Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4)

by Stephenie Meyer

Hardcover, 2008





Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2008), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 756 pages


Although eighteen-year-old Bella joins the dark but seductive world of the immortals by marrying Edward the vampire, her connection to the powerful werewolf Jacob remains unsevered.


Soaring Eagle Book Award (Nominee — 2010)
British Book Award (Winner — Children's Book — 2009)
Kids' Book Choice Awards (Finalist — 2009)
Children's Favorites Awards (Winner — 2009)


Original publication date


Physical description

756 p.; 6 inches

Media reviews

And so the pabulum slips down, spoonful by spoonful, with every now and then a neat idea, an unspoken hint of untold perversity, an almost subliminal flash of something nasty.
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Over 754 pages, the answers come almost too easily, but not quickly.
Certain elements of BREAKING DAWN are perplexing, even off-putting --- particularly the scenes of sex, pregnancy and childbirth. But it's nearly impossible to please everyone --- especially when so much of the series' drama has relied on the tension of Bella's choice between two very different but
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desirable lovers. Readers who are able, eventually, to gain some perspective will find much to redeem BREAKING DAWN, particularly its new insights into Jacob's inner life as well as its neat resolution to several of the series' pressing conflicts and its realistic (or at least as realistic as a vampire romance can get) portrayal of the complexities and joys of married life.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member biblioholic29
I was never sure what it was about this series that drew me in. I read Twilight somewhat unwillingly and had mixed reactions to it as well as New Moon and Eclipse, though each one did seem to get a little better; a little more grounded in real emotion. To this point I hadn't found anything
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particularly literary about the Twilight Saga, it was more the hidden 12-year-old girl inside of me that loved the books, the more analytical adult in me was horrified throughout much of the books. Now I know Stepehenie Meyer was building up to something. Something amazing.

Breaking Dawn is divided into three books and, unlike so many books in this format, each really could be a different book. One of these books is told from Jacob's perspective, much like the epilogue at the end of Eclipse, which was a particularly fascinating move on the part of Meyer. At first it was somewhat jarring to realize I was about to read 200+ pages in a different voice than Bella's, which I had become so used to, but it ended up being my favorite section of the book. It was a genius move on Meyer's part, had we been trapped reading the events Jacob chronicles for us from Bella's point of view, it certainly would have seemed like more of the same. Getting a new and unique perspective on things at a crucial plot turn left the book feeling fresh and helped to reinvigorate me for the end.

As to plot, there's not much that can be said that would not end up spoiling something important. Impressively, all the questions I had before beginning, were answered by the end, as well as some questions I didn't know I should be asking. Many of the plot twists felt unique this time, something different than the usual vampire story or love triangle. By the middle of the book, some relationships had changed in such a drastic way, I was ravenous to see how it would all turn out.

If you have been avoiding this series or tried it and put it away disappointed, I would encourage you to give it another shot. The path to reach Breaking Dawn was at times tedious, and at times frustrating, but having reached the end of Bella's story, I'm glad I gave it the time.
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LibraryThing member sedelia
Breaking Dawn is, while a satisfactory conclusion to the story of Bella and Edward, not particularly necessary to the series overall.

At the end of Eclipse, we were left with a hope for a promising future with Bella and Edward, and while the fact that she hadn’t been bitten yet was troublesome,
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who truly could doubt that it would happen? With Breaking Dawn, Meyer brings us back to our favorite characters, but it wasn’t such a happy reunion for me.

I admit, that I enjoyed seeing the reaction of Charlie to Bella’s wedding, and there were many revelations that enriched the story as a whole. But writing an entire novel to fit these things in seemed superfluous. Overall, I found much of the book melodramatic and slightly annoying and I believe that these things could have just as easily been incorporated into a short story or two; and would made it a much more enjoyable read.

What Breaking Dawn lacked, compared to the other novels, was real substance and conflict. While I have never read the Twilight books for their intriguing plots (which are quite predictable at times), they still have included major dilemmas for characters I loved. There was also strong motivation for the choices the characters made, and the actions that they did. In this installment, however, all major conflict was resolved nearly within the first half of the book.

Much of the last half of the book is spent describing preparation for a major event that ultimately amounts to nothing.

All in all, I think that this last book was just a piece of fluff that, while it happily ends the series, was not quite necessary.
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LibraryThing member atimco
I'm going to buck tradition and start off by saying that I think I actually enjoyed this book for the most part. Before you gasp and gape at such an admission, be assured I'm still going to rip apart all its stupid/sick elements. But there is a little more to like here, toward the end of the book
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at least.

Bella and Edward finally get married. The plan is that they will attend Dartmouth College in the fall, if Bella — as a newborn vampire with unpredictable and strong desires — can stand to be around humans without killing them. But of course this doesn't happen... on their tropical-island honeymoon, Bella gets pregnant.

There are two seriously disturbing issues in this book. First, Edward leaves horrible bruises all over Bella from their lovemaking. He feels awful but Bella, of course, just eats it up and even enjoys it. Apparently it's okay if he hurts you so long as he's what you want, right? Nothing else matters.

The other big problem is when Edward offers to let Bella bear Jacob's children, if she will only let them abort Edward's child that is slowly killing her from the inside out. If Bella wants babies, she must have them at whatever cost. How twisted is that offer? The relationships in this book are really sickmaking. I don't care that Meyer tries to straighten them all out by having Jacob imprint on Bella's daughter later. It's just banal.

Another issue, and one that has run through the entire series, is the graphic descriptions of sexual desire, so incredibly unrealistic and inappropriate for young girls to be absorbing. If raging physical desire sweeps through your entire being at a simple kiss, you have bigger problems than vampirehood. Why are girls as young as eleven and twelve reading these books? They aren't old enough to realize that this is all fantasy, and fantasy of a dangerous breed. Many older readers may not be able to make that distinction either. I think these books are setting up young women for a lifetime of disappointment; nothing can ever live up to Meyer's ridiculous fantasies.

Once more the characters are weakened by being forced to fit the plot rather than the other way around. Charlie's unwilling, uncomfortable acceptance of the supernatural does not ring true. Meyer is trying to sew up two completely different worlds and it just doesn't work.

But as I said, I did find the second half of this book quite interesting, which is why this one gets two stars instead of one. The strategic plans for negotiating with the Volturi, all of Carlisle's friends gathered from around the globe to stand witness that Renesmee was not a dread "immortal child," and the final confrontation made for an absorbing finish. I'm surprised that a lot of Twilight fans rate this fourth book as the worst of the bunch; though I was bothered by several things, it seemed that this one had the most cohesive and interesting plot, despite being a bit too long.

For the series as a whole, I do think it could be reworked to remove all the problematic ideas that permeate it without destroying the good parts. All the problems I mention above in Breaking Dawn could be easily removed and the story would actually be stronger, I think. Overall, I'm glad I read the Twilight books. I can criticize them knowledgeably and — I hope — point out their problems to young readers. The series can be enjoyed for some of its characters and its mythology, I'll admit that. But with the abusive/disturbing relationships presented in a favorable light, the mediocre writing, and the weak plotting, I could never recommend them. There are so many better books out there.
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LibraryThing member stephaniechase
To sum up in one word: disappointing. The first three titles in the series, Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse, left me dying to know what the outcome of Bella's request to become immortal and her relationship with Edward and Jacob. On pins and needles, I eagerly picked up Breaking Dawn... only to be
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astonished at the change in Bella's character, the path Bella, Jacob, and Edward's lives take, the requisite fight-with-other-vampires-on-the-horizon. Breaking Dawn reads and feels like a sequel written to respond to the overwhelming success of the first three novels; where the first three read as a cohesive whole, this one seems as though Meyer felt compelled to explain much and tie up all her loose ends in pretty little bows.

It is usually only after reading the disappointing book in a series that you realize you really wish the author hadn't answered the burning question; too bad I didn't stop reading the series at Eclipse. On the other hand, anyone who has read and loved the first three titles will never be able to resist picking up Breaking Dawn -- just be prepared.
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LibraryThing member tiamatq
To start with, I am a Twilight fan. I loved Twilight, struggled with New Moon (oh Edward!), and really enjoyed Eclipse. I had crazy high hopes for Breaking Dawn (didn't we all?). I was also rooting for Bella to end up with Edward, to make the change to being a vampire, and for her to have some sort
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of awesome power that would give her the strength and self-reliance that was missing in the other books. So, actually, I got exactly what I wanted out of Breaking Dawn... so why am I so unhappy with it? Well, I guess for a lot of reasons. Forgive the exceptionally long review!

Okay, so I think a lot of my grievances with the story center around Renesmee (by the by... it really is an awful name... I know that's kind of the running gag, but... ugh!). I was not looking for Bella to get pregnant or to go into the mothering role. I'm not going to get into Stephenie's Meyer's personal beliefs about marriage or parenting - I actually don't feel like it applies. I think that Bella's transition from nervous fiance to CALMLY AND SERENELY CARRYING A PART-VAMPIRE BABY THAT WILL TEAR ITSELF OUT OF HER STOMACH AFTER ALMOST STARVING HER TO DEATH was just totally unbevelievable. Yes, Bella's always reacted with a stubborn sense of optimism towards vampires and werewolves... but this was just too much for me. If marriage made her that nervous, why on earth wouldn't having a killer baby scare that bejeebus out of her? There was a great moment at the end of New Moon when Bella freaked out about the Volturi... that would've been a good reaction to this. For a start.

And then on to Renesmee herself... for a child that inspires people to love her, I certainly couldn't make myself care about her. She went so suddenly from being monster nudger to angelic, smiling baby, I couldn't make the transition. Her entire birth process was so creepy (Rosalie bugs the crap out of me throughout this story... ugh again!), it completely tainted her as a character throughout the book. Since I've spent the last three books caring about Bella and Edward hooking up, I think I harbored some resentment towards lil' baby Nessie for ruining it for me.

Speaking of Edward and Bella - does Edward just disappear in the third book? The whole give and take between Bella and Edward totally evaporated in this book. So did her exchanges with Jacob. To me, this series is all about those interactions and relationships! But suddenly all I'm hearing about from Bella is that she is willing to give it all up in order to save her baby... whom I don't care about. Edward should not just be relegated to hot nights of constant vampire sex and jaw-kissing! Ugh! I think that Meyer's writing style is strongest when she has her characters interacting with each other, but what we get here, outside of Jacob's book, is Bella's summaries of those conversations. For a book that was closing in on 800 pages, it feels kind of silly for me to say I wanted to hear more of those... but I did.

And about those characters... I think she's created an awesome cast for her stories. But again - where we they? Alice, who seriously has to rank up there in favorites (okay, at least for me!) disappears part way through the book. I couldn't believe that everyone jumped to the conclusion that she had left because she was scared for herself and Jasper, that it was out self-preservation. It confused me, in fact. This was another spot where I think that the story needed some fleshing out, some explanation of the thought process, maybe some arguing between the family members. If I don't find it plausible that Alice had abandoned them, then I think brilliant vampires might have a clue. I would've actually enjoyed Alice's reappearance at the end if it would've been a surprise, but I always figured that she'd be back, with something to save the day.

On a slightly different thought line - what was the deal with breaking vampire rules? As in, oh, the only fluid they have is venom... oh, except for male vampires, they have semen. Oh, and half-vampires don't have venom... oh, except for male half-vampires. WTH? This felt like bad writing - changing the rules of your world for the sake of a plot point that's kind of weak to begin with. Ugh again and again!

And that brings me back to Bella. I had been teased and worried over her first year as a newborn vampire, learning to be herself again. And then, for once in Bella's life, it all comes so easily to her... was that ever even cleared up? Was she well-prepared? Gifted in levelheadedness (pssh!)? What was the deal with that? Again, this felt like sloppy writing excusing a major Meyer-vampire rule so that we could have a story about Edward and Bella's baby. For a book that has so many awful threats to their happiness, it certainly seems like they get everything that they want. It's all overcome, without any detriment to the Cullen family, the wolves, or even Bella's human friends and family - who, by the by, have totally dropped off the map.

I would've liked to see them deal with a challenge that wasn't the Volturri, but rather having to overcome their own faults and issues. That was one of the things I liked so much about Twilight; Edward overcoming his innate nature to have a relationship with Bella and Bella stepping up to protect Edward and her own family. Perfect people are boring... and I hate to be bored by Bella, Edward, and Jacob (and the freaky baby!).

I do have some positives about Breaking Dawn. Jacob's book was excellent. I have been an outspoken opponent to Jacob and Bella's relationship. I was mad at Jacob about the way he manipulated her in Eclipse. But his perspective, while not making me want him to be with Bella, really made me appreciate him more. Seth and Leah also got a chance to shine and grow on me. I think I stayed in Jacob's mindset for more of the book than was intended, and that says a lot for Meyer's writing. It made it all that more depressing when the characters that had developed so much in Jacob's book practically disappeared. His interactions with Carlisle and Rosalie, the way Esme mothered the pack, Alice's use of Jacob and Seth as aspirin, that all shed new light on the Cullens that was interested and made me want to read more. And then it ended with babies chewing out of stomachs. Bleah.

I would really like to see some short stories from other characters' perspectives... I think that Meyer has a strong list of choices if she wants to continue and do something similar to Jacob's book. I'm also eager to see Midnight Sun, a flip side to my favorite book in the series. I'd also be kind of curious to see other writers dive in and try on the Meyer-vampires/werewolves, to see what can be added. It's a strange feeling to have a finished a book and be very unsatisfied but also wanting more. Despite all my moaning and grumbling, I don't think this was a bad book. It just wasn't a good one. And it was and wasn't what I had hoped for. Hooray for Bella for getting Edward and turning FINALLY! But boo for losing the tense relationships and romantic moments for lots of off-the-page sex scenes. The writing felt sloppy and disjointed; perhaps Meyer was getting tired of Bella?

If you made it to the end, I owe you one Grumblecake.
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LibraryThing member CoalPaw

Stephenie Meyer has me disappointed, on SO many levels. I had four main problems with Breaking Dawn: (1) it was obvious how things were going to go, (2) Bella had a baby (NO!), (3) it was truly extensive, and (4) everyone had a perfect happily ever after.

The book was
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predictable. I knew what was going to happen, not because there were hints, but because it was obvious (except at the end, in the scene that included the Volturi). In Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse, she had suspense, heartbreak, and all the elements that are necessary in making the series as great as it is, but in Breaking Dawn it became obvious, at least to me, that Bella was becoming a vampire. Of course, I knew that this was the summarizing book, but there had to be some suspense. One example of our ability to know what was about to happen in the book was when Alice and Jasper returned. It was so completely obvious that they were coming back. I think Ms. Meyer thought that the readers weren’t anticipating that. I totally saw it coming though. But, at least one part of the story wasn’t completely anticipated (the Volturi possible-fight setting).

I didn’t like the whole idea of Bella having a baby, either. I know Renesmee was a seriously important part of the story, but the sudden arrival of sex in the story just plain didn’t fit! It was almost there at one point in Eclipse, but, all of a sudden, it became a major part of the story. She could have eased the readers into the whole sex transition, but, instead, she went from none to an exuberance.

The length of the book bothered me, too. It was longer than the average of the other three (by one hundred ninety six pages), and the only real reason to read a book that long is to have the loose ends tied up, but there were few other reasons to read it.

My last problem with this book was that everyone made it away unscathed (apart from Irina). I didn’t want Bella or Jacob or Edward to get killed, but it seemed like this was one of those books where all the characters happily skip off into the sunset (which isn’t necessarily a good thing), and it definitely isn’t on par with Stephenie Meyer’s previous books. There has to be some sorrow in the series. New Moon is based on the sorrow of having to live without Edward and that IS one of Stephenie Meyer’s other, better books. I think of Irina as an unimportant death because we never got to meet her before this book, and even in this book, we didn’t really meet her. Overall, the bad certainly outweighed the good. The book doesn’t deserve more than two stars.
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
More romance. More danger. More mind-bending plot twists. That's what millions of devoted readers were anticipating with the release of Breaking Dawn, the fourth book in Stephenie Meyer's immensely popular Twilight Saga. And Meyer delivers.

Bella and Edward have struggled through much over the
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course of their forbidden human/vampire romance. With the wedding fast approaching, they might have hoped for peace at last -- but they, along with their friends and families, will face challenges as yet undreamed-of before they can find that peace.

In Breaking Dawn, readers' anxious questions are answered -- Will Edward and Bella marry? Will Bella be changed? What will happen to Jacob? -- along with many questions that they didn't even think to ask. This gripping novel carries the reader along at breakneck, running-vampire speed to the stunning conclusion. The many twists and reversals along the way make a happy ending seem too much to hope for, but Meyer's fans will find Breaking Dawn ultimately satisfying.
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LibraryThing member elbakerone
There is always a certain amount of trepidation that comes with reading a highly "hyped up" book. As soon as t-shirts, pre-orders and midnight release parties are mentioned, the standards are set so high that the work itself can rarely live up to the ideal that fans hold for it. This is why I was
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pleasantly surprised with just how good of a book Stephanie Meyer's Breaking Dawn turned out to be!

The story begins where the previous episodes have left off with the awkward but lovable heroine Bella Swan engaged to her true love, vampire and epitome of perfection, Edward Cullen. A storybook wedding is in the works, but even before the honeymoon is over Bella questions her rush to become immortal with Edward. For the first time the reader sees Bella truly face up to what she must sacrifice to become a vampire and yet before she decides anything her life is in danger and her character is once more revealed as one who will give up anything for true love. Although predictions for what would occur in Breaking Dawn were running rampant in the weeks before the book's release, Stephanie Meyer did a great job of keeping spoilers under wraps (you'll find very few from me) and she was able to incorporate plot twists and surprises, that even after reading four of her books, I did not see coming at all.

With Bella's life on the line, the narration of the book switches over to the point of view of Jacob Black, Bella's werewolf best friend. This was easily my favorite part of the story as Jacob's perspective offered a wry humor and a deeper look at characters like Seth and Leah, previously only in the background. Even those readers of the "Team Edward" persuasion likely enjoy how Jacob's relationships with the Cullens are more deeply explored and the interactions provide a new view of Edward and Rosalie, whom the reader has only ever seen through Bella's eyes. Jacob also shows a greater maturity in Breaking Dawn when he is called to make a choice that affects the lives of Bella and the Cullens, as well as his entire wolf pack.

The final third of the book switches out of Jacob's voice and the action really sets in as all the principal characters are in mortal - or perhaps, immortal? - danger. Stephanie Meyer does a great job of building the suspense up to and throughout the final pages of the story. Though there was a little bit of an "info dump" in the last portion (excessive explanation and back story), for the most part the pacing was really well done. The ending was satisfying and though loose ends were certainly wrapped up, one hopes that there could still be more stories told from the world that Meyer has built - after this reading journey, many of us are not quite ready to leave Forks!

Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse have already secured their place in the hearts and on the shelves of readers of all ages and Breaking Dawn earns its rightful place beside them. The 750+ pages are revealed only in the weight of the tome, as the reading time was akin to a much shorter work. For the willing reader, the Twilight saga is a series that will engulf the mind and captivate the imagination. Meyer is an expert storyteller who has brilliantly touched on the themes of what her audience craves - the desire to love and be loved; the need to feel strong or protected; and the dream of living forever. As eternal as the characters portrayed, Breaking Dawn sparkles like a Cullen on a sunny day!
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LibraryThing member paghababian
Was I right to get so worked up for this book? Yes… and no. The first three books (well, really just books one and three) totally captivated me. Just the fact that they were able to make me think like a 16-year-old again was a testament to Meyer’s writing. But with all the Twilight talk (both
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about this new book and the horrible miscasting of the upcoming movie), the book just couldn’t meet the hype.

The biggest problem that struck me was that the story read like fanfiction – stories written by fans who can’t give up on their favorite characters. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some excellent fanfic out there, but I expect a little more from someone so in charge of the story and from something I’m paying money for. Breaking Dawn even adheres to the fanfic tenant that the characters you love the most suffer the most – I mean, Bella has always been a little too clumsy, a little too breakable, but come on… really?

Surprisingly, I quite enjoyed the middle section of the book, told from Jacob’s POV. I was highly pissed off at the end of Eclipse, when the narration slipped to Jacob without warning, but in this case, I was relieved not to be in Bella’s head for a little while. And through Jacob, there was much to learn about the way the La Push pack operates.

Honestly, I couldn’t have cared less about the finale. There was so much build up for very little conclusion. But I guess that just means that I’ll have to turn to the real fanfic now to find some more good Twilight stories…
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LibraryThing member Lman
I confess; I am on The Twilight Saga bandwagon – though I have to wonder myself, at times, why I found these books such an entertaining and gripping read. Possibly, it is best not to consider their premise too particularly, but, rather, deem them a modern-day fairy tale, comparable to the
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classics of old; with the necessary suspension of belief in reality, and with the emphasis on ‘happily ever after’ never quite so true!

The story follows directly from Eclipse: Bella has acquiesced to Edward’s conditions and becomes his wife, so as to fulfil her greatest desire of joining his family in every sense. But before losing her humanity Bella and Edward enjoy the full trappings of newly-weds, with a truly wondrous marriage ceremony and honeymoon, resulting in Bella deciding to postpone her new ‘life’ and remain human for a little longer. Which is when proceedings become really interesting, when totally unexpected circumstances occur, such that Bella, and her extensive and extended family - human, werewolf and vampire - are again endangered, and must use all their appreciable capabilities to survive.

Stephenie Meyer departs quite considerably from the structure of the previous books in Breaking Dawn and in doing so offers up a satisfying, often surprising, but somewhat expected conclusion to this whole epic. Divided into three sections, with Bella defining the first and last, the middle part of this book provides the reader with an unusual perspective from Jacob: his thoughts, his desires and, through his eyes, the fascinating aspect of life in his pack. Indeed, this whole book now proffers much more intricacy and intimate detail of both vampires and werewolves; enriching the reading experience with greater elaboration into all their supernatural abilities, and expanding on the strengths and vulnerabilities of the various individuals, along with the innate structures and hierarchies of each group. Bella’s world now unfolds with stunning specifics, alluring colours and remarkable textures, revealing novel secrets and supplying answers to tantalising mysteries frequently alluded to in the past.

There are some small disappointments, to my mind, in this book: Edward plays a much lesser role than I would like; some character development remains questionable - paranormal setting notwithstanding; others do not develop nearly enough or act in an unlikely, or inconsistent manner to their previous persona, and thus grate, at times, against the natural flow and smooth effect of the story’s entirety. And the names of some characters... the less said, in regards to that, the better!

Nevertheless, Stephenie Meyer has constructed an enchanting world, filled with wondrous charm, attractive inhabitants and clever conceptions; any dissatisfaction easily outweighed by the surprising depths now afforded to Bella, Jacob and the entire cast - with startling facets and exceptional elements offered up about the workings of their reality.
Suspend your belief, immerse yourself in joyous fantasy and enjoy the ride – it is not so hard, nor so bad a trend, to follow after all!
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LibraryThing member piper0110
(As always, please note that this review does contain spoilers.) I was a bit embarassed to be so excited for this book. After all, it's a teenage romance novel. But like the masses, I got hooked by the earlier books, and was eagerly awaiting the fourth and final segment to the series.

I had been
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discussing the book with friends, debating what Breaking Dawn would bring, and had laughed about one of the spoilers I had stumbled across. Bella has a baby with Edward and Jacob imprints on her? That sounds ridiculous. Bella can't have a baby with Edward. Besides, that sounds like the plot of bad fanfic or a bad romance novel.

So when I reached that point in the story, just as the second "book" of the novel finished, I closed my book. I had to seriously consider whether I wanted to finish this story or whether it had veered too far into "bad novel" territory that I just wanted to give up. Of course, finishing the book won out in the end. I needed to know what happened next and how the series ended.

I can't say that I'm entirely satisfied with this book. Perhaps it is because the wait built up the anticipation so much in my mind. I think that I will go back and re-read the series in a few months and then see how I feel about it. And I must say that I was delighted with the wedding and honeymoon section of the book. I felt like the author very successfully portrayed Bella's fears and nervousness. I loved the description of how Alice had decorated. It was breathtaking.

I also liked having an entire section of the book dedicated to Jacob. While I'm not on "Team Jacob" per se, I worried that he would die in this book, in some heroic manner, of course, and I was glad to see that he made it through unscathed. I also enjoyed learning more about the werewolves, and would like to learn more about their story in the coming years.

All in all, I give this book three out of five stars. It wasn't the amazing book I had hoped, and it had some ridiculous plot points. ("Renesmee?" Seriously?) But it did wrap up the series and had some beautiful moments that I very much enjoyed. The ending was almost too "easy," but then again, I think we're all looking for that happy ending.
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LibraryThing member bnbooklady
While I still don't really care for these books, I thought this one was better than the previous three.

The book opens with Bella & Edward's wedding mere days away. I was really glad that Meyer decided to jump right into this instead of allowing Bella to wallow in her indecision and dragging the
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pre-wedding craziness out for too long. Since it happens in the first couple chapters, I'll go ahead and tell you that they go through with the wedding, and everything happens pretty smoothly. Bella's gushing descriptions of Edward's appearance and her endless discussions of how irresistible he is annoyed me from the very first page, but, all in all, it was an OK opening.

After Bella narrates the first 200ish pages, Meyer switches points of view to allow Jacob to narrate. I think this change is part of what made the book slightly more palatable than the previous three. It was nice to get out of Bella's head, to hear about Jacob's experiences in the pack from his own point of view, and to have a change of pace. I think Ms. Meyer made a good call on that one. I can't say much more without giving away important plot points, but by the time narration switches back to Bella, major changes have taken place, and it's nice to hear from her again.

Though she seems to be trying to build toward the climax during the last 150-200pages of the book, Meyer fails to create the proper amount of tension. I didn't really feel compelled to keep reading, and I was disappointed by the ending. Rather anti-climactic, if you ask me. I had imagined something much grander (and, honestly, something much more ridiculous), and I think I actually would have preferred it.

To read my spoilerific review in its entirety, visit me at The Book Lady's Blog .
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LibraryThing member Jenson_AKA_DL
To tell the honest truth, I had planned on avoiding this book indefinitely. Although everyone that knows me knows that I adored Twilight and enjoyed New Moon and Eclipse, all the overwhelming popularity had kind of skewed my feelings on the series as a whole. I do admit that it is a bit of a
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foolish reason to give up a series, but we are who we are. That and I'm not wild about love triangles, they're messy, painful and unpleasant. However, in spite of all that the minute I walked into Borders and saw the books on display I immediately picked it up and said (out loud I might add), "you are mine!" So much for resentful feelings on popularity issues.

In an effort not to give spoilers, and considering that just about everyone who reads this will have at least an inkling of the back story behind this vampire/human love story, I will just attempt to impart some of my feelings on the book as a whole. I thought it was great, second only to Twilight in the series. It is a long book, with what some might see as too much time given to mundane and non-meaningful activity. I do not see it in that fashion; to me this is fan-service of the highest possible order. She knows her readers, their wants, desires and wishes and sought to fulfill them, knowing how much the majority of them want to be in Bella's shoes. Never once did I get bored reading this story. It is just amazingly easy to submerse yourself into these characters and go with the flow, feel what they feel and live their lives vicariously. Having not had any real expectations going in, I was easily surprised with the plot twists she gave to us. It was truly wonderful to have no clue what to expect, right up until the ending of the book. I did notice that Ms. Meyer tended to like to sneak in bits of trivia and words that I suspect she intended to have drive her readers to look beyond her story, either to the dictionary or to the library in search of more classical literature. I felt that was perhaps a little heavy handed, but not really all that offensive or disruptive to the story.

One last thing about the book which I feel compelled to mention and hopefully won't be considered too much of a spoiler. There are three parts to this book, with the middle part coming from a point of view other than Bella's. In this portion I would urge close attention to the chapter titles. I often found them quite amusing!

I am so truly glad I forced myself to "get over it" with respect to my reservations for reading this book. As always, I would highly recommend these stories as a whole to anyone, teen or adult, who wishes for something more than what we see on the surface of everyday life.
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LibraryThing member seane

Breaking Dawn read like very well written fanfiction. I can't help but acknowledge that fact, despite how much I have enjoyed the series these past few years.

It seemed like Meyer was trying to pack everything, the resolution to so many interesting a amazingly conceived problems, into
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Breaking Dawn. In the loosest sense, one could call it action filled. But that would imply that I, a reader, was turning the pages without stop. Well, I wasn't. Sometimes I had to stop reading, look down at the book, and wonder if it was a bad joke. Honestly, Renesmee? I laughed straight out for 2 minutes at that one. And this whole book reminded me a lot of a fantastical version of Wuthering Heights, but a not as original. Bella was a lot like Cathy, especially when she was pregnant. It was almost painful. And the book wasn't as cultured. It lacked the spark, the small and mundane details, that make a good book seem like a dim reality.
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LibraryThing member lycomayflower
A genuinely satisfying read, a great end to the series, and the best book of the four. The rest of my comments are spoiler-rich for the whole series, so stop reading now if you don't want to know What Happens.

Breaking Dawn is the best book of the Twilight series because it deals with all of the
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weaknesses of the first three (except for the general quality of the writing, which still leaves something to be desired--though I will tentatively allow that Meyers got better at that as she went on). The weaknesses of the series up to this point were Bella's own weakness, lulls in the action, the tiresomeness of the virginity issue between Bella and Edward, and the lack of attention to vampiric metaphor (these last two are intertwined).

Throughout the first three books, I found Bella far too timid to be fulling satisfying as a protagonist (I said in my review of New Moon that I thought Edward was far more interesting than Bella--it's because Bella lets things happen to her rather than making things happen). Despite being a character who thinks for herself and who does not allow herself to to be swayed from her own ways of thinking, she doesn't do much in the beginning. In Twilight, Bella, who is not only the protagonist but the point-of-view character and the narrator, passes out at the climax. It makes sense within the framework of the story but is not terribly satisfying for a reader. Bella spends much of New Moon moping about and that book only picks up when she finally gets up and does something. She's a bit better in Eclipse, but in Breaking Dawn, Bella shows up in a way she doesn't in the other three. She takes on the protection of her husband, child, and extended family in a way that is fierce and interesting and that we just haven't seen from her before. Bella sort of is the climax of Breaking Dawn and that made for a satisfying read.

Each of the first three books (and mostly especially New Moon) contained long sections that just didn't hold my interest. Twilight dragged in the end (at exactly the point where the book should have been the most interesting), New Moon dragged in the middle (when Bella's anguish over Edward's absence is particularly trying--there's a reason the depressing middle bits of Romeo and Juliet only ask of the audience less than an hour of their time), and Eclipse suffers from "wrap-up syndrome"--the plot primarily cleans up what didn't get sorted in book two, and while I grew more and more interested in the workings of the supernatural world Meyers has created in Eclipse, I can hardly remember now, a mere two weeks after finishing it, what that one was about. But Breaking Dawn leaps right in at a resolution we've been waiting on for three books (the marriage and sexual consummation of Bella and Edward's relationship), and doesn't let up for nearly 800 pages. I was fully invested for the entire book (even through the lengthy section told from Jacob's point-of-view, which Meyers pulls off with more skill than I expected from her). The honeymoon, the pregnancy, the rift between Bella and the Cullens over that pregnancy, the conflict (and its resolution) between the wolves and the vampires, Bella's transformation into a vampire, the development of Renesmee and her influence over her family, and the conflict with the Volturi were all completely gripping. The last one hundred pages of the book were brilliantly, deliciously tense and contained, I think, the best example of Tolkien's concept of a eucatastrophe I have seen anywhere outside of his own work. Utterly satisfying all around.

One of the ongoing tensions throughout the first three books of the series was Bella's desire for Edward and Edward's desire to keep her at bay, at first because he's afraid he won't be able to be intimate with her without killing her, then because he wants to wait until they're married (why? He's not religious. She's not religious. He believes vampires have no souls, and he's committed to turning Bella into a vampire before he comes up with this marriage condition--I think the answer has to do with Meyers, not her characters, and its one of the few times she does not successfully couch her own views logically within her framework, and it's annoying), and then because he's afraid of hurting Bella because of his superior vampire strength. This issue of abstinence could have been fantastically compelling if handled with a little more finesse or sophistication. Vampires, as they sit in our 21st century western imagination, are about desire, specifically repressed sexual desire and submission to that desire in the face of the death (real or metaphorical) inherent in that submission. The Twilight series pulls the metaphor apart at the seams and gives us a vampire who controls not only his metaphory vampire desire (bloodlust) but his declared sexual desire as well. It's the human who is seducer, who wants to act on her desires (again both the real (sex) and the more metaphory (desire to be a vampire, or desire for death)). Meyers sort of turned the emotion behind vampire mythology on its head, but then she didn't do anything with it. And furthermore, the constant angst about the physical aspect of the relationship grew a little tiresome after some 1500+ pages (though I suppose it might be more interesting to a teen, especially one considering becoming sexually active), and I was relieved when they finally consummated the relationship (albeit in a fade-to-black that might as well have been a literally blank page in the book--I certainly wasn't expecting anything graphic, but good grief. Hays would be proud) and it wasn't an issue anymore. So Breaking Dawn was better than the other three for me because I no longer had to roll my eyes at the sexual angst (because it was resolved) or calm myself down when I got all twitchy about the vampire stuff (because if everyone's a vampire, the metaphor kind of goes pfffft anyway).

I still have some lingering concerns about the portrayal of women (mostly Bella) in the series. I love that Bella comes into her own in the last book. But I am suspicious of the fact that she cannot do so until she has married and had a child. Bella becomes a vampire (and thus strong and immortal) at the moment she gives birth. This is another moment that makes perfect sense within the framework of the book, but which bothers me in the same way that Bella's obsession with Edward-as-perfect-and-superior boyfriend bothered me in Twilight. Is it possible for a woman to feel stronger, to feel reborn, to feel as if she is more herself as a woman after giving birth? I'm sure it is. Is it necessary to give birth in order to become a strong woman who has goals that are not always perfectly in-line with her husband's or her family's (or whoever's)? No. Does the book send the message that motherhood is the path to some sort of better womanhood? I think it does. And as much as I loved this specific story about this woman and her child, I don't like that message at all.
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LibraryThing member scoutlee
Well, the hype is over (well, for me anyway). After reading the first 3 books in the Twilight series last month, I couldn't wait to read Breaking Dawn. I managed to be one of the first people on the wait list at my local library. When I went to pick it up, I was told the check out period was 2
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weeks instead of 3 weeks due to the high number of people on the list. My intent was to start it that night, but other things prevented me from doing so. I didn't start reading it until five days later.

The beginning pretty much picked up where Eclipse left off. Bella and Edward are engaged and eventually marry. I have to admit the engagement, wedding and honeymoon dragged on for me. I struggled through and hoped it would get better (after all, I had more than 700 pages to read). I have to say the story did pick up and no sooner than it did, it just fell apart in some many places.

After I read the last word, I closed the book and thought "What just happened?" This book was far different than the first three. For starters, it wasn't as gripping and I literally had to keep forcing myself to just use my imagination and "go with it". And I couldn't...

To say I am disappointed, is an understatement. For me, the best part of the book was Book Two, Jacob's perspective. I really like Jacob. Initially, I was disappointed that Bella didn't choose him over Edward. But as my dislike for Bella grew in Eclipse, I was happy. He deserved better than Bella. However, who he finally imprints with was a let down (but quite obvious). It was weird and somewhat creepy.

The ending wrapped up too nicely and the battle with the Volturi was very anti-climatic. For me, Breaking Dawn just didn't flow with the rest of the series. (2.5/5)
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LibraryThing member tryslora
Um. Wow. I... I've still got my little issues with the writing and the pacing, but by book four Meyer has figured out how to have the good overshadow the bad, and this book kicks the butt of the first three in a major way.

When we left Edward and Bella at the end of Eclipse, I was wary of what might
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happen in Breaking Dawn. I half expected it to be the story of their engagement and wedding, and a knock down drag out fight with Jacob trying to prevent Bella's turning to the vampire side of life.

I'm so very pleased to say I was wrong. And even more than that, I was knocked flat in the first hundred pages and all my assumptions were turned on their side. The book tripped me constantly, blindsiding me in ways I didn't expect, even when I should have.

The pacing is the best it has been in the series. She began with a bang, moving through the wedding and the touching scene with Jacob when he finally made it there. It was clear how right it was for Bella to be with Edward, and yet, also clear just how much she still loved Jacob. And then we rushed off for a sweet honeymoon (with much angsting on Edward's side, of course, over Bella's fragile humanity). It seemed blissful for them, and yet typical of the books at this point, and it was a nice tieout for the plots that had built through the first three books. I wondered when things would shift, because as far as I could tell, the story was finally done.

Then Bella started eating protein. And being sick, and I realized just before she did that the unthinkable had happened and that she was pregnant. And the major bit of plot came together in a rush -- we'd seen the story of the immortal children during the earlier bits of the wedding, and now here was Bella bearing a little one. The Volturi would be back, and there was a distinct question whether Bella might survive the bearing of the child in the first place.

Let me segue here to say I love Jacob. I've loved him since New Moon and forgave him his trespasses in Eclipse because he was young, and obsessed, and in pain. The chapter headings in Book 2? Had me laughing so hard, because they were so very VERY Jacob. Perfectly in his voice. I loved that we were able to slip inside his head and see things from the outside. From the writerly perspective, I know it was done so that we would worry about Bella... so we'd wonder if she might live, since she was no longer telling the story.

But really, it gave another dimension to the tale, a dimension that was truly needed. We needed to find our sympathy for Jacob again, bring him into our hearts because he was critical to the path of the story that was told. And this section did it so well. Jacob grew, as well, taking on his role as Alpha and splitting the packs, taking on Leah and Seth as his own (and I do like the final resolution with Leah being his Second... I kinda want more about Leah someday).

I had somehow expected Meyer to pull back, to not let us see Bella turned. To have everything end on a bright and shiny note of awww look, here they go into the sunset in happily ever after. Such bliss that she didn't. That Bella did nearly die, that she had to be brought back, that it hurt like hell and she didn't say a word of it to Carlisle or Edward. My one nitpick, if I have one, however is that so much time was spent on Bella's discovery of who she was as a vampire. While I was reading it, the pacing slowed, felt slightly off there. I skittered over some of the description (I'm not a descriptive person, though, so that kind of makes sense). But the pacing was necessary as well, showing us what would be needed later, especially Bella's self-control, and her absolute fervor in her focus on her family, from Charlie to Edward, from Jacob to Nessie.

Ah, and now there's the bit I'm annoyed at myself for. You see, in the second book, my writerly brain watched with a clinical eye when Quil imprinted on Claire and I thought, there's a reason we're seeing this. I knew it was a gun laid upon the mantle and yet, I didn't see why. And again, when we watched Quil play with Claire in the early parts of this book, I knew it meant something again. She waved the gun in my face and still, when the bullet was fired I... missed it. I didn't see it, until Bella was told and it was made plain.

And suddenly, it seemed so right. Yes, there's a bit of my brain that's still squicked by the idea of imprinting on a younger person like that, but... I can also abstract my brain and remember, these folks are immortals. They'll wait. In fact, that was stressed a number of times. The imprint ensures the safety of the young one, and someday, when the young one is an adult, it may mean love.

And it tied up the loose strings neatly. Bella had Edward, and Jacob had something of Bella that maybe he always knew was coming. Because for two books Jacob had been acting like he'd imprinted on Bella, only not. And now, Jacob has what he needs, and so does Bella. Everyone is happy, even if it's not a perfect road to get there.

I watched anxiously as the book grew after that. As the Volturi approached and Alice and Bella did their best to twist the threads to make things happen to turn out correctly. The characters worked well, and the story flew for me. I was bawling somewhere in there, because I was afraid that Meyer was going to let Edward and Bella go. That Jacob would leave with Nessie and the rest of the Cullen family would die there with the Volturi. And yeah, I'd come to care about them all enough that that was untenable. Feared. Horrible.

But oh yes, I do love Alice. I love her twists and her turns and the way she tries so hard to not only see the truth but to twist the future to her own desires. She is bright and wonderful, and brilliant. And she and Bella together are an unbeatable team.

Some final thoughts...

I'd like to read more about Leah. I'd like to see something about the Children of the Moon, and given the way Meyer lays her hints about, I wouldn't be at all surprised if there is a book about those European werewolves. (One of my favorite quotes was Jacob's, "Because I'm so imaginary." or something similar to that -- I laughed out loud).

Bella grew. She finally grew up in this book, even though she was still completely Bella, unaware of her Sueishness and leaping before looking. Jacob most definitely grew, finding his maturity yet still retaining his teenage snark.

This was a great ending to the story arc, and a huge difference from the way Twilight began it. I think Meyer has the potential to turn out some really good stuff for YA with everything she's learned in plotting this, and I hope she takes the lessons she's gained from the twists and pacing in this fourth book to heart. She got this one right.
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LibraryThing member Jacey25
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member jenniferthomp75
Oops. Meyer's fourth book in her "Twilight" series was a major disappointment. Although I started to lose faith during "Eclipse," this book pushed me over the edge from a questioning to an outraged reader. The author's belief in teen abstinence and her anti-abortion stance are abundantly
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transparent and made me wonder if this book was rather a push for a conservative agenda than a romantic vampire romance.

Big, big thumbs down.
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LibraryThing member hellonicole
Knowing that there were three more books to the series, I couldn't just stop after 'Twilight'. Now, after finishing the whole series, I wish I had. There comes a point when you just have to say enough! How much can you drag your characters through? How many times can you describe the color of a
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person's (vampire's) eyes? How anti-feminist can a series geared toward teenagers be?

If you're a fan of 'Twilight', stop right there. Don't continue. You'll most likely be disappointed. There's some really, really well written fanfiction out there that puts 'Breaking Dawn' to shame.
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LibraryThing member
The previous books of the Twilight series by Meyer are nothing more than fillers compared to Breaking Dawn. In Breaking Dawn there are no loose ends, and no questions left unasked. Everything is brought to the table--from Charlie's oblivious involvement with vampires to the authority of the
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Volturi--everything is determined in this final installment.

I admit I never really liked Jacob because his role within the previous books seemed to be questionable, and I didn't understand Meyer's point in creating him. Especially considering there was barely any conflict between him and Edward. Well, now we know the significance he has in this storyline. In fact a good portion of the book is dedicated to Jacob's point of view, which not being an avid Jacob fan, I was surprised to find somewhat enjoyable. Fans will get their chance to learn who Jacob is exactly, and what makes him tick. His fate is also decided in this book--one that you might not expect (although I did).

The most satisfying part of the story is Bella becoming more independent. Despite still falling head over heels for Edward at every occasion, she sees herself in a new light; a brighter light that illuminates all the strong qualities she possesses. She wants to put every idea to use. There's no more of the whiny Bella who is "so terribly sad that everyone is in danger and it's all her fault." Instead, Bella jumps into action to shield the ones she loves and no one can stand in her way. Not Edward. Not Carlisle. No one.

The gothic and suspenseful elements make this Meyer's best book yet. Each passing minute brings a new predicament to the Cullens family, so there are no dull moments! There are roughly 25 vampires that we are introduced to, and in such a way it sends chills up your spine wondering what they could be capable of. Though you do not need to wonder long, the end of the book brings just about every vampire together in a stand off that leaves your mouth hanging open with excitement. As you read you can almost hear the snarls and shrieks of the angry vampires...
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LibraryThing member purelush
This was beyond disappointing. All of the sacrifices Bella made in the previous books, all of the 'rules' that Meyer had set up about her world were completely thrown away. No one suffered, no one lost anything. Everyone got their happy ending and there was no cost. I'm all for a happy ending but
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you need to earn it. This was a clumsy, haphazard Deus Ex Machina.
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LibraryThing member Phantasma
Bizarre and surreal, this conclusion to the Twilight Saga was still quite entertaining. There seemed to be a strange focus on sex and yet Meyer seemed to be trying NOT to condone premarital or underage sexual acts. This made the whole sex thing seem awkward and stilted. No one had given Meyer a
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thesaurus so she wasn't aware that there are a million and one words that she could have used in place of "stone." The point of view shift was more than a little annoying, as well.

I think the story seemed forced. Renesme's super-advanced aging, while seemingly needed for the story to progress was still rushed and seemed to be the most forced piece of all.

In fact, most of the book felt a little bit like Meyer was infodumping.

I like that Jacob is WAY less annoying in this book and that Bella stands up for herself and FINALLY sees herself as worthy of SOMETHING.

I feel like there were missing pieces, though. I'd like to see more of Renesme, perhaps older, perhaps in her own novel?

I was relieved and, quite frankly, overjoyed that this book had less angst. It also had more action.

All in all, although I have my complaints, I still enjoyed it. It was completely readable and an enjoyable experience.
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LibraryThing member lifeasafrog
This book starts out very differently from the other books, and although Bella and Edward are still close, the focus no longer seems to be on their relationship in this book. However, among all the conflicts and problems, there are two constants that remain: Bella and Edward's love for each other,
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and Bella's magnetic attraction of danger.

*Spoilers ahead*

It takes a while for the real conflict to build, and although I liked seeing Jacob's perspective, I think this section went on for way too long and I was anxious to hear from Bella again. It was interesting to see the conflicts and turmoil that Jacob must go through--he's torn by both his hatred for "bloodsuckers" and his love for his friend, though I had thought there'd be more about Leah, and her part of the story never really developed into anything.

When Bella finally regains the voice of the book, the action picks up with the conflict of the Volturi. Although there is a lot of building suspense and anticipation, the "fight scenes" turn out slightly disappointing, though everything is resolved. I suppose I just expected to have a lot of suspense and fights-to-the-death like her other books, but this really didn't have that.

There are some very interesting characters that come along in the book; one of my favorites were the Romanian vampires who lent some humor to the tense situation. There are certainly a lot of good plot twists to chew on--the vampire pregnancy certainly is an interesting concept that Stephenie pulled off quite convincingly, and there is also the thought of immortal children and exploring new vampire powers. Bella's power makes sense, though I was kinda hoping for something flashier.

Honestly, I have some mixed feelings about the book, though I do feel resolved on many of the issues from previous books. Personally, I found Jacob (who was previously one of my favorite characters) a little annoying, but that's part of what makes Stephenie's characters so real; they have flaws and problems, but most often they also have good hearts.

I feel there are a lot more of this world to explore, though, as Stephenie has asserted, Bella's story is finished. But there is so much more we could learn and explore in other characters (especially new characters).
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LibraryThing member marymonster92
So, this was basically exactly what I expected.
I felt like I was reading a bad fanfiction, and wondered vaguely throughout the first two thirds when the bleeding in my brain would stop.
Every bad, predictable plot 'twist' that could happen, did happen. I was able to tell the book's contents from the
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second chapter, which in such a monster of a book, was not a fun thing.
I think the only people who would enjoy this book would be people who are so dedicated to the series as a whole that they are willing to overlook the obvious flaws like bad characterization, uninteresting dialogue and serious predictability.
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½ (11257 ratings; 3.7)
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