Upon finishing this novel, I felt an overwhelming sense of letdown. For the past weeks, I had been working tirelessly to plan a release party for this book, and was rewarded with the number of teens that showed up to eagerly await the Twilight Saga's conclusion with me. I only hope that they got some gratification out of the thing they had been waiting for.
The novel's three books-- Book 2 being told from Jacob's perspective-- give a refreshing break to Bella's immature, one-track mind. Book 1 is an abomination to every opinion I had formed about about the previous books. Not only does Meyer recap way more than necessary-- a little recap in any sequel is inevitable, but this was just downright ridiculous-- but her retelling of events that took place before the actual time frame of the novel is weakly amateur. The sequencing is off (for instance, the conversation with the Cullens about the immortal children should have been made evident to Bella AFTER she had begun having the increasingly haunting dreams about a child)and everything is told with a strange, glossed-over humor that makes you yearn for the more raw accounts presented in Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse. Bella-- I say Bella because the reader is at this point experiencing everything from her perspective--seems numb everything as Meyer strictly writes by what she is doing, instead of what she is feeling; making for poor writing especially in the first person.
And then comes the big slap in the face, after everything set up in the previous novels goes by without a hitch or a blip on the emotional radar. Bella's pregnancy-- wrong on so many levels, what with her emotional immaturity and lack of matronly sense-- causes the high school romance teens adored and coveted to take on an official, adult aura. How could this happen? Bella, the clumsy, quirky new kid in town, and Edward, the seventeen-year old, strikingly handsome heartthrob, are now PARENTS? Not only does this cause teens to cringe-- I should know, I am one-- but it kills the romance for anybody who does not understand what it is like to have a child, myself included. One would presume that Meyer, knowing most of her fan base was made up of teenagers, would steer clear of this route for Edward and Bella. After this maddening plot twist, we find our selves in Jacob's shoes for the commencement of Book 2. Strangely enough, I was irritated enough with the way that Bella's life was going to enjoy Jacob's strong, angsty take on life, and it was, as I mentioned earlier, quite refreshing to see the situation from someone else's point of view. Humor is reintroduced through clever dialogue, and Meyer seems to get her groove back as she navigates out of provacitive territory, which was clearly uncomfortable for her. However, after Jacob's all-too-predictable-and-really-quite-creepy imprinting episode, we land right back into Bella's shoes.
Book 3 is a slight improvement over Book 1, the main irritant only being Bella's ridiculous selection of the name "Renesmee" for her child. As a reader, I can honestly say that it was extremely difficult to care at all for the fate of the child. She monopolizes Bella's affections (Where's Edward? Hello, that's what we came here for...) and is the root of a big misunderstanding, of course involving the Volturi. The facts remain that Renesmee was introduced too late into the Saga for the audience to understand Bella's attachment, not after her central focus in life had been Edward for so long. Speaking of Edward, how does he feel about his daughter and Jacob's relationship? Why don't we see a paternal side to him? Who knows.
As for Bella's newly acquired "newborn vampire" status, everything works out perfectly fine, she is of course able to resist human blood because of her amazing self control and can shield herself and her family on top of everything! How maddeningly, predictably, ridiculously, fantastically convenient for her.
And then the dramatic, tension-filled conclusion... where nothing actually happens except for a whole lot of talking and predictable self-realizations. The epic, anticipated confrontation with the Volturi takes on the demeanor of a court trial and everybody the audience cares about walks away without a scratch. From the moment I finished Twilight, it was easy enough to perceive that the following books would revolve around Bella and Edward's relationship, and how they would make things work with their supernatural differences. The real threats to their happiness presented in New Moon and Eclipse seemed like they would be the central focus of Breaking Dawn. Everything, from Bella's becoming a vampire to Jacob's attachment to Bella to how Charlie would react, was far to conveniently sewn up, with the added bonus of a baby thrown in for fun. All I can say is that this is the only Twilight book I will not be rereading, and I wish Stephenie Meyer better literary success with whatever projects she chooses to pursue.