8/13/08

I'm back

No, we're not in AZ yet, but I've been a pretty fast packer, so I thought I'd give my opinion on "Breaking Dawn" which I just barely finished. I liked it. Its not my favorite out of all four, but it was really good. Now I just need to read them again ;)
One question: Why does everyone hiss so dang much in the book? Its always "A hiss escaped my lips" etc. etc. They hiss... a lot. Oh well. Nothing to complain about, just an observation. Anyways, I still have to say the first one was my favorite. After reading Alicia's review (pasted at the bottom of this post), I have to say I feel the same in a lot of ways. I'm embarrassed to admit that I love the books for the cheesy romance of a relationship that seems doomed but somehow works. I'm a total softy for that kind of mush. Who doesn't want a relationship where there is so much passion? And its almost kind of disappointing that their relationship is so easy now. The fight was kind of the fun of it.

I also have to post this picture of me after I had Mae. I was telling my friend Rachel how bloated I got in the hospital (a whale with three chins, would describe me perfectly) and she didn't believe me. My friends at Golds didn't either, but I brought in a picture and they laughed their heads off. So...without further ado:

My sisters came to visit me in the hospital and as they left they said to each other,"We finally get to see what Melissa looks like fat!"
Aren't I beautiful?


Alicia's Review:
Oh, boy, where do I even start? I have wrestled with writing this review since I first started reading the book, and I have to say I am really nervous about it. I couldn't decide whether to write a spoiler-free, lightweight version of how I felt about it, or really say what I want to say, everything, spoilers and all. In the end, I decided to write everything I want to say, because, well, I have to. And because most people I know (there are exceptions) have finished the book.

First I have to preface my review by saying that you all know how strongly I feel about these books. I am obviously extremely emotionally attached to these characters, Edward in particular. This is where my dilemma lies. I don't feel I can be a true "critic" for this review, because I am clearly biased. Where someone who merely enjoys the books or even has a mild infatuation could easily walk away from Breaking Dawn saying "It was great, I loved it, I'm so happy with the way it ended," I....cannot. I guess maybe I didn't even realize how deeply I was invested into the lives of these fictional characters until I started to feel physical pain reading the final book. I'm sorry if you don't like my review, but you have to understand you are reading the opinion of someone who could not be satisfied with "happily ever after." Not only did I need it to end the way I wanted, but I needed the path in which they took to get there to go the way I wanted. I know, I really set myself up. So here it is, in all its psychotic glory (and get comfy, this is sure to be long):

Okay, so the book started off great. I loved the wedding, loved the honeymoon, although after the big build-up about "trying it, and will it work" I felt totally jipped. I didn't want a big graphic scene, just...something! But, I do appreciate the fact that she's keeping it clean, especially knowing that (grrrr) 8 year old girls are reading it.

FIRST JAW-DROPPER: Bella gets pregnant. What the.....??!! Did anyone think that was even a possibility? I was so shocked, but I have to say I was incredibly excited at this crazy twist. The thought of Edward becoming a daddy and knowing how much he would love that...it was exhilarating. But....my joy soon turned to horror and disgust as suddenly Bella was carrying the Spawn of Satan, an evil vampire monster intent on sucking the life out of her. I felt like I was reading a script to an X-Files episode.

But the worst part was (and this pretty much goes for the whole book) is suddenly, with the introduction of this "baby", Bella and Edward's relationship takes a back seat to everything else. And Edward all but disappears! He's like a prop in the background, always there but rarely talking and especially not letting us know what he's thinking and feeling. This is all I care about people! This is why I read the books! To read about Edward, his emotions, his thoughts, his feelings, and most specifically, his passion for romance and Bella. It's like she wrote a four-book series, the first three books the development of this amazing romance, and the fourth, the book to wrap the whole thing up, is suddenly this whole new story, with new major characters thrown in, nothing to do with the rest of the series! But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up.

So Renesmee is born. Okay, first of all, the name. Oh. My. Gosh. This name will go down in history as the worst character name EVER. I literally had to focus on not gagging every time (all 976 times) my eyes skimmed over it. And Nessie was just as bad. In fact, I'm going to give her my own nickname for this review, just to spare myself having to call her either of those. From now on she will be called Ren.

And then....Bella's change. The event that the entire books have been leading up to. Once again, completely overshadowed by Ren's birth. What happened to the dramatic, climactic, dare I say sensual event that we all felt we'd been promised? Nope. Instead we get an emergency C-section followed by a few quick nibbles by Edward to save her. All the while seeing this through Jacob's eyes. Uh, why? Why are we seeing this through Jacob's eyes? Why was he even there??!!

SECOND JAW-DROPPER: Jacob imprints on Ren. Okay, that was AMAZING. I was so completely floored, literally, the floor fell out from under me. Halfway through the paragraph I realized what was going on and my jaw actually fell open, and that doesn't happen to me. It. Was. Awesome. So powerful, so unexpected, so perfect. I loved it. He was finally over Bella, finally happy, and finally connected to her and Edward in a way that was good, not painful. I loved that instantly they were like family, always together, and I loved seeing Edward's initial "Daddy" reaction to it, so not happy about his baby girl being imprinted on.

Meanwhile, Bella breezes through her change to vamp-world without so much as a squeak. It was incredibly weird for me to see her as a vampire. I never, ever thought in a million years I would ever say this, but I really missed the old Bella, and I hated the old Bella. But at least she was Bella! She was the character I knew for three books, the one Edward fell in love with. It was all just too different, too weird. And with Edward blending into the wallpaper, I felt like I could have been reading a totally different book, not of the Twilight series, with totally different characters with the same names.

Once Ren came out I could not make myself see her as this sweet, precious baby that everyone was falling in love with. I couldn't make the change from evil mommy killer. I seriously expected for most of the book for her to turn on them, killing them all, sitting on top of the pile of their dead bodies laughing, like Bella's dream. I never warmed up to her. She never felt right to me. I didn't even like that she was there. She was totally creepy to me, this walking, talking, big-haired baby. The only good thing that could ever have come from Bella and Edward having a baby would be watching Edward be the most amazing father, and I got none of that. I think he holds her twice in the book. Jacob's bond with her is more developed than Edward's. I understand why, but still, I hated it. And I could not get it in my head that Bella was a mom. I could not put this vampire mom together with the weak, selfish Bella from the old books. The fact that she was pregnant for all of a month and delivered a toddler didn't help.

The book easily could have ended with Jacob imprinting on Ren, but for some reason the book continued on for the entire second half. Sure, we got to see what Bella was like as a vamp, but like I said, that was too weird for me. Every time she mentioned drinking blood or hunting I just winced...so wrong. And the whole super-power thing....to an extent it was cool. It was interesting learning about Bella's shield, and how Ren's powers came from her parents, but I'm sorry, as the visiting vampires started pouring in with all their special powers and started training Bella, I kept expecting them at any minute to pull out their wands and start a good Quidditch match. And the scene in the meadow with the Volturi...X-Men anyone? IT WAS JUST ALL SO WEIRD!!! It was not like the other books, at all!! I just think maybe Stephenie has gotten so into her sci-fi that she took the books in completely the wrong direction. All I wanted was a final something about Edward and Bella's relationship, the entire point of the books. But instead of a finale it felt like the beginning of a whole new series. I didn't like it. I was seriously disturbed by it.

Of course, I loved that the ending was happy, especially since I was halfway convinced that at least Bella and maybe Edward were going to die. So needless to say I was thrilled when they didn't. I loved that they are living happily ever after in their little cottage, a real family. I'm not sure how I feel about Edward finally seeing in her mind. It was cool, but, again, a change.

So there it is. I'm sure I'm forgetting things that I wanted to say, but obviously I could go on forever. Sorry this was so negative. The funny thing is, I didn't hate the book. I didn't even dislike it necessarily. I'm sure if I wasn't so obsessed, it would have been a fabulous book. I'm pretty sure it would have been near impossible to please me. If there was something specific I forgot to mention, that you were curious how I felt about it, please ask, I'd love to answer!
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