Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Rating: 3.2.2
Recommended audience: Mature teen to adult
Category: YA, fantasy, romance

Review: 4/5

First off, let me say that I really liked this book. It was engrossing, unpredictable (to me, anyway), and a really fun ride. I want to be very careful about spoilers so I'm going to try to not go into too much detail, but I do want to talk a little about some of the problems I had with this book without giving too much away. As a married woman, I can read this book without blushing and I can understand that these relationships are fictional and they don't resemble real relationships in the real world. That may seem very obvious but when I think back to myself as a teenager, I realize that I wasn't always able to make that connection. If you had asked me about it, I would have responded that I was very mature for my age and of course I understood that vampires are not real and that human relationships are not like those of superhuman, immortal vampires. (Duh!) In reality though, I think my perceptions of life and relationships were greatly influenced by the books that I read and, unfortunately, not always in a good way. I'm just a little concerned about the millions of teenage girls that are reading these highly entertaining books. Do they understand that they can't fall asleep every night in their shirtless boyfriend's arms without getting into trouble? Do they understand that they can love someone without being completely obsessed with them? Do they understand that's it's not right to string along a male best friend when you are engaged to another man? Anyway, there's more but I don't want to get into that because it would give away part of the plot, but you probably get my drift. I wouldn't say that teens shouldn't read this, but I think a good conversation about it with a parent is definitely a good idea.

Again, with all that being said, I thought this was a good book. It may be that I'm taking it all way too seriously and my concerns are really not a big deal. What do you think?


Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I agree. Hopefully most girls realize that this isn't real. I wrote a pretty lengthy review (with tons of spoilers) here.

Kim said...

I just read Natasha's review and it is really good. There are tons of spoilers, but if you've read the book you should read her review. She says it way better than I ever could.

Anna said...

I agree with your assessment, but I too hope that most people understand that it's fiction (vampires and werewolves aside). My review is here:

Let me know if you'd like me to link to your review as well!

--Diary of an Eccentric

J. said...

i COMPLETELY agree with you about the mature content and misleading ideas about love. those ideas really bothered me throughout the entire series b/c i remember being a teen and having all my naive and preconcieved ideas about what it would be like to be "in love" and be married and have children, ect,ect. sort of similiar to watching my toddler girls watch cinderella and see all the ideas they are forming about prince charmings and fairy tale weddings and "true love" and it makes me cringe to think about how "unreal" that is and there is no way to explain it to them right now...though i think for little girls its not too bad cuz kids have all kinds of imaginatory ideas, which is the beauty of childhood. reality is completely different and it bothers me that there are thousands of teen girls that may have their hopes completely crushed when they realize that love takes WORK!!! and that infatuation wanes over time and is replaced by a feeling much more peaceful and fulfilling however could be viewed as less exciting. i agree with you that the sexual tension is why people are drawn to bella and edward so the last book seems much less powerful though the ideas are alot deeper. i had a lot of problems with this series, to say the least, including the quality of the writing, but i enjoyed the story nonetheless. the books were like watching a good chick flick; very entertaining while it lasts.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

So my husband just finished this yesterday. He said it was awesome until he got to the ending and it was the worst ending ever. I do have to agree. So funny, he's read them all.

Mandy Waters said...

I totally agree! I recommend this book to married women but it might have been a little too much for me when I was single. I love Myers writing but some things that Jacob was thinking were a little PG13 for me.