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Breaking Dawn

by Stephenie Meyer


Breaking Dawn is the fourth novel in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. It is the last novel of the Twilight saga to be told from Bella Swan's perspective. Divided into three "books", or sections, the first and third books are told from the perspective of Bella Swan, and the second is told from that of Jacob Black.

Breaking Dawn was released on August 2, 2008 with a special midnight release party in many bookstores. From its initial print run of 3.7 million copies, 1.3 million were sold in the first 24 hours of its release, setting a record in first-day sales performance for the Hachette Book Group USA.

Stephenie Meyer talks about Breaking Dawn

>>>>> Video <<<<<

 

Publication history

 

The title, Breaking Dawn, is a reference to the beginning of Bella's life as a vampire. The cover is a metaphor for Bella's progression throughout the entire saga; she began as the weakest player on the board, the pawn, but at the end she becomes the strongest, the queen. The plays The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night's Dream both influenced Breaking Dawn. Originally, Meyer wrote a book titled Forever Dawn, which was a direct sequel to Twilight. While the basic storyline remained the same, Forever Dawn was narrated completely from Bella's point of view, the werewolves and Jacob were "only sketchily developed", Victoria and Laurent were both alive, and there was an epilogue. Meyer goes on to say that she "may post some extras someday if I ever have time to go back through the Forever Dawn manuscript—it's just as long as Breaking Dawn. There are a couple of things that family members told me they particularly missed, so I would start there."

In regard to Renesmee's unique name, Meyer wrote that she, "couldn't call her Jennifer or Ashley. What do you name the most unique baby in the world? I looked through a lot of baby name websites. Eventually I realized that there was no human name that was going to work for me, so I surrendered to necessity and made up my own." Meyer decided on including the pregnancy in her story while she was researching vampires and came across the legend of the incubus, a demon who could father children.

Meyer states in regard to ending the series that:

"The Twilight Saga is really Bella's story, and this was the natural place for her story to wind up. She overcame the major obstacles in her path and fought her way to the place she wanted to be. I suppose I could try to prolong her story unnaturally, but it wouldn't be interesting enough to keep me writing. Stories need conflict, and the conflicts that are Bella-centric are resolved."

Plot summary

Breaking Dawn is split into three separate "books", or parts. The first part details Bella's marriage and honeymoon with Edward, which they spend on a private island off the coast of Brazil. Edward grants Bella's wish and has sexual intercourse with her. Days later, Bella realizes that she is pregnant and her condition is progressing at an unnatural accelerated rate. After contacting Carlisle, who confirms her pregnancy, she and Edward immediately return home to Forks, Washington. Edward, concerned for Bella's well-being as the foetus continues to develop with unnatural rapidity, urges her to have an abortion. However, Bella wants to keep the child and so contacts Rosalie for support, knowing that Rosalie has always wanted children.

The second part of the novel is written from Jacob's point-of-view, and lasts throughout Bella's pregnancy and childbirth. The Quileute werewolf pack, not knowing what danger the unborn child may pose, make plans to destroy it, even though they must kill Bella to do so. Jacob vehemently protests this decision and revolts, leaving to form his own pack with Seth and Leah Clearwater. Bella soon gives birth, but the baby breaks many of her bones and she loses massive amounts of blood. In order to save her life, Edward changes her into a vampire. Jacob, who was present for the birth, immediately "imprints" — an involuntary response in which a werewolf finds his soul mate — on Edward and Bella's newborn daughter, Renesmee.

The third section of Breaking Dawn shifts back to Bella's perspective, finding her changed into a vampire and enjoying her new life and abilities. However, the vampire Irina misidentifies Renesmee as an "immortal child", a child who has been turned into a vampire. Because "immortal children" are uncontrollable, creating them has been outlawed by the Volturi. After Irina presents her allegation to the Volturi, they plan to destroy Renesmee and the Cullens. In an attempt to save her, the Cullens gather vampires from around the world to stand as witnesses and prove to the Volturi that Renesmee is not an immortal child. Upon confronting the gathered Cullen allies and witnesses, the Volturi discover that they have been misinformed and immediately execute Irina for her mistake. However, they remain undecided on whether Renesmee should be viewed as a threat to vampires' secret existence. At that time, Alice and Jasper, who had left prior to the confrontation, return with Nahuel, a 150-year-old vampire-human crossbreed like Renesmee. He demonstrates that the crossbreeds pose no threat, and the Volturi leave. Bella, Edward and Renesmee return to their home in peace.

Marketing and release

Entertainment Weekly magazine released an excerpt of Breaking Dawn on May 30, 2008. Stephenie Meyer also revealed a 'Quote of the Day' from Breaking Dawn for about three weeks prior to its August 2, 2008 release. The first quote was released on Stephenie's website on July 12, 2008. The first chapter of Breaking Dawn, "Engaged", was released in the special edition of Eclipse. Breaking Dawn was officially released on August 2, 2008 with a special midnight release in many bookstores. Godiva also released a Twilight themed chocolate bar, which was released in Barnes & Noble book stores for the release party. A four-city Breaking Dawn Concert Series, featuring Stephenie Meyer and Blue October's Justin Furstenfeld, coincided with the novel's release. The concert series sold out three of its four locations on the day that tickets went on sale, selling out in under an hour in one city.

Reception

Breaking Dawn has received generally negative reviews. Publishers Weekly stated that the main problem was that "Essentially, everyone gets everything they want, even if their desires necessitate an about-face in characterization or the messy introduction of some back story. Nobody has to renounce anything or suffer more than temporarily--in other words, grandeur is out." In an article by The Associated Press journalist Sara Rose posted on NewsOK.com wrote that fans of the series would love "engaging characters, great humour, a distracting obsession with beauty, focus on the minutiae of emotions", however "casual readers may be disappointed with a lot of build-up and little action." The Independent called the book, "shockingly, tackily, sick-makingly sexist" and said that "Bella Swan lives to serve men and suffer." Entertainment Weekly graded Breaking Dawn with a D, criticizing the birth scene and Bella's "unwavering passion for Edward" and having no other goals. The Washington Post also responded with a negative review, making comments such as, "...Meyer has put a stake through the heart of her own beloved creation," and, "Breaking Dawn has a childbirth sequence that may promote lifelong abstinence in sensitive types." However, an article in The Daily News Tribune, a small town newspaper, Margaret Smith says of Breaking Dawn "You too might fall in love with its suspense and moving sensitivity -- and with the unlikely couple struggling to find light within their world’s heart of darkness."

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Meyer responded to the negative response of many fans to the book and called it the "Rob Effect"; she believes that the fans need time to accept the ending of Breaking Dawn, just as they needed time to accept Robert Pattinson playing the role of Edward in the Twilight movie.

Breaking Dawn was the recipient of a British Book Award for "Children’s Book of the Year", despite competition with JK Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Film potential

Summit Entertainment, who created the film adaptation of the first novel in the series, Twilight, announced in November 2008 that they had obtained the rights to the rest of the books in Meyer's series, including Breaking Dawn. Though Summit has not yet officially greenlit the project, star Robert Pattinson stated that there are plans for a Breaking Dawn film. Meyer stated in her Breaking Dawn FAQ that if one were to be created, it would have to be made into two movies because "it's hard to imagine it fitting into ninety minutes. The book is just so long! I can't imagine how to distil it—if I could, the book would be shorter". She also believes it may be impossible to film due to Renesmee, writing that an actress could not play her because she is a baby but has complete awareness, and that "the one thing that I've never seen is a CGI human being who truly looks real"; however, she went on to state that "they develop amazing new technologies everyday, and we've got a little time left".

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Have your say

Comments

Breaking dawn is a excellent book. One of Stephenie Meyers better books. Did not like it having happy ending. Recommend you read others in the Twilight series.

 


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