilers and I haven’t read it yet). I think for anyone who has invested any time in the series, reading this one is inevitable with or without reviews. I’m not surprised you knew what was going to happen along the way. I can’t wait to read mine when it arrives and seriously now… I’m glad it’s finally the last book.

  6. analu

    i think the 4 books were great i just cant wait to see the movie for the first time i read because i found this amazing series

  7. AHHH I’m scared to finish the series now. I don’t want it to trun out bad but from all the reviews I’ve read it doesn’t so like it has a great ending… what’s a girl to do. HOLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY HELP

  8. Sorry babe, don’t know what to tell you. You should probably read it, just to finish out the series. But DO NOT let your daughter read them until you talk to me. kthx

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