by Stephenie Meyer
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Meyer wraps everything up very neatly in the fourth and final installment of the very popular Twilight series. It's obvious that Bella represents a kind of wish-fulfillment for her, as by the end of the book she gets everything she wants without having any consequences at all. Neither Bella nor her love interest, vampire Edward Cullen, seem terribly well-rounded. Bella half-heartedly goes through with the wedding that Edward insists upon, and during their honeymoon in a remote tropical island, finds that she's miraculously become pregnant with Edward's child.
Bella is the perfect martyr, willing to sacrifice any and all of her needs for others. Edward is a prat, still pouting that he can't read her mind, and therefore notoriously dumb about communicating in a healthy way with his fiance. Bella enlists the aid of barren Rose in order to protect her during her abnormally fast supernatural pregnancy. Not having much time to consider things, and as a child of a bitter divorce, it's clear Bella's never thought much about baby names, she quickly settles on "Renesmee" as the name for her daughter. Everyone shortens this to "Nessie" much to her chagrin. Werewolf Jacob wastes no time imprinting on Nessie, something which I saw as a very odd compromise to get him a love interest deeply connected to Bella in some way. Nessie clearly suffers from SORAS (Soap-Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome) as her half-vampire heritage causes her to nearly instantly age into an adorable pre-schooler.
A showdown with the vampire lords ensures the Cullens future safety, as they make their case for their "vegetarian" existance, and the existance of their half-vampire child. Bella flexes her own superpowers, adapting to her vampire existence with ease and near-perfect control, not the ravening bloodlust that she'd feared. Bella's utter disdain for her "clumsy" human years reminded me very much of Lestat in Anne Rice's The Tale of the Body Thief.
These characters are so arresting, and the world that Meyer creates so believable, it's frustrating to see them take a turn that one wouldn't have wished... I was rooting for a better ending for Jacob of course, and wishing that Bella would grow a spine! Still, for all the quibbles I had with plot of the book, it was still extremely entertaining and a quick read despite it's hefty page-count.
On the whole, this is an very enjoyable series, and one that I'd recommend even if it wasn't a super-hot bestseller.
I purchased this book.