Breaking Dawn Divides Twilight Fans

BlogHer Original Post

I said that I wasn't going to buy Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn. I said it right here at BlogHer and when I said it I meant it, I really did...but then I bought it. I attribute my downfall to two things - I ended up going into a bookstore on Saturday (for another unrelated reason) and I realized that I'd never be able to resist and/or avoid the spoilers. Please note that this post will link to both spoilers and spoiler-free posts but they will be clearly marked - no spoilers will appear in this post.

I wish I had just accepted that I would be buying this book. If I had done so then I could have gotten in on that midnight release party action. Midnight release parties are fun. I attended a Harry Potter one a few years ago and even won a costume prize (Harry Potter, book 5, dressed as Rita Skeeter). Thanks to the internet everyone who missed out on the party can see the types of goodies they missed out on.

Fragile What!? (no spoilers) used the midnight release party as an opportunity to get closer to her daughter.

We got to talk a lot about teen stuff which I love. I feel good that I’ve made myself accessible to her to share things that most teens would otherwise be afraid of sharing with their parents. We waited 90 minutes for the doors to open so we talked a lot!!

Whim experienced some rudeness in line but also saw an example of the type of parent she wants to be (no spoilers).

The dad was older and gray and the daughter could have been anywhere from 13 to 17. It is hard to tell these days. Her dad looked tired but happy and she talked his ear off the whole time we waited. When it was time to move forward he would gently put his hand on her back and nudge her forward in line while he smiled and nodded at her as she talked.

I want to be the parent that would stay up to take their kid to a book release party at midnight when I am tired.

Stephanie wins the prize for the most fun party and she didn't stay for a midnight release. She didn't go to just any party - she went to one where Stephanie Meyer made an appearance (no spoilers).

How did everyone like it? The big Twilight fans will love or hate this installment. There is no middle ground for them and I don't think they will be completely satisfied no matter what side of that they fall on. Readers like me, who (mostly) enjoy the books but are not fanatics stand a far greater chance of being satisfied. How did I feel about it? I was surprised. I didn't think that I had expectations going into the book but it simply was not what I expected. I think Natasha at Maw Books provided a really balanced review of (spoilers) that reflected what I thought of the book.

This is the type of book that will be viewed differently depending upon who you are and what your attitude about the series is in the first place.
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So did I hate it? No. Did I like it? Sure. Why? Because I didn’t have any preconceived notions about how the story should end up, I wasn’t completely invested in the characters to begin with (meaning I’m not a die hard twilighter), I didn’t mind where the storyline took me, I was taken by surprise in some parts, and I didn’t really get bored in the day that it took me to read it.

If you are ok with spoilers I really recommend Natasha's post. She provides some great commentary peppered with some of her own experiences that I think makes her review very good.

Deaana pointed out something that I think is causing some of the dislike with the story (spoilers).

And the whole 'Team Edward' and 'Team Jacob' thing just went *poof*, didn't it? Are we all 'Team Bella' now?

The Team Edward and Team Jacob fans were very passionate about their choices. When things didn't work out as they expected (particularly for one side of that debate) there was a lot of disappointment. I think that Meyer was trying to make all her characters happy and in the end really didn't make all the fans happy. I can't think of any way that she could have written the story to please everyone.

Krispy Kreme Adventures is spoiler-free and spoke of the simply enjoyment of just reading the book.

Slowly devouring each word on the page, I was hesitant to near the end of the book, trying to prolong my time with my favorite characters as long as I could. Not to give anything away.....if you're into the Twilight series or ever thought of it, make sure you get this book. It was fabulous to see some things I anticipated come to fruition, and to see turns I never could have imagined. Thanks Stephenie Meyer, for taking my love of reading to a whole new level!

Some readers have said that the characters changed in this book - that they were not the same characters that we've come to know. Andi at Tripping Towards Lucidity (no spoilers) has another perspective.

Quite honestly, she took this book in directions I never would've guessed at and elevated her characters to a level of emotional maturity that most fans would probably not anticipate.
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While many reviewers are saying that this book just doesn't fit with the others and that the characters did things that were out of their norm, I disagree. I think Stephenie Meyer kept them pretty well in character but put them in situations that were quite shocking in some respects.

Right now the reviews on Amazon.com (LOTS of SPOILERS) are pretty divided with half at 5 stars and the other half a 1 star. This is what Tammy of Under a Blood Red Sky (minor spoilers) had to say about them:

I get the feeling that most of these teens had the plot carefully planned in their own heads, and when Meyer decided to deviate from those pipe dreams, their worlds were shattered, making her THE WORST AUTHOR EVER. OMG, how are we all going to live? It won't do a bit of good to remind them that ultimately, they got what they wanted, because Meyer threw in some curves that took them on a ride they didn't meet the height requirement for.

I think she might have a point that plays back to what Deaana commented on. The Team Edward and Team Jacob fans weren't expecting this particular story. They had something else in mind and when that didn't happen it ruined the book for them.

From the very beginning people have pointed out that Meyer's prose leaves much to be desired and that the strength of her stories in in her characters. Nicole at Word for Teens (spoilers) compared Meyer's prose to bad fanfiction.

The end to a saga certainly went out with a bang. But was the book all that it was hyped up to be, or was it just a fanfiction gone wrong?

Jocelyn at Teen Book Review (spoilers) really liked the final book.

Overall, reading Breaking Dawn was a pleasure, and rabid fans of the series will love it, and others will enjoy it as well–just expect it to be what it is. Stephenie Meyer is great at what she does, great at writing for her audience, and if you can recognize that, can see that this book is exactly what it is meant to be and not expect more from it, you’ll love it.

Had I read the spoilers before reading the book I think I would have gone into convinced that I'd hate it. And I probably would have. When I started Breaking Dawn I really didn't know where Meyer was going to take these characters but even then Breaking Dawn went places that I did not expect. In the end I was satisfied and I'm happy I read it. What more can one really ask for in book?

Contributing Editor Sassymonkey blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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