Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Breaking Dawn

Despite claims that I would never read another Stephanie Meyer book again, I couldn't resist reading Breaking Dawn. A couple of good friends informed me that it was the worse one yet (and therefore the best). I wasn't going to read it unless it met two criteria: 1. That she finally gets turned into a vampire and 2. They have sex.

(Spoiler Alert) Both those things happen, but not in that order. If you're not familiar with the Twilight series, I'll tell you. It's about a girl who falls in love with a vampire, and, for really no reason, he also falls in love with her. For various reasons, they struggle, and other vampires try to kill them. They persevere. The first book is ridiculous but readable, the second book is beyond ridiculous and really boring, I didn't read the 3rd book, and the forth book is, once again, beyond ridiculous and almost unreadable.

It's a well known fact that readers of these books are either teenage girls or pervy 30-somethings like myself. Two demographics that appreciate a good sex scene - but, I was a bit disappointed. And, slightly creeped out. Instead of the filthy details, what Meyer delivers is something like this:
Edward kissed her and they fell onto the bed... [NEXT CHAPTER]
"Oh, good morning. What happened to the headboard?"
"I broke it."
"Really? I didn't notice."
"You were preoccupied."
"Yes I was. With the sex. That we had. Huh. I'm covered in bruises."
"What? No! I nearly killed you with my vampiric strength! I shall never forgive myself!"
"Don't worry. I liked it."

What's such a shame about these books is that they're so old fashioned. I wish that the (supposedly) most popular book young women were reading wasn't about some dopey teenager who requires saving all the time by her strong, wise boyfriend. And (here comes another big time spoiler) what happens but she gets preggo practically the first time they have sex?!? Her vampire husband (who wanted to wait until they got married to consummate the ol' union) tries to convince her to have a vampire-baby abortion, but, papa, she's keeping the baby (even if it is a blood-sucking monster that will be the death of everyone they know. Was Sarah Palin involved in this?)

I really don't know what's worse, though - the post-feminist story or the pre-brain writing. Meyer writes with all the grace of a sledgehammer. What (I believe) is meant to pass for witty dialogue sounds like two idiots yakking. She's less subtle than even Dan Brown. At one point, I am not making this up, she wrote, "A tear the size of a baseball rolled into the russet fur beneath his eye." There's 754 pages of this nonsense!

Naturally, I did not read it all. After about 50 pages, I started skipping about 10 pages per turn of the page, and then passed on the last 100. It's good for a laugh, but might just be the downfall of our entire society.


kbmulder said...

You know you really love it!!! He he he! I am just getting around to reading it, but I'm one who likes to open presents early, so I was glad for the spoiler. Makes me want to read it more!!!!

E. L. Fay said...

Great review! I just wrote about Twilight in my own blog too and could barely even find the words to express the fury that book inspired in me, especially as an Anne Rice fan. And we're not alone in our disdain either. I did a Google search for "Meyer, Twilight, sexist" and found a flurry of scathing reviews. You pretty much nailed it here: old-fashioned, boring, poorly written. Where the hype comes from, I have no idea.

Amy Sorensen said...

I have seriously rewritten my "I Hate Breaking Dawn" book review for my blog 12 times. And never posted it. Because It seems like everyone else who reads my blog LOVED IT.


I'm inspired, though, by your entry to at least just get my thoughts out. Who cares!

And, if you don't mind a complete stranger saying this: you and I have very similar reading taste. Meeting M. Atwood was the highlight of my life. WAY better than my wedding day even! ;)

Susan B. Evans said...

I just started Twilight yesterday and I'm really enjoying it!

Becky K said...

You totally have me laughing over this. I didn't hate BD this bad, but it wasn't the highlight-read of my summer. More like "get this stupid series over" kind of thing.

I loved the comment about Sarah Palin, and I never thought of the hypocrisy of Eddy wanting to wait for sex, but then wanting her to dispose of the baby.

Yeah, just know I'm smiling & agreeing over here. We should form an "I hate Bella" club.

Anonymous said...

I do want to say that Stephanie Meyer has given me hope--As a young writer, I can look at her popcorn fiction and say, "If SHE can get published, then I certainly can get published!". Mass audiences love cliche love stories just like they love mindless romantic comedies--but classics they are NOT!!!