And because two ughs are not enough, here’s one more:
Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final book in the Twilight series, was released last Friday night. If you’ve yet to read it, please note there will be spoilers here.
To revisit the previous article on the first 3 segments click here.
So anyway, some thoughts. Let’s begin, again, with UGH.
I finished it on Sunday, hating myself the entire time. I read it in the car because I never warm up before golf and hoped no one pulling up beside me would see. I left it in the car during our round and made sure to cover it up with a towel. Even as I was reading on the balcony, I angled myself so that none of the people across the street could spy the title of the book.
But still… I kept at it.
And that is the conundrum of Twilight. This is what Stephenie Meyer has created. It is so embarrassing, it fills you with so much shame, every minute I’m yelling at the woman to please f&ck off, every page provides an eye-roll moment…but you have to know.
For me it was the worst of all four, the only saving grace being that the “dazzling” was kept to a minimum compared to the first three. You know the “dazzling”, right?
When Bella looks at Edward and feels her knees buckle from under her due to the crushing weight of his beauty. At the very, very least, there’s less of that particular Rossum in this one, although unfortunately it hasn’t been eradicated entirely.
There are however other, and more violent, sources of nausea in Breaking Dawn. Nausea and also grand disappointment.
Let’s start with the conception. Ummm….sorry to be crass, but if Edward can’t produce a teardrop, how is it that he somehow has a sperm store? If he can’t cry, how come he can come?
Rosalie’s great gripe in life, or the afterlife, as my friend Laura mentioned, is that she could not have children. Female vampires cannot drop eggs. But male vampires can ejaculate? Really?
Twilight superfreak lunatics will no doubt argue (and bludgeon me with hate mail) that the whole point is fantasy and suspension of disbelief. Fair enough. But Meyer goes to great lengths to talk about the fact that Edward is NOT human. That his heart does NOT beat. It is one of his defining characteristics. So if Edward has nothing living within him, how do his tadpoles manage to swim across the bridge? How do his tadpoles manage to exist… PERIOD???
It’s basic, non? It’s basic plot logic. And this is perhaps where you have to feel a little badly for Stephenie Meyer. Because from Book 2 onwards, it feels a little forced. It feels like they were trying to turn her into The One Who Cannot Be Imitated Or Replaced. You know who she is.
Which brings us to the next question: Bella’s special gift.
We waited 3 books to find out why Bella was the exception, why Edward couldn’t read her mind, why Aros couldn’t read her mind, why Jane couldn’t torture her, why no one could exploit her. Why is Bella The Girl Who Can?
Edward was never the reason I kept reading. I don’t care for Edward. I am in the minority. I am not in love with Edward. But I was waiting for Bella’s big reveal. Bella’s big reveal would make up for the rest of it. It would be the Twilight redemption.
Unfortunately, Bella’s big reveal turned out to be a massive Whatever.
Self control? Bella is so self possessed she can shield those she loves inside her protective dome? I received an email (thank you Micol!) about this earlier in the week – about Bella’s love bubble: isn’t that kinda like a love spell? A spell that’s cast to save a son, leaving only a lightning mark above his head… isn’t it kinda like that?
We had to trudge through 4 books filled with sappy ass writing and the most cloying heroine ever (f*ck I hate Bella) only to end at an homage to The One Who Cannot Be Imitated Or Replaced?
Please if it has to be that way, if it really has to be, then perhaps the ending might be more satisfying? What’s the pointing of calling a chapter Bloodlust if nobody f&cking dies? Maybe it’s the Chinese in me. We love unhappy endings. We want no one standing at the very end. And while it goes without saying that Bella has to live and Edward has to live it doesn’t mean that EVERYONE has to live, does it?
Who cares about Irina anyway??? Who was Irina? There was no emotional investment in Irina. There was no history. There were no tears, there was no sadness, there was NOTHING. There was no loss!
On our side? We said goodbye to Dumbledore, and Sirius, and Hedwig, and Dobby (Dobby!!!), and Snape, and Fred… and so many more!
There were casualties! Heartbreaking casualties!
You’d think Meyer could have killed off a wolf or two, non?
She killed off Irina. Who???
Breaking Dawn ended with a great big bow. A happy happy bow hastily tied around a box splitting at the folds.
And still they dare compare. To The One Who Cannot Be Imitated Or Replaced.
Crucio to them!
And Crucio! to the incessant, gratuitous vanity.
Please. Make. It. Stop.
Because I can bear all the above. I can get down with the plot holes and the weak conclusion and even the happily ever after. But it’s the vanity that sends it over the top.
Bella is Stephenie Meyer. Vice versa. Bella is a plain, not extraordinary girl who manages to get an extraordinary boy to fall in love with her. Fine.
But she won’t let us forget it!
There’s Alice telling Edward WHILE BELLA IS REMAINS UNCONSCIOUS to them but can somehow hear that when she wakes up, she’s going to be dazzling. The eavesdropping ploy is one of Meyer’s favourites. Like in Eclipse when she’s “sleeping” while Jacob and Edward spend the night before the confrontation with Victoria’s crew discussing how much they love her. It’s sickening!
And then there’s Alice bringing a mirror into the room, when Bella is supposed to be thirsty, not to mention very eager to see her newborn child (!!!), to show her how staggeringly beautiful she has become.
Oh and don’t forget, there’s Edward at every turn telling Bella how charming she is because she’s so “unaware” of how charming and captivating she really is.
Finally there’s Edward near the very end of the book again telling Bella that she kicked ass on the battlefield and that the legend of ten million vampires is forever going to shine out of her goddamn ass!!!
We GET it!
She’s amazing! She’s Katie f&cking Holmes!
But seriously, it’s like that girl who needs everyone around her to tell her how pretty she is. Who constantly looks for creative ways to procure a compliment. It’s really, really sad.
And you know why?
Because it undermines the heart of the series.
If Bella’s special gift is her mind, the strength of her mind, and her sure sense of self, why the f&ck then is she so insecure???
I could go on.
But now I’m tired. And it wouldn’t be right. Because despite everything I’ve just written, there were teenagers lined up outside of bookstores on Friday night waiting to read.
And if teens are reading, how can that suck?
It doesn’t suck.
Stephenie Meyer, no matter the quality of the creation, has created a reason for young people to be excited about books. Which could very well lead to them getting excited about different books later on. Totally a corny sentiment, true.
But in this day and age, when 5 million Wii units have been sold and counting, it’s actually kinda refreshing that reading is still “cool”. Like it or not, Meyer is helping to make it cool.
And that’s cool with me. Besides, she’s a millionaire now so, really, who’s laughing in the end?
The movie. December 12th.
Twilight fever rages on.
Love all your emails. Please keep sending. Can’t reply to all but do read them all…promise.
Oh and what I was obsessed with a few weeks ago?
Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller. I almost made love to Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell and Carole King at the same time…this is how much I loved the book.
Also reading Bonk by Mary Roach. Brilliant.
LaineyBooks: Breaking Dawn