Monday, August 4, 2008
Breaking Dawn-- Stephenie Meyer
Now that I have finally completed Breaking Dawn, life can continue... I am sure there were many, many people who stayed up waaaaaaay too late trying to squeeze in one more chapter before bed, just like I was!
Where to start? How can I even begin to discuss this book in a way that briefly captures how I feel. First, I must say that what Stephenie Meyer has done for YA Literature will be appreciated by readers and authors both for many, many years to come. She has brought YA Lit into the forefront of peoples' minds, and has proven that books for teens are just as important as books for kids and adults. No matter how I feel about her writing style, storylines, characters, etc, her magic touch is something that will affect those of us who pay attention to teen literature for a long, long time.
But... back to Breaking Dawn! I'll just come out and say it; I really liked it. It didn't *love* it the way I did Twilight (but the first book of any series is always special), still I appreciated it for what it is. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to write a book that millions of people are waiting for with baited breath. I felt like this book let Bella come out of her shell, and I appreciated the creative way Meyer wrapped up the Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle. I felt like her characters went through some pretty major transformations, which was good because they felt a little stagnant to me after three books.
While some portions of the book were extremely predictable, others offered a nice twist. There were some scenes that made me a little queasy (Bella's birthing scene anyone?) and I do wonder if guys will enjoy this book as much as they liked the other ones... for whatever reason, this final book in the series is "girlier" to me than the other books were. No matter how sloppy Meyer's writing style can be, her words are still compelling and it is very easy to be seduced by her storytelling. For those of you who want to recommend this book to teens, while there is definitely sensuality in this book, sex heavily is alluded to, but not described. I would feel comfortable giving this book to 12 year olds and up.
Most of all, I cannot wait to chat with teens about this book! I visited the Breaking Dawn party that Powell's hosted and was amazed at the energy, excitement, and utter joy expressed by the teens at the event. A 12 year old girl actually started weeping when she held Breaking Dawn for the first time. Weeping for joy over a book? That is something that just warms my librarian heart!