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'Twilight': What does the 'Breaking Dawn' backlash bode for the movie?

August 5, 2008 | 12:54 pm

Twilight1 The word is out on "Breaking Dawn," the final book in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" saga. And it’s not all good.

Of the 1,237 reviews on this morning, 364 give it one star, and another 145 give it just two. That suggests about 42% of "Twilight's" audience was ultimately disappointed in the series ender, which gave Bella and Edward –- spoilers ahead –- their happy ending.

The majority of Amazon users labeled the following one-star critique from a reviewer named Eventide as "helpful." (It’s listed first on the book’s page):

I loved the first three books. I have always been a fan of Bella and Edward, but I liked how Meyer introduced the Jacob/Bella dynamic to show the complexity of relationships, and that love means SACRIFICE and making a CHOICE…Now I don’t know what message the author wanted to say or what she was thinking.

The second and third most "helpful" reviews also give the book one star. The latter, written by Sonja Scheffer "scrapprincess," went so far as to say:

It did not feel like Stephenie Meyer was writing the story…I honestly would have stopped reading this book except I was curious to see how much more bizarre it could get.

Here on the Los Angeles Times' Entertainment News & Buzz blog, where the comments are about 50-50 good and bad, Dawn wrote: "This was a horrible ending to a wonderful series. As I do every Monday, I took the garbage out and returned my book!" Marrisa followed up: "It really was like a crappy movie ending."

How this fan backlash might affect the upcoming movie, due out Dec. 12, is anyone’s guess. The reception at last month's Comic-Con was insane, and “Breaking Dawn” sold a big 1.3 million copies on Saturday alone, according to USA Today. The first three books also have already sold 7.5 million copies in the United States alone.

But even "Twilight" devotees are taking issue. The predominant thinking seems to be that the love story triangle of Bella, Edward and Jacob is wrapped up too early, the succeeding plotline –- about the child of Edward and Bella -– isn’t satisfying, and everything is tied up a little too neatly. (Even Bella’s lonely father is paired with a lady friend in a throwaway line near the end). 

In one of the Twilight Lexicon discussions forums -- the biggest of the "Twilight" fan sites and one endorsed by Meyer herself -- more than a third of the comments are lukewarm. A fifth are flat-out negative. "I felt like I was reading a poorly written fan-fiction," commenter takemybreathaway wrote.

Another, identified as Raccontareunabellastoria was even more dramatically affected: "My world has imploded. I'm probably being dramatic, but really. I invested my heart and soul into these books. I feel tremendously betrayed."

Thoughts? Will you still see the movie? (For the record, I'm still going to see the movie.)

-- Denise Martin

Photo: Summit Entertainment