Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer

Spoilers. Many. Nothing but spoilers.

Breaking Dawn is an extravagant symphony of screwed-up sexuality and dysfunction. (Enjoyable because of the funny, loathsome because of all the people who think it’s romantic.) I had to stop about every twenty pages and update my sister, who, lucky duck, was the only one home, and we would have a long moan about how insane this book was, and how dismayed we were that people were all, Oo, she’s the next Harry Potter and – still less forgivable – Oo, she’s the next Buffy. Next Buffy. HA. When people are dysfunctional on Buffy, they know they’re dysfunctional. Even Spike – seriously, even Spike – had the grace to be ashamed of himself when Buffy caught him with the Buffy robot. Whereas Edward’s totally fine offering sick pregnant Bella to Jacob for the purposes of getting her preggers with Jacob’s baby instead, so that she won’t view Killer Vamp Baby as Her Only Chance Baby and will agree to abort it like Edward wants her to. Jacob, who has evidently not read the story of Hagar and Ishmael, is sort of up for it even though he knows it will destroy him emotionally. Again with the healthy relationships: because true love is all about ignoring everything you need and dissolving all your boundaries to make the other person happy. Sure, Bella doesn’t agree to this plan, but she also doesn’t say anything to Edward about how incredibly insulting this offer was to her, him, Jacob, and the baby that’s busy breaking her ribs. On account of how nobody in this book sets any boundaries, ever. Bella can’t even tell Edward that she doesn’t want the baby aborted; they don’t even have the conversation until Rosalie’s there to advocate for her.

Ahem.

I didn’t mean to get into that quite so thoroughly. I was going to start by making fun of how Edward won’t have sex with Bella after the first time because she’s all covered in bruises (teehee) and how she’s just so irresistible that she seduces him with her beautifulness and they break things. From there I was going to segue into how completely irritated I am by Stephenie Meyer’s female characters, who are all impossibly irritating, and how they would offend me if it weren’t for the fact that her male characters are just as bad. I was also going to mock vampire & werewolf science – cause, really? We’re going there with it? Talking about chromosomes? Vampires and werewolves just need chromosomes to tip them into believability?

But the best part of this book, for me, is the bit where Jacob imprints on the baby. Her name’s Renesmee, by the way. It’s far too easy to mock that name, so I’m not going to do it. You can mock it yourself. I can’t even be bothered. I’m too distracted by the fact that Jacob imprints on the infant daughter of the girl he’s in love with. Just in case you haven’t been reading these books, that means that he’s in total love with her forever and will mate with her someday (“her” being the DAY-OLD INFANT). There’s this really creepy scene where Bella wants to see the baby, and Jacob’s all reluctant to let her, and they have to growl at him to make him let Bella see her own baby. I don’t know – I get that it’s all in the context, and Bella’s a newborn vampire and might eat the baby, but I found that scene really disturbing. Jasper and Emmett and Jacob are all lined up in a row to stop Bella from seeing the baby.

But whatever, whatever, whatever, that all pales into insignificance next to the fact that Renesmee (really?) is going to grow up being groomed to marry Jacob and produce his little werewolf spawn. And all through her life as she’s growing up, everyone will be all, Here’s your future husband, little Renesmee (really?) From her infancy. Ick. She’s like those FLDS girls married to guys with like six wives, who won’t meet your eyes and mumble things while they look down, and ever since they were teensy little tots they’ve been raised to marry these guys and produce many, many children.

That’s not even mentioning how alarming it is that Jacob transfers his affections Woody-Allen-like to the daughter of the girl he used to be in love with. This whole imprinting-on-babies thing is so very deeply disturbing and cannot be made okay no matter how nice Jacob and Quil are to baby Renesmee (I feel like the MST3K gang felt about Grignr) and baby Claire. And it’s just made creepier because Jacob used to spend all his time picturing Bella naked but now doesn’t care about her at all because her day-old daughter has replaced Bella in his heart. When I try to explain my unhappiness at this development, I only make little babbling noises of disgust and despair and dismay, so I’ll leave this topic.

And then there’s all this build-up to the Hugest Battle Ever with the Volturi, and the last third of the book is all building up to this mighty battle but then! somehow! fortunately! it gets cancelled because they’re all like, Let’s hug it out, bitches. And also because Bella is Mighty Shield Girl (yes, she finally gets to do something – exciting, eh?) And everyone lives happily ever after, with lots of S.A. all around and many swoony kisses.

Go Fug Yourself, a website I completely adore, had a post about the Twilight movie and how entirely unappealing Cedric Diggory looks as Edward, while Bella looks all heavy-lidded and has an apple. And they (the Fug Girls, not Edward and Bella) said they missed Buffy because Buffy would have made a snide remark about Edward’s chest pubes and then staked his ass instead of fondling produce. I always think of that when I am reading Stephenie Meyer. How happy I would be if Buffy could indeed show up and stake Edward. Buffy could totally take the Cullens. It would be beautiful and she and the Scoobies could call everybody on how ridiculously badly they handle everything all the time and then when they had finished bawling them out for being imbeciles they could stake them and it would be amazing

can’t continue review

lost in joyous reverie

  • amen.
    :))

  • Aaaaargh! I can’t type anything else I’m too busy trying to laugh and hurl at the same time.

  • Sally

    Okay. I think you are pretty weird for not enjoying the Stephenie Meyer books. The reason she adds things like Chromosomes, is she wants to get your attention. Is that such a bad thing as you think it is? no. Out of the most definitions to books you’ve read most of it is NEGATIVE negative, negative. I personally think is overpowered the Harry Potter books, and Who gives a crap about Buffy. seriously, i think you had a horrible thinking of this book. if you think its that bad, why did you read it.

  • ^^ ??? So this book is really trying to convince more girls to pursue careers in Science?

  • We have something else to ponder! The Guardian blog linked to a post in which a reader, who likes the books a bit more than you Jenny, argues that they have racist themes.

    http://alisavaldesrodriguez.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html#3554407638079814097

    After the Wiki plot description of Breaking Dawn pretty much nothing could phase me about the books’ plot. What I’m shocked about is that, contrary to the “harmless trashy novel” image I thought the books had there is an equally strong meme among both print reviewers and fans that the series is good “squeaky clean” fun for little girls. I know all hell broke loose plot wise in the latest book (there’s sex now!) but…I heard nothing about the book before that implied it was Little Women/Anne of Green Gables (or something) for the modern day tween set.

    Seriously? Seriously.

    (Funniest bit in the post was where the blogger claimed that she saw Meyer’s faith live, direct and in-action (!)…mostly because she refused a cup of coffee. HA! We don’t ask much these days.)

  • jennysbooks

    Clever imani, with the finding of articles all the time!

    I can see the racism thing with Laurent – it didn’t strike me before because I was skimming through the book very swiftly and ignoring many things. Including, apparently, the fact that Laurent was black. Also didn’t know Stephenie Meyer was Mormon until I’d finished the first three books, so I didn’t even think about the Mormons & American Indians issue. Interesting.

    However, I don’t think it’s insidious propaganda. I don’t think any of it is. Stephenie Meyer really doesn’t strike me as self-aware enough for racist OR sexist propaganda. Creepiest thing about these books: I read an interview with her where the interviewer asked if she had an Edward in her life, and she said, “No – I wish! I’ve only had normal human romances.”

    Ugh. That makes me shudder every time I think about it. So, so creepy. At least when Dorothy Sayers was obsessed with her protagonist, he was a feminist. (A crybaby feminist, but hey, that time he taught Harriet to fight instead of trying to defend her, that bought him a lot of leeway in my book.)

  • Ha ha ha…wow. That’s…you know I may read those Twilight books after all just so I can sample the madness from such a weird author. “I’ve only had normal human romances!” Oh, the pity. 🙁

    For further entertainment try this Twilight Trailer Spoof which made me giggle hysterically.

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