And I’m done. Eight days after I started Twilight,and over 2,600 pages later I’ve completed the four novels and the novella. First gut response: it’s not as bad as I thought it would be and I actually enjoyed myself as I read it. There is a major caveat, but that’ll come later. I’m glad I read them and now know what everyone was in such a fuss about a few years ago. I still prefer Harry Potter, but this was a fun side road.
I mentioned my caveat above and that’s the first thing I want to talk about. Meyer is an excellent story-teller and she definitely found small details to expand into a grand story. That in mind, her writing in the first novels left much to be desired. I mentioned it in Twilight and I only bring it up here because I’m torn between whether it was the writing or Bella’s character that caused me to temper my enthusiasm for the books. I know for that first book it was definitely both, but in the last book it was most certainly neither. In the three years it took her to write and publish the four novels (and even the extra two years to the release of the novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner) Meyer’s writing and characterization improved 10 fold.
The reason I bring this up again, is because I read the novella before I read Breaking Dawn and got a glimpse of what Meyer could do. So when I started this one I was excited to see she switched perspective between Bella and Jacob within this novel. It gave me a bit more reason to speed through the first section, but it wasn’t necessary. As Bella became even more self-aware, after all this is her story, she became somewhat more relatable and palatable. The switch in perspective also allowed for great observations on Bella’s character,
“Sickening. He was right—she was beating herself up about hurting his feelings. The girl was a classic martyr. She’d totally been born in the wrong century. She should have lived back when she could have gotten herself fed to some lions for a good cause.” (185)
And I was glad to see Meyer (and her other characters) was just as frustrated as the rest of us at how self-centered this one woman could be. But with that said, once she made the change I was fascinated at how quickly she evolved into a likable character and it just made me want to keep reading.
My prediction for where the novel was going was correct. Because I already knew about Renesmee, I had a very good idea of what the Volturi would do, but I was not 100% correct when it came to what happened and how things happened which is always nice. This answers back to Bella’s powers expanding and her growth as a person.
Meyer probably won me over with her minor characters starting in Eclipse. The other shape-changers (not werewolves, what?!) and the other vampires in the Volturi really struck a chord with me. Add in the new vampires, Carlisle’s friends, and the additional wolves and I was sold. I’m telling you a mediocre book (or series) can be made with excellently written and identifiable minor characters! What I wouldn’t give to learn more about all of them!
Recommendation: I would actually recommend the series with the caveat not to judge it by Meyer’s writing in the first novel AND if at all possible to focus solely on the overarching story (as much as you know as you read it).
Opening Line: “I’d had more than my fair share of near-death experiences; it wasn’t something you ever really got used to.”
Closing Line: “And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever.” (Whited out.)
Additional Quotes from Breaking Dawn
“Early marriage was higher up on her blacklist than boiling live puppies.” (15)
“So many different kinds of love, harmonious in this one moment. It seemed a very hopeful picture to me.” (72)
“How did people do this—swallow all their fears and trust someone else so implicitly with every imperfection and fear they had—with less than the absolute commitment Edward had given me? If it weren’t Edward out there, if I didn’t know in every cell of my body that he loved me as much as I loved him—unconditionally and irrevocably and, to be honest, irrationally—I’d never be able to get up off this floor” (81)
“Fire and ice, somehow existing together without destroying each other. More proof that I belonged with him.” (85)
“‘Did you know that “I told you so” has a brother Jacob?’ she asked, cutting me off. ‘His name is “Shut the hell up.”‘” (186)
“I had found my true place in the world, the place I fit, the placeI shined.” (522)
“Say what you want, I still thank Dracula One and Dracula Two are creep-tacular.” (629)
“Edward and I had not had a last grand scene of farewell, nor did I plan one.To speak the word was to make it final. It would be the same as typing the words The End on the last page of a manuscript. So we did not say our goodbyes, and we stayed very close to each other, always touching. Whatever end found us, it would not find us separated.” (672)