A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this series is enormously popular with teen and older tween girls. The main characters -- Bella, 18, mortal, and Edward, vampire -- have sex after they're married. Little is described in detail except that broken furniture and bruises are found on the next day (thanks to vampire super-strength). The goriest part of the book is a supernatural birth scene with lots and lots of blood, cracking bones, and near death. Vampires spend half the book fearing for their lives and the lives of family and friends.
What's the story?
Despite Bella's initial reluctance to be a teen bride, she and her beloved vampire Edward tie the knot at the beginning of BREAKING DAWN. Then comes the honeymoon ... which leaves Bella pregnant with a baby that saps her strength and health as quickly as it grows inside her. The baby's birth leads to massive changes in the lives of all of the series' main characters, particularly werewolf Jacob and Bella herself. It could also lead to more trouble from the meddling Italian Volturi -- which prompts the Cullens to recruit a virtual army ready to stand by their side at any cost.
Is it any good?
Fans finally get what they want at the beginning of this fourth book in the bestselling Twilight Saga: a fairytale wedding, a honeymoon, and s-e-x. Once that's out of the way, teens who are just in it for the romance shouldn't go any further. The small percentage of readers who are in it for the blood and supernatural creatures will find both, but one of the creatures turns out to be pretty bizarre and ridiculous, and there aren't enough compelling plot twists and suspenseful moments to carry the book through the full 755 pages. There's plenty of talking, though. And fear that something really sinister is coming for all of them. But when the force they all fear does finally come for them, all the build-up goes nowhere.
All the books in the series always ran too long, but they made up for the length with fun fantasy characters, plenty of romantic tension, and a good final battle at the end. This time the characters get everything they want at the beginning of the book and leave fans hanging at the end.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of the series. What draws so many super fans to the books? The romance? Melodrama? Supernatural elements? Very handsome characters?
This is the conclusion to a series that already included three verrrrrry long books Did it live up to your expectations, or did you think this book is too long? How would you have written it differently?
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