Thursday, May 20, 2010

Monsters in May Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (& Twilight Swag Giveaway)

Giveaway details at the bottom of the post.

Bella Swan has made her choice – the choice between life and death, Jacob and Edward. Unfortunately, with her decision she sets off an unforeseeable chain of events that has the potential to destroy everyone and everything she loves. Bella thought choosing between her soulmate and her destiny was the hardest decision she would ever make, but she quickly finds out she was terribly mistaken. Now, Bella must decide whether to risk her life to save the one she loves, even though they could be the means of her demise. Unfortunately, everyone around her is determined to make that choice for her – and she finds herself forced to join forces with a former foe to protect her beloved from her own friends and family. Bella’s choice is tearing her world apart, and the ramifications of following through might just kill them all.

Breaking Dawn will certainly surprise fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga – the final installment of Bella’s story has a very different feel than the rest of the series. The characters undergo many significant changes over the course of the novel, some of which have the potential to make them less relatable for some readers (they did for me). As Bella makes her final choice, readers’ feelings will probably differ based on their team preferences. Regardless of teams, however, every reader will be shocked at the turn of events. The impossible will become reality and the already complex relationships will become even more complicated, leaving readers with their mouths gaping. Breaking Dawn is an emotional roller coaster ride – the anticipation, elation, shock, horror, disgust, fear, satisfaction and intrigue all combine to make Breaking Dawn a memorable read. Meyer’s choice to use a different narrator for a portion of the book is brilliant. The change keeps the reader in the midst of the action and shields them from some horrific scenes no one should ever witness. It also gives readers insight into a character whom many may have underestimated, as well as creating some wonderfully snarky comic relief in the midst of the novel’s immense tension and turmoil. Unfortunately, the ultimate face-off is a bit anticlimactic, especially after the suspense and chaos that precede it, and it can be a little confusing the first time one reads it. However, though the resolution of several plotlines is questionable (and in one case creepy), it is still a joy to once again be among familiar characters and to see how the trio’s story ends.

Premise: 4/5
Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Setting: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.7/5

Note: Parts of this novel may be too gory and graphic for young readers.

Also check out my reviews of the first three novels in the Saga: Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse.



One random commenter will win a Twilight-themed swag item from HotTopic! (Possible items are in the picture on the left; however the exact prize cannot be guaranteed.)

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post! I'll announce the winner at the same time as The Host winner - May 25! I will contact the winner via email - so don't forget to include your email address in your comment! ***Please note that your comment must contribute something thoughtful,*** not just say "great review" or something equally generic (though "great review" is greatly appreciated ;-))

Good luck!!

***This is also the LAST CALL to enter the Monsters in May Giveaway of THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer (the new edition with bonus chapters). Giveaway ends Midnight EST on May 24!***


mountie9 said...

I enjoyed this one too, found some of it a little too adult for the younger readers, but than again at age 12 I read Wifey by Judy Blume, so I guess I shouldn't judge. I also agree with some of your comments "the ultimate face-off is a bit anticlimactic" and "creating some wonderfully snarky comic relief"
contestmom AT hotmail DOT com

The Bookish Type said...

Oh! I forgot to mention the graphic nature of parts of the novel. Thank you for reminding me to note that! It was intense for me, and I'm an adult. Yikes! I'm glad you found my review accurate! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

elizabeth said...

Breaking Dawn definitely surprised me when I first read it. I did not like it at first, but I liked it the second time I read it.

lisa :) said...

I will say one of my favorite things about this book was the way Meyer introduced so many new characters toward the end. I would love to see Meyer expand the world she created in these books, not with further Bella/Edward stories, but with tales involving the other vampires from around the globe that were brought into Breaking Dawn.
herbookself AT gmail DOT com

The Bookish Type said...

Thank you all for reading and commenting!

@Elizabeth - I can definitely understand that. The stuff with Alice really confused me the first time...I didn't get exactly what went down until the second time around. But that might have been because it was 5 am after reading all night when I was finishing it the first time lol ;-)

@lisa - I really enjoyed all the new characters too! They were all so quirky =) I actually think Stephenie said at one point that she might return to the Twilight world one day to tell another character's story! I'd never thought about it being one of the new ones introduced in Breaking Dawn - but that's a really good idea! I'd also be happy if she told Leah's story. I love Leah. =)

jellybelly82158 said...

I haven't read this series yet but this one definitely sounds like it has parts that would not be for younger readers. I think I will put this series in my must read stack

jellybelly82158 at gmail dot com

Melissa @ Flourish {and} Blotts said...

I go back and re-read the Twilight series every so often (does it make a total book-nerd to admit that?? ha!), and I have to say, Breaking Dawn leaves me conflicted every time! I remember reading Eclipse for the first time and agonizing over the fact that there was just no possible way that everything was ever going to work out okay for poor Jacob ... but leave it to Stephenie Meyer to find a way! Still, I agree, the turn of events in Breaking Dawn are shocking - I certainly didn't see ANY of them coming! I, too, really enjoyed hearing the narration from someone other than Bella this time around ... it was nice to hear a different perspective. Great review! :)

flourishxblotts {at} gmail {dot} com

Bruna Britti said...

Long time since I read Breaking Down. Definitely it's not one of my favorites, think I prefer the first of all. Anyway, it's a good book (mainly Jacob's book), and surprise me in some parts... (I mean, who will guess Jacob in love with... oh, ok, you know). Twilight it's a good saga, introduced me on vampire's world, and know I'm in addiction. =P

brunabritti AT hotmail DOT com

Aik said...

Well, I haven't read Breaking Dawn, so I'm not sure about how good it really is. I love your detailed review, though. Maybe I'll pick it up in the holidays!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Jessilyn said...

Breaking dawn is my favorite of all of the series I can't wait to see how they do the birthing scene in the movie its very graphic in the book. I can't wait to see who they cast for the role of renesmee

Jessilyn said...

oh here is my email

SusanKMann said...

I really enjoyed Breaking Dawn it was my favourite one of the series. However I was a bit dissapointed with the confrontation scene. I would have liked to see a bit more action. I was also slightly creeped out by the Jacob and Renesmee thing. I did love the way that Bella and Edwards relationship moved on, but it was maybe a bit fast. However I am basing this on an adult point of view. With this being a YA book, I'm not too sure I would want my 12 year old reading it. I think she should have written two versions like the Harry Potter books. That being said I did love this book. x

MamaSeal said...

I like how you wrote the review and kept it spoiler free. Breaking Dawn was my favorite out of the four. I can totally understand giving up your happiness to keep the one you love the most safe, which is why my favorite line from the book is "More than my own life".

You can contact me on twitter @MamaSeal

Talei said...

Eclipse is by far my fav of the Twi-saga but I do love that Bella & Edward finally get hitched in BD. I think some of the musings of Jacob could have been edited out and the ending left me thinking, is that it? I am grateful for Stephanie Meyer for bringing the Vampire lit back into our world. ;)

KMichelleC87 said...

Loved Breaking Dawn and can't wait to see how this one (and eclipse) does in movie form. I don't really knoe if Breaking Dawn was my favorite Twilight book but it tied up the loose ends (except for the guy like Renesmee. I still want to know what happens with him) and gave the series a good ending. I really hope she eventually writes more with these characters or maybe a story from Jacob and Renesmee's point of view when she is a teen or in her 20s. Great contest.


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I really enjoy the twilight series but I have to admit that I have only read the first three books!! I have heard such mixed reviews about Breaking Dawn, I'm glad to hear that you liked it!! Thank you for the contest!!

inthehammockblog (at) gmail (d0t) com

TwilightsDance said...

Breaking Dawn I think was great because it gave us a ending to a Amazing Story, even though I believe she can still branch off from this book.



Melissa (My words and pages) said...

This sounds like an interesting addition to the series. :) I have a friend at work who has read the series and I am going to have to tell her about what you have said here. I think she is still going to try to get the book, she had too loved the series. Thanks!

Susan_Pettrone said...

I enjoyed all these books but I found this one to be especially well written in the description of what Bella goes through. Though some find it gory or over the top, I feel that all that was written was written for a purpose. It is up to the reader to discover that purpose. To me, it was to show how very much Bella was in love, and what she would endure to keep her love even if that meant totally changing and leaving her former life behind. I don't know about many of you here, but the decision to suddenly leave my life as I know it to step away, not looking back to be with the person I love for all time, would be a hard one....but one I know I could do. Love to me means taking each day as it comes and making decisions based upon that love, unconditionally.

Lisa said...

While Breaking Dawn was not my favorite book of the series, I still loved it. The resolution it brought for Jacob was enough to make me fall in love with it and overlook the fact that the pregnancy and delivery of Renesme was brutal. I also adored Jake's section in the middle of the book. His "voice" was awesome, hilarious, heartbreaking, and endearing! It made me love him even more (although I'm still Team Edward)
While I did enjoy meeting all the new vampires in B.D., it was hard for me to keep track of SO MANY new characters! And it was sad to get to know them right as the series was ending.

blueicegal said...

Casey!!! ya done good girl, yay utter awesomeness!! really great giveaway girl i am sooo in! :D

The Bookish Type said...

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving such great comments! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond - it's been a long weekend.

@jellybelly82158 - I'm so glad you're going to read them! I know they get a lot of hate in the media these days, but I think they're a really engaging read! I hope you enjoy them!! =)

@Melissa/Flourish {and} Blotts - First of all, I LOVE your blog name! It made my day when I saw it!! =) (Huge Harry Potter nerd right here lol) Re-reading Twilight doesn't make you a nerd! I won't even tell you how many times I read a row lol ;-) I totally understand being conflicted about Breaking Dawn - there's a lot to process in that book! I'm really glad you enjoyed the review! =)

@Bruna Britti - I think it's probably my least favorite too. That's one of the greatest things about Twilight - it introduced people to the paranormal world! I wasn't into that sort of thing before, either, but I'm a total addict now too =)

@Aik - I'll be interested to hear what you think once you read it! Have you read the rest of the series?

@Jessilyn - I'm glad to hear someone who's firmly on Team Breaking Dawn =) I'm really nervous for the movie - it's going to be INTENSE. Yikes.

@SusanKMann - I couldn't agree more with all of your comments! This book is definitely too much for anyone under the age of...16 maybe? Especially some of the bloodier middle scenes. Disturbing. One thing though...there are two versions of Harry Potter?! How did I not know this?!

@MamaSeal - Thank you! It was harder than I would have thought to avoid spoilers - I feel like the whole book is one big surprise from beginning to end! Lol =) Based on thoughts from several people (like yourself) who are at a different stage in their life, I feel like I'll connect more with this book if I'm ever a mother. As it is now, I can't quite relate. "More than my own life" was still a very powerful line, I agree!

@Talei - I'm a huge fan of Eclipse too, and I totally agree about the ending of Breaking Dawn! The saga certainly inspired a lot of vampire spin-offs, didn't it? lol =)

@KMichelleC87 - It would be amazing if she wrote more stories about the characters introduced in Breaking Dawn, or Jake & Nessie! I'd especially like to see more about them, 'cause then I might feel a little better about the whole imprint situation lol!

The Bookish Type said...

My response was apparently too long to post, so I had to break it apart lol.

@Carrie/In The Hammock Blog - You have much more self-control than I did! For the week leading up to the release, I was going CRAZY - like rocking back and forth, pacing the floors, staring at the clock crazy lol. Breaking Dawn is definitely different from the rest of the series - I can see why people are hot and cold on it. It was still nice to have the loose ends resolved for these characters that we've become so invested in, though =)

@TwilightsDance - I couldn't agree more! It was great to see how Bella & Edward's story ended. I definitely agree that she can branch off - it seems like she tried to leave it open for just that purpose =) I hope she does!

@Melissa (My words and pages) - Awesome! I hope she enjoys the conclusion to the series! =)

@Susan_Pettrone - I agree, I think Steph wrote the novel the way she did for a reason - it wasn't gratuitous. The decision Bella had to make wasn't an easy one, so the results had to be difficult. I feel like it was totally in character for her to handle it the way she did. One thing Stephenie Meyer does without fail is be true to her characters. I've actually thought about it a lot, and I just don't know if I could have made the choice Bella did - but maybe I just haven't found the one yet ;-) I'm glad you have! =)

@Lisa - I agree - I was really glad Steph didn't leave Jake hanging in the end! I wouldn't have minded if he'd ended up with Leah though =) The bond that developed between them over the course of the novel was an interesting new facet to their personalities, and it gave me a lot more sympathy for Leah. I totally know what you mean! All the new vampires made my head spin a little, but they were a lot of fun to read! The little table she put in the back of the book was really neat and helpful too, especially since it indicated which ones had special powers too! Wouldn't it be great if she wrote some stories about all of those new characters? They were all so unique and interesting, just from the short snippets you get to see of them in BD!

@blueicegal - Thank you so much!! I'm glad you enjoyed it =)

Amy J - Book Addict said...

I loved Breaking Dawn. The only part I didn't like about it was how quickly renesme aged. I wanted her to stay a newborn for them to deal with! LOL

Amy J

Akasha Hale & Lexus Salvatore said...

Reading Breaking Dawn enraged me soo much! I hated how Belle had no bloodlust, still got to see her family, there was no fighting! and, well the list goes on.. :)

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