Saturday, 20 April 2019

Breaking Dawn by: Stephenie Meyer

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal Romance
Published: August 2, 2008 by: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 756
Rating: 3.5/5 stars



Upon her marriage to vampire Edward Cullen, Bella is whisked off on a romantic honeymoon in Brazil. However, when she discovers that she has unexpectedly become pregnant, Bella's life becomes dramatically at risk. As Edward tries to persuade her to save her own life instead of this mysterious fetus, Bella instead decides to carry the half mortal/half vampire being, stunning the entire vampire world and pitting the Volturi and the Cullen's against each other once more.

It's been a while since I last did a Twilight post, and alas, we are at the final book! I was really looking forward to this re-read in particular, because Breaking Dawn is a whirlwind! I feel like so much happens from beginning to end, that the book alone almost feels like an entire series in itself. While this is definitely not a favourite amongst most fans, it did raise a lot of questions for me that I never had before. Also, I didn't hide spoilers because I feel at this point, everybody knows what happens in this series. But for whatever reason, if you don't wanna know details, proceed with caution.

First things first, as my professor pointed out, this book contains so many pro-life/pro-choice undertones. For twelve year old me, these themes went straight over my head! Bella wants to keep carrying her baby even though it is harmful to her, while Edward and most of the other Cullen's want to terminate it. Now, no matter what side of this argument you're on, you cannot deny that these themes are blatantly obvious in the novel. My professor immersed us in essays around the subject and I just can't believe I never realized this when first reading the book. Who says Twilight can't get a little political?

On the controversial side of Breaking Dawn, we have Jacob imprinting on Bella's baby. Imprinting is basically when a werewolf decides that they are soulmates with a girl, no matter the age, and will protect her like a sister until she reaches legal age, at which point they could start a romantic relationship, though it is not required. It sounds pretty gross, because, well, it is.

Jacob as a whole in this book is pretty unlikable, he's whiny and aggressive, however I did like how Meyer wrote his chapters. He does have a lot of sarcastic humour which I enjoyed. And I think it is important to say that Jacob doesn't seem to find Renesmee "attractive" when she is young. Meyer describes it more of a gut feeling that he needs to be in her life in some way. I still shudder at the thought, but I think you really need to read the book and get a whole sense of the process of imprinting to really form an opinion.

I found this book a unnecessarily long. A lot of stuff happens, for example I haven't even mentioned Bella's long-awaited transition into vampire form. It was as graphic as I remember it being, but I do think that Bella was destined to be a vampire. Overall, I am ok with how the novel ended. I wished there was more drama with the Volturi in the end, however, all the characters seem to end up happy and most importantly, my favourite character Seth was protected. But, because it was so long, I found myself forgetting that things actually happened in the novel. Bella and Edward's wedding seemed pretty insignificant by the end. I guess it was an entertaining, melodramatic book, but it did take up a lot of my time.

So some overall thoughts on this whole Twilight re-read experience:

I LOVED it. It was so fun looking at Twilight from a scholarly perspective. I learnt things I never even considered when first reading the novel, and I do think I have a new appreciation for the series. Whether Meyer knew it or not, she wrote a series that has given English, sociology, and gender scholars stuff talk about for years to come.

Have you read Breaking Dawn? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

12 comments:

  1. Woah, you're right. That blew over my head and I read it when I was thirteen I think.

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  2. I definitely find imprinting super-creepy, and did so even as a teen - my friend and I used to make fun of it, because we were just so weirded out by it. I understand how it's not romantic or sexual until both of them are adults, but it's still a big no-no from me. It feels very much like grooming - I mean, these kids that are imprinted on end up growing up knowing that that person who hangs out with them since they were small is supposed to be the love of their life. Yikes. There's also just a lot of questionable things here - the logistics of it just make me so uncomfortable haha. Say, 14-year-old Renesmee could already want a sexual relationship, but that's... I hope that wouldn't happen. Not to mention that she grows super-fast, which makes the situation even weirder, because it raises the question just how mature she is? She might mature in brain and body, but emotionally? IDK, it's just so fishy. Aaand I can't believe I wrote a whole-ass rant about this, sorry. Love your review!

    Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical

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    1. Now that you’ve mentioned it, it does sound a lot like grooming! I think that Meyer really tried to save face by including that it doesn’t have to turn into a romantic relationship, but I think the fact that the girl is not given a choice, literally cannot consent, is a huge problem.

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  3. I always remember where Edward was like (to paraphrase hugely,) 'No, he's not *attracted* to her - I can read minds, remember? I'd tear his bl**dy head off if he thought about something dodgy.' (The version of Edward that lives in my head is clearly a Welsh millennial, but we'll brush over that!)

    I found the imprinting quite heteronormative, even back then I was like - do they only ever imprint on girls...? And where does their free will come in here? I found the way Renesmee actually treats Jacob to be... odd. Like he's her servant or something. Granted, kids are selfish so-and-sos, but since she's White and he's Native American... I might be wrong, but it just feels a little off...

    You're right though, love it, loathe it, or somewhere in between (hi!) there's a lot to talk about with this series. And that can only be a good thing :)

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    1. Yeah, Bella had every right to go off on Jacob when she came out of her coma. I mean, she was out of commission, and even her baby's father was making big decisions such as that without her? Not cool Edward.

      I never really thought of it as heteronormative because Leah, a female werewolf, can imprint on whoever she likes as well, I don't think they ever put boundaries on it that it has to be the opposite sex, but I definitely see where you're coming from. If Renesmee happens to want to be with somebody else when she's older, male or female, she doesn't really get a say because she's stuck with Jacob.

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    2. Not only that, but Jacob doesn't get a say over who he imprints on - he can't decide that it's too weird for him to be imprinted on a little kid, or if whoever someone imprints on turns out to be a jerk, than the werewolf can't just leave them, y'know?

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    3. Yeah I get it! Meyer just wanted to mess with our heads I guess.

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  4. You really do make me want to revisit this series, but I REALLY can't afford to right now, lol. Guess I'll just have to make do with having lived vicariously through you! ;) Loved this, Em!

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    1. Haha, it's a lot to take on! Thanks Ruzaika :D

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