While Breaking Dawn may be a contentious subject among those in the Twilight fandom, I have to admit, I still enjoyed it. I really came into the Twilight scene rather late (like two weeks ago, when I read all four books in five days) so I had been completely uninvolved and uninformed with all of the controversy. I strongly feel that if you get into the fan hype you’ll be predisposed to like it less, but if you go into it with an open mind, I personally believe you will like it much more. It’s easy to get caught up in the fandom, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it spoil your fun. (Although if you keep reading this review, there will be spoilers.)
With the conclusion of Eclipse, Bella has finally agreed to marry Edward, despite her hang ups on getting married young. I have to admit that I found her unwillingness to commit to a marriage when she was more than willing to give up the beat of her heart to be with Edward a rather childish response, but then I remembered, I might have been uncertain at her age too. Breaking Dawn starts off with Bella gearing up for her wedding to Edward. This teen romance has moved past the high school phase and they are taking it to the next logical level. Another aspect that also reaches this level is Bella finally convincing Edward to make love to her on their honeymoon on Isle Esme. Up until this point and from Twilight on, you could practically cut the sexual tension with a knife, but as with everything Bella does, this comes with its consequences.
While on their honeymoon Bella discovers that she’s pregnant, much to everyone’s surprise. Edward advocates for her to terminate the pregnancy because they have no way of knowing what this baby will be. Bella, as always, has her own plan, and while Edward prepares for their departure from Isle Esme Bella calls Rosalie, an unlikely ally to her cause. Rosalie, who has always wanted children, helps Bella in her goal to carry the child to term and deliver it, and soon after they arrive back in Forks they realize this is going to be no normal pregnancy.
At this point, the perspective of the story for the first time changes to Jacob’s point of view. I thought this was a very interesting and ingenious move on Stephanie Meyer’s part. Bella was obviously not in her right state of mind as the “monster” baby grew inside her, and the story from her point of view would have been tedious at best and down right “turn-offish” at worst. The reader got more by seeing Bella through someone else’s eyes, as her point of view would have hardly have been lucid.
After roughly a month of being pregnant, the baby has grown to full term. The baby is a girl Bella and Edward name Renesmee (and who is nicknamed, much to Bella’s eventual chagrin, Nessie). The birth is so disastrous to Bella (I can’t even describe it, you’ll just have to read it for yourself, trust me) that Edward has no choice but to change her into a vampire then. With Jacob’s help to keep her heart going, he changes her. Several days later, and with the perspective changing back to Bella, the newly made immortal Bella wakes up. While her transition into a vampire is relatively seamless, and she was even able to stop herself from hunting a human, she learns what has happened to her daughter- Jacob imprinted on her.
Life isn’t quite all happily ever after though. When Irina, a member of the Cullen’s extended family in Alaska, shows up unannounced and sees Renesmee, she think that the child is one of the “illegal” immortal children and reports the Cullens to the Volturi. What happens next is a serious build of suspense, with what could be described as a minimal pay out. I’ll let you read it and decide for yourself. I would have preferred more action, but I also understand that the story is more character driven, so the story resolving the way it did makes perfect sense for this kind of tale.
Fangirls may have their own opinion, and some will even say the series ended with Eclipse, but I feel that Breaking Dawn was a great ending to the story. The series had been gripping due more to the character interplay than much real action, so an ending that was very similar in style rounded out the series. There’s life (or death, I guess) after the high school romance, and there are consequences for actions. Sure, in the end everyone gets what they want, but I wanted an escapist story, not the hard knocks account.
Overall I felt this was a most fitting end to a story that truly captured my attention. It kept me interested, activated my imagination, and allowed me to live and love vicariously though Bella. I’m not one of the naysayers of this book. I think that if you can avoid the hype, this is the perfect conclusion. I give Breaking Dawn a solid 4 1/2 out of 5.