October 21, 2008

If You Are So Over Breaking Dawn, You Can Skip This Post

I've always liked a happy ending. I like a tidy conclusion, and I like the threads of a story to be all wrapped up. I hate those movies or books where you have to sort of guess what might or might not have happened.

But, recently, I've realized that sometimes the non-happy ending is what gives a story strength. After Breaking Dawn came out, I went back and reread the first three books (Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse). I'd liked Jacob a lot the first time around, wishing, almost, that Bella had picked him instead.

This time, however, I realized that I didn't feel that way. Eclipse was powerful and moving for me because she didn't pick Jacob. Because he was left alone to deal with the pain of unrequited love. Because Bella discovered that she loved him, but not enough to leave Edward over. The pain in that last few pages of Eclipse was deeply real to me, because real life is like that. Because there is always disappointment and rejection and deep despair in real life, even when life is simultaneously full of joy and love and excitement.

And I think that's the reason that Breaking Dawn fell flat for me. It came together too neatly, too tidily. In every way, but particularly in regards to the Jacob/Edward/Bella triangle, the book was too easy. The struggle and the pain of Eclipse was gone, replaced with just happy puzzle pieces fitting together just right, with zero pain for anyone.

Bella does love Jacob - for good reason, since he is so lovely and wonderful and real to her throughout New Moon and Eclipse - but she chooses Edward instead. So, when Jacob imprints on Bella's daughter and suddenly everything between Bella and Jacob was just friendship again, I didn't buy it. Seriously? She was so in love with him that she considered, however briefly, breaking up with Edward for him and then suddenly that's gone? And she's just happy Jacob is happy?

I don't believe it. I think it undermines all the realism and strength that came through at the end of Eclipse. And frankly, that ruins it a bit for me.

For once, I wanted an unhappy ending. I'd have been happier if Jacob ran away again, always unhappy, always wishing Bella had made a different choice, than for everything to fall easily and painlessly into place. Pain for a character, over an unhappy ending, is better than nonchalance at a contrived resolution.


  1. Ah, The Suffering Man. My personal favorite.

  2. Well, at least Stephanie had the guts to leave Leah hanging...

    Perhaps Jacob and Leah should have fallen for each other and run off as the forever snubbed outsiders. That would have been a nice mix of pain and happy ending.

    I agree with everything you said. That's why Eclipse was my favorite of the 4 books.

  3. Good call Janssen, you should write an alternate ending and send it to Stephanie. :)

  4. I totally agree. I did end up liking BD by the end, but I still think it was the weakest of the four by a longshot. I was happy that Jacob was no longer pining after Bella, but imprinting on Renesmee really was just too neat. I thought Bella choosing Edward, the one who is all wrong for, over Jacob, who was perfect and human and loved her with all his heart - was REAL. Bella could have had a very happy life with Jacob, but she went the other way... and I loved that. I think that's why I loved New Moon the best. You could see what a great guy Jacob is and how easy it would be for Bella to just give up on Edward and make a life with Jacob instead... but she just couldn't. And I loved that. I really did not see that whole imprinting thing coming, and it really threw me... definitely needs to go in the revised edition that I'm mentally willing Stephenie Meyer to write.

    (Hi, I am 27 years old and I just wrote a heartfelt comment about the romantic relationships between fictional vampire characters.)

  5. Like Gone with the Wind? All of the happy ending sequels prove your point exactly.

  6. I completely agree with you! Eclipse was my favorite and Breaking Dawn was my least favorite. Like you said, everything fit together too perfectly.

  7. My sister and I agreed that Breaking Dawn had no real "drama". Everything happened to perfectly. Even with the Denali at the end. What was that?! I was hoping for at least some sort of struggle.
    And I agree with the Jacob thing, that it's kinda weird how she just was happy for him and that was it. But I would have picked Edward, too. ;)

  8. Hmm. I guess I just wrote the happy ending off as neither of them being human anymore, so it was totally abnormal anyway. I guess in a way you're right, but I was very happy to stop hearing Bella whine and complain about how she wasn't good enough for either of them after she became a vampire. It was a relief to me!

  9. I love happy endings, although Gone With the Wind is one of my favorite books and that has a notably disappointing ending...in my opinion anyway! :)

  10. When I closed Breaking Dawn I had mixed feelings. I like happy endings, so it was nice that everything was resolved, tied up in a nice neat package. While on the same hand I could not believe it was resolved that easily. After everything the characters went through - I secretly hope there is more to come. purhaps something on Bella's daughter? anything to make up for the seemingly tidy ending.

  11. i really WANTED to like it, and for the most part i did. but after reading it, i was totally annoyed with the ending because it just seemed so rushed to me.

    eclipse is definitely my favorite of the series.

  12. That comment you left on my blog made me laugh for like 5 minutes. I like you. Let's be BFF.

    Oh, and aren't "tramps" usually women?

  13. Yes I agree. I loved the angst of the end of Eclipse. LIke you I was a major Jacob lover and the first read was kicking Bella for NOT chosing him. I actually cried reading the Jacob passage. Even though it wasn't what I wanted it was poignant and it was real - the heartbreak. And Bella had remorse too. BD I loved Jacob's book and him coming into his own as the Alpha leader and trying to protect Bella through his own pain still. I just didn't care for the Renesmee bit. I wish he and Leah had gotten together. They had so much in common. They didn't have to imprint they could have had something rather real together. I still think Bella screwed up LOL. Jake was great.


I try to respond to most comments, so it will make my day if your email address is linked in your profile. If you're not sure if it's linked, you can add it by following these instructions.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...