;; cataclysmic (rusts) wrote,
;; cataclysmic

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Review + Picspam!


click to go to picspam

What can I say? I had hoped that Breaking Dawn would be a good book; that it would tie up loose ends nicely and end the Twilight saga on a high note. But a few days prior to the release, I accidentally read some spoilers, and I was mortified, to say the least. The plot seemed to be utterly bizarre and unbelievable. True, reading calls for a suspension of disbelief, but from what I read Breaking Dawn went way beyond that; to me, it was just completely ... whacked-out. Strange. Stupid, even.

I got my copy of BD on Wednesday after several days of deliberating, hoping all the time that the spoilers were untrue. Unfortunately I was sadly mistaken. Nessie, Jacob imprinting on her, Bella's shield - they were all true, and halfway through Book III I just didn't feel like finishing the book anymore.

There were moments that I did like in Breaking Dawn, however, so let's start with the positive bits. I loved the whole Jenks exchange - how the guy seemed to be positively terrified by "Mr Jasper", how Bella decided on the names "Jason Wolfe" and "Vanessa Wolfe".

I did like Book I, save for the end - I thought the pacing was tight; I also felt that the wedding scene was pulled off beautifully.

As for Book II, I loved Jacob's blonde jokes, his sarcasm, his bouts of angst, his awesomeness by walking away from the pack, his interactions with Seth and Leah. The scene with him walking around trying to find someone to imprint on was especially heartbreaking, especially considering what Jacob Black has always stood for - life, warmth, and most importantly free will. And his chapter titles are seriously FTW - normally I just skip reading Bella's chapter titles, but Jake's ones sort of remind me of a Panic! at the Disco or Fall Out Boy song title. Also, is it just me or do the Book II (i.e. Jacob's narration) chapter titles sort of reflect my reaction towards Breaking Dawn? Choice picks include:

08 Waiting for the Damn Fight to Start Already
09 Sure as Hell Didn't See That One Coming (INDEED, JAKE.)
10 Why Didn't I Just Walk Away? Oh, Right, Because I'm an Idiot.
13 Good Thing I've Got a Strong Stomach
16 Too-Much-Information Alert

Book III introduced some really kickass characters with cool powers - Garrett and Kate, for example. The ending between Edward and Bella, with Bella showing him her thoughts, was also a very sweet and powerful scene.

But now on to the bad stuff. Let me first say that after Eclipse, I found myself on Team Switz. While I honestly could not stand some of Edward's actions, I did feel that Edward and Bella should belong together. But Jacob Black also became one of my favourite characters, and the epilogue of that book made me feel so sad for him :( To me, Edward and Jacob both stood for vastly different things. Bella, in choosing to give up Jacob at the end of Eclipse, made a sacrifice and a concious choice to turn away from a normal married life with children. In any case, with Edward and Bella's supposed true love, the birth of a child would detract rather than add to their relationship - or so I felt. Plus, hadn't Meyer made it clear that vampires, as "corpses", more than anything else, could not give birth to children?

The conception of Nessie completely overturned the ideals each character stood for. I know SMeyer said before that she is a "character writer", but more than just characters make up a story. There is plot (which, in SMeyer's Twilight series, arguably has little development); there is setting (OK, I pretty much like the surreal, wet setting of Forks) and lastly there are also themes. Characters themselves embody themes.

With Nessie I felt that whatever each of the other characters stood for - and I'm not just referring to Edward and Jacob here - was turned onto their heads. Bella was always strongly opposed to the idea of marriage because of what it did to her mother Renee, but here we have her embracing in a heartbeat the idea of being a mother. Edward can be seen as a symbol of true love and eternity with just the two of them; he is also a representation of all things fixed and unchanging (marble statue, etc). But here he is surprisingly able to father a child! Does that detract from Bella's "sacrifice" or choice, somewhat? Then we have Jacob rendered into a completely unrecognisable character with his imprinting on Nessie. Even Rosalie is not spared; I've always been a fan of Rosalie but here she is such a vicious, unfeeling character.

The Twilight saga has been plagued with criticism for its weak characterization and for it propagating certain themes. Bella is commonly taken to be a "Mary Sue"; Edward is sometimes seen as a "control freak" and Jacob is viewed as a "rapist" (something I totally disagree with, but that isn't the point). Meyer's defence? She states that it isn't how she meant for her character to be interpreted. But essentially the magic about literature, unlike Science, is that there is always no concrete answer. What a reader gets from a piece of fiction, for example, is largely influenced by his own character and his own upbringing. As such, the message a reader gets from a piece of fiction may not even be what the author intended in the first place - and that is the beauty of it all. Meyer may not have intended for certain unpopular themes - such as the "unfeminist" one one giving everything up for your lover - but the fact is that it can be read that way. In writing it's not all about the writer's purpose, but the reader's response as well. I agree with some that Bella's pregnancy may trigger off a wrong message to young readers.

Given all that I've said above, why do I read Twilight, then? Apart from the somewhat awkward writing, I do like the story, cheesiness and sparkliness included, because c'mon, I'm shallow enough to appreciate hot vampires and werewolves :) I love the dialogue that SMeyer breathes into her characters, they're adorable and cute and funny. I love the escapist romance, the weaving and reinterpretation of ancient myths and legends into the plot.

But Breaking Dawn was too much for me. It deviated so much from the rest of the three books in the saga, and the whole of idea of Nessie just creeps me out, I'm sorry. The gory descriptions in Book II only serve to further my perception of her. Plus Nessie is just so perfect that she doesn't seem real.

Grade: C+

Thought I'd end off with a Robert Pattison picspam, in the hopes that the Twilight movie will not prove as disappointing as BD:

Let's start off with some pictures of Robert in Twilight.

Love this, as well as the Rain picture.

Rob in HP, because I figure that's when most of us noticed him:

Side note: this is sort of how I imagined Edward in NM, when he was in Volterra and was about to step out and ~dazzle~ in the sun.

And now for some non-Twilight/HP goodness:



Gotta love the rainbow stripes, Y/Y?

One of my favourites!

LOVE this last one.
Tags: ! public, twilight saga
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