I read Breaking Dawn with the same crazed obsession as I read the first three Twilight novels. It was just painful to put it down. And I apologize again to my book club ladies, but there's no way I'm waiting another three weeks to post this. You can string me up by my toes if you want. Better yet, find Edward or Jacob to do it for you.
I have to hand it to Stephenie Meyer, it wasn't at all what I expected. I could just see the wedding and transformation being drawn out through the entire book, maybe not happening at all. I wasn't sure she'd really turn Bella into a vampire ever. The transformation did have to be a life or death situation. I just couldn't see Edward turning her any other way. But a baby! Yeah, didn't see that one coming. Not that there's never been a plot line where a vampire had a baby before. They did that on Buffy years ago. There it was more an issue of vampires not being able to have babies because they didn't have souls, and Angel being the exception to that, actually managed to procreate. Here, it's more an issue of vampires being physically unchanging, so a female vampire could never carry a child, and it never seemed to occur to anyone that a male vampire could get a human pregnant. More than likely, the woman would die in the process even if it were attempted. And it does pretty much kill Bella, Edward just transforms her to save her. Surprise! A half-human, half-vampire child, very interesting. I certainly hope we get to find out more about Nessie. I love that Jacob nicknamed her after the Lock Ness Monster. Too freaking funny. I just love Jacob. How can you not? Even Edward loves him. In the narration, it's his head I enjoy being in more than anyone else's.
I'm not at all disappointed that Bella ends up with Edward. I did rather expect that, despite my fervent hope for Jacob. There's just been so much demanded of Jacob, and he's gotten so little in return for it. I couldn't help but root for him. There could be no Bella and Edward without Jacob. He's been to their rescue so many times and in so many ways - protecting Bella when Edward left, fighting with the vampires to save Bella, breaking with his pack and refusing to kill Bella when she becomes pregnant, agreeing to let Bella be turned without it violating the treaty, keeping watch around the house though it pained him to be there, helping Edward keep Bella alive through the birth when there was no one else there to help. He's done everything Bella and Edward have asked of him, even though it was tearing his heart out to do it. It just didn't seem fair. No friend should have that much demanded of him. But somehow that all seems to even out a bit when Jacob imprints on Nessie. Don't know about you, but that surprised the hell out of me. First, the pregnancy was a surprise, then the whole gestational process only took a month, and Bella was expecting a boy, and the child's half-vampire and Jacob wants it dead for killing Bella. Jacob, Bella's son-in-law? Nope, just didn't see it coming, though perhaps I should have after Jacob's conversation with Quill about the two-year-old he imprinted on. Somehow it just seems fitting, in a really bizarre way. And, yes, I do see the whole Midsummer Night's Dream correlation. Who's running around the forest in love with who again? Let's sprinkle some magic fairy dust and see what happens.
It's nice to see Bella finally strong too. She's no longer the accident prone, weak human. She's physically stronger, her powers dwarf just about all others, and there's little feminists could criticize her for at this point. Edward is no longer a controlling, dominating male in her life. Now she's his equal. In fact, he's more in need of her protection than she is of his. Reminds me of the end of Pretty Woman when Richard Gere asks Julia Roberts what happens after the prince climbs the tower and rescues the princess, and she tells him the princess rescues him right back. Bella may have had to become a vampire to do it, but she's no longer weak and in need of protection. And it doesn't seem she's had to give much up in the process. She has Edward and Jacob, her daughter, her father - everything she's been dreaming of and even some things she didn't even know she wanted. She makes it seem possible that a girl can have everything, in a completely fictional vampire/shape-shifter/half-ling sort of way.