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Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) by…

Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Stephenie Meyer

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28,77693932 (3.76)2 / 174
I am somewhat shocked by the negative backlash on this book. Ultimately the most gripping book in her series by far and one of the most gripping books I've read recently the book started sweetly quiet and halfway in I think I was making dentmarks in the book itself. Love or hate the premise it is a rollercoaster ride of a novel.
*Spoilers ahead*
The good-
Completely shocking- to be honest I thought the series would go out quietly (with much melodrama), the book is a powderkeg of shockers; even when you see them coming.

The pregnancy depictions & especially the delivery- no punches were pulled in the depiction of how difficult it was... and how much Bella loved her baby already despite that.

Renesmee herself was decently fleshed out for a baby, the idea ultimately held more charm for me than the real character.

The Bad

Basically all of the characters lack a certain je ne sais quoi that they've had in the other books. Due to the events going on you don't spend as much time in Bella's head thus you spend less time with Edward, Alice isn't in much of the book. You do spend a lot of time with Jacob yet I found myself not invested in him at all this book. I cared for Leah & Seth Clearwater far more.

Bella as a newborn should have had at least a couple of truly out of control scenes and needed more time to recover herself before mingling in company.

The ending was far too neatly wrapped, don't buy that there would be no bloodshed at all. The way the rest of the book moved someone should have died.

The book was a compelling and moving read because of all the character work she had done thus far; sadly that character work was mostly absent here. I also feel as though the end with the Volturi was far too compressed and bled of it's force. I think there was more writing to the series; the Volturi could have been a stand alone book and that there should have been loss. I think unfortunately the writer let the book gallop her straight to the end (spending not enough time touching & giving life to her characters along the way) and when she got to the end the writer couldn't make the necessary sacrifce the book demanded ultimately letting down all of us; readers, characters & writer. ( )
6 vote Jacey25 | Aug 4, 2008 |
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The only thing I don't love about Breaking Dawn is that it means the Saga is over. I love the challenges, Bella's love for her child and Edward, and how Jacob finally fits into the picture without it hurting anyone. I was also pleased to see what Bella brought to her new life. Awesome! ( )
  MynTop | Apr 8, 2016 |
Not as good as the first ( )
  angela.k.winters | Apr 1, 2016 |

When you can live forever, what do you live for?

This question punctuated by a mood setting beat flashes through the screen in the trailer for the movie Twilight.

As Twilight begins, for Edward, the 108 years old vampire, who has been 17 for “a while”, the answer is attending high school.

Last September as I dragged myself from class to class following my 12 year old busy schedule against a flow of other similarly stressed parents, I pondered this bizarre choice. Why would a 108 year old man, even one who looks like a Greed god, and his gorgeous siblings want to spend their days in high school?

It is not to make friends: The Cullens keep to themselves and do not mix with humans. And wouldn’t college be more appropriate if they wanted to study?

The only reason seems to be that the author needs Edward in High School so he meets Bella.

This is only one of many times in the series where nonsensical things happen just because the author needs the plot to go there.

For instance, going back to the trailer: we are shown images of the fight scene in the dance studio. This is "the" action scene in a book lacking in action. And yet, can anyone explain to me how and why Bella makes it there alone?

There are more examples:

In New Moon, Edward leaving Bella is but an obvious device to keep them separated and justify another book.

The phone call where Edward thinks Jacob is talking about Bella’s funeral is contrived.

By the end of New Moon the Volturi tell Edward Bella has to become a vampire or they will kill her. But Edward still refuses for another book. How is he planning to fool the Volturi is never explained.

In Eclipse, there is a snow storm in summer time that comes out of nowhere to justify Jacob getting close to Bella, and Edward staying with them to stage the battle scene.

The plot of the three books can be summarized as follows: Girl meets boy. Boy is a vampire. Girl wants to be a vampire too so they can be together. Boy refuses because he thinks vampires are killers. Boy finally agrees to make her a vampire.

The three first books deal with the romance, the unfulfilled love and the question of whether Edward and Bella will end together or not.

Breaking Dawn is different. By the end of Eclipse Bella has chosen Edward and Edward has agreed to make her a vampire. As BD starts they get married.

For many fans BD doesn’t work because once they are married the question is answered and the romantic tension disappears.

That is not my main criticism of BD.

There are many reasons why BD doesn’t work for me. Plot inconsistencies, scientific impossibilities, terrible pacing to name a few.

For instance:

Edward didn’t want Bella to become a vampire because vampires are killers. Werewolves exist to kill them for that very reason: to protect the humans. But as soon as Bella becomes a vampire, vampires are not evil anymore. Of course the Cullens don't kill humans. Yet when the Cullens need help from other vampires, they invite them over, and neither Bella nor her new family seem to mind too much that they are killing people. The werewolves don’t do anything either.

Emmett at the beginning of New Moon goes feral upon smelling Bella's blood. This is the reason that prompts Edward to leave her. He wants to protect her from the potential threat vampires pose. At this point in the story we are lead to believe vampires are evil and must fight their instincts constantly or they would kill.

Yet when Bella becomes a vampire, the struggle is minimized to the point of non existence. Accepting the premise that vampires are always only a step away from going into a killing spree would challenge the "perfect happy world" Ms. Meyer wants to create.

But if vampires are not evil, Edward’s reluctance to make Bella a vampire the one and only reason they didn't end up together in book one disappears.

The Cullens break human rules constantly. I guess to be otherworldly beautiful gives them the right. For instance, Edward gets Bella admitted into Dartmouth College and no one seemed to think this is totally unethical.

I agree with other reviewers that the conflict with the Volturi is anticlimactic and unrealistic.

There is no doubt that the Volturi are killers. We have seen this in the gruesome scene at the end of [b:New Moon|49041|New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2)|Stephenie Meyer|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/414jgcy2FAL._SL75_.jpg|3203964] where innocent Italian tourists are killed. They even kill vampires (innocent or otherwise). They kill one of the Cullen's friends in BD. Wouldn’t the Cullens want to put an end to their power?

Apparently not. As long as they don't challenge their family directly, they do nothing.

Ms. Meyer’es excuse for avoiding the battle is that in a battle some of the “good” vampires would have died and she wanted a happy ending. And so the Volturi leave and nothing is solved.

Another inconsistency: According to the Volturi’s rules Charlie couldn't live as he knows part of the truth about vampires.

Now for the baby and the scientific explanations: they are ridiculous.

Dead is dead. Vampires may have poison, but to make a baby you need a spermatozoid and that is quite a different matter.

Simplifying: a poison is a chemical compound with a complexity of one. A spermatozoid has a complexity of millions.

To compare a poison with a spermatozoid is like comparing a word with a book. They are both made of letters (atoms the former). But the book is a little more complex.
Besides, the spermatozoid is alive. Extending the analogy: a book is not only a group of words, but a group of words that tells a story.

Again spermatozoids are alive. Vampires are not. Ergo, vampires cannot make spermatozoids.

As for the number of chromosomes. Vampires, we are told, have 25 pairs of chromosomes, Humans 23. Trust me on this or look it up in your 10th grade Biology book. If the egg has 23 chromosomes and the spermatozoid 25, the resulting cells do not have 24. Some cells will have 23, others 24, others 25. The cells will not be viable.
I am not being picky. I love Science Fiction. I am aware that the science in SF books is false. Yet it must make a little bit of sense.

Angel, the vampire from the series Angel, also has a son with another vampire. In the imaginary world created in this series, vampires cannot have children either. But at least they don't try to explain it, it is still impossible, they say, an anomaly. And because they don’t try to explain it, I suspend my disbelief.

A recent book about vampires that uses science really well is Peeps by Scott Westerfeld.

What bothers me the most about BD is the fact that by becoming a vampire Bella becomes beautiful and that solve all her problems.

For three books she has whined that she is ugly and thus doubts that Edward loves her. But now that she is a vampire and beautiful, she doesn’t doubt anymore. I found the implied message that self-confidence is tied to good looks disturbing.

As a reader I can’t deny the Twilight series is engaging in the sense that you can’t put it down. The author manages to keep you reading with a suspense "a la Hitchcock". Hitchcock is called the “Master of Suspense” because he builds his movies with scenes that keep you thinking something terrible is going to happen. It is only when the movie is over that you realized that nothing much has really happened, and that, most of the times, the “thing” that kept the action going was an excuse.

Ms. Meyer similarly creates suspense out of nothing. Judging by her millions of fans she does it quite successfully.

As a writer, I found the Twilight series seriously lacking. The characters are shallow, the plot almost non-existent, the pacing sluggish, and the storyline full of contradictions.

Now that the series is over and I can look at the story with perspective what strike me most is the futility of it all. Bella never doubts she wants to be a vampire. I am not surprised. As a human she didn’t have much of a life. But it is not only Bella who had no life. Edward had none either. For an immortal he has had a pretty uneventful past. For one who is going to live forever he seems to have no plans for the future.

As for the question: When you can live forever, what do you live for? For Bella in BD the answer is simple: Sex. Sex, it seems, is all she ever wanted.

Seriously, what does this family of super talented vampires live for?

There is no mysterious higher purpose as the haunting music suggests in the trailer. Except for Carlile that works as a doctor, the rest of the Cullens do nothing but enjoy their own shallow existence.

The world Twilight conjures is the ultimate teenage fantasy. A world of beautiful people, eternally young, that do not need jobs or have to worry about money, or disease.
They live in a happy present without worries of a future that will be more of the same.

Teenagers are narcissistic current research indicates (something to do with their front lobe not been totally developed) and thus, because their emphatic abilities are impaired, they have an excuse to be so self-centered. What is the vampires excuse?

Yes, I know, most of us humans don’t do much for others either. But we don’t have superpowers and as Spiderman puts it “With big power, comes big responsibility.”

The fact that I am taking wisdom from a comic book hero, underlines my problem with the Twilight characters: Bella and the Cullens are so narcissistic that even comic superheroes seem deep by comparison.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for romantic love and happy endings (Listening to Jacques Brel declaiming Ne me quitte Pas/Don’t leave me in YouTube gives me goose bumps) but Bella and Edward are too self-involved to engage my sympathy.

I may be old-fashioned but I like my heroes/heroines a little more . . . heroic?
( )
  CarmenFerreiro | Mar 28, 2016 |
My favorite of the four books, I liked the end. ( )
  zombiehero | Mar 25, 2016 |
Breaking Dawn was hard to find at the time, but I found it!! When I knew there will be no more books in the saga, I decided to prolong the experience, I spent a week reading it.

The jump from per-wedding preparation, the wedding ceremony and the hot honeymoon was amazing. Bella getting pregnant though was a shock! But what surprised me more, is the 2nd part of the book, that it was told by run-away-werewolf-Jacob!

Jacob is aggressive and wild, I didn't doubt his love for Bella, but she already picked her guy.

The giving birth process was so painful to read about, you feel that Bella was ribbed to pieces by her own baby.

When I read Twilight I always thought that Bella's powers might be (if she turned into a Vampire) seeing visions like Alice, because she always dreamed about events, and things to be. But her power is cooler!

The last battle was amazing, but not bloody enough. When I was done, I kept on wondering what will happen with Renesmee, Jacob and Nahuel. I wish the series would continue telling us how it would go from here.

I felt sorry for Charlie, the shocking surprises and revaluations were too much for him. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
Breaking Dawn was hard to find at the time, but I found it!! When I knew there will be no more books in the saga, I decided to prolong the experience, I spent a week reading it.

The jump from per-wedding preparation, the wedding ceremony and the hot honeymoon was amazing. Bella getting pregnant though was a shock! But what surprised me more, is the 2nd part of the book, that it was told by run-away-werewolf-Jacob!

Jacob is aggressive and wild, I didn't doubt his love for Bella, but she already picked her guy.

The giving birth process was so painful to read about, you feel that Bella was ribbed to pieces by her own baby.

When I read Twilight I always thought that Bella's powers might be (if she turned into a Vampire) seeing visions like Alice, because she always dreamed about events, and things to be. But her power is cooler!

The last battle was amazing, but not bloody enough. When I was done, I kept on wondering what will happen with Renesmee, Jacob and Nahuel. I wish the series would continue telling us how it would go from here.

I felt sorry for Charlie, the shocking surprises and revaluations were too much for him. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
Cheesy and silly and yet I adored it and couldn't put it down. An interesting and fitting end to the series. ( )
  justacatandabook | Mar 9, 2016 |
I read the entire Twilight series within a month, and when I got to this last book, I tried to slow it down, but the pages flew past. I mourned the end of the story. This book is the perfect end to the series. A terrific read. ( )
  junepearl | Mar 4, 2016 |
Interesting ending. ( )
  katieloucks | Feb 26, 2016 |
This book started out quite well... but it doesn't take long before the author suddenly, as if she's purposely trying to ruin the book, jumps the shark. It's as if she forgot that she was writing a vampire/human love story, and decided to turn completely sci-fi/horror. Gone was the weak and lovestruck, but ultimately lovable Bella. Instead, we got a girl whose motivations could no longer be identified with .
Pregnant. 17-year-old vampire Edward and 18-year-old human Bella.I can accept the marriage, because Edward will never get older, and they love each other.The fact that Meyer had made the ridiculously immature, but lovable and relatable teenager Bella pregnant was bad enough. But then it is with some weird, unknown mutant parasite, that saps all her strength, breaks several of her bones and causes various bruises, and makes her drink human blood. During Bella's pregnancy, I was literally shuddering with disgust on almost every page. That is not an exaggeration. And I'm 20.
The birth and Bella's transformation. This was hands-down the most disturbing passage I have read.Here, Bella, dieing and screaming in agony, vomits blood while the mutant baby inside of her destroys her body, internal organs and spine. Edward uses his teeth to bite the baby out of her uterus. Bella dies and then Edward injects vampire venom into her heart with a syringe.
The transformation was a disappointment. The vampire Bella was a disappointment. Of course she is the most beautiful, graceful, controlled, perfect vampire ever!She is infinitely more beautiful, graceful, powerful, inexplicably becomes supermom at 18, and still retains all the parts of her humanity she was afraid to lose. She has a child, she stays in Forks, and tells her family.
Jacob, the cute and friendly guy who is painfully in love with and loyal to Bella,falls in love with her newborn baby. This is beyond sick and pedophilic. But it's ok. He's willing to "share" the baby with Bella and Edward. Bella and Edward quickly realize this whole thing is great.If it weren't bad enough that this annoyingly perfect child that absolutely everyone in the book adores exists, she is destined to be with Jacob.
The only worthwhile reason to read Breaking Dawn is to finally end this nightmarish obession with the Cullens and to satisfy one's curiosity as to how the series ends. Besides that, the book is useless. I had to force myself to read the entire thing. ( )
  AlexisLovesBooks | Feb 9, 2016 |
What a paradox this novel is. It is somehow both brilliant and awful between the same two covers, and I wish I could reconcile the two.

The opening--the wedding and blissful island honeymoon--is about as saccharine as the inch-thick icing on Bella's towering wedding cake. You can almost smell the Vaseline and gauze on the camera lens. Cue the violins. But then Bella discovers she's pregnant, and suddenly the novel shifts dangerously close to a serious discussion of abortion rights and teen (albeit in wedlock) pregnancy, and things get a lot more interesting. And then, in what was I think a genuinely brilliant move on Meyer's part, she drops Bella entirely and shifts the narrative perspective to Jacob. This is much different than Edward's much-needed absence in the second book; here, Bella herself disappears into a sweaty pregnant near-comma, utterly incapable of telling her own story, and Jacob takes over the narration in a voice that is blunt, brutish, and extremely refreshing. I understand Meyer is rewriting the first novel from Edward's perspective; I haven't read the opening chapter of that yet (it's on her website), but I already think it's a mistake--she needs to spend a LOT more time with Jacob. His section of this novel is the best writing I've seen in this whole series: the language is precise and observant and mythical without ever resorting to overblown Gothic melodrama, while the narrator himself is clearly flawed, realistic, and embracing. Jacob is, I think, the narrator who should have been telling this story all along.

Better still, we finally get a genuine sense of violence in this book, with a brutally gory description of half-vampire birth that serves as a terrific metaphor for actual birth. I've heard there has been some backlash regarding that violent depiction, but let's be honest here--birth ain't pretty, and we come into this world screaming for a reason. It's about time Meyer put some blood in this series, and if she had to hold back till now, she certainly picked the right place to get messy and terrifying.

But then the narrative shifts back to Bella, who--now a vampire--is, surprise surprise, practically a superhero. She is the "perfect" vampire, resisting any evil as naturally as breathing, and learning to control her new preternatural body as easily as learning to ride a bicycle. Please. Where's Jacob? He at least forgets to tie his clothes on now and then and has to go running through the forest naked--that's a REAL character. And the ending, the great-granddaddy of all vampire showdowns, written as though it belonged in a dusty alley in Dodge City instead of the damp backwoods of the Pacific Northwest, turned into an overrated debate match. There were some cool superpowers on display, I suppose, but I'd rather have read an issue of X-Men, for all the good those superpowers did the story. No one got into a single scrap--there were barely even any nasty looks or guttural snarls--and the only person to bite it (pardon the pun) was a temporary bitch no one really cared about anyway. The stakes were high in this series climax, but the consequences drifted away on the wind--no one paid any price at all. If you ask me, a happy ending has to be bought with blood or sacrifice, and this one was handed over with a big pretty bow and a Christmas bonus to boot.

When Meyer writes a werewolf novel, I'll be back for more. Until then, I think I'm done with this author. ( )
  Snoek-Brown | Feb 7, 2016 |
Wowza! SPOILER ALERT!!!! Don't read further unless you never plan on reading the book!

So I wanted to strangle Bella with my bare hands for the first third of the book. Argh! So typical though. I was unbelievably frustrated about the change in perspective for the 2nd third....I guess it was a nice break from insane Bella, but it seemed a little strange to only have Jacob and Bella's perspective. But it did make sense when he finally imprints on Nessie.

I thought it was a little convenient to have Bella just sort of breeze through being a newborn...it seemed like a LOT of gifts to have, you know? I did think her "gift" of being a shield was cool and made sense though.

I know it's a little "wrapped up in a nice bow" but I gotta say I love this happily ever after ending. Everyone's happy, although there is still a vague threat of Volturi in the distant future. A satisfying ending. I'm not sort of aching for it like other series enders (like His Dark Materials, when I cried for several hours!). It was just satisfying - no real loose ends. Sigh. ( )
  chessakat | Feb 5, 2016 |
Finally Bella contributes more then whining and getting into trouble and has her own strength. Actually quite enjoyed this one. ( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
I enjoyed this book much more than I anticipated-I couldn't put it down and finished it in less than 48 hours! Quite an accomplishment lately considering my two under two! I don't feel like the story is really complete, there is quite a bit of room for another sequel. Also it felt like it was very rushed near the end-the climax and conclusion all happen in the last 20 pages. ( )
  twileteyes | Feb 4, 2016 |
Breaking Dawn was my favourite of the Twiliht series. I thought it was hilarious, and I like funny books. I think too much happened too fast. ( )
  babydogfish | Jan 29, 2016 |
Great read ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Great read ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
After having heard several oral reviews of Breaking Dawn I was not sure what to expect. However, it was a pleasant surprise to find that this final episode in the Twilight Sage was as enjoyable, if not better, than its predecessors.

It was definitely a case of ‘Good’ triumphing over ‘Evil’ which is always a good way to end any story. After an apprehensive beginning to this series – I had never heard of the Twilight saga when I purchased New Moon and was told to listen to Twilight first – I have become a closet Twilight devotee enjoying all the Audio books and movies so far. Although I must confess that I was outed when I had to stand in line to purchase 'Eclipse' movie tickets when all other movie goers were around 40 years younger. Thank goodness I was able to feel safe in the company of my wife among all those teenagers!
( )
  DCarlin | Jan 23, 2016 |
******POSSIBLE SPOILERS*********
Bella and Edward have Alice's dream wedding, honeymoon on Esme's tropical island, and return with a violent pregnancy watched over diligently by the strange Rosalie. The first half of the book deals with Bella's unimaginably horrific pregnancy and the birth of daughter Renesmee (What? Seriously the worst baby name ever invented). The second half of the book deals with protecting the rapidly growing Renesmee from every vampire in the world. I can't even begin to explain how Jacob 'imprinting' on Bella's baby girl is creepy......ewwwww. I shall now return the book I borrowed from my daughter, thank her for her loan and quietly go vomit in the corner. ( )
1 vote Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
Now that I've become so familiar with the series and its cast of characters, I found this book to be predictable, but that didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story. I'm glad the middle of the book took on a whole new perspective. I don't know how much agony I could stomach and this outside view was a great way to keep the story progressing. The last third of the book was both spectacular and slow going. I love Meyer's fresh ideas about vampires and werewolves of La Push. The one thing that really annoyed me was the name of the newest, youngest character.... I'm trying not to spoil anything for those of you who have not read the book, but geez!! What the heck!!! So the figurative honeymoon with this series is over. I think Eclipse was my seven-year itch. This last book feels like a comfortable marriage now.... still some irritations, but I'm willing to overlook them because of my affection for it. All in all, it was fun, imaginative, and Edward Cullen is my kind of vamp! Team Edward!! ( )
  bouldermimi | Jan 13, 2016 |
Breaking Dawn seemed a very different type of story compared with the first three novels in the series. In the other novels it felt like nothing really happened until the last quarter of the book where the author decided to throw in some external conflict. In Breaking Dawn, there was external conflict from the beginning of the book until the end. The story was much more about the action than about the relationship between Bella and Edward (and Jacob). I enjoyed the book as much as the others, just in a different way. The characters and emotions did not seem as real and compelling as in the first three, but the action and story itself was more so. Although it was a little predictable and the ending a little too neat, I liked seeing how the author brought us to the conclusion. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
Really enjoyed this -- wasn't sure about some of the storyline decisions, but I definitely enjoyed the read. I'd previously heard a spoiler (or so I thought) and I kept reading this waiting for it to happen -- turns out it didn't.

Oh. Wait. I thought I was done with this series. (Although I realized it was wide open for more very long, big books.) So uh oh. Maybe the spoiler will still happen. And I'm destined to sit with another monster hardcover at some point in the future. ( )
  emblue | Jan 3, 2016 |
I actually hated seeing this series end. But, I'm glad it did! I'm also glad that I didn't catch on until all books were out. I tend to be impatient, but I would've lined up for any of these, had I caught on early on. Regardless, there are some fantastical ideas that wouldn't usually appeal to me. That is a credit to Stephanie Meyer that she was able to draw me in and create a passion within me, for this story. Easy to read, and entertaining. This will always be one of my favorite book series. ( )
  LaneySmith | Dec 1, 2015 |
I couldn't put the book down. I had to find out how it all ended. I'm not sure that I'd want my teen to read it (if I had one). I did like how the Edward/Jacob issues were resolved since I wasn't to thrilled about those issues in the past two books of the series. ( )
  mtunquist | Nov 29, 2015 |
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