I have to admit that Breaking Dawn was my least favorite of all the Twilight books. Though, when I get caught up in a series the way I have with this one, I'm willing to overlook a great deal. Stephenie Meyer had already caught me hook, line and sink-her, so all she had to do at this point was keep me mildly entertained and I was pretty much willing to forgive her just about anything. I really enjoyed the read and was not looking for anything to criticize, so it surprised me when I finished and started fishing around a bit, that many people were very dissatisfied with Breaking Dawn. To the point where people were burning the book and making an issue out of returning it. I can't say I follow any of that. The mere fact that Meyer has instigated so much fascination with her books is quite a coup for her. To say she was under an enormous amount of pressure over the reception of this novel is a terrific understatement. I have nothing but the utmost respect and awe for what she has been able to accomplish and praise her for creating such a cult classic.
I read one person's complaint over how it could be possible for a vampire to produce sperm. Oh, so you're perfectly willing to accept the vampires and the werewolves, but not the vampire sperm? You should have checked your reality at the door, people. I thought we all knew this wasn't grounded in reality. But speaking with Curls, she brought up some criticisms which I had been willing to overlook. Meyer broke greatly with some of her character development in Breaking Dawn. She had some responsibility to be true to the characters she had developed and with some she faltered. Charlie is likely the biggest example of this. In the first three novels, Charlie was greatly concerned over Bella, but in Breaking Dawn he becomes this absentee father at first, and then this person who's all too willing to accept being disillusioned. It doesn't quite fit. Charlie knew that Bella was gravely ill, yet he never tried to see her? I would have been on the first plane to Atlanta or wherever, and I would have expected that of Charlie. He never went to the Cullen's after he was aware that she was there? Then when he does see her, he's all too willing to accept these half-truths and unexplainable occurrences, on a need-to-know basis? It just doesn't make sense. The Charlie we all got to know shouldn't have behaved that way. I can't argue with Curls on that one.
I was a bit annoyed over what happened with Leah. She's become a more and more prominent character as the novels progressed, and she played quite a large role for a portion of Breaking Dawn. Then she all but disappeared without any explanation. It seemed for a while that Meyer was going to hook Jacob and Leah together, and there's a part of me that wishes she would have. It would have been nice to see one of the main characters coming to a relationship of their own free will, one based out of respect and friendship. I wouldn't have wanted Jacob to imprint on Leah, but for the two of them to find love in mending their own broken hearts. It would have made sense, been a very different example of love and relationship from what we've seen in the Twilight books, taken care of the Jacob problem, and given Bella something to sacrifice. And Bella getting it all without having to sacrifice anything? It's a fairy tale ending sure, and maybe we shouldn't criticize Meyer over giving Bella that, and this is fantasy, so I guess why shouldn't she have it? But then, on the other hand, wasn't it all just a little to easy for Bella in Breaking Dawn? Yes, I know, she almost dies giving birth, but she's all too willing, all too happy to suffer physically. And the baby gets her exactly what she wants, her immortality and quickly. But all the tension between the characters is almost entirely missing in Breaking Dawn. Bella's already made her choice of Edward and making the transformation. She still wants Jacob around, but everyone knows it's just in this pathetic, sad puppy kind of way (yes, Polly, pun intended). The tension is just gone. There is still the Volturi and the threat they pose, but that's not the same personal tension we've known and loved throughout the Twilight novels.
And I'm a Jacob girl, so I love the large role Jacob played in Breaking Dawn. I love being inside his mind, his constant jokes and sarcasm. It sounds much like my own mind, minus the extra voices. I loved the titles of his chapters, his dumb blonde jokes. I love everything about Jacob, at least until he imprints and becomes a bit nauseating around Nessie. But I'm in the minority being a Jacob girl, most readers are ALL ABOUT EDWARD, and Breaking Dawn just didn't give Edward much play. I mean, he was there through all of it - worrying about and loving Bella, but nothing happened with him. He didn't grow, he didn't change. He already had the girl, he suffered watching her carry the baby, but that was it. I love Jacob and was thrilled that he got so much play, but even I missed Edward in Breaking Dawn. He just became this secondary character. He was just Bella's husband.
And while I liked the end of Breaking Dawn, the Cullens and friends facing down the Volturi, Curls didn't care for it much. She felt it was all too movie-esque and just not true to the reader. Perhaps. It's not something that occurred to me, and I liked the whole showdown that ended very anti-climatically. Like I said, you get me this wrapped up in a story and I'm likely to forgive just about anything. But I can see for readers that have loved the series because of the relationship between Bella and Edward, how they would feel quite let down over Breaking Dawn, because it's almost not about Bella and Edward at all. It's about Jacob and Nessi and facing down the Volturi. And maybe that's a good thing, because it seems to me Meyer set herself up nicely to continue the series, and I would love to see more Twilight novels.