Monday, August 18, 2008

vamping it up

This is the part of the blog where I review Breaking Dawn.  If you’re not into vampire heart throb novels, then, uh, see you next post.  

So here’s the deal.  I love campy.  I eat camp warm, with chocolate syrup and a spoon.  Tasty tasty camp.  The first three books in the series are chock full of camp, which is what makes them so much fun.  But Breaking Dawn veered waaaaay off the camp-o-meter into a laugh-out-loud land of ridiculousness.

Warning: here be spoilers.

Firmly in lol territory: “Renesmee.”  Really?  Really, Stephenie, is that the best you could do?  It may be ultra-Mormony to name a child after two parents at the SAME TIME--but surely there are other ways to reference your culture?  One imagines a scene where vegan Edward snacks on green jello, perhaps, or a darkly funny reference to funeral potatoes.  Anything would be better than Renesmee Carlie, for crying out loud.  Though it should come as no surprise that a woman named Stephenie--just WHAT was so wrong with using an “a”?--might well have unusual tastes in names. 

(Aside: for a fun Mormon Name Generator, click here.  My Mormon name is, awesomely, Lauradene LindaGay.)  

But Renesmee?  Bella has doomed her child to a life of snickering and, no-doubt, superfluous hyphening.  She should’ve tested it out first: “All rise for the honorable Renesmee Cullen.”  Nope, no good.  “It gives me great pleasure to introduce out new CEO, Renesmee Cullen.”  Heck to the no.  “Stay tuned for our interview with acclaimed author Renesmee Cullen.”  Pass the remote.   I was giving Breaking Dawn the benefit of the doubt until this name debuted--but after that, it was pretty much dead to me.  And not in a sparkles-in-the-sunlight kind of dead, either.

I was also precioused-out by “nudger,” which Bella uses ad nauseam to describe her superfetus.  And surely I’m not the only one who giggled at the fastfowarded pregnancy (which still managed to cram in endless medical nastiness).

I giggled more on learning exactly what vampires do with all those sleep-free nights.  Hee.   And you gotta admit that the pillow-biting, which is being swooned over on fansites, was just odd.  Though it does make for a really great euphemism.   “Hey baby, wanna bite some pillow?” has a great blend of the dirty and the absurd.  

I suppose I do have to credit Meyer (more “e”s!) with fearless creativity; I don’t think I’ve ever read a book before where a love triangle is resolved by the lover falling for the beloved’s INFANT DAUGHTER.    Was this the only way she could think of to resolve things and leave everyone happy?  Well, leave everyone over the age of consent happy, anyway.  

There was a similar chickening-out during the showdown with the Volturi.  How conVENient that Bella just happens to have super-shielding abilities.  How conVENient that dozens of vegan vamps were hanging around just waiting for a chance to take on the Volturi.  How conVENient that Bella can keep seeing her folks after all (still not sure how that one worked out).  Not that you read a book about vampires looking for believability--but consistency would have been nice.

I’m getting soul-weary thinking about it.  If you haven’t had enough vamp yet, check out this very fun Breaking Dawn quiz.  And, if you’ve read the book, tell me what you thought.  (Pic stolen from L. Llew’s fabulous Breaking Dawn midnight release party.) 

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