Title: Breaking Dawn
Series: The Twilight Saga (Book #4)
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Release Date: 2008
Format Read: Hardcover
“Back of Book” Summary:
When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?
To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.
Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life-first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse-seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed… forever?
My Review (February 10, 2012):
The fourth installment of the Twilight Saga took a drastic turn. Bella gets a rude awakening and is forced to grow up! This book is gripping, just like all the others. I could not put it down. I don’t think I’ve ever read 750+ pages so fast. Meyer is able to tell a multi-layered story quite well. In this tale between vampire and werewolf alliances change frequently in a world of fantasy hidden in plain sight. Beneath the surface these characters have very real emotions. Very real pain. Love, longing and lust, loss, and heartbreak. Also, very unhealthy feelings of possession and dominance.
I found myself intrigued with Leah Clearwater in this book more so than in the others, perhaps because more time was given to her situation. A broken woman forced to stay within sight of her heart breaker. She wants to leave, but it is her destiny to be a part of this pack. Free will versus destiny is a huge theme in this series. It seems the werewolves are confronted more with a pull towards their destiny, while the vampires (and Bella) are pulled towards embracing free will.
Werewolves: Several family lines of the Quileute tribe are genetically coded to transform into werewolves when a vampire threat is within their geographic territory. They cannot stop this transformation. Due to their ancestral pact, any vampire killing of humans requires violent retribution. Jacob has a very hard time with Bella’s desire for Edward. It is his blood to stop Edward from transforming her into a vampire. Also, the action of imprinting. That is destiny, not will. Because Jacob imprinted on Renesmee the entire wolf pack had to stand down and protect her. Again, not free will. They believed this to be part of their wolf pack decree and not changeable.
Vampires/Bella: Vampires are not born, they are created. Although, it may not have been their choice to turn, indeed it is their choice on how to live. The Cullen’s prided themselves on their controlled behavior. They hunted animals, not humans. They tried to live within society without exploiting humans. Contrast their behavior with that of the Volturi. Edward suffers throughout this entire saga because he is torn between taking Bella’s human life by making her a vampire (what he perceived to be monstrous) and saving her human life against her wishes with the consequence of having to watch her die in old age. Bella also had this free will decision to become a vampire.
There are definitely many philosophical discussions that can arise from this story. I think one of the biggest of those is when does love become obsession?
You could run from someone you feared, you could try to fight someone you hated. All my reactions were geared toward those kinds of killers – the monsters, the enemies. When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give your beloved, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved? (Preface, pg 1)
Breaking Dawn is very original and a great ending to the series. A plethora of interesting characters were introduced in this book that could very well become subject matter for a Twilight spin-off series. If you can get past the pop culture hoopla this series ignited to enjoy the story these books contain, I don’t think most fantasy lovers would be disappointed.
Read more Twilight Saga reviews by the Audacious Feather:
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner