Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Breaking Dawn

I hesitate to write anything specific about Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn because I don’t want to risk spoiling the book for others (though surely if you are going to read it, you’ve done so by now). As such, I will just make general observations.

In the last year, some of my hatred has faded, and I no longer feel so passionately vehement in my dislike of Meyer’s series. That is not to say that Meyer has improved as a writer, she has not, or that the series has improved, it has not. I guess I just don’t have the energy to fight against the phenom anymore.

Breaking Dawn is divided into three parts, and Meyer once again falls into the trap of simply writing too much (and having editors too weak to help her cut out the fat)—the book weighs in at around 750 pages.

If Meyer had ended Dawn after part two, I would have celebrated her achievement—or at least improvement—as a writer. If she had stopped, she would have succeeded in ending the series on a high note. The final scene in the section satisfactorily (although disturbingly) ties up the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob.

Unfortunately, Meyer apparently couldn’t stop herself. The final section, which comprises half the novel, is a resounding failure. It is bursting with tedious details about clothing, furniture, and “hunting” and oodles of underdeveloped characters that I found impossible to either care about or keep track of.

In theory, part three features the final conflict, but I have never read such an anti-climactic climax in my entire life. Meyer has always struggled with action sequences, and this time it’s as if she didn’t even have the strength to attempt it.

Meyer does have the strength to write about sex. And the book is oozing with it. Although she restrains herself enough to spare us from graphic descriptions, she does an even bigger disservice to her young readers. Meyer completely idealizes and glorifies sex. I am not an expert on the topic, but I envision millions of little girls who are going to be sorely disappointed when they discover that sex (particularly teen sex) is not instantly and mind-numbingly satisfying.

Wow, I guess I do still feel passionately about this book. Although Dawn is supposedly the last entry in the series, Meyer strongly implies she has at least one more book left in her. So I guess that means our one-sided rivalry lives on.


notaconnoisseur said...

I remember telling a group of women and young women that the biggest lie out there is that sex is wonderful without having to build a relationahip and work at it. I don't think they appreciated my comment, but I still think it is true. Shame on Meyer for pertetuating the myth. You would think that she would know better.

Wanna-Be Lit said...

I agree SO much with many of your comments.