Saturday, September 10, 2011

Breaking Dawn: Epic Love Story or Fan Girl Purgatory?

disclaimer: the contents of this post may have breaking dawn spoilers. also, this is just my opinion. i totally respect those of you who loved breaking dawn. hey, i'm going to see the movie myself!

So a Breaking Dawn clip was released and, after I giggled, I was inspired to write this.

Initially I was just looking for something to rhyme with "love story," but then I got to thinking. According to the Roman Catholics (that's you, mom & dad!), purgatory is a "place of state of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners who are atoning for their sins before going to heaven." And ladies and gents, if you're like me, watching Breaking Dawn will be a trip to purgatory.

I reached Stage 5 Clinger status with this saga. I gave into temptation and read that first book, which ignited a flurry of pathetic internal musings like "NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE ME LIKE EDWARD LOVES BELLA!" or "I'LL BET VAMPIRES REALLY DO EXIST AND THEY OBVS MAKE THE MOST LOYAL BOYFRIENDS AND WILL ASK ME TO MARRY THEM AND OMG I WANT ONE."

Yeah, you catch my drift. I'm ashamed.

So as I flew through the next two books, my passion and obsession with these books, these characters, was amplified by a number that has so many digits that there aren't even enough digits to express it. I was so ready for Breaking Dawn. It was finally going to happen. Edward and Bella were going to get married and be happy forever. The plain jane girl will finally get her vampire prince, there will be explosions of sexytimes in every nook and cranny of the universe, and I'll cry out at the resplendence of it all! Because these characters who were so very real to me will get their happily ever after.

The first 50ish pages were heaven. The wedding, the honeymoon, the bed-breaking. I was even willing to forgive the "fade to black" consummation because hey, I'm no voyeur. But then the honeymoon was over. Then other....stuff....happened.

WAIT. STOP. HALT. Where is Ashton Kutcher? Where's my calendar? Is it April 1st? Is it opposite day? Who are these characters? Who wrote this book? I kept waiting for everything to go back to normal, but it never did. And I was sad.

For me, Breaking Dawn was the purgatory of the saga.
Was I being punished for giving into the temptation of reading these books?
Is this what I get for falling in love with these characters?
And for the love of everything, why am I still reading it?

Fast forward a few years and the movie adaptation is upon us. I was holding my breath for a total rewrite of the plot--didn't happen, obvs. I know what is going to happen and I know it's going to make me cringe. But I'm going to sit through it, because I feel I have to atone for my obsession. I'm going to provide whispered commentary filled with disbelief and chagrin (HA) to my husband and he's going to ask me at least 56 times why I dragged him to the theater.

Because it's closure. I'll sate my (morbid) curiosity and it'll be done. I'll break free from Twilight fangirlism and be able to say that I'm over it. "Oh, Twilight? Yeah, I USED to be obsessed with those books. Ancient history, though!" followed by nervous laughter and a rapid subject change.

Plus, all good things must come to an end. Unless Midnight Sun is released. Then I take back everything I just said. I'll delete this post and it'll be like it never existed.

What about you guys? Were you obsessed like I was? Did you love it/hate it? And most importantly, will YOU be going to see the movie? I'm dying to know!


  1. I am definitely going to see the movie - I love the books, I read them many times. I still pull them out every now and then, and I see the bad writing but the story is addicting.

  2. My friend will drag me to the movies. I loved the books. I am actually going to reread the first two over Christmas/Thanksgiving break, maybe. I'm out of the obsession - mostly because post-Breaking Dawn (around a month after the first movie came out, really), I started seeing others talking about it and realized the plot is kind of crap.

    But it has the addiction quality. Bree Tanner didn't, but I don't think it would have ever been published had Meyer ever gone back to Midnight Sun. And if it comes out, you BETTER BELIEVE I will be right there with you in squeeing over it.

  3. Used to be just as obsessed with hating it as I was about loving it. I think I went through all the same phases (with the exact thoughts!) that you mentioned. I'm definitely not seeing the movie, and most definitely never reading the books again.

  4. LOL! You already know how I feel about this post. :P <3

    Can I just point out, that I'm REALLY annoyed this poster shows- Aww! Their wedding rings! Tender!- BUT- Bella's is TOTALLY ON THE WRONG HAND!

    That is all...

  5. I am in the exact same boat as you! I was simply obsessed with this series and I was so, SO excited for Breaking Dawn to be released. Edward and Bella finally getting their happily ever after -- what could be better? After the first few blissful chapters, I was completely taken back by the direction the book was taking and came VERY close to just dropping it altogether. It was so unlike the previous three books and I was getting no enjoyment from it. I actually had a chat with my friend on the east coast at 2AM my time because I had sent her a text that I was putting it down, ha! She forced me to keep going, though, and I almost wish I hadn't listened to her. The beginning and the epilogue were fine, but everything else in between? UGHHHH.

    I don't love the movie adaptations, but I've seen them all, and there are a few moments when I see Edward and Bella being portrayed the way I imagined them. This Breaking Dawn teaser had me straight up cringing, though. I'll be seeing it, no doubt, but I still can't believe what the final book turned out to be and I'm sure the movie will be no different.

    Sorry for the long comment! :P

  6. LOL...I am going to see the movie yes..mainly because I have so much time invested in the movies...books..and fangirling over them all. That being said I hated Breaking Dawn. Like you I loved the first few chapters, would have liked it more if it had been a bit more detailed, tho I realize I was reading YA books. Then it just got stupid for me..I mean the whole baby thing, and then that Volturi fight, the one where when you are reading you seriously think the whole clan of Cullen is going to die and then the Volturi come and go .." Oh our mistake carry on..." I was greatly disappointed in it.

  7. Oh, Jen. I love these movies. I have never been obsessed with the books or the movies. But I will admit this: I do go with a group of obsessed gals to the theaters for every opening night. We get out tickets in advance and line up a long time before and watch all of the movies in sequence. I'm always a little embarrassed by their behavior, but they are my friends. The more movies there are, the more numb my butt is by the time the marathon is over...and the more snacks I have to sneak in. (ssshhhh, that's a secret. i don't break rules, you know.)

    But seriously, I think the idea of the series is fun. I adore the books. They are part of the reason I adore YA. True, I've sort of moved on, but I think YA owes this series bunches.

    And seriously, I'm dying to see what they're gonna do with the birthing scene. And the bed scene. And everyone else is too. :)


  8. "Who are these characters? Who wrote this book?" I am laughing my ass off right now.

    I'll admit that I weirdly, obsessively loved these books when I was reading them. I made my ENTIRE SORORITY read them. And when I got my copy of Breaking Dawn I ended up throwing it across the room. I left it there for TWO WEEKS. But, I will be seeing the movie in the same fashion that I have seen all of them: drunk at the midnight premiere. :)

  9. Counting the minutes until the release of the movie! So excited- might need to reread the book again!!!

  10. So, I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at Brandon and said "why can't you be EDWARD!" While he was in Med Hold for the Marines, I forced him to read the series (which he actually enjoyed) and unfortunately for him before I had read the books our 1st date was the first movie. Now it is a tradition (a forced one) that we see the movies together. So yes, I understand your obsession in full.

    Also, After reading book 1 I got New Moon and from there I read the whole series in a matter of like a day in a half. Yea the second I finished new moon I went out and bought the next two. My favorites are New Moon and Eclipse. So I was GREATLY disappointed in Breaking Dawn It was a roller coaster of emotion. I went from loving it, to despising it, to thinking it may redeem itself, to going WTF?! Yea.... but I am a loyal fan and still bought the Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. and I would LOVE a 5th book to the series.. but here is to wishing.

  11. I was very obsessed with this series and I still have a special place in my heart for Twilight because it was what introduced me to other YA books.

    Breaking Dawn was definitely my least favorite of the series (except for the first 50 pages or so which had the same type of tone as the previous books), but I still want to see the movie.

  12. Yep I do believe I am in the same boat. I've re-read the series a few times. BD was a train wreck. I had many "What the truck?!" moments when I read it. It sort of when through this transition from YA paranormal to YA Shut-the-Front-Door-She-Totally-Went-There?!

    About the only redeeming grace in BD was Jacob's hilarious inner monologue and chapter titles.

    Of course, just like Tee said, I have so much time vested in the series, I will go see the BD movies. If only to see how they handle all the bizarre happenings.

  13. I was totally one of those girls who read and loved the first three books (although I was really for Jacob - poor guy). Then Breaking Dawn happened then I was all, "WTF?" :| Total mind-numbing experience. I lent the book to someone and I never asked for it back after. It made me realize how...well, average the entire series really was. And there are so many better books out there.

    But, on another note, I have this morbid curiosity for the movie too. Some of my friends laugh at this, but hey, I just want to see how badly it will end. It's still good laughing material. ;)

  14. I was crazy obsessed too...I would even go so far as to say I was crazy obsessed just last year with Eclipse's release (I can prove this by the fact that I had a month long Twilight Takeover on my blog...I even redesigned it just for the month). But the movies have been slowly killing my love. So with BD being my leastfavoriteIwishIcouldjustforgetithappened book, I am...unexcited.
    I went to the midnight release of BD. I stayed up until the wee morning hours to read about the wedding and the sexytimes, then the next day I was just blindsided by all the WTFness. It really was like reading a completely different book by a completely different author. I'll stop ranting now, but I feel the same way as you when it comes to this book. I still love the first 3 books.
    I think I'll skip seeing this movie at midnight (I have saw them all at midnight). I don't want to lose any sleep over this cringe-fest.

  15. I was a bit obsessed with the books as well. I actually spent all day reading the first one on my first day being in the same state as my husband in months. He was not pleased. Like you, I eagerly read the second and third books. And then Breaking Dawn happened. And it actually took me weeks to get through it. I kind of hated it. But I will see the movie. Why do we do this to ourselves?

  16. I was very obsessed! I read all 4 books in 4 days. Freakin' crazy! I'm definitely not obsessed now but I did enjoy the books when I read them. Still listen to the audio if I have nothing else to listen to and can enjoy the first 3. I agree that Breaking Dawn just went kinda crazy and nothing like the first books.

  17. I totally agree with you! I was over the moon about this series until the last book. It was like Meyer was pulling a massive joke on all her fans. It's just CREEPY! Forever Young Adult has a hilarious post about the movie trailer, that I HIGHLY recommend checking out.

    Also- I'm dying for Midnight Sun to be released! I really hope Meyer doesn't give up on it!!

  18. I am like you loved loved Twilight, I read it an ARC, and then painfully had to wait for the others to be written, I've read the first so many times I lost count. I prefer to think of it as a trilogy...sure I'll see the movie, but I'm still convinced that Stephenie didn't write the last one, or hadn't planned initially for there to be four....the first three stand apart from the last...the voice is different, the feel is different...I'll forever be a fan of her's though-Twilight offered escape to me when I really needed it, it still does. Great post Jen.

  19. It's so funny how so many of us loved this series when it came out and have come to have such negative feelings towards it now. I struggled with the obsessive love in Twilight but then I just let it go and took it for what it was and loved it. Now...I don't know. Breaking Dawn was just downright weird.
    The movies are unwatchable to me. The makeup, the cheesy acting...terrible but yeah I'll go see it anyway.

  20. Not going to lie, I absolutely *hate* these novels. I read them back in high school because everyone was reading them, and I was working at a book store, so I thought I should read the current "big thing". It... didn't work out (and I won't get into why this is, because then this post will be stupid long). I did manage to read all four of the books though (somehow) and because of my disdain for the series overall, Breaking Dawn was my favorite in an ass-backwards kind of way; I found it hilarious in its ridiculousness.

    As for the movies, I only watched the first one, but again, it was more for a good laugh than because I thought I might actually enjoy it. I will give it this: it had a really good soundtrack!

    (I just want to point out that I have no problem with people who DO like the Twilight series; to each their own! I just wanted to give an honest summary of my feelings for the series and movies. :P)

  21. I fell in love with Twilight when my Mom started reading the series... I know... my Mom? But she is also the one who got me into Harry Potter - so hey gotta think if she loved the books then so would I. I LOVED TWILIGHT... until Breaking Dawn - though I didn't hate Breaking Dawn as much as others, I just felt it was different.

    I will definately be seeing the movie... probably wiht my Mom and/or my sister. Mom is a Twihard and would be crushed if we didn't see the movie with her.

  22. My love for YA books as an adult started with this series. I owe it all to Edward and his sparkly ass. I read the books (a few times?) before the movies came out, so my ungodly obsession was in full tact. Then I went to see the first movie and was...... disgusted, insulted, humiliated, PISSED OFF. Yeah I hate the movies. I think they do a poor justice of the books. Especially the first one! Will I go see Breaking Dawn when it comes out? You bet your ass. It's a sick obsession that lies just under the surface. Every once in awhile it will bubble up though. I can't hide it.

    About Breaking Dawn, the book... worst. ending. ever. I'm with you, once all the WTFery happened after the honeymoon I found myself skimming the pages. Thank god for the very end, ending or else I probably would have puked on it. I'm still hoping for Midnight Sun to be finished too. I mean, wtf else is Stephenie Meyer doing??!!

  23. You bet I'm going. I can't handle having things not finished. Breaking Dawn bugged me, but the sexy times makes it worth it. Breaking a little furniture can take your mind off bizarro babies & creepy imprinting. It was my 1st true book crush & I love it warts and all.

    You crack me up.

    Amy @

  24. --spoilers for Breaking Dawn in my comment. just fyi--

    like you, i am ashamed and embarrassed of myself when i reflect back on initial feelings of "THIS BOOK IS AWESOME" and "THEIR LOVE IS SO EPIC AND PERFECT". upon rereading, and calming down, it's obviously not the best ya literature out there, and i can tell that i got swept up into something and wanted it to be something more than it was, so i pretended it was.

    as far as Breaking Dawn, that was the hugest let down ever. there was build up to suspense, and then it turned out fine. like, 10 times in a row. will she have the baby?!? oh, yeah she does. will she become a vampire?!? oh, yeah she does. will they be able to defeat the bad guys and survive?!? oh, yeah they do.

    seriously, NOTHING bad happened. you always need something bad to happen for things to be realistic and worth our emotional investment.

    thanks for sparking this discussion!

  25. Hysterical post! Love the idea of Breaking Dawn as purgatory for fangirls. Okay, I'm totally going to see the movie because I'm a YA librarian and I consider it my professional responsibility. Also because I think the movie will be inadvertantly hilarious.

    Despite the oddness of Breaking Dawn, I still have an affection for the Twilight series. It drew in a LOT of reluctant readers, and as a librarian, that's what I love. Plus, it was fun!

  26. I totally agree! This series is a trilogy in my mind. I remember finishing Breaking Dawn and just thinking a big fat WTF. With that being said, I'll probably be in the theater at midnight and fan girling like none other because even though I'm not a fan of Breaking Dawn, I still love me some Edward :)

  27. Raising hand - this sort of feels like twilight anonymous. I too was obsessed with the books; in fact it is how I met my now blog partner and friend Stacey. I will see the movie - you know, for closure but I am not going at midnight or hosting release parties like I did with the other ones.

  28. Here's how it goes. I read twilight, loved it like a freaky fan-girl. Then the movies came out and I totally lost any fan-girl-itis I had. I became ashamed of my weirdo fan-girl years seeing all the hype. I watched girls say the same things I had said for years and cringed. I sort of detest the series now, and I will be glad when the last movie comes out and all is finished.(does it feel like they are dragging it out longer then it needed it to be?)

  29. I am in complete agreement with this post - Breaking Dawn left me reeling in a why-were all-of-these-plot-elements-even-remotely-necessary kinda way. I was wondering tonight, if I had read Twilight now, at age 25, would I have found it as mesmerizing as I did at 21? Probably. But I like to imagine I've matured from the fan-girling a little bit...