I originally posted this review on LibraryThing for their review contest, the official results of which have yet to be posted.
Update: I won the review contest. Thanks to anyone who voted for me!
I was never sure what it was about this series that drew me in. I read Twilight somewhat unwillingly and had mixed reactions to it as well as New Moon and Eclipse, though each one did seem to get a little better; a little more grounded in real emotion. To this point I hadn't found anything particularly literary about the Twilight Saga, it was more the hidden 12-year-old girl inside of me that loved the books, the more analytical adult in me was horrified throughout much of the books. Now I know Stephenie Meyer was building up to something. Something amazing.
Breaking Dawn is divided into three books and, unlike so many books in this format, each really could be a different book. One of these books is told from Jacob's perspective, much like the epilogue at the end of Eclipse, which was a particularly fascinating move on the part of Meyer. At first it was somewhat jarring to realize I was about to read 200+ pages in a different voice than Bella's, which I had become so used to, but it ended up being my favorite section of the book. It was a genius move on Meyer's part, had we been trapped reading the events Jacob chronicles for us from Bella's point of view, it certainly would have seemed like more of the same. Getting a new and unique perspective on things at a crucial plot turn left the book feeling fresh and helped to reinvigorate me for the end.
As to plot, there's not much that can be said that would not end up spoiling something important. Impressively, all the questions I had before beginning, were answered by the end, as well as some questions I didn't know I should be asking. Many of the plot twists felt unique this time, something different than the usual vampire story or love triangle. By the middle of the book, some relationships had changed in such a drastic way, I was ravenous to see how it would all turn out.
If you have been avoiding this series or tried it and put it away disappointed, I would encourage you to give it another shot. The path to reach Breaking Dawn was at times tedious, and at times frustrating, but having reached the end of Bella's story, I'm glad I gave it the time.
READ Carefully, Book Lovers by Joan Baum
2 weeks ago