Friday, October 24, 2008

Breaking Dawn

I've decided that as rich and famous as Stephanie Meyer is, I would never want to be her. I don't believe I've ever read about any other author who has sold as many books as she has, but has also been as harshly criticized as she has been. As likely as it is to find someone who stays up all night to finish her books, it's just as easy to find someone who hates her writing, hates her characters and pretty darn near hates anybody who reads her books.

As in most areas of my life, I am a Stephanie Meyer moderate. The right makes me shiver with their extreme obsession and devotion and the left gives me a head ache from all the eye rolls I'm forced to do after reading overly critical reviews.

Breaking Dawn brought the Twilight series full circle for me. I'm not even going to bother with a recap because if you don't know what it's about by now, then you can't possibly care about what I'm going to write. I excuse you.

With all my up-to-date hindsight, I can say that I really enjoyed Twilight, was disappointed with New Moon, was slightly confused and cared less about Eclipse and thought Breaking Dawn did a satisfactory job of tying up some of the more important loose ends.

Finally, finally....Bella gets to have sex with Edward. Phew! I'm so glad Meyer got it over with at the beginning of the book instead of drawing it out for another 500 pages. She writes it modestly, honestly and kept it what all married sex should be....private. I could say more, but suffice it to say, I appreciate Meyer keeping it real. The passion was there, the awkwardness and anxiety ever present, but most importantly, the love and fun were there too.

Like a lot of readers, I found the "Jacob" chapters boring. I have never felt the connection between Bella and Jacob and only believed it because the author kept telling me, again and again and again, that they had one. So they had one and it felt even more unbelievable and creepy after Bella was married. Considering the ending and the birth of Edward and Bella's baby, Reneseme (worst baby name ever, I believe) I understand the need; we need to believe Jacob's devotion to Bella and live through his own confusion over it, in order not be completely disturbed by Jacob's subsequent devotion to Reneseme. Still, it didn't make for great reading.

I really liked the end. I liked the happy ending. I liked the other vampire characters and the description of their cool gifts. I liked that the good guys won. That is young adult literature. Good triumphs over evil! Stand up to the bully! Work together and accomplish the impossible! Mostly, I liked Bella being a vampire. Finally, she was comfortable in her own skin and it actually made her likable. Perhaps, Meyer meant to have Bella annoy us readers through three long books so that we could see the improvement when Bella makes the transition from mortal to immortal, although I doubt it. Meyer is a genius at writing conflict - not characterization.

My greatest complaint was that Edward never got back to being Edward. I'm going to have to accept the character she gave me in books 2, 3 and 4 and forget about the interesting and better developed Edward from Twilight, who has never reappeared in any of the sequels. Oh well.

Oh, and the word, "Ugh". Nothing screams false like an angry teenage werewolf feeling frustrated and shouting, "ugh!". I'm not promoting obscene language or anything, but...really? Ugh?

I'm glad she releases her books in the summertime, because Breaking Dawn is an enjoyable summer read.

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