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'Twilight': A snap judgment on 'Breaking Dawn'

Bd (This is spoiler-heavy. Consider yourself warned.)

It’s virtually impossible not to draw parallels between "Breaking Dawn," the concluding installment in the “Twilight” series, and the final “Harry Potter” book. Both involve revolve around mythic worlds and young, ill-prepared protagonists headed toward a supernatural showdown between good and evil. 

The problem is Stephenie Meyer is no J.K. Rowling. We who’ve enjoyed the work of both authors have known this since we picked up “Twilight.” (I like Edward too, but there’s only so many times I can read how “beautiful,” “perfect” and “dazzling” he is.) But with these final chapters, in which both authors really swung for the epic, Meyer’s bunted.

Things looked promising at first. The pace is swift and the curve balls surprising and frequent: Bella and Edward finally get busy, we get inside Jacob’s head, Bella joins the Cullens in immortality, Jacob finds his mate.

But all the while, a larger story arc is missing. The love triangle is, sadly, summarily dealt with, and once the romance is over we’re left only with Edward and Bella’s child Renesmee -- even the name, well, it’s no Hermione is it -- and all the conflicts she so quickly and disappointingly resolves. Edward versus Jacob? Over and done with. Vampires versus werewolves? One big happy family. Bella being a ravenous newborn? She’s not going to eat her kid!

So what to when you’ve written yourself into a corner? Meyer is forced to more or less start over and she spends the second half of “Breaking Dawn” going for outright thriller. The second half of the book singularly involves the mystery of Renesmee and shielding her from the threat of the Volturi, an enemy initially so full of literary potential. Bella, Jacob, Edward and the rest of the “Twilight” characters become little more than Renesmee’s anxious protectors. 

Bogged down in the new, too convenient mythology -- Bella’s new power is the only one that will matter -- the book winds up faltering under its own weighty aspirations. Bella’s covert operation, the additions to the Cullen camp, the unique powers of the new vampires are explained so thoroughly yet serve so little dramatic effect that “Breaking Dawn” could easily have trimmed off 200 pages and reached the same anticlimactic ending. What’s worse, the new guys are there merely to populate the side of good for a battle that -- the big spoiler -- never happens. That's right. No blood shed. No deaths of loved ones to kill readers in the gripping way Rowling did in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

At least when you get to page 735 -- where you’ll find the resolution neatly tied up -- it’s more a confirmation of what you saw coming rather than simply a letdown. And as for the final scene, Meyer writes this one like she's already imagined it on the big screen, with the swelling of sappy love song and a fade to black.

We would have much preferred the whole thing to end in book three, "Eclipse," with yes, some happiness for Bella, but also some angst, some heartbreak, and a dark, ominous future looming.

-- Denise Martin

Related:

'Twilight' video: Jacob and Edward fans sound off

'Twilight': Scenes from the 'Breaking Dawn' release party

 
Comments () | Archives (291)

Wait, did you say we? I hope you dont feel that you are speaking for all the 'Twilight' fans?
Because I, along with alot of people I know hope that the series does not end with 'Breaking Dawn'

First, let me make this very clear: I am a fourteen year old girl and in the exact demographic for this series. I'm an enormous fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, all that stuff. So, needless to say, I really do like this story.

However...

I like the story. That's it. Only the story. Everything else about this series makes me want to pull my hair out and scream. Let's take a look, shall we?

1. Bella is a simpering moron. Sorry, people, but it's a fact. She is completely incapable of any individual thought other then, "ZOMG!! My darling, sweet, delicious boyfriend SPARKLES!!! Yay!". Please. She is completely willing to throw away her entire life for a boy who, quite frankely, is on a whole different supernatural plane than her and for a baby who was, hmm, oh, right, KILLING HER. Femenists, beware...

2. I love Edward. He's one of the reasons I can stand this series. But, c'mon, a missle-proof car? What the hell? He seems to have no faith in Bella being able to take care of herself (Which, I admit, he has a good reason for. She can't.) and treats her like a five-year old. Not to mention, he's kind of a stalker. Scratch that, he's TOTALLY a stalker.

3. Jacob. What can I say about him. Loved him in Twilight, loved him in New Moon, wanted to rip him apart in Eclipse, and by Breaking Dawn I was just fed up. His priorities are so amazingly screwed up it ain't even funny. First, he falls in love with Bella (Um, taken), then, he falls in love with HER DAUGHTER (Um, who's kind of an infant). Stephanie Meyer seems to have no clue on how to write about love, what with the obscure and...well, just plain dumb love triangles and the blatant peodophiles running amok.

4. Stephanie Meyer's writing is horrible. Her characters are wooden caricatures of what could be people, and the dialogue is just plain TERRIBLE. What's worse, critics continuously insist on comparing her to J.K. Rowling, which makes me scream out in frustration every time I read something like that. Rowling's books have actual DEPTH, with complicated, twisting plots and characters so real you half expect them to be standing in front of you when you put the book down. And yet, Meyer continues to copy ideas out of Harry Potter, what with her encyclopedia she's trying to market and her insistance on making Breaking Dawn into two movies. It's disgusting.

Wow...that was quite a rant, wasn't it? :D Ah, well. I think you get my point, anyway. Don't get me wrong, I really do love the Twilight series, it's just I absolutely despise thema the same time. Kinda funny how that works.

i am not agreeing.
one of the things i didnt like was that she had some of the story about jacob.
well isnt it about bella & edward?! not jacob. yeah sure he is a big character in the book but srsly.

what i did like is where Edward wished Charlie was right about her being pregnant. He said he didnt want to take her options of being a mother or not. Woop Hoopy' Doo. Edward gets Bella pregnant. So they both become parents.

in my opipion i did find it actaully very interesting, though.

i mean this is a love story. not a horror story. yeah it does have some-what action.
you guys act like you want the cullens to be left on short. what do you want? edward to die?
trust me if edward did die, i am 99% sure twilight would lose half of its fanbase.

oh, whoever said that volturi just left for no reason. it was because jane was scared of bella.
if you just read the book more carefully, it will make more sense.

it doesnt matter if tanya ever found someone she loved. she isnt even in the story till breaking dawn. they talk about the danli clan, but they show no part of the story till breaking dawn.

i loved how meyer put in the fact that bella got pregnant. how edward becomes a father, bella becomes a mother.

if i could tell meyer to rewrite breaking dawn i would, it would be only for one reason though to take the part two section out. Its about Bella & Edward; not jacob. jacob gives me no mind of peace. but i dont care. you know why? it makes the story just as interesting.

if you cant accept the fact that breaking dawn is well written & is good stop calling yourself a "Twilighters" because its welll known your not.

TEAM EDWARD!

Oh, this is great. Thank you, Denise Martin! I love that. "Stephanie Meyer is no JK Rowling. She bunted. No home run." I LOVE that, I practically cried when I read it.
Stephanie Meyer has her own talent, but her way is mildy boring. The books themselves are plain and borish. Only the dialogue gives them a spark.
Girls: Yes, all the romance and yada yada yada. My school is brainwashed by the Twilight series, so I read the whole series to find out why everyone was so hooked and I was disappointed. The books are in a way stuck up and there is no hooker, not even one. (For me.) I think no one actually read Twilight until they pronounced that a movie will be made of it so everyone thought "Oh, maybe I'll read it and see if I should watch the movie!" And found out it was good. Okay, good for you.

SM is no JKR. She will never be. I don't care if you compare--JKR deserves that praise. Practically everyone in the world (almost) knows the name 'Harry Potter' while SM is stuck with about twenty countries that aren't so fanatic about them.

JKR is the best writer there ever is (after the classic writers of course--like Shakespreare and Dickens and Austen--people like that--but she'll lose to them only by a little bit) and will be unless someone knocks her off her high horse, which I doubt is going to happen for at least a century.

All in all, SM and JKR are two different people, and even though I would love to say "I hate your books!" right in front of SM's face, I will think that to myself and say, "Let them read what they will."
Free Country, right?

Breaking Dawn is the perfect ending for the Twilight series. It give finalization to everything, gives us the happy ending we were all hoping for and veered us away from the open-ending kind which I know would make us want to strangle meyer for good. hehe
Every perfect scene is well.. just perfect. So why not continue the perfection up until the happy ending eh? ~.^

TWILIGHT isn't HARRY POTTER.
so STOP comparing them.

And the first word used to describe the saga is "ROMANTIC Thriller"
ROMANTIC.

therefore, nobody HAS to die.

Personally, I think that Harry Potter fans and J.K. Rowling and the actors, etc. are all just JEALOUS. Of what, might you ask? The mere fact that Twilight has become a movie so quickly, whereas Harry Potter took a few books to get popular seems to seriously disturb them. Honestly, I'd have to say that -although I love Harry Potter and all- Twilight trumps J.K. Rowling and all things Harry Potter! Speak for YOURSELF when saying that "we" would have preferred that Twilight end at Eclipse, mongrel.

I thought Breaking Dawn was a wonderful ending to the Twilight saga. In fact, all the books were amazing. Stephanie Meyer does a great job describing all of the ways Edward and Bella look and act. Its an overpowering feeling that ones mind has to set on to comprehend the invigorating love these two have for each other. They are destine for each other and nobody on this earth can say they aren't. When Renesmee was born, I automatically fell in love with her. She is the key point in Bella and Edward's lives now. I love the idea of her having the opposite power of her parents. The fact that Jacob left an imprint on her was awkward, but that's how it is. The Cullen family is now and forever the perfect/imperfect family, but they have the rest of forever to make it perfect.

Okay, the people saying it will be "debated forever whether Twilight or Harry Potter" is best? ARE INSANE!!! Sorry, but as a 25 year old female who's been reading almost daily since I was 6 years old, to hear someone say that is just... bizarre. And proves that they don't really do a great deal of reading.

Harry Potter is a THOUSAND times better than ANY of the Twilight books. In six years, no one is going to be talking about Twilight, except maybe if they continue to make movies. Then I give it 10 years. Not that Twilight is bad, of course, I liked the first 3 - it's just not even remotely in the same category. So, please, please, PLEASE stop comparing - because I promise you, Harry Potter is going to win in the end. It's not even a question. One is a hit in AMERICA. And one is a hit world-wide. Think about that before you say that it's DEBATABLE which is better.

I really must agree with some of the earlier commenters. I don't think that Twilight should be compared to any of the Harry Potter Books. Stephenie Meyers is not J.K Rowling. She is who she is. She obviously writes from her heart and own mind. Proof of this is in her work and most apparently on her website. I'm an avid Harry Potter fan and an new but avid Twilight saga fan. I can see where you see the similarities between both series but seriously? Once some makes a hit book must all other hit authors be compared to the first.

Reading most of the comments, I'm glad I'm not alone as I read the book and became disappointed. And the thing is it was starting out so great!! The wedding, the honeymoon, but then it fell for me. I think the book could've been divided, too much was going on and it was rushed through. I think the movie will be better since Meyer admitted herself it was a lot to fit in a film. So I'll se the movie, and I hope I'll enjoy it.

yeah i have read ALL the books and they are the best i luv edward bella jacob well.. alll the characters i will read more of the twilight sagas if the come out i will hahah well i agree they shouldent be comparing twilight and harry potter well thats it keep it up!!!

I've always knows that twilight was superficial...an infatuation...5-10 years from now, people won't even remeber it...harry potter on the other hand is slated to sit beside the classics. I agree that they are different hence one should not compare...perhaps the promoters of twilight should have thought of the ramifications first before spouting out bogus claims that twilight is the new harry potter =P

The reason why HP is destined to be a classic is because there has been no story like it before...sure, there was narnia and lord of the rings, but in actuality, Rowling was able to create a world that co-exist with our own yet with its own history that date back thousands of years...short of creating another language like tolkien did, rowling pretty much created her own universe that will continue to fascinate generations of readers 10,15, 50 and more years to come. That is what I think is going to work against Meyer. She created a world of Vampires and Werewolves...but then again, and if I may say so, better writers in the person of Anne Rice and even Laurell Hamilton have already staked claim. Twilight, whether rabid fanatics would admit it or not, is just another Vampire story that has been romanticized.

Now that both series are over, we are left with a lot of questions unanswered. Yet at the heart of it, Twilight was Bella and Edward's LOVE STORY. For many, it was enough that they end up with a happily ever after. That is not the same for Harry Potter because even though Rowling put a final closure by writing that 19 years later epilogue...readers are still left wondering not just about the principal characters themselves but even the very wizarding world they live in. And the being the great tease that she is...Rowling allowed us a glimpse of the next generation of wizards and witches that even though we barely know them, have already wormed their ways into our hearts. That's what differentiate Jo from Stephenie...even in her cruelty, Rowling draw us like moths to a flame. :)

Denise Martin
i totally disagree with you
the last book was amazing.
we shoeld bella and edward go through so much more pain a loose everything.
then that would make it another cliche book. renesmee is a beautiful name, i think her whole name is beautiful. bella loves her family very much. people these days alwasy want more blood,guts,sex,etc.... and it gets so boring doing the same ol' same ol.
bella and edward get their happy ending and get recieve much more.
a beautiful baby girl.
a part of edward always wanted bella to grow old and have children to live out the normal human life as much as possible. he never he could never give her a family, even for himself. it was a surprising miracle, and i loved the book.

THANK YOU. I am so glad someone finally said that Meyer's writing cannot compare to J.K. Rowling's. The Twilight books are all pretty much the same in regards to plot. The climax is always resolved the same way and it ends the same way. Harry Potter at least had a different conflict and story for each book. And it was far more complicated in terms of literary elements, having actual symbolism and foreshadowing that happened books before. Not only that, but Rowling invented her own world with her series, very few authors have been able to do that. Meyer put vampires and werewolves in the real world, Rowling invented the wizarding world so many of us know of.
Breaking Dawn was a huge disappointment. This series already significantly lacks reality, but the ending and the supposed conflict was too much. I could not stand it. Everything was tied up badly, unlike the last Harry Potter book. Meyer may not enjoy bloodshed, but she wrote a story that basically had no conflict, just rising and falling action, and there was not much action to begin with. I can not understand how anyone could like it.

Harry has been my life for many years. Just ask the man I live with. Its insane. And i never thought that I would love anything as much as I love Harry. But I realy do love Twilight with an excitment I haven't had over Harry in some time. But I see very little in the way of them being similar. Thats al everyone talks about. And let me tell you, I know almost everything you can know about Harry. And very little is the same to me besides that it is pretend. Jacob is a shape0shifter correct? not a Child of the moon like Remus. Harry= abusive family. bella=loving family. Harry over all has very little romance and that iswhat Twilight is all about and thats why I love it! I am sorry but its a totally differnt type of story. That are not ment to be the same. Just like all stories if you look hard enough you can make it seem like they are the same (star wars and LotR) but you have to look at it for what it is. And love it for what it is. Harry had an AWFUL ending! I mean really. Bt that doesn't change the magic of what it is and the same goes for the Twilight saga and BD.Love it for what it is instead of wanting more.

I enjoyed both the HP and Twilight series, but I think I like Breaking Dawn better as a final book. I've yet to reread Deathly Hallows, or any of the rest of HP, since it came out. It was good enough, but GOF is still my favorite of the HP. Breaking Dawn is seriously my favorite of the SM series. Some people say it was too happy, but I liked that. I'm 26, so well out of the whole teen angst thing and Bella gets on my nerves through most of the books. I've been listening to them in the car mostly and sometimes I just want to tell Bella to 'shut up'. Not so much in BD though. After she became a vampire, she did change a bit and I found her actually likeable as a person. Who knew THAT was possible? I was a little disapointed by the lack of battle at the end, but I can see that it was the best possible resolution.After all, the Volturi rule the vampires and getting rid of them would leave a serious vacuum of power and who would fill it? I also loved when the pregnancy was first introduced and Bella called it the little nudger, I think that was one of the first times Bella did, thought, or said anything even bordering on sweet in the entire series. That was the begining of my loss of dislike for her. Renesme is a little too perfect though and a little more conflict in the last half might have been nice. Oh well, after reading/listening to this last one, I do want to go back listen to the first 3 again. Maybe next week.

Oh my god!!!!! I absolutly without question LOVE the twilight saga! I am in love with Edward Cullen and I love Bella! All of the Cullens are so cool...I love them! Team EDWARD!!!!! Whoo! I love you Edward Cullen!

it was crappy,what a waste of time,harry potter is wayy bettter.!fan of 3 books,but seiously,crapp!

omg! i think that this series is soo good.. and yes im a teenager who is in love with edward but i mean seriously people.. there are soo may people out there who are trashing these books!! they are great! if u dont like them then put the book down and walk away!! its not that hard!! what is soo wrong with a happy ending???? I read the harry potter books and yea they were good and i just finished the twilight series and they were great too! Rowling and Meyers are two completely different writers with two different opinions! get over it!!!i hope she wirtes more! they are so good and i love the suspense of them.

breaking dawn wasnt the best i liked it but the last two stories just kinda drug on and on... but i lved them all the same. for those of you people who are like "why didnt someone die??" or "what the hell was with edward and bella having a kid?" you are entitled to ur own opinions but stop trashing stephanie meyer for her thoughts on how to write a love story!! these are great books that drew me in form the start.. get over urselfs and tell ur nasty opinions to people who care.

This article just summarized exactly what I was thinking but couldn't find the words. The seeming open-ended conclusion for Eclipse is apt as it is in line with the series' atmosphere of self control. "It adds to the drama." But with society's penchant for self gratification, the fourth book came about. There's no more tension.

I wouldn't be surprised if I'd see a series on the life of little Renesme.

Since Edward is easily the most interesting character, Midnight Sun will be the most intense book. From reading the first chapter, it is clear that this book should be read right after or even before Twilight. It explains so much and makes Twilight even better.

Plus, why let some evil schmuck who betrayed the author, stop her? She should write the book and it should and will "dazzle", just as Edward does. Why make the fans and ultimately her pocketbook suffer because she was betrayed? Who hasn't been? Ignore the traitor. Give them no power in your life, Ms. Meyer. Success is, after all, the best revenge.

Ok first of all your just a lazy low life that has nothing better to do then criticize people for money. You just want to create an up rise among fans just to get attention and maybe 7 minutes "fame" all just to get people to either stop reading or to get people to change their minds on the book. Ii would HATE to be you!
second of all STOP comparing Twilight to Harry Potter!! they are both two completely different things!!
Lastly, I for one very much liked the book.i thought it as wonderful book full of breath taking action and undying love with a hint of humor. she did an excellent job describing the hardships Edward and Bella faced, and of course the chance of pregnancy that a lot of teens go through putting a realistic twist on the story.It seems that you are rather sadistic, uncaring and unpassionate considering the fact that you want people to suffer just for your brief enjoyment. Usually i would welcome this form of unkindness but since you have insulted the one of the most passionate books i have ever read i unpassionate that you are just like every other human selfish, unkind, robot, ignorant being.

OK, now, I am sadd to say this: i have not yet read breaking dawn. I just have to wait till christmas to get it, an I couln't help myself:D

Now, this is my opinion of the twilight saga:

Wow.

Of course, most of my love is probably due to the fact that I wish I could be Bella, but still, Stephenie Meyer is a wonderful writer who makes you feel like the main character.

You people are making me sick, though! It's as if you're saying that the book is absolutely horrible and is just a bunch of crazy stuff happening wthout any good of the her writing coming into it! That was a pretty crazy sentence though, wasn't it...?
OK, anyways, I can't wrap my mind around Bella being pregnant. I agree with a lot of the people here: How could Edward make her.. you know! He doesn't have blood or anything, so I don't see how he could possibly have.. well, sperm! If Stephenie was going to try and say that Edward can makke Bella pregnant, then that's just crazy! And how eerybody is describing renesmee..(Nessie) it's making her seem like a creepy looking overgrown one year old. I just can't imagine it! Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait to read the book, won't I?

AND, YES, HARRY POTTER IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! That doesn't mean that it should be compared to every book that is slightly like it!

Everyone is dissapointed about the ending but maybe Meyer is foreshadowing a bigger battle to come. On an interview she said Bella is done telling HER stroy but what about all the other characters? This book is the best of of all of them and I hope she writes more

 
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