Friday, August 22, 2008

Critiques- SPOILER ALERT

Three posts in one day- WHEW! I guess I need a house to unpack or something...

I wanted to give my opinions on some books I have recently read- both from Stephanie Meyers (I know you are all shocked that I have an opinion:))

Breaking Dawn (if you haven't read these books yet, you may not want to read these critiques- that is my fair warning!!!) Pros:

1. I really liked the ending- it didn't try to set up for a sequel which was nice

2. Total mind candy, fast, easy read

3. For a better part of the book it kept you wanting to keep reading- not the whole time, but most of the time

Cons:

1. I hated Edward always calling her "love"- I don't know why, but everytime he did, I wanted to vomit

2. I HATED the way Bella became obsessed with sex- it was like that was all Bella could concentrate on- how wonderful it was, etc. and when 16-year-old girls read this, they will think, "oh, sex must be really special, I am so excited to have it with my 16-year-old boyfriend, I just can't wait

3. It does bother me that Bella will give up everything- college, mortality, her family, everything for this guy she is "SOOOO" in love with at age 17. Here's why: I taught high school for 5 years, and EVERY girl thought they were "SOOOO" in love with their boyfriend, and freshmen girls honestly thought their freshman boyfriend was "the one" and therefore it was ok to have sex with them, etc. While Edward and Bella remain chaste until their very young marriage, it glorifies giving up all for love when you are a teenager. Unfortunately, many young girls do and they end up pregnant without a daddy for their baby and little hope for a happy future

4. Along with #3, it glorifies having a baby at a super young age. Again, I am looking at this from a mother of a daughter who I don't want being pregnant at age 16, and I don't want her to idolize somebody who is able to find such great happiness NOT going to college, NOT ever seeing her mother again, having a baby at a very young age, and getting married in lieu of fulfilling her life's ambitions.

5. I HATED that Jacob imprinted on a vampire (ok, I guess she was only half-vampire). I thought that was totally way out of character and not something that was congruent with the rest of the story, though I do realize it made for better story telling at the end to have the pack in line with the Cullens.

Overall: An enjoyable read, but I am very uncertain as to whether or not I want Audra to read the series when she is a teenager- I really don't think Bella is somebody I want her to idolize

The Host

Pros:

1. Again, mind candy

2. Great theories, and I am not a big fan of sci-fi, but I still found the idea of the book quite compelling

Cons:

1. Way too long- I really think she could have taken out about 20 chapters and been fine

2. I HATED HATED HATED HATED HATED (did I mention hated?) the epilogue and continued epilogue- I thought all she was trying to do was set the book up for a sequel and it totally detracted from the books actual ending, which was actually quite good

3. I don't know how she distinguished this as an "adult" book- not that I wanted sex or anything, but her writing was the exact same style as the Twilight series, and the topic in this book was no more adult than a human drinking blood to feed her baby

4. Even though her theories were great, I don't think she utilized them to the full potential

Overall: Again, it was an OK book, but not one I will read again

I would really LOVE to hear all of your thoughts on these books, especially if you disagree with me!!! I know many of you have read them, so let me know what you think!

6 comments:

  1. I can't help but comment on Breaking Dawn. I liked the first book, it was entertaining. The other two, not so much but I had hope for this one. I thought it was sooo boring (except for maybe two parts so far). I am having a hard time finishing it because it is so dull. It just feels like she was adding filler to make it longer. Maybe it picks up in the last 100 pages but I am having a hard time getting past the whole Jacob imprinting on a baby thing. Eww!!! I thought it was weird when the other kid imprinted on a two year old and this was even weirder. I know it isn't a sexual thing but it is still strange to me. Not to mention Jacob was in love and made out with her mother. Too bizarre for me. And her Dad being okay with 'not knowing too much'. How convenient. And how Bella's special talent is self control. Ya, cause she showed so much self control when she was a human. Aren't the talents supposed to carry over somewhat from when they were human? Plus I thought it was so sappy, the happy cottage in the forest. Anyway, I could go on and on. I was just very disappointed. I thought her first book was very inventive and that it had the possibility of being a really interesting series. I just think she could have done a lot more with it. Sorry to vent so much. Lots of people seem to like it, maybe I am just stange :)

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  2. I haven't read any of the Twilight Series, but have heard many faithful readers say that they did not like Breaking Dawn because of all the sex. Not a book you would want your daughters and sons reading. We are reading The Host for book club so once I can get a copy (I do not want to buy it) I will be reading it. Maybe if I like that I will venture into the other series. Many people like the books, but I have also met many people that do not. It is funny because the people I know that are in love with the books cannot believe that anyone would not like them. I will have to read them and judge for myself, but appreciate your book reviews. I have read a lot of books lately, I should do some reviews as well, if I ever have time.

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  3. I've only read the first two books of the series and honestly, have found them to be a little dull. They are an easy read, for sure. But for some reason I'm just not that sold on them. I bought the first 2 books, but I think I'll just borrow the last two. As for The Host...I think I may not read that, unless I get really bored.

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  4. Ok, so maybe I'm not as "intellectual" as the others who have posted here, but I TOTALLY loved the books. ALL OF THEM! I think that Stephanie Meyer is a pretty basic writer, but a great story teller. You have to forgive her using the same discriptions over and over again, because that's not her forte. Having said that, Bella was 19, they had high standards when it came to when they would have sex, there were no details given during their sexual encounters AND she didn't think she could get pregnant because he was a vampire, so the pregnancy thing was very unexpected. I thought the way that she became a vampire was great because it made it ok for me. Otherwise I would have struggled with her giving up everything for him. All in all, I LOVE the books, would recommend them to anyone and will definitely watch the movies

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  5. A lot of people definitley love the books, and I will watch the movies. I really liked Twilight, probably because that is where she really put out all of her ideas, and I do think her ideas are ingenious.I was reading something on another blog that people were leaving their husbands because of Edward. Has anybody else heard that rumor???? Needless to say, I think that is rediculous- he is a fictional vampire (as opposed to real vampires) and how anybody could think their husband should be just like him is beyond me. Anyway, I had heard that rumor and just wanted to know if anybody could confirm it's truth, or lack thereof.

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  6. I had just finished The Host when you posted this, but hadn't read Breaking Dawn yet, so, to avoid spoilers, I didn't read this or the comments until I just finished Breaking Dawn this evening.

    First, some thoughts about Breaking Dawn. I enjoyed it, as well as the rest of the series. It was fun to see Bella be the strong character who saves everyone else for once, instead of being the one always needed saving. I was a little weirded out by Jacob imprinting on Nessie (I really don't like the name Renesmee. Carlie, yes. Renesmee, no), but part of me is glad he and Bella could be part of each others lives without the hurtful love triangle thing going on. I was kind of glad Leah yelled at Bella about the way she was making Jacob feel. I was getting mad at Bella for dragging Jacob through his torture every time he ventured to see her. Although, a small part of me is still mad at Jacob for the end of Eclipse when he threatened to get himself killed by joining the fight if Bella didn't REALLY kiss him. Dirty trick. Anyway, everything wraps up a little too neatly at the end of Breaking Dawn, but then I'm glad it's a happy ending and Bella can be happy with her family for eternity.

    Newlyweds can be a little sex-crazed, so that part didn't bother me, but I can totally see your points about teens reading this and relating to Bella being a teen and getting married and having a baby really young and everything else you pointed out. Me being in my 30's (!) and not being around many teenage girls, I kind of forgot about her main fan base being teenagers and how they would perceive Bella's actions. Thanks for that perspective.

    OK, thoughts about The Host. I REALLY liked it, although I do agree with you that it was kind of long in the middle parts. I was really intrigued with the ideas of what it means to be human, how you need the bad to appreciate the good, how you can still love people even when the seem to do horrible things.

    I don't have the book with me (returned to the library) so I can't look up the epilogue again, but what part is the epilogue that you HATED? Was it the fact that they put Wanda in another body anyway, or the very end when they are out and meet more rebels with their own "Wanda"? (Ew, I just remember how much I didn't like her new body. It totally went against the mental picture I had of her. She needed a strong, capable body like Melanie, not the wussy, cutsie angelic body they chose for her. Yeah, maybe next you shouldn't let a 14 year old boy pick out the body.)

    ANYWAY, I was so mad for a second at the "ending" when she's lying on Doc's table and there are a few blank pages and I thought it was over and I felt like I had just wasted my time reading this book and become attached to the characters, especially Wanda, just to see her not exist anymore. Then a few seconds later, I got to the next chapter after the blank pages (perhaps the epilogue?) and all was well with the universe again. I am so glad they brought her back anyway, even though I don't like her new body, as mentioned above.

    Anyway this post is way too long, sorry. I just wanted to express some of my thoughts, now that I've finished both books. Sorry if they are incoherent or confusing...it's kind of late :)

    I like your book reviews. It's fun to see what other people think.

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