Monday, August 25, 2008

Breaking Dawn Follow-Up


(I know this looks really, really long but really it's just because my post section is ridiculously narrow. Okay, it's a little long.)

I've been wanting to do a follow-up Breaking Dawn review for a while now, and after reading some disturbing things tonight, I thought now was the perfect time. My Twilight cyber-pal, Lauren, has my absolute favorite Twilight blog and has become so popular that she was featured on the Twilight Lexicon website a few days ago (this is the #1 Twilight fan site, endorsed by Stephenie Meyer herself). I was so excited for her, until I heard today that she received horrible backlash from evil trolls online who decided that just dissing her love of Twilight wasn't enough, they needed to take things very, very personal. As a result, Lauren is seriously considering deleting her blog and I am brokenhearted. Don't do it, Lauren!! We love you!!

Anyway, in reading her comments from all the haters and even from her supporters (which were a-plenty), I got to thinking about my own review of the book. I wrote it pretty immediately after finishing it. I hadn't read anything online, and only talked to about 4 people about it. I sat down and wrote exactly what had been going through my mind as I read it. I don't take back anything that I said--those were my opinions as I read it, nothing will change that. But, I have read, heard and discussed things since then that have made me look at some things in a different light. So, if anybody cares at all, here is my follow-up review to Breaking Dawn.

Okay, so it seems that the biggest complaint that most people had about the story was the anticlimactic ending with the Volturi just walking away. Like I said before, I really didn't care. The Volturi to me has always been a subplot that I had to endure to get back to the Bella and Edward parts. So the whole ending scene for me was just hurry-up-and-get-over-already-so-I-can-see-how-this-ends. I didn't care at all that no one died, in fact I was
glad no one did. One of my least favorite parts in Eclipse is the demise of Victoria. Being beheaded and ripped from limb to limb and set on fire. Um, no thank you. I am not, never have been, and never will be into violence and gore, and I was dreading any deaths that may have occurred in Breaking Dawn. I just didn't want to read about it. So, the Volturi walked away. Did we really want to sit and read about a bloodbath (or venombath I guess) in detail? Not me. I was bothered by the fact that Edward said something at the end to the effect of "they'll probably come back and pick us off one by one" but oh well, we won't have to read about it. This question was one that Stephenie answered at the concert, and hearing her response made me think, "Oh, okay." She said that she is not a violent person and knew that if a fight broke out, everyone would die. She didn't want to kill off all of her beloved characters, and we wouldn't have wanted her to. She's a happy-ending kind of girl and basically, this is how she wanted it. The bottom line is, she wrote the book, she can end it however the heck she wants. Makes sense to me.

My biggest complaint was the lack of things Edward. It still is, and I've heard a lot of people defend this or explain it by saying that it's told through Bella's point of view (so were the first 3 books, and there was plenty of Edward) and that she is so sick for most of it, then a new mom and a new vampire. (This is actually Stephenie's explanation for why there isn't more about Edward as a dad.) I get that. Yes, it makes sense that Edward is not in the foreground for all of this. That's not my complaint. I'm not saying I wish that Edward was telling us about the birth, or Bella's change or any of that. I'm saying I wish the story was taken in a completely different direction (like say, no Renesmee?) that would allow Edward to be a much more integral part of the story.

I was originally torn by the fact that a third of the book is told from Jacob's perspective. While I absolutely love Jacob and his humor, and it was
so nice to get out of Bella's head for a while, it was really hard for me to have to read about such huge events that I'd been waiting forever for through Jacob's point of view. After hearing Stephenie point out how crappy the book would have been if that section had been written through Bella's point of view, I realized she was so right. How much could I have taken of Bella relaying being stuck on bed rest, cooing about her alien love child? Um, none. Someone pointed out it could have been told through Edward's point of view, not Jacob's, but that (and I can't believe I'm saying this) would have been just as painful to read. Chapter 1: I hate myself. Bella's dying and it's all my fault. Chapter 2: I am a monster, someone should really kill me. You get the drift. So really, I totally get...and appreciate...why she chose Jacob, someone who could not only lighten the mood through this depressing, serious time, but who could take us away from the scene for some of the time. She's a smart one, that Meyer chick.

Someone pointed out to me that in my last review I said "it didn't go the way I wanted it to go," but that I never actually said
how I had wanted it to go. I thought about that long and hard, and I don't know if I have an answer. I can say how I thought it would go. I thought they would get married right away, have their "honeymoon" which of course would work fine, then I thought the Volturi would swoop in and demand that Bella be changed and in order to save her life, Edward would change her. I thought we'd get a small glimpse of Bella post-change (I sort of predicted she wouldn't be the typical blood-thirsty newborn, I think a lot of us did) and then it would end. I know, not very imaginative, very predictable, but definitely in line with the way the other books were written. I guess it's safe to say that's how I wanted it to go. However, I love that Stephenie mixed it up and threw in curve balls and totally shocked us all. I just can't say I love all the curve balls we were thrown.

The most important thing I wanted to say, especially after reading the comments I mentioned previously, is I feel there's one thing I didn't make clear. I am still a Twi-hard. I am still a Twilighter. I am still the Captain of Team Edward. Disliking a lot of the book doesn't change that. It doesn't change my opinion of Stephenie in any way. I completely look up to her and revere her. She is my inspiration to become a writer. There is no direction she could have taken this book that would have made everyone happy. Like I said, this is
her world, that she created. How can any of us say what should and shouldn't happen in a world that only exists in her head? We can't. I can't. I always understood my opinion of the book was purely based on my personal, selfish reasons for loving them in the first place: Edward and his love for Bella. Sure I was upset that I didn't get what I wanted for the finale, but that doesn't mean I thought I was right and she was wrong. I knew full well I was just a little spoiled kid who didn't get what I wanted and I was throwing a fit. Stephenie could have made the characters decide to join the circus after Renesmee ran for President and I couldn't complain, because it's her prerogative.

So rock on, Sista Meyer, rock on.

Oh, and here are some other Twilight related things I wanted to link to. Here are the rest of the pictures of my Forks trip and concert, for anyone who hasn't seen them yet. And here is the coolest thing ever, an interview with Stephenie where she answers most of our Breaking Dawn questions! Check 'em out.


MichelleB said...

I love reading what you think of all the books. Make me wish I had more of a critics attitude toward books and movies. I think you are right, there is no way everyone is going to love how the book went. I will say this, it was entertaining enough for me to read again. Thanks for letting us all into your thoughts. Keep them coming!!!

debsters said...

Now you know that I haven't picked up one of these books yet. I have to tell you that I find the explinations and your dialog absolutely fascinating. I enjoy your writing, never mind Ms. Meyer.

Amy J. said...

Great follow up alicia! What happened to your poor Twilight Friend? As always you made a long post an enjoyable read!

meohmyers said...

Great post. Loved your follow-up, loved all the links. I went over to Lauren's blog for the first time and didn't notice any backlash though. Maybe I didn't read down far enough.

I can appreciate Stephenie Meyer even more now that we heard her answer those questions at the concert. Just like you said, this is HER story, HER creation, HER perogative. All I know is I'll still read anything she writes. Love her.

Lisa said...

Oh Daleesha,

Did you personalize your leave a comment thingy?

I enjoyed your post...all though it was long, no matter how narrow ;) it was entertaining from start to finish. Look at me, all reading blogs and stuff.

Alicia said...

I'm so honored, Lisa. Yes, I personalized it. It's actually easy to do. Um, yeah, still waiting for your phone call...two days later...

Kim it was the post before the most recent one on her blog, the one with like 130 comments.

Shayla said...

I always love to hear your thoughts on these books. I'm with Kim, no matter how I felt about Breaking Dawn, I love Stephenie Meyer and will read whatever she writes. I love that article from MTV, she answers a lot of the questions I had. I guess I need to go finally peruse this Lauren's blog and hear all this stuff you talk about... I'm curious about all these haters, why would anyone care that much to hurt someone else? Weird.

tharker said...

Excellent follow up. Your idea of how you saw the plot going was exactly how I saw the book playing out too. So, I was definitely surprised by the Renesmee twist.

So glad you're still Captain of Team Edward!

I just read all of the crazy on Lauren's Twilight blog today. That "anon" got pretty darn nasty! However people feel about a book, they have no right to attack someone else personally. That is just pathetic.

Jodi said...

I loved reading this Alicia! And I'm very anxious to go to the links you set up so nicely for us. You're awesome!!

JenFielding said...

Great review. I tell people I'm not a die hard fan because I don't think I am.

People: Have you read Breaking Dawn?
Me: Yes
People: Did you buy it the first day it came out?
Me: Um, yes.
People: How long did it take you to read it?
Me: Ummm...(cough) four days.
People: Not a fan huh?

p.s. I used "sista Miley" on my comment on your other blog before I read your "sista Meyer" comment. Great minds think alike.

lindsay>boo said...

Great reviews, Alicia!

Lauren said...

This was a fantastic review. I would love to feature it on my blog :)
I feel the same way about pretty much everything...miss Edward, but it was necessary with the plot line.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!