Okay, so I've read it. We stopped first thing Saturday on the way home from the lake, and I read all the way home. I had 200 or so pages (out of 750-something) to go when we had to leave for Jon's party on Saturday afternoon, and I was finished by about midnight (not bad for an eight hour break). I don't want to write too much about the book, because I know that some of you who want to read it don't want it to be spoiled. So, I'll try to do this without revealing details, and if I can't, then I'll just delete the post.
My reaction to the book, or rather to finishing the book, is somewhat of disappointment. With the other three, I knew there was more to come, and perhaps the suspense made the book that much better. This time, I know there's nothing else that will happen, so I'm sort of let down. This is minor, but I also got stuck on some grammatical errors here and there throughout the book (I know, she's human, but don't professional authors have editors?? WTF?? Someone should pick up on this stuff!). Oddly, after finishing this book, my attitude toward the whole series is that it wasn't as good as I thought the first time, and that Stephanie Meyer just gets on my nerves. I am anxiously awaiting the movie's release in December, because it looks incredible from the clips and trailers that I've seen.
Okay, semi-spoiler alert: Don't keep reading if you don't want to know this, but...my one big complaint is that, while the first three books were full of non-sex scenes that were HOT---like the passion was building between Bella and Edward, and just as you wanted more, they'd cool their jets for the sake of propriety or, "I can't, because I'll hurt you," or whatever. THIS time, however, when there is absolutely NOTHING to get in their way (meaning all the reasons they didn't do it in the first three--read into that what you will), Stephenie Meyer completely skipped even the hot parts and only described the aftermath. GRRRRRR!!!!!! I know, I know...she's Mormon, doesn't want to write trashy novels for teens, etc...but, come on! If every excuse the characters have made for not having sex are now gone, and the reader KNOWS the characters have, in fact, done it, then why jump scenes and make it even more prudish than it was?
I did like the fact that Bella comes into her own in this book---she stops being the mousy, accident prone wimp, and her self-actualization continues with the discovery that she's stronger than she thinks she is. I can't say more without revealing anything, so I'll just shut up.
I do want to do some comparisons between the Vampire Chronicles and some of Anne Rice's other works and this series, because it's starting to sound a little fishy that she'd never even read the AR works. I only mention this because I was reading the Lives of the Mayfair Witches series while I was waiting for Breaking Dawn, and there were some major coincidences that I noticed, both with details and thematic issues. As I thought about it, more things came to mind. I'm not complaining, necessarily, because Anne Rice lost her game for sure, but it really is just too odd.
Okay, so read it for yourself, and let me know what you think. I can't wait for some of you to read it so we can talk about it! Someone might have to break down and buy their own copy, because my waiting list is as follows: Edna (fast read), Leigh Ann (might take a few weeks), and then Ali (who is dying to read it, I know!). ---T