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Friday, August 8, 2008

SPOILER ALERT: My Overly Thought-Out Take On Breaking Dawn

Let me start off by stating that I think Stephenie Meyer is a YA Rock Star. She’s like John Lennon to me. I would probably freak out like a Beatle fan if I ever saw her in person.

So obviously I’ve read her latest/final installment of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn (which sold 1.3 million copies in one day. Wow. )

And being a loyal Twilighter, I tuned in last night to watch a streaming webcast of Stephenie’s “Breaking Dawn Concert Series.” For those who don’t know, the author did a multi-city sold-out tour with Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October (dare to dream, right?).

Nothing against Justin, but I logged on simply to hear Stephenie answer some questions. Because anyone who’s been following this story (or message boards) knows that the reaction to Breaking Dawn has been mixed.

So to get it out of the way, let me just say right off the bat: I liked the book. It’s my second favorite in the series. And this is why.


I absolutely, unequivocally LOVED Twilight (the first book in the series). It had me so gripped that I was staying up late on my vacation reading rather than going to Borgata (slots, anyone?). What had me dazzled was Stephenie’s description of Bella and Edward’s interactions—whether they were in a meadow, a car or a cafeteria. As many have said, the character of Bella is so relatable that you can see yourself in her place and thus fall in love with Edward yourself. I completely agree.

So when I got to New Moon (the second book in the series), I was disappointed to see that Edward’s character had been abandoned to develop “this Jacob person” (as I call him). I didn’t enjoy his long intrusion into the story. And to top it off, I didn’t like that Edward had walked out on his true love without looking back. During my entire first read of the book, I had assumed the “voice” in Bella’s head was, in fact, Edward. I thought he had managed to find away to project his mind into hers (it makes sense, how else would she know to be fearful of Jacob? Or how to handle Laurent?). So when that wasn’t the case, I was disappointed.

New Moon is my least favorite in the series. But I loved it none the less, don’t get me wrong.

Eclipse left me with a similar mixed reaction. I was happy to have Edward back, but I resented his character for leaving in the last book. Add to that, Bella still being inexplicably drawn to Jacob. I completely believed her when she said repeatedly that she loved Jacob like a “brother,” and I was shocked when she suddenly found herself kissing him, professing her love for him, and envisioning their future babies. Huh? I thought this was Romeo and Juliet. You can’t have Juliet simply find someone else after Romeo dies and be relatively happy. That’s not how it goes.

So that said, my main wish for Breaking Dawn was that all this Jacob nonsense would disappear. Bella would no longer feel torn between them. And I got my wish.

Bella and Edward were married within the opening pages, they had a honeymoon, Jacob accepted Bella’s choice and he began to understand Edward’s love for her, and in the end they all live happily ever after—like the fairytale it is. Yay, me!

That isn’t to say that I didn’t notice many of things that fans are up in arms over. When I read that Bella was pregnant with Edward’s baby, I was as floored as everyone else. I even smiled thinking, “Stephenie’s going to have a lot of explaining to do.” Because I had read the interviews that implied a vampire baby was impossible. But, being a fellow author, I gave Stephenie the benefit of the doubt. I had read that this was the sequel to Twilight she had always intended to write, so I sat back and enjoyed it as if all of the Vampire Mating Threads didn’t exist.

I liked that Bella was happy, and I liked the twist the baby added to the story. Imagine readers, if you hadn’t read so many interviews, if you hadn’t joined so many message boards, if you hadn’t written so much fan fiction, if you hadn’t spent so much time SPECULATING, would the baby bother you so much? I think not.

I think the flaw here isn’t with the story, it was with us over-thinking things before the story came out. We wanted Bella’s change to be romantic; it wasn’t. But given the story, it was exactly the way it should be. We wanted Jacob to imprint. He did. No, it wasn’t on Leah or a new girl in town, but hey, he got a happy ending. We wanted the wedding and the honeymoon to be romantic. Now this is up to interpretation. I think there wasn’t enough emotion in these scenes—my exact reaction was she “yadda yadda’d” over the sex. However, I’ve read others who think Bella and Edward were “sex crazed.” So, clearly with such mixed reactions, Stephenie treaded the line (though some more foreplay would’ve been nice).

And the last two pages of the book, without a doubt, made the whole series worth it. So I’m not only satisfied, but I’m in awe of Ms. Meyer and what she’s created. My only hope is to read more. Come on, who doesn’t want to read Breaking Dawn from Edward’s point of view? I know I do.

And if Bono ever wants to come out and do a concert series to promote one of my books, I’m available. Call my agent. ;)

Me and Bono at our future World Tour
P.S. This is completely Photoshopped, but maybe one day....

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