Monday, August 25, 2008

Smart Remarks: Breaking Dawn

Where do I even start?

First, if you haven't read Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer yet and plan to do so, please refrain from reading my long-winded review--though I know that's easier said than done. I will be including some big spoilers in here, cuz how could I not--the spoilers are so freaking freaky.

As you all know, Breaking Dawn is the fourth book in the Edward & Jacob series.

The big questioning leading into this fourth book was "Is Jenny gonna choose Edward or Jacob?" but lets be real people, did anyone not know the answer to that question? Both. (Wait, did I just type Jenny instead of Bella. And my backspace is jammed again! Great. Ah well.)

I have to say, Eclipse (#3) was my favorite book in the series by far. Bella actually started to grow on me by then (remember my review of Twilight?), though I think her character changed a lot after the first book. What I loved so much about Eclipse was that it was so angst ridden--what with poor Jacob Black being the odd boyfriend out. After reading Eclipse, I booked my flight to Forks, WA so Jacob could see me and imprint on me and I could heal his broken heart.

Alas, Breaking Dawn ripped my tragic ending from my soul like one of those special, thick envelopes with the little tab things you pull to rip to open. I canceled my trip to Forks, the airline refused to refund me my money because they said I never bought the tickets to begin with, so I just had to take the loss.

As you've probably guessed, I love an ending with a bit of painful tragedy, so long as there's some happiness to redeem it. Eclipse accomplished that, in my humble opinion.

I kind of wish I could go back and unread Breaking Dawn and keep my tragic ending, though I wouldn't have wanted to miss the freaky stuff Stephenie Meyer came up with. It's like that Garth Brooks' song The Dance:

OohOoh I, I'm glad I didn't know, the way it all would end, the way it all would go, our lives, are better left to chance, I would have missed the pain, but Ida have to miss, the freaking stuff that happened in Breaking Dawn.

Now, on to the specifics of Breaking Dawn.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I'm not 100% pleased with the direction it went (as I've already explained) but in the end, after careful thought, I decided that I am satisfied with the ending. I kinda think Stephenie Meyer is ingenious, and kinda think she's sick. I am in awe of her.

It had a totally different feel than the previous books, much more Sci-Fi, probably because there was no longer any human main characters to ground us in reality. I was a little depressed that Ed and Bella became teenaged parents. Being a mom myself, I happen to know that being pregnant and having a baby kinda puts a damper on all the romance. Especially if you had as rough a delivery as Bella. I'm pretty sure she tore. What a downer, having to be all responsible and stuff. Especially since the baby was so creepy.

Get your creepy little hand off my neck, Nessie.

Now, about the freakiest part of the book: Jacob imprinting on Renesme. First, take a look at the evidence below. It is a scanned page of my book, page 153, over two hundred pages before Jacob imprinted. Because I am a arrogant, full-of-myself, know-it-all book snob, I sometimes scribble notes in the margins of about where I think the book is going. In case you can't read my writing, it says, "Er, is Jacob gonna imprint on Bella's baby? Cuz that's gross."

It's confirmed. I'm brilliant. I was like, "why is Steph writing this whole 'out-of-place' scene of Quil playing with is two-year-old girlfriend? Is she trying to get us used to the idea of imprinting on babies?" Cuz that's how Stephenie works her magic. She indocternates us all into thinking weird things aren't weird at all.

So, by the time Jacob imprinted on Renesme, I was like, "Oh well." But I have to say, I was a bit disapointed by his "fickle" love for Bella, even though I get the whole imprinting thing. I was also disapointed that he ended up with a baby for a girlfriend because that's not romantic--thank goodness.

There were like 200 pages that could have been summed up by simply saying:

"The Volturi was coming for them, so they got prepared. Some things they did to prepare came in handy, some things were a waste of time. Bella spent a lot of time obtaining false documents for Nessie, but all that turned out to be unnecessary, so there's no point introducing new characters and going into minute detail about it all. Then there was a knock at the door. It was them."

Soon after Bella turned into a vampire, I found myself missing the days when she was human and imperfect. That conflict, between human and vampire, was the most appealing part of the book, and it was removed completely from the last book. The ending was a little perfect and happy. It left very little up to my imagination. Now I totally picture Bella and Edward like fighting over the remote control and whose turn it is to watch Nessie and stuff like that. Normal boring old married folk junk. I kinda think the story arc was extended a little too far to satisfy the crazed Twilight fans, if that makes sense.

Here's my anticlimactic ending to my post (kinda like the book).


In case you missed it, Amy and Cristin wrote some pretty hilarious reviews for our Smart Remarks book club book on their blogs, so be sure to read them and add to the discussion!


Eeek! Landeelu posted a hilarious/insightful review as well! Is this book club taking off or what?


Cristin said...

Ok, I'm soooooo glad I wasn't the only one who thought Nessie was freaky.

I also felt that having a baby ruined the romance. I mean we all know what happens after kids... it was no longer exciting...I mean I have kids and life isn't really that interesting, why would I want to read about 2 kids having a freaky baby?

I think the book was different not only because it felt more sci-fi but because she let someone else tell the story too. As much as I liked it, it made if feel like a mismatched book in the series.

I was wondering about all the extra stuff that was in the book too but maybe she'll bring those character back in, in future books. She has talked about writing more but not any more from Bellas point of view. Now that there's Nessie, I can see her going farther with the story with her.

ajesplin said...

^fingers crossed that we get to read Nessie's story. (that was sarcastic btw)

ajesplin said...

Cuz she's creepy

Cristin said...

Hopefully she'll grow out of her creepiness...which actually sounds kind of creepy.

I wouldn't mind reading about her and Jacob and what happens with them even though that is kind of creepy too. I guess I'm ok with creepy.

ajesplin said...

I think I'll always be a bit unhappy that Jacob moved on. I wanted him to stay in the depths of despair with me.

Landeelu said...

I don't know how this little book club works or even if I'm invited to comment but unless you delete me Imma comment anyway.....

First of all, Renesme has to be the most annoying name ever put into publication. Everytime I read it I pronounced it differently with different emphasis on different syllables. I wished it would have been a boy & she named it Carlie. A little girly, but at least I would know how to pronounce that.

Secondly, I loved the chapters from Jacob. But, I'm a fan of swear words in chapter headers so I'm a bit biased.

Thirds, it was nice to see Bella actually contributing for once. I was growing tired of her weakling, clumsy, poor decision making hiney causing nothing but trouble for the Cullens.

Lastly, I wish the explaination as to why she was able to control herself so well as a newborn was because she had had all that blood right before she changed. I don't believe her super power was amazing self-control. Mostly because that's lame.

ajesplin said...

It's just not the same is all.

(wow, i'm really getting a smart dialog going here)

Amy Thurston said...

Remember the part when Nessie first came out and gave Bella a venomless vampire bite on her boob? That was kind of freaky. And Jenny, I don't know if you are aware of this, but it is quite possible to write something in the margin of a book after you have actually read the entire book. Just so you know...

Amy Thurston said...

So let me get this straight. Landeelu, you wish Renesme was a boy named Carlie for Jacob to imprint on? Interesting.

Maybe Nessies story would be an adult romance with a wolf.

ajesplin said...

Landeelu, the book club is SO not exclusive (i wish i was that cool). Anyone can participate, usually they chose not to. I had hoped everyone who read it would post a review on their blog and we'd get a super smart discussion going in the comments, so if you want to go into more detail, totally post a review on your blog. Totally. I'm sure you'll be hilarious. No pressure. Plus, go read Cristin's and Amy Thurston's reviews. My tummy hurts from laughing. Amy even went so far as to close by bearing her testimony.

ajesplin said...

Thanks for reminding me about the boob, Amy. And reminding me that Nessie was born with a full set of teeth. I think one of my kids bit my boob when they came out, too. It's natural.

ajesplin said...

You're just jealous that I figured out the twist and you didn't, Amy. I would never go to such lengths!

Amy Thurston said...

This is the funnest book club I have ever been in. Until we get to read "The Love Bum" with Tom anyway.

Cristin said...

Yeah, Amy's testimony was quite's a must read.

OH MY GOSH! I can't believe I forgot about Nessie biting her boob...that makes her even creepier!

I forgot to also mention how much I love the scene where Bella goes after Jacob after he calls her daughter Nessie...funny! But seriously, I'd rather have a daughter named after a fictional monster than Renesme.

Landeelu said...

I wouldn't put it past Stephenie to make Jacob imprint on a boy... she's just that whack but no....I wish it were a boy so it'd have a semi-normalish name and so Jacob wouldn't have imprinted. Although (and I didn't write this in any margin or anything ) I did think he'd imprint on someone eventually. Never in a gazillion years would I have imagined it to be a creepy half-breed with crazy eyes and freakyfast growing hair.

Mark my words, we have not seen the last of the Volturi.

^^that last comment had nothing to do with anything I've already said but I just remembered that when discussing this book with others, I usually end up saying that at some point.

Amy Thurston said...

Maybe you should mark your word in the margin of a book....for proof.

Cristin said...

then take a picture of it

Landeelu said...

Dang, I wish I would have thought to do that. I would sound so freaking smart right now.

ajesplin said...

^with an iPod in the shot so we know it's not a picture from like 1988 or something.

michelle said...

Sorry I am late posting...:)

Really loved the book. Not sure which book is my favorite but I love Bella as a vampire. She is finally a cool, strong character, who hopefully has finally made her decision to love only Edward.

Hate the name Renesme - agree with everyone that said that. Also thought the whole aging so quickly thing was a little over the top. Other than creating another story line and someone for Jacob to match up with (creepy), I don't understand why she had to be in the plot.

Love Jacob - had high hopes for who he would end up with and it was not Bella's little girl that I had in mind.

Anna Celeste said...

I feel completely inadequate to post my review after reading yours. It's perfect. 100% accurate.

sarastrasser said...

The best part abour Nessie biting her boob was when Edward pulled her away and said "No no Reneesme". That was a creepy baby. Everyone wanted to protect it because they were afraid of making "it" mad!

abutler said...

I'm with Amanda AKA Anna Celeste, not sure I'm "Smart" enough to comment.

Even though Jenny didn't wait for ME to finish the book she did beg for my forgiveness...Right? So I thought I would just leave a few remarks with you all.

1. I suprisingly agreed with a lot of what Jenny said. I love little tradedy at the end of my books. Some vampire I had no attachment to being ripped to shreds by the Voltori at the end didn't do it for me.
2. Even though I knew Bella would never be with Jacob, I too loved him so and wanted him to be with someone deserving of his love...not Nessie, YUK!
3. I too had an early prediction of the imprinting, but not so early only after I realized she was having a girl and not the boy she made us think she was having.
4. Just so you know Landeelu, Nessies middle name WAS Carlie.

That' All.