After an unsuccessful first attempt to read Breaking Dawn and complete the ‘Twilight Saga’ several years ago, I decided to try again and told myself that I would do this even if it killed me. I had more luck this time, making it past the wedding (which is where I conceded defeat the last time) and ploughing on until the relief of finishing that final page meant I could relax without having such a dreaded novel hanging over my head any longer. It was a real mixed bag, but not entirely unpleasant. Let’s discuss!
Breaking Dawn was somewhat of a fifty/fifty split when it came to the parts I enjoyed and the parts I didn’t. Once Bella was turned into a vampire in the second half of the book the experience of reading was a little less of a chore. Characters discovering their powers always add interest to a story and at this point everything became so much more palatable. The vampire politics, the threat of the Volturi and the mystery of Alice and Jasper’s disappearance engaged me far more than four hundred pages of weddings and honeymoons.
My biggest issue with Breaking Dawn was definitely the dialogue because it just came across as so cheesy, melodramatic and unnatural. Someone could be delivering a big, dramatic speech or trying to be humorous, but the writing would mean that it ended up falling flat. Also, the pacing was all off; the first half of the novel was agonisingly slow; I was a third of the way through and all anyone had really done was feel miserable.
Then there are the main characters. Bella, who despite being stunningly beautiful and being about to marry her sexy vampire boyfriend, is still crippled by nauseatingly unnecessary self-esteem issues, Jacob who is whiny and annoying, and Edward who suffers from all of the angst. And of course we mustn’t forget that these three are the original cliché YA love triangle which only adds fuel to my hate-fire.
Okay, so the Twilight Saga is not the best written series by any stretch of the imagination, but neither is it the worst, at least in my experience. There are redeeming qualities, however sparse they may be. I’d probably rate it a 2.5 and only ever re-read the second half of this 700 page brick.