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", all but Book 2 are told from the perspective of Bella Swan, with the second being told from the point of view of Jacob Black. Breaking Dawn 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.
Concept and creation
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 physically weakest player on the board, the pawn, but ended up 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 stayed 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 resolved."
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 makes love with her. Soon after, Bella finds a box of unused tampons and realizes that she is pregnant. After contacting Carlisle, who confirms her belief, she and Edward plan to return home. Edward, concerned for her wellbeing, urges her to get an abortion. However, Bella wants to keep the child and decides to contact Rosalie for support, knowing that Rosalie has always wanted children.
The second part of the novel is written from Jacob Black's point of view, and lasts throughout Bella's pregnancy and childbirth. The pack of werewolves, not knowing what danger the unborn child may pose, make plans to destroy it, even though they must kill Bella to do so. Jacob, however, disagrees and revolts, leaving the pack and creating his own with Seth and Leah Clearwater. Bella soon gives birth, approximately a month after becoming pregnant. The birth breaks many of her bones and she loses massive amounts of blood, and in order to save her life, Edward changes her into a vampire. Jacob, who was present for the birth, immediately imprints on Bella's newborn daughter, Renesmee.
The final section of Breaking Dawn shifts back to Bella's perspective, who has been changed into a vampire and is enjoying her new life. However, the vampire Irina misidentifies Renesmee as an "immortal child", a child who has been turned into a vampire before it is old enough to be responsible for its actions. The creation and protection of "immortal children" was previously outlawed by the Volturi. After Irina presents her allegation to the Volturi, they plan to destroy Renesmee. 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 the secret existence of vampires. 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, knowing that they no longer have just reason to destroy Renesmee. Bella, Edward, and Renesmee return to their home, free to live their lives in peace.
Marketing and release
Entertainment Weekly magazine released an excerpt of Breaking Dawn on Friday, May 30, 2008.Stephenie Meyer also revealed a 'Quote of the Day' from Breaking Dawn for about 3 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 release party. 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. Publisher's 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 humor, 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." Entertainment Weekly graded Breaking Dawn with a D, criticizing the birth scene and Bella's "unwavering passion for Edward" and having no other goals. Denise Martin of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "Stephenie Meyer is no J.K. Rowling" and that in the "final chapters, in which both authors really swung for the epic, Meyer’s bunted."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, in an article on The Daily News Tribune, 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 on EW.com, 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.
Currently, there are no plans for a Breaking Dawn film. Meyer has 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 distill 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 couldn't 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."
[wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_Dawn ]