Breaking Dawn

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Breaking Dawn  
Author Stephenie Meyer
Country United States
Language English
Series Twilight Series
Genre(s) Young adult novel / Romance
Publisher Little, Brown and Company
Release date August 2, 2008 USA
August 4, 2008 UK and Australia
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 768
ISBN ISBN 0-316-06792-X
Sequel to Eclipse

Breaking Dawn is the fourth and last novel in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. The novel is divided into three sections called 'books'. The story in Book One and Book Three is told from the perspective of Bella Swan. Book Two is from the perspective of Jacob Black, Bella's werewolf friend. Breaking Dawn was released on August 2, 2008 with a special midnight release in many bookstores.[1]

Plot[change | change source]

Book I: Bella[change | change source]

As the book opens, Bella is driving a Mercedes Guardian that Edward has bought to protect her from getting into trouble. After informing Bella's parents of their engagement, Bella and Edward marry in a traditional wedding ceremony. The wedding has a minor disturbance during a confrontation between Jacob, Bella and Edward. Not wanting to spoil her wedding day, Bella puts aside her disappointment in Jacob's unpleasantness. Edward and Bella soon depart for their honeymoon off the coast of Brazil. Edward then fulfills Bella's wish and makes love to her. The next day they argue because Edward's passionate lovemaking leaves dark bruises all over Bella's body. He then refuses to make love to her while she is still human. Meanwhile, she has a recurrent dream of a small, green-eyed boy that she feels compelled to protect she also has dreams of her and Edward making love. Bella also finds herself constantly hungry and sick. But soon after Bella awakes in the middle of a dream crying; Edward asks whats wrong and instead of telling him she decices to show him and kisses him very passionately and Edward gives in. They have made love more than twice and upon seeing a box of unused tampons in her suitcase, she realizes that her period is late and she is pregnant. Though Bella has not longed for a child, she becomes immediately attached to her baby when she becomes aware of its existence. Edward, however, is only concerned for her health, and after hearing stories from a local woman (who suspects that Edward is a vampire) of similar situations that resulted in the mothers' deaths, Edward wants to get rid of the baby. Book one ends as Edward prepares to bring Bella home where he says that Carlisle will "take care of it," and as Bella secretly calls Rosalie for help.

Book II: Jacob[change | change source]

The book is told from Jacob's perspective. He receives news of Edward and Bella's return, and that Carlisle has told Charlie that Bella is quarantined because she has contracted a rare disease in South America. Jacob assumes that Bella has been bitten and transformed. He is upset when Sam Uley, acting Alpha of the pack, declares that the pack will not retaliate. Jacob, full of anger, decides that if the pack will not retaliate collectively, he will act alone. Formulating strategies of attack, he runs to the Cullen house. When he arrives, however, he discovers that things aren't as he expected. Bella, as opposed to being a newborn vampire, is already heavily pregnant with Edward's and her child. It is clear that the child's rapid growth is starving and hurting Bella.

When Jacob returns to his wolf state, his thoughts inadvertently inform the pack of Bella's state. This causes fear and anger among the werewolves; they don't know how the child might act since the child is an offspring of a vampire. Sam commands the pack in the double-timbre of the Alpha, to obey his decision to destroy Bella and her unborn child. Jacob, who still loves Bella, disagrees, revolts, assumes his inherited Alpha position and leaves Sam's pack. Seth, then Leah Clearwater, soon join Jacob and the threesome form a pack with Jacob as Alpha. Jacob, Leah and Seth patrol the Cullen territory to forewarn the family of any impending werewolf attack.

As the fetus continues to develop at an alarmingly accelerated rate, Bella's health worsens. During Bella's pregnancy, Edward realizes he can read the child's mind, and is astonished to discover that the baby already loves Bella. As he hears his child's thoughts, Edward begins to love the baby as well. This leaves Jacob feeling betrayed, as he was counting on Edward to hate the baby more than he.

Bella goes into labor approximately a month after the honeymoon. The hard placenta that surrounds the child cracks; Bella begins vomiting blood. The child breaks free and Bella is very near death. Edward delivers the baby, a girl, and begins CPR, then transforms Bella into a vampire. He injects his venom into her heart and bites her in several places. Believing that Bella is dead and that there is no hope she will be resuscitated, Jacob leaves the room and goes to kill the baby whom he holds responsible. He finds her in Rosalie's arms and looks into the baby's eyes. They are exactly the same shade of brown as Bella's. Jacob imprints on her.

Book III: Bella[change | change source]

The book returns to Bella's perspective. She has just given birth to her daughter, and is now experiencing the painful transformation from human to vampire. After two days, she opens her eyes. The Cullens are wary of Bella as newborn-vampires are volatile. Yet, Bella manages to exhibit some self-control unseen in normal newborns. She wishes to see her daughter, Renesmee, but since Renesmee is part-human, the family believes Bella will be unable to control her newborn thirst if she sees the child so soon without first hunting. Edward takes Bella on her first hunt to ease her thirst. Before they leave, Alice shows Bella her reflection. She has transformed into a stunningly beautiful woman with flawless skin and newborn-vampire red eyes. Bella does not recognize her reflection at first due to her volatile-looking red eyes.

Upon returning, Bella is allowed to see her daughter because of her demonstration of self-control in the woods when she smelled humans approaching. Because Renesmee is growing at an astonishing rate, she looks older than her calendar age. Bella learns of Renesmee's gift - the ability to communicate by sending images to people's minds through touch. Bella is infuriated when she learns that Jacob has imprinted on Renesmee, and says it is his fault that he has imprinted on her child. She loses her self-control and she tries to attack Jacob. She breaks Seth's collarbone and shoulder when he steps between the two. She then manages to calm down. Renesmee leads to a truce between the Quilleutes and the Cullens because of Jacob's imprinting. Differences between Sam and Jacob's packs are soon settled as well and they become co-existent Alphas.

Unfortunately for the Cullen family, Irina, a vampire from the Denali clan, sees Renesmee and mistakenly informs the Volturi that Renesmee is a forbidden immortal child. The Cullen family understands that Irina is mistaken and decides the only way to enlighten the Volturi and prevent an attack is to present Renesmee with a large group of credible witnesses.

After leaving a note with Sam Uley from the copyright page of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Alice and Jasper suddenly leave the Cullens. Since the couple does not provide a warning or reason, the Cullen family does not know why the couple has fled, and assumes that Alice has foreseen there is no hope for the situation. Since it was her copy of the book, Bella perceives this as a sign from Alice. She returns to the cottage and she finds that Alice has written a name and address on another page of the book. When Bella goes to the address, she finds that it leads to the office of a lawyer who can forge documents. Bella requests documents for Jacob and Renesmee, should they need to escape if a fight ensues with the Volturi. Meanwhile, nomadic, vegetarian, and clans of vampires arrive at the Cullen estate after the family begins to seek their friends' assistance with the Volturi. Most of them are enthralled by Renesemee, and almost all agree to bear witness to the Volturi that she is not an immortal child.

Bella also discovers that her power of mind-privacy has a shielding effect and she wonders if she can extend this protection to others. During the month of preparation for the Volturi, several of the vampires with quantifiable supernatural talents teach Bella how to expand the barrier. When the Volturi and Irina finally arrive, all of the vampires and the werewolves meet in a clearing in the forest. The Volturi discover that they have been misinformed and immediately execute Irina for her mistake. However, the Volturi are not satisfied to leave because the Volturi leaders want the exceptionally gifted vampires to join them. Those on Bella's side are protected when Bella's shield disables the Volturi's offensive fighters, Alec and Jane. Aro, Caius and Marcus decide to vote on whether or not Renesmee will be a danger to the vampire world when she attains maturity. Just before Aro can cast his deciding vote, Alice and Jasper return with another half-human, half-vampire from South America who is about one hundred fifty years-old. He and his three half-sisters (who are also half-vampire, half-human) are the children of a vampire who is creating a "super race." They have never caused any danger to the vampire world. Facing no other choice, Aro chooses to give up the fight, and the Volturi flee.

After leaving the Cullen estate for their cottage, Bella and Edward tuck Renesmee into her bed and proceed to their bedroom arm-in-arm. Bella tells Edward she wants to try something with him. She has been secretly practicing for this moment. Bella places her hands on his cheeks and tries to push away her shield. She conjures her special memories that she wants to share with Edward. He is finally able to see for the first time just how deeply she has always loved him. She wants to remove the barrier for Edward so he can access her mind. She says that they have only forever for her to perfect it. The Twilight series closes with "And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever."

Cover[change | change source]

The cover of Breaking Dawn is a metaphor for Bella's changes during the entire story. She began as the weakest (at least physically, when compared to vampires and werewolves) player on the board: the pawn. She ended as the strongest: the queen.

The title "Breaking Dawn" is a reference to the beginning of Bella's vampire life.[2]

Marketing campaigns[change | change source]

Entertainment Weekly magazine printed a small part of Breaking Dawn on Friday, May 30, 2008.[3] Stephenie Meyer also gave a 'Quote of the Day' from Breaking Dawn for about 3 weeks before the book was released on August 2, 2008. The first quote was on Meyer's website on July 12, 2008.[4] The first part of Breaking Dawn, "Engaged", was released in the special edition of Eclipse.

Reception[change | change source]

Some readers liked Breaking Dawn but others did not.[5][6] [7][8][9]

In an article on The Daily News Tribute 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."[10]

Criticisms[change | change source]

In an interview on EW.com, Meyer talked about the fans' reaction to the book. She said the "wild reaction" fans had the "Rob Effect". She said 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 Cullen in the Twilight movie.[11]

An article about Breaking Dawn on nymag.com asked: "Did 'Breaking Dawn' Ruin the Twilight Series?".[12] The article said: "The L.A. Times' Denise Martin didn't like it and says that unlike J.K. Rowling in her series finale, 'Meyer's bunted.'"

The Washington Post[13] also did not like the book. It used 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."

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]