The novel picks up following Bella’s recovery from certain events at the end of the previous book. Bella has just turned 18, and she is unhappy because her beloved Edward, a vampire, will never be older than 17. The prospect of growing old while he remains perpetually youthful is distasteful to Bella. The Cullens, Edward’s family throw Bella a birthday party, and an accident makes Edward decide Bella is not safe with the Cullens. When Edward leaves Bella, she makes friends with the enigmatic Jacob Black, only to discover that he, too, harbors a dark secret. Will he help her forget Edward and heal the hole left by Edward’s absence? Or will Edward return to challenge his rival?
Meyer has the gift for creating a plot that will engage the reader — a real page-turner. To me, a good test is whether I can keep from turning ahead to see what the future holds — something I consider cheating. And I have to cheat with Meyer’s books. Her characters are believable and likable. If her vampires are a bit too perfect, well, it’s because they’re supposed to be.
I do wish Bella, Meyer’s main character, had a bit more self-confidence. I think the Cullens treat her like a pet, and it’s somewhat demeaning. She feels unworthy of their attention, so it’s a vicious cycle. I like Jacob Black, who Meyer introduced in the first book, but fleshed out in this second book. Meyer’s allusions to Romeo and Juliet, woven throughout the text, worked well.
I can definitely see why these books are so popular with teens. I really enjoyed going to Stephenie Meyer’s book signing in September, and if she comes back to sign copies of Breaking Dawn, I will be there!