Girls*Heart* Books: Group Book to Movie Review: Breaking Dawn (Part 1) by Stephenie Meyer

Monday, June 25, 2012

Group Book to Movie Review: Breaking Dawn (Part 1) by Stephenie Meyer

When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife have led her to the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or to pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fates of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating, and unfathomable, consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life-first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse-seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed... forever?

The astonishing, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions.
(From Amazon.com)

Now that you've all heard our thoughts on Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse it is obviously time to move along to the big old finale, Breaking Dawn. We will be dealing with part 1 and then revisiting the series in November when part 2 hits theaters. We hope you've enjoyed Twilight month! 

Breaking Dawn is the 4th and final book in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Let me start by warning everyone that even though I loved this book, there was a LOT I didn't like about it.  Little things and big things. But it was still the 'perfect' ending to a beautiful love story and for that I really HAD to love it. 

I absolutely loved the first part of this book.  The wedding and honeymoon were just perfectly written and I thought it fit so completely with the characters; Edward trying to play it safe, Bella's safety always his first priority and then Bella trying to break down those walls in her Alice-wear lol. I laughed right out loud, couldn't help it.  I also enjoyed getting a more in depth look at how the Cullens lived day to day.  That was something I'd wondered about and seeing it from Jacob's perspective made it that much more enjoyable for me. Getting to know Leah a bit more was fun and Bella & Edward being able to be parents was phenomenal, in my opinion. So Bella really COULD have it all.  And of course we have Charlie, he always provides us with quality scenes.  The awkward goodbye between he and Bella left me teary-eyed and then his 'lost puppy' routine at the wedding was classic. 

My very favorite part of this book, though, was Jacob. And I'm Team Edward all the way. I just loved getting to see inside Jake's head, even if he was wallowing in self pity through the first part of the book. I thought he deserved to wallow a bit. When he left Sam's pack, I did a happy dance, loved every second of it. He FINALLY admitted that he was born to lead, not follow.  I thought Jacob grew SO much in this book, really becoming a man, as totally cliche as that sounds. He grew up, he learned to reign in his temper and think before acting. 

Now for the things I wasn't so crazy about..I'll try to be brief. My very biggest complaint is Jacob imprinting on Nessie. I really felt that he got shafted. Imprint on a baby. Ok. Well, yes, that clears up the whole the other wolves are gonna try and kill her thing. It also kills any hope of a continuation of Jake's story, which I was really hoping for. He deserved more than to be just a means to an end.  And does no one else think it's creepy that he was in love with her MOTHER!? Or is that just me? That's not something I think I would ever get over. And secondly it's the baby's name. Renesmee. Really? I'm NOT trying to be mean or offend anyone, but what the heck kind of name is that? Ick. I know the moment I read it I wrinkled my nose in disgust and thought, "Oh that poor child." 

Overall, I did love this book and I was sobbing and laughing, sometimes at the same time as I read it. 
My Rating:

And now on to the movie! I was soooo very impressed with it! They finally managed to find a good balance for book to movie adaptation.  As always, there were ups and downs but for once, I felt the ups were more numerous than the downs. 

The wedding and all the preparation for it was all beautifully done, in my opinion. The dress was absolutely perfect, the scene with Charlie and Renee while she was getting ready started me crying and I don't think I stopped until they were in South America on their honeymoon.   When Flightless Bird, American Mouth started playing and the rest of the wedding party went away, I literally gasped out loud. It was just so moving. Really and truly beautiful. I loved the wedding toasts, with the exception of Jessica's. Honestly, I can't stand that girl and it bothered me that they would even let her get up there knowing she wasn't going to say anything nice. And yes, Renee's singing was sweet but it kinda set my teeth on edge. Charlie's by far, was the best, "I know things." I was cracking up in the theater.  Isle Esme was so perfect! I mean, down to the last detail, they got it right. I thought the wedding night was very tastefully done. When Bella wakes up in the morning to the wreckage of the bedroom I was laughing almost hysterically. It was PERFECT! And when she's in the bathroom picking feathers out of her hair and remembering everything from the night before, the music was amazing and it was just thoroughly well done. 

When Jacob runs to tell the rest of the pack about Bella, I LOVED that! The chaos he was feeling and then hearing all  the wolves through his mind. It was intense and fantastically done, exactly as I pictured it in my head when reading. And when he stood up to Sam and left his pack, I was kinda jumping up and down in my chair. Just a little, I know, I'm weird. The makeup people need to be given a HUGE hand. Bella looked absolutely grotesque when she was pregnant. It was chilling and again, exactly as I had pictured it. The birthing scene was probably my favorite part of the movie. I was SO glad they kept the horror of what happened there. Now, don't misunderstand me, I do NOT like gore, at all, BUT, I think in order to be true to the story, you had to witness what they all went through in those moments to grasp the enormity of the situation.  The way they portrayed the birth and then Edward's venom working it's way through her system while she was held still by the morphine was terrible in it's perfection.  I knew what was going to happen and I was crying! I was very happy with where they chose to end this movie. Honestly, it was the natural place to pause in the story. Bella's human life is over and it's time for her new beginning. 

Now, I only have two complaints with this movie. First and foremost, WHY did they feel the need to add the scuffle with the wolves and the Cullens?? It wasn't in the book, more drama and action were NOT needed. WHY? What good reason can they give for messing with the story like that? I was mad. But it didn't last long because then they moved back to Bella's transformation. The second was Edward's story the night before the wedding. Maybe if Catherine Hardwicke hadn't butchered Twilight, that would have made it into the first movie where it BELONGED. So really, my gripe is not with Bill Condon, but that woman who destroyed one of my favorite books. Ahem, sorry, I'm done now.  

Overall, this movie was amazing, seriously, the best yet. I only hope they show the same dedication to the book in part 2! 
My Rating: 

Finally we reach book four, Breaking Dawn, the BEST book in this entire saga. And no one can argue that with me—It’s 100% truth.

Breaking Dawn is the fourth novel in the Twilight Saga and even I will admit—This is really where Jake needed to give it a rest. Mind you, I think their friendship was adorable, and I love how Edward finally got his head out of his @$ and asked for help, but really. Take a chill pill, put a shirt on, and accept that Bella is too stupid to think up a life without Edward, okay, Jake? Especially when she’s walking around with that honking ring on her finger.

Alice was adorable here, I have to say. She was just so hyped up about Bella’s wedding I can almost see her buzzing around and chirping throughout the entire thing. And Charlie and Renee made me cry a couple times.

And the honeymoon? Oh, hot dayum… I don’t even like Edward and Bella, but I loved how she was so persistent about you-know-what, and how Edward finally acted like a teenager, not a 100-year-old. Lemme summarize—he broke a headboard and ruined some fantastic pillows. I think it’s obvious he likes Bella… A lot.

Now, not to sound totally insensitive, but I was actually amused by how Bella figured out she’s pregnant—eating a whole chicken only to vomit it back up… All right! Nice.

Jacob was great here, I think. He had the right reaction, and even though Edward and he were non-stop arguing (it’s them…) they actually felt the same way about this kid; like it was the devil tearing up the woman they both loved. Which is actually kind of sad, when you think about it…

Speaking of Jake, I liked how we got to go in HIS perspective for a while. I don’t really like when POV’s switch (don’t get me started on the book that did that for me…) but it was nice to see how he felt about everything going on.

My favorite part? Renesmee Carlie Cullen. I absolutely loved her, and how much drama and torment happened because she existed. I loved how insane the Volturi got over and this, ladies and gentlemen, this was a real war. It was terrifying and wonderful and I was flipping through page after page, needing to find out what was going to happen to little Nessie.

And honestly? I don’t really find Jacob imprinting on her THAT creepy. I do think it was a cop-out, because how else can we NOT kill the little girl right off the bat, but I don’t think it was so pedo-esque (which I see online when looking for spoilers a LOT)… I mean, they showed that someone else in the wolf pack imprinted on a little girl, and they were like big-brother/little-sister there.. Just my opinion, I know no one will agree, but I like Jake/Nessie. I wouldn’t mind reading a story about those two, once Renesmee is older.

All in all, I loved Breaking Dawn. It was my favorite book out of the whole series!

My Rating: 

For Part 1 of the movie, I think THIS was the best adaption of them all.

Esme Isle was exactly how I imagined it, Bella’s attempt to be “sexy” so Edward would stop being all cautious (it’s your honeymoon, vampire, do something!!) and feeling somewhat awkward about it seemed so perfect (she’s a teenager, after all), they showed you how terrible the bed looked in the morning and even though you couldn’t see Bella looking at herself stark in the mirror (PG-13) you got to see how bad Edward felt about “hurting” her… Bella didn’t seem to care though, just sayin’.

Another thing I loved was how actively protective Rosalie was over Nessie, no matter what, and Nikki Reed portrayed it beautifully! Her desire to be a mother came through loud and clear and slapped you (or Jake) in the face. She was the only one TRULY on Bella’s side here, with not wanting to kill “It” and save Bella. Mind you, I think her mindset was “baby-baby-baby” and had nothing to do with Bella’s wellbeing, but still.

And Taylor Lautner captured Jacob BEST OF ALL here, I think. Angry, scared, defeated. It all fit! This was BOSS.

And finally I can say, GOOD JOB to the make-up crew. Bella looked like death warmed over throughout the entire pregnancy and I was forcing myself not to clap in the theater. It was MARVELOUS and I am anxiously awaiting part two, where the action shall begin ;)

My Rating:

LOVED this book, cover to cover, I have absolutely nothing negative to say about it. I finished Eclipse at 11 PM on a Friday night and thought; I’ll just read the first few chapters of BD; well.. 4AM I had to make myself go to bed, slept 2 hours and was buried back in my book again. This is the most interactive book I’ve ever read! I was laughing and crying and screaming; at one point I was literally standing up in the middle of my bed cussing at a particular character, I then threw the book out my bedroom door bouncing it off the hall wall with such force I took out a couple of pictures in the process. I then ran out into the hall and grabbed said book, retreating back to my bedroom. My mother appeared in my doorway with one eyebrow arched asking what that poor book had done to me to deserve such a beating. She has since read the book 9 times!

The depth of these characters grows tremendously in this book; we really have watched these characters grow from awkward teens into accomplished adults throughout this series. For me it’s one of the things I loved most not only about BD but, about all the books in the Saga. Let’s address the haters “Meyer you should be ashamed promoting teen sex” F**k you, they are married! “Bella Swan is the most unlikeable, whiney, weak characters ever written” say that to my face and I will slap you! She becomes one of the strongest written female characters to ever grace the pages of a novel. THAT is the intrigue with Bella’s character; that she starts out Awkward and unsure in Twilight then hits rock bottom in New Moon then becomes a young women in Eclipse and ultimately an adoring wife, protective mother and fiercely loyal sister/friend in BD.

Meyer was genius with this last installment, the way she showed the events leading up to the wedding and Bella’s reluctance just before and how she was immediately and completely certain the second she laid eyes on Edward. In the book though, Isle Esmee was one of my favorite parts. It was very well written with descriptions that take you to this magical island. The growth between Edward and Bella, watching their relationship bloom even more so as they spend this time alone; and yes, the sex was a welcome addition! The headboard, The feathers and the Eggs for breakfast were all so realistic and believable; the headboard.. WOW! I was wondering how Meyer was going to evoke their first time; Edward is a vampire with super human strength and a virgin so he is experiencing this for the first time right along with Bella, it was a perfect way for Meyer to express what Edward was feeling and his almost inability to control it. When he bit that pillow and growled, oh my god, I needed a cigarette!!

“We’re going to get that thing out before it can hurt any part of you. Don’t be scared. I won’t let it hurt you.” “That thing?” My heart broke a little right here, really Edward, a bit more insensitive jackass. Immediately I was yelling at Bella (as if she could hear me!) CALL ROSE, CALL ROSE NOW! You can’t imagine the elation when I turned a few pages … “Hello” “Rosalie? It’s Bella. Please. You have to help me.” YES!!! And then at the airport when she ran into her arms and the family was watching, quizzically, I was laughing through the tears. Of course, I’m bias, I adore Rose.. the bitchier the better! It made perfect sense for these two to come together with what Meyer had already written; any other way wouldn’t have made sense or been believable.

My favorite part of BD1 is Book Two/Jacob. Oh my god, the chapter titles alone are hysterical! Chapter 10 – Why didn’t I just walk away? Oh Right, because I’m an idiot! LMAO.. The internal struggle for Jacob during these chapters is gut wrenchingly fantastic. “Tell me what the point was then, Bella! What was the point of me loving you? What was the point of you loving him? When you die?!” And that about sums it up; he doesn’t understand, he cannot comprehend her need to give life to this child when it will probably kill her. It isn’t until he imprints with Renesmee that he finally comprehends, until then he is just treading water hoping and praying that the women he THINKS he loves survives. Another thing I liked about BD1 was the conversation between Jacob and Alice and Carlisle’s realization about the similarities between Jacob and Renesmee and his theory on why Alice can’t see them. And oh my, the comic relief with the doggie bowl; I could close my eyes and see Rose in the kitchen ripping and tearing the bowl into submission to etch FIDO into it. And then Jacob zinging it at her head “You.Got.Food.In.My.Hair!” oh wow; it was perfectly written into an otherwise tense scene bringing us back down to earth.

I have to tell you, I really thought we’d lost Bella. Until book 2 ends and Jacob can hear the heartbeat I was balling like a baby, I couldn’t see through all the snot. Again I liked that Meyer kept the realism during the birthing scene with Edward “biting” her to get the baby out and Rosalee almost losing it with the sight and smell of all that blood. Again, Meyer was genius adding in Jacob’s dry sense of humor to ease an otherwise horrifically horrible moment in the story “Jacob, take her.” “I don’t want that, throw it out the window!” It allowed us just a moment to smile, which was needed, at that moment.

My Rating:

And now on to Breaking Dawn part 1 the movie. We certainly hit the ground running! Bella wants to go barefoot “ABSOLUTELY NOT!” oh Alice. The night before when Edward visits her bedroom for the last time to check for cold feet and Bella asks about strippers, you can just barely hear Emmett “BORING!” too funny. “Go before they break my house.” Too cute. Then it’s the wedding day, probably one of the most anticipated movie moments of the past decade! When Charlie and Renee give her the hair piece and Renee mentions her children’s children; Niki Reed nailed that scene, the look on her face was unforgettable! “Just don’t let me fall Dad.” “Never” OMG the waterworks have commenced! That dress was exquisite; I absolutely adored it and think it was absolutely perfect. The first person we see when they round the corner is Stephenie Meyer, that was fantastic. You could tell by her face she was having a hard time keeping it together; I can only imagine the feeling of satisfaction to have written this story and basically handed your children off to the masses and to know have come full circle and literally watch her baby walk down the aisle. It was probably one of the most satisfying, humbling moments in Meyer’s life and I was crying like a baby! (take that all you haters!!)

My absolute favorite part of this movie is probably going to shock most of you. When they are exchanging their vows and everyone else disappears and Flightless Bird, American Mouth starts playing; THAT is my favorite part! It encompasses everything! When Bella first asks him for forever at the prom; and here we are having witnessed such growth and so many struggles for these two young lovers and they are finally getting their happy ending. Then the speech Edward gives at the reception “No amount of time would be enough with you, so let’s start with forever.” GAH!!! Then that blonde hose beast disrespects not only the Wolves (our precious little Seth) but Bella as well, on her goddamn wedding day. I can’t wait to watch her die! Most of the speeches were hysterical; and then we have Jacob “The best man didn’t have time to get a tux.”

Honeymoon, Headboard, Feathers! FABULOUS! I think that they relayed this part of the book on screen as accurately as possible without making it an Rated R movie, they left in the coyness Bella develops while attempting to seduce her husband prancing around in all those outfits compliments of Alice. I was upset that they didn’t leave in the airport scene, when she rushes into Rose’s arms but, we can’t have it all. I was also upset that they cut my FIDO scene, that wouldn’t have been difficult to include. I loved that the way they showed Jacob’s emotions when he left and kicked the motorcycle and then morphed, the wolf pack coming to him immediately and him shaking off the bonds of Sam!

The minutes leading up to the birthing scene were very well delivered and they left in Jacob’s rant “What was the point, of me loving you and you loving him.” Thankfully. Our characters don’t even realize that they are building a bond at this point and it plays out perfectly on screen. When we come to the actual birth, whoever came up with the idea to use a life size robotic doll of Bella was genius; with this they were able to show certain things that would have been otherwise impossible using just Kristen Stewart, she is breakable you know. And the way they shot it, from her POV and her insides as the venom was flowing through her, again spot on. And the buckets of blood, perfect, had they cleaned that up it wouldn’t have been as good; it was a bloody yet necessary part of the story. It was so well played that I almost forgot what happens next momentarily as Jacob runs outside and breaks down, then concludes what he must do. Oh and Seth, our dear sweet Seth “She didn’t make it” *more tears*. When they show the imprinting it was very similar to what I’d envisioned in my mind while I was reading it, what Renesmee would become.

To conclude, I think they did an excellent job making this book into a movie, probably the most in line with the books actually. Twilight is still my favorite of the movies, but don’t get me wrong I adore them all and cannot wait until November for the exciting conclusion! But that’s just my two cents.

My Rating: 

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  1. My favorite part of the book was Esme Island.. I think the way they described it and the way it translated in the movie were just as pictured, it was so beautiful! This was my favorite book out of the series...

  2. My favorite part of book was the saving of Rebesmee, but I'm getting ahead of myself! Picking my favorite part in two parts would be the wedding, hands down! I loved every description and how every character came to play in the scenes but somehow it was only about Edward & Bella! Genius! And though I really liked the wedding scenes in the movie, the dress, Charlie, Alice, the walk to Edward, I just couldn't grasp the depth of emotion that the book brings out. But still I think they did a great job with the visual aspect!! :) thanks for giveaway ladies!!

  3. My favorite part was the first night of their honeymoon and I think they did a pretty good job transitioning it into the movie

  4. Any part with Jacob was my favorite. I was a huge fan of New Moon and I'm team Jacob all the way. I think they did an excellent job with the movies. I'm really looking forward to seeing the last one! Great post! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

  5. I would have to say they did a pretty darn good job with what they had to make the bedroom make out scene to go with the book to movie presentation. It was by far my favorite scene. I also think they did an awesome job with the wedding scene. Thanks for a great giveaway can't wait for the last installment of the Twilight series

  6. My comment got nixed on my phone!!! My fav is the honeymoon I have mixed feelings it was beautifully written then u go to movie n it was that much more better, but I think they cut out to much stuff n made it short I wanted to see him occupy her more n vice versa. The "magic" scenes were good so Im not talking about that ;) just incase anyone thought that I wanted to see the snorkling n fish all that stuff the breakfast things like that it would have made it for me...

  7. I haven't read the book yet, but my favourite part in the movie was the wedding. It was absolutely beautiful!

  8. my favorite part of Breaking dawn the book was when Bella and Edward got married, the actual wedding part. how it translated to the movie was amazing i though the wedding was wonderful and something out of a fairy tail everything i though of and more.

  9. My favorite part was honeymoon too. ^^
    And I totally can't wait for the BD part 2

  10. Alright Mel, you know it's coming lol! I have to disagree with you! While I love this book, I don't know it can be said to be the best in the series! For me, Midnight Sun wasn't even finished and it was the best lol! I love, books 1,3, and 4 equally! I loved the screen adaptations, all of them, though some of my favorite scenes were cut in all of them! I loved the flash back to Edwards past in this film; it was truly terrific! I loved the fight scene in the film between the wolves and the Cullen's and I thought it was totally necessary and would have been so, so very upset if they had not put it in the movie! The film needed more action and sadly I think it needed way more gore! I wanted the sex and blood to be far more prevalent in this film! I think the sex was not graphic enough in the book or the film! I think the birth scene should have been a lot more bloody and stayed with Jacobs point of view for most of it! My favorite part of the book was getting to see things from Jacobs point of view! The Jacob and Nessie story was totally remarkable! Not only did it explain Jacobs obsession with Bella, but it tied things together so Beautifully for everyone! Had it not happened I would have probably hated the book in the end! Also the name Renesmee is beautiful as is her middle name! If they would have named her some normal stupid humdrum name, I would have burned the book in protest! I would have written hate mail! I loved that Jacob finally grew up, manned up, and became the leader he was born to be! I loved how all the characters changed and evolved! I love in this series, how Bella's mere presence in their world forces all of the Cullen's to change and grow in their own ways! my biggest complaint about this is how the pg-13 rating stayed the same in all the books and films lol! I wanted to see a progression! PG-13 for the first two, NC17 for eclipse, and full blown R for Breaking Dawn 1 and 2!!!!!!!!! Having said all of this however; I Love, Love, Love this book, and this film! Thank you again Stephenie, and Thank you again to the movie makers who did such a phenomenal job bringing this book to the sliver screen!!!!!!!!

  11. I haven't read the book (I've read only 1st and 2nd books in series). In movie, I like the last scene-it is very exciting how it will continue! But I don't look forward to Bella as vampire ://

  12. I haven't read the book(s). I"m waiting for all the movies to come out and watch them all and then I plan on reading the books. I just don't want to wait, like people are now, to watch the story (in movies). I want to watch them one after the other, lol.

  13. The wedding ceremony was my favorite part. It was beautiful and I cried and the whole setup. Loved the fact that when Bella and Edward kissed it was like they were the only two there. *happy sigh*

  14. Still haven't seen this. I was super excited to then waited for my hubby to sort out his schedule but it never happened. I think next time he goes out of town I'll rent it. Sounds like I missed a lot.

  15. I agree with the majority! Breaking Dawn was the best book in the series and the best movie so far. I like how (and this is more of part two) things shifted and Bella, while still foolish in love, grew up enough to protect her child.

    Plus, I don't think the Jake + Nessie relationship is pedo ish, though explaining it is almost impossible.

    Favorite part of the movie? I loved most of it, but I'd say Esme Island. I laughed while reading it and laughed while watching it.


  16. It's hard to pinpoint a part of the book that I loved the most, I loved it all! The entire book to movie was great too, I loved the island!


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