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26 September 2008 @ 10:31 pm
My Long Overdue Breaking Dawn Review  

Hey that rhymes!

Anyway, as I've explained in the last post, I had some trouble posting this--but here it is at last! What I loved and hated and thought in general about the fourth Twilight book....

Warning--it's crazy long!  Just like the book. :p

I have some mixed feelings about Breaking Dawn. Overall I did enjoy reading some parts of it—though it was waaaay too looooong!—and liked it in some ways better than I expected to, with all the extremely negative reactions I was seeing to the spoilers on

sortofbeautiful , and based on a phone call from an RL friend the morning it came out, asking if I had finished it yet so that I could discuss the fail with her (she had read spoilers online by then). But overall the extreme bad outweighs any good in the book, IMO, so that I think “Breaking Fail” would have been a more appropriate title….;)  To keep it simple and organized, here are my top five things I loved about the book, and the top six aspects of it that I utterly hated.

 

 

LOVED:

 

1. The Book of Jacob (Book II)

 

Bella states in NM that “Jacob Black was a gift from the gods”—never was it more true than in book II in BD, in which he narrates for over 200 pages, giving us a most welcome break from the unbearable whining of Bella Sue. From the very beginning, when we get Jacob’s wonderfully short and sweet and to-the-point preface (“Life sucks, and then you die. Yeah, I should be so lucky.”)—such a hilariously awesome change of pace from Bella’s usual melodramatic and vague doom-filled prefaces (and all the more awesome b/c Veronica Mars says that exact same line in the VM pilot!)—to his interesting and unusual chapter titles (like “9. Sure as Hell Didn’t See That One Coming,” “16. Too-Much-Information Alert,” and my fave “17. What Do I Look Like, The Wizard of Oz? You Need a Brain? You Need a Heart? Go Ahead. Take Mine. Take Everything I Have.”), to his fresh perspective and much-needed snarking about Bella and everyone else (like “Jeez, she was running true to form. Of course, die for the monster spawn. It was so Bella” and “Make Bella see sense? What universe do you live in?” ROFL, trufax Jacob!), Jacob’s narration was a joy to read. There’s a reason that Jacob is my favorite character, and it was confirmed here for the most part. As a devoted Jacob fan and staunch Team Jacob-er, this section was (until the horrid end at least) a real treat.

 

I also loved learning more about the Pack and its dynamics, as I’ve always found them to be more interesting than the vampires; it was great to have some more focus on that, to be able to hear and communicate mentally with the other wolves in the narration, etc. It was also an interesting change to have the narrator’s mind open to Edward’s, with Edward able to read the narrator’s thoughts and respond to them, etc. Until the horrible thing-that-shall-go-unnamed-for-now occurs at the end, I spent the whole time thinking fervently that Jacob was made of awesomesauce with a side of win…..and a nice Jacob fan named fatalkiss on

sortofbeautiful even made an icon of that quote:


 

 

 

 

2. Jacob/LEAH!!!! (And Leah, period) 

 

I have to admit, this one took me by surprise—I despised the very idea of J/L before reading BD, couldn’t understand the people who shipped it, since I hated Leah and thought it was unfair to poor Jacob to sic her on him. I thought it didn’t make any sense, and disliked it enough that when I re-read the epilogue in Eclipse shortly before beginning BD the J/L scene rankled, and I consciously thought of how it was not a shippy scene. Even in the beginning of Jacob’s book, when Leah first appears and first tries to join his pack, I found her as annoying as Jacob did.

 

But as BD went on and the relationship between Jacob and Leah developed and grew so subtly and beautifully, I really fell in love with this ship, and realized it was definitely the best way for Jacob to end up if he couldn’t be with Bella. From Jacob and Leah ganging up on Seth (such a cute and funny scene!), to Jacob helping Leah feel more comfortable eating as a wolf and feeling united with her, to Leah admitting that Jacob was a good leader “worth following,” and that she felt better as part of his pack than she had felt in a long time, to Leah proposing that she and Jacob have their own pack of two and help each through their grief and pain (sounds good to me!) and Jacob actually deciding to accept her offer, realizing that “I didn’t have to be all alone…..I knew Leah was strong enough to face with me the months that were coming. Months and years,” and that “when it came right down to it, she was really the only friend who had any chance of understanding what I was going through right now”…..they are just too perfect for each other! Here was an excellent way to end Jacob and Leah’s respective painful and tragic arcs somewhat happily and hopefully, but in a real way that stayed true to the integrity of their characters, and which didn’t come out of nowhere. 

 

Even though I was sadly spoiled about Jacob ending up with someone named Nessie (thank God I wasn’t spoiled about who that was!), I was still hoping against hope for J/L with every fiber of my being during this book, chanting, “Jacob and LEAH! Jacob and LEAH!” in my head continuously, and squeeing and sighing over every moment between them…..for SM to have developed all of that so well, only to let it go to waste….WHY SMeyer, WHY?! *glares at SM* She really just doesn’t get it….

 

Ah well, screw canon, in my mind Jacob ran out the door after Bella died to join Leah and leave Forks, thinking about how at least he would have Leah to help him across his “ocean of pain.” He then appears with Leah at the end to help his Quileute brothers, Bella, and the people of Forks in the standoff with the Volturi (which I think could have easily happened without being forced—the fail!print was NOT necessary to have Jacob in the final battle dammit!), to say goodbye properly to Bella, and for Bella to notice J/L’s new relationship, and predict that they would get together someday. Just an implication of J/L in the distant future would have been the perfect way to end Jacob in the book…..*sigh*

 

But anyway, J/L was the best thing to come out of BD for me, and my favorite new ship—not to mention my greatest change of heart within the series….

 

Leah was also kickass and awesome in herself in BD. I used to dislike her a lot too, but as with J/L, I found her less and less annoying as this book went on, and in the end came to appreciate her character more than I ever could have imagined. I’m very glad that SM showed that there was more to her than being a bitca in this novel….Leah is now one of my favorite characters.

 

3. “You stay with me now, Bella!” I yelled at her. “Do you hear me? Stay! You’re not leaving me. Keep your heart beating!”

 

By this heart-wrenching quote (which is actually one of my favorite J/B quotes or moments of the series, I mean that I loved both Bella’s dramatic and emotional death scene (bravo SM, that was pretty well written, though it could have been less gory!) and the few wonderful J/B moments/interactions that we did get—ignoring SM’s attempts to undermine them later with the imprinting fail!plot that is….I found the entire death scene to be very gripping and thrilling, not to mention heart-breaking, underscored as it was by poor Jacob’s desperation and grief….*hugs Jacob*. I particularly loved the “ocean of pain” metaphor for his grief, like in these passages which made me want to cry: 

 

“It made me tired to think about it. It felt like I was staring out across an ocean that I was going to have to swim from shore to shore before I could rest again.”

 

“This was it then. The ocean of pain. The other shore so far away across the boiling water that I couldn’t imagine it, much less see it. I felt empty again, now that I’d lost my purpose. Saving Bella had been my fight for so long now. And she wouldn’t be saved.” 

 

Indeed, the fact that he does indeed literally fulfill his promise to Bella in Eclipse to be there fighting for her until her heart stopped beating…..ack, so sad! :( Once again evidence of his great love for Bella (I refuse to associate any of it with the stupid devil!spawn), and such a tragic one at that…..as a pro-Lifer regarding these books, I was also happy that at least Bella was dying anyway before she became a vampire, like all the Cullens, and wasn’t just wantonly throwing away her life for vampirism when she still could have lived a long and fulfilling life. I still would rather she had not become a vampire, but if she had to do so this was a better way to do it than what I expected.

 

But besides this scene, and Jacob’s reaction to Bella’s death, there were still a lot of J/B moments in the first two books, even if many of them turn out to only be b/c of the stupid devil!spawn, not J/B’s own love—though I think they should still count as pure J/B, considering that they are in line with how they felt about (and acted around) each other BEFORE the devil!spawn was conceived (and if SM means to negate all of that retroactively, then she might as well negate E/B as only being around to allow J/R as well)! *rolleyes*

 

Some examples of moments I adored when I first read them, before SM twisted them and sickly explained them away with the fail!print:

 

“It feels…..complete when you’re here, Jacob….It’s just not whole unless you’re here.” (gee, sounds JUST like what you said at the wedding Bella….BEFORE you had a Jacob-loving bun in the oven!)

 

“We got off track, Jake. Out of balance. You’re supposed to be part of my life—I can feel that, and so can you…..But not like this. We did something wrong. No. I did. I did something wrong, and we got off track….” (Damn straight you did!)

 

As for pure J/B moments, I did love the wedding scene until Bella ruined it by mentioning how she planned to consummate the relationship while Edward could easily kill her—I love how Jacob provided that “wedding gift” to her, how happy she was to see him, and how they danced so much and so nicely (almost a parallel to the prom scene in Twilight, though better, with them dancing again and again!), and their usual wonderfully easy conversation. I loved seeing that same usual kind of interaction again and again as he visited her while pregnant, and how happy she was to see him each time (I refuse to think of it as only being b/c of the stupid devil!spawn).

 

Finally, here’s another quote I loved that sums up why, as awesome as the J/L potential is, and as much as I shipped it in this book and wished it could have happened as long as Bella was going to choose Edward anyway, I still prefer Jacob/Bella and consider it to be my overall OTP for the series:

 

“Leah might be an interesting companion, maybe even a true friend—someone who would stand up for me. But she wasn’t my best friend the way that Bella was. Aside from the impossible love I felt for Bella, there was also that other bond, and it ran bone deep.” (And sorry, but this bond is not the devil!spawn….it’s been there ALL ALONG!)

 

4. Kate/Garrett—as a couple, and separately. 

 

I don’t think that much needs to be said about them—they pretty much speak for themselves in their awesomeness, especially Garrett in his inspirational ‘give me liberty or give me death!’ speech that would have made his contemporary Patrick Henry proud, and which made me think, “F**ck yeah!” Garrett was by far the coolest new character to be introduced in this book, with Kate coming in second (even surpassing her more anticipated and speculated about sister Tanya). Likewise their adorable budding relationship was made of pure win; it was definitely the best canon ship to come out of this book (not counting Jacob/Leah, derailed as it was by SM and *shudder* Renesmee), and I’d say it beats any other couple in the series (not counting J/B or J/L again, since they don’t end up together, sadly). It’s proof that SM isn’t a total failure when it comes to determining and writing romances, and was a highlight of the novel (and of book 3 especially) to be sure.

 

5. Meeting all the new vampires, and the index at the end. 

 

I laughed out loud when Jacob’s grumbling about needing an index to keep track of all the new vampires had an asterisk referencing an actual index of vampires at the end of the book (a laugh that for once was intended by the author, lol)! That was pretty clever, and the index was pretty helpful I must admit……I also enjoyed meeting all those new vampires, from the creepy Romanians (Dracula 1 and Dracula 2) bitching about the Volturi, to Benjamin and the great Garrett, etc. That whole section when the new vamps are arriving and they are training Bella in her powers and preparing for the encounter with the Volturi was pretty exciting and interesting, and definitely the highlight of the book…..too bad the actual showdown didn’t you know, GO anywhere! *rolleyes*

 

HATED:

 

1. The Fail!print of Doom and the Evaporation/Twisting of J/B

 

Jacob imprinting on the love of his life's daughter (ewwww!), and especially SM's lame attempts to negate Jacob/Bella retroactively through this poor excuse for a plot device was just beyond fail, and by far the most unforgiveable thing SM did in this book, and the series as a whole. I mean, I knew that J/B wasn’t going to happen, but did SM really have to ruin ALL of J/B for us in the past as well as the present and future?! >:( It’s just so lame and ridiculous, even if you think she just meant to explain away the J/B in this book—b/c as I note above, Bella and Jacob’s interactions during the pregnancy were really not that different from how they normally interact in previous books and in this one, before Renesmee was conceived. I feel kind of the same as when Hart Hanson decided to not only get rid of Zack on Bones for the present and future, but to do so in such a way that it retroactively destroyed his character in all past episodes!

 

Then there’s the way that Jacob and Bella suddenly have NO feelings for one another whatsoever after she comes back as a vampire. I could understand why Jacob’s love for Bella would have evaporated when he imprinted (though I rather liked the speculations that he might still love Bella and have to struggle b/t his love for her and his new love for his imprintee), and expected that much, but for Bella’s romantic love that she discovered at the end of Eclipse to totally disappear as well, for no conceivable reason? Give me an effing break! *rolleyes* It only shows again I think that SM is trying to force on us the epic!fail idea that Bella only loved him b/c of Renesmee. It’s also waaay too convenient—though that’s another problem it itself (see below). 

 

I hate that, as well as Jacob’s disgusting assertion that now they can be only friends to each other, the way they were always *meant to be*. Excuse me?! How were they always meant to be only friends, when there’s that whole other life path that Bella saw in which she was with Jacob “if there were no monsters and no magic?” And why should they only have been meant to be just friends, when they both had romantic feelings for the other all along—how are those feelings wrong? That comment or idea was just so offensive and irritating to me, it’s another of the aspects of SM’s attempt to assasinate J/B that I hated most, and I wanted to slap Jacob when he said it (though of course, this was not really Jacob anymore, as I’ll explain below…).

 

Finally, there’s the fact that in making poor Jacob imprint on Bella’s daughter, SM chose the only possible way for the imprint to happen with no chance of Bella being romantically jealous—which once again gives poor Jacob and we J/B fans the short stick, by denying us Bella’s jealousy of Jacob’s new love interest at least, which even Bella predicts in Eclipse, and mentions to Jacob in order to try to comfort him about imprinting. Poor Jacob says then that the jealousy part might be cool indeed, and I was looking forward to that at least, if I had to go through the horrible imprinting at all, but noooooo……SM has to make sure there is none of that. *rolleyes*

 

2. Oh hai character assasination!

 

Jacob stopped being Jacob at the end of book 2, and became OOC!Jacob in book 3, losing all the best parts of his personality. I love Jacob, and he is still overall my favorite character, but I found myself unable to love the person wearing Jacob’s face in Book 3. Perhaps it’s partly b/c his love for Bella is such a big part of him (I always feared that he’d lose some integrity as a character if he imprinted), but he was just annoying to me throughout this part of the novel, especially the way he kept fussing over the stupid devil!spawn. This was yet another blow to a Team Jacob member like myself, with all my fears for Jacob coming true in a worse way than I could have imagined. I grieve for Jacob’s character…..

 

But Jacob was not the only character to get assassinated—Rosalie’s character was murdered by SM big-time. I used to really like Rosalie, especially after she told her story in Eclipse and was so pro-Life like myself concerning Bella—she was one of my favorite Cullens. But then in BD she becomes a total psycho who tormented my Jacob, and I no longer liked her at all—she was just irritating as hell. Which is also rather sad and unfortunate….

 

3. What consequences?

 

Bella sacrifices NOTHING in becoming a vampire—she has “super” control that allows her to skip the newborn phase, she can still have a baby in addition to Edward, even though she was supposed to be giving that up when she chose him over Jacob (the life path where she saw herself with children—hello?!), and she can still see her family (Charlie) AND have Jacob at her side all while getting the gorgeous looks and riches and Cullen family that come with becoming a vampire anyway. In other words, in the end her big “choice” to become a vampire really means nothing at all, since it turns out she didn’t have to choose b/t Jacob/Charlie/kids and Edward/the Cullens after all…….and it’s truly absurd and pathetic. Not to mention it sends a pretty screwed up message—get married and have a baby and it all works out! Suuuure……

 

One essay I read before BD mentioned how we are invested in Bella’s story so much b/c we fear for her losing someone she loved (either Jacob/Charlie or Edward and the Cullens)—so much for that! *rolleyes* It’s even worse than the crapilogue in HP….

 

4. What can Sues do for You?

 

Bella Sue was always a sue of course, but once she vamps in Book 3 her suedom reaches new heights, as she turns out to be better than all other vampires at controlling her instincts (she need not lower herself to the indignity of being a newborn!), and as she turns out to have a super mind shield power that can protect everyone and scare off the Volturi from battle. She becomes even more Sue-ish than Super!Ginny Sue of OOTP-DH and Lily with her own little love!shield, which is saying something…….

 

Then to compound matters we have the Super!Sue of Bella Sue’s daughter, Renesmee, who is loved by eeeeveryone and is the most special little girl EVAR! *rolleyes* I guess it’s only to be expected that the product of two Sues (or a Mary Sue and a Gary Lou to be precise) as big as Bella and Edward would be like that…..:p

 

Oh and can I register my massive eyeroll when Bella complains that she is “eighteen forever” because she was changed THREE days before she turned 19? *rolleyes* Give me a break Bella…..I’m afraid that you turn 19 when you complete your 19th year, and completing 362/365 of them means you pretty much did so—you are more 19 than you are 18! Deal with it…..*shakes head at Bella and her silly aging dramarama*

 

5. The First Book of Bella Sue, in which a boring wedding and honeymoon occur

 

The dread wedding occurred, and it was awful—Bella whined and long-suffered until the altar, rather preventing the wedding from being a very joyous occasion (even if her lust/luuurve for Eddie C saved the day at the last minute), and annoying the crap out of me. SM should take some tips from Jacqueline Carey if she wants to know what a truly happy literary wedding is like—the wedding in Kushiel’s Mercy was so damn happy I couldn’t help but grin like an idiot the whole time, and whenever I thought of it for days afterwards! Though the wedding was more bearable than the nauseating second chapter—which was so dull (“I luurve you!” “I luuurve you more!” “I can’t bear to be separated from you for a bachelor party!” Gag me with a spoon. And where was Bella’s bachelorette party to take her mind off Edward btw?) I couldn’t keep reading the first night I got the book, but had to put it down and go to sleep after the chapter ended.

 

Then there’s the honeymoon—which was even more repetitive and boring. If I heard the word "perfect" one more time I was going to throw the book against the wall (seriously, “perfect square” windows? Um Bella, sweetie, ALL squares are “perfect”—that’s in the definition of an effing square! *rolleyes*)…..and the whole “I hurt you! Angst, Angst, Angst! But I wanna have SEX! Whine, Whine, Whine! But I can’t have sex with you b/c I’ll hurt you, angst, angst, angst” routine drove me crazy. I was so bored I stopped reading and watched “The Devil Wears Prada,” even though I had planned to try to read the book straight through all weekend……so in short, a pretty bad beginning to a pretty bad book…..

 

6. Renesmee.

 

‘Nuff said. This name makes the name “Albus Severus” look downright normal. (Though this book was so damn long that by the end even Renesmee began to sound okay….).

 

And that’s not counting all the usual terrible writing and purple prose in many parts of the book…..which is always quite the CHAGRIN! ;)



Also while I'm at it, I'll share some pictures of the sweet Team Jacob shirt I made for myself using a design I made on the computer and then printed onto iron-on transfer paper....

Front:



Front Detail:


I found this picture online....

Back:



Back Detail:


If you can't read it, it's the "no monsters and no magic" quote from "Eclipse" in scriptina.

Too bad by the time I was able to get there (due to a play that night and the subway deciding to break down three stops from the Barnes and Noble) the party was about 15 min from being over, so that I barely wore the shirt in public for 30 min! *rolleyes*  But that's not the point, the point is that while I was there I helped Team Jacob represent--and he definitely needed some representing at that party, though I did find some other Team Jacobers there, and some Swiss....

The funniest shirt I saw was "Edward is Bella's Anti-Drug"--which is funny because of how absurdly NOT true that is....:p

 

Also here's a picture of the adorable little Jacob!wolf plushie I bought at a Borders a few days before, and with whom I read BD!  Here he's posing with his two books, before book 2 of Breaking Dawn was out.....;)

 
 
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" by Death Cab for Cutie
 
 
 
Alison_artanis_ on September 27th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
You know my feelings on the Smeyer.

BTW they are now retconning Zach again so he didn't kill anyone. I hate the retcon.
Alison_artanis_ on September 27th, 2008 03:28 am (UTC)
Except on Torchwood where retcon is an in joke.
sherrilina: Brennan (Bones)sherrilina on October 6th, 2008 01:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know them quite clearly! ;)

And seriously? I haven't heard that.....though then again I don't usually read TV spoilers. But in this case I actually would welcome a retcon, it was so badly done, though if they were going to retcon at all they should have taken advantage of the craptastic quality of the finale and establish in the beginning of the season that that had all been Zack's dream, since as many people pointed out, it made more sense as a dream in every aspect than as an epp that actually happened.....*rolleyes*