“Breaking Dawn” by Stephenie Meyer

It’s the epic conclusion to the book series that’s kept us all on tenterhooks for thousands of pages! Question will be answered! Lives will be lost! Sex will be had! But first, Bella and Edward have to get married. And so it starts…

In her typically ungrateful fashion, Bella has agreed to marry Edward and let Alice plan the whole thing. Basically all she has to do is show up and let everyone shower her with expensive clothes and jewelry – she didn’t even start a wedding board on Pinterest! Rough life.  After the nuptials it’s time for the honeymoon. Bella and Edward finally do it you guys! Like, ripping apart pillows, breaking the headboard doing it. And they must have been thorough, because Bella instantly gets pregnant. Whoops.

Thus begins the anti-abortion PSA section of the book. Bella is in love with the half-human half-vampire thing growing at an ungodly rate inside of her. She would never do anything to hurt it, much to Edward’s dismay. He’s worried for Bella’s safety of course, as the only way to get the baby out will be to tear Bella to shreds. Bella’s pretty sure she can survive that though. No worries.

This is where Jacob takes over narrating, and wastes hundreds of pages whining about Bella not loving him, and sacrificing herself to give birth to this mini-Satan, etc. But then when the wolf pack decides to do something about it, he revolts and starts his own pack, whose sole mission is to protect Bella. Turnabout is fair play, I suppose.

A month or two later, Bella is full term and the baby has super-human strength – enough to be beating Bella to a pulp from the inside out. Once it punctures her organs and snaps her spine, they decide to get it the hell out of her, and then Edward sets about saving her life… by turning her into a vampire. Jacob, furious, goes to find the baby and kill it but instead imprints on the little girl and is immediately head over heels in love. How unfortunate.

Meanwhile, Bella is semi-conscious and the venom is scorching through her system, turning her into a vampire. She doesn’t scream, despite the excruciating pain, because Bella is nothing if not a martyr.

The baby, who was (this part creeps me out the most) born with a full set of teeth, is instantly adored by her family. She starts talking in a couple of weeks, and reads shortly thereafter. But beyond those gifts, she also has the ability to show people her memories by touching them on the face or neck. Oh, and they named her Renesmee. Worst. Name. Ever.

So everything is good right? Bella lived, no one had an abortion, Jacob got over Bella by falling in love with an infant, all’s well that ends well? Not quite.

The Volturi heard about Renesmee and they think she’s an immortal child – a child that has been turned into a vampire. The immortal children are taboo in the vampire world, and must be destroyed at any cost. Soooo, we’re fine with killing kids, just not until they’re born. Got it.

The Cullens gather everyone they can think of to bear witness that Renesmee, or Nessie (the nickname that Jacob invented for her, which is only marginally less stupid than Renesmee), is half-human. And when that fails, they should be prepared to fight to the death. Sacrificing many, for one. I’m telling you, this book is like a college course in philosophy.

It’s during the training for this fight that Bella discovers her vampire super power – she’s a shield. That’s why Edward could never read her mind, and why Volturi Super-vixen Jane could never use her mind to hurt Bella (even though Jasper could still affect Bella’s emotions, which is sort of explained away but not in a way that really makes sense). So Bella works on being able to expand her shield to protect more people than just herself and of course she’s good at it, because vampire Bella is really good at everything. It’s a little tiresome.

The Volturi come at them with their entire force and a passel of witnesses, demanding that Nessie be slaughtered. But then the Cullens and their friends ask Aro, the head of the Volturi, to listen to their side of the story, and he’s surprisingly reasonable. Despite some tense moments, the only person to die here is Irina, the bitch that ratted them out in the first place. Bella uses her shield to cover their entire side of the field, and protects everyone. A sexy nomad vampire named Garrett defends the Cullens and exposes the Volturi’s suspicious motives for meeting there that day (to split up the Cullens and pick off the most talented ones for themselves). So they eventually back down and let the Cullens et al leave peacefully. THE END.

I think this is my favorite book in the series because things actually happen in this one. At the same time, it’s my least favorite because Jacob narrates the majority of the first half. Stick to being eye candy Jacob, no one needs to hear your innermost whinings. Parts of the story are a little thin, but then Meyer covers a lot of ground in this book. Overall, I give it 3.5 stars, because while it’s better than it’s predecessors, it’s still Twilight.

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