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.
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
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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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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".
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.