by Stephenie Meyer
School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Meyer closes her epic love story of a human, a vampire, and a werewolf in this, the final installment of the saga. The story opens with Bella and Edward's wedding, and relations between Jacob and Bella remain uneasy. On honeymoon and unshackled from any further concerns about premarital sex, Edward fulfills his promise to consummate their marriage before he changes Bella into a vampire. An unexpected conception throws their idyllic world back into chaos as factions (both wolf and vampire) battle over whether or not to destroy the potential monster that is killing Bella from within. The captivating angst, passions, and problems manage to satisfyingly fill pages where surprisingly little action takes place, even after the powerful child's birth brings the Cullen family under the scrutiny of the Volturi. The international cadre of vampires who come to the Cullens' aid are fascinating, but distract from the development of prime characters at a pivotal moment. The novel begins and ends with Bella's voice, while Jacob narrates the middle third of the tale, much like the final pages of Eclipse (Little, Brown 2007). While darker and more mature than the previous titles, Meyer's twists and turns are not out of character. Fans may distress as the happy ending for everyone, including a girl for Jacob, lessens the importance and pain of tough decisions and difficult self-sacrifices that caused great grief in previous books, but they will flock to it and enjoy it nonetheless.-Cara von Wrangel Kinsey, New York Public Library Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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Book list As the concluding book of the Twilight saga begins, readers find a happy Bella Swan getting ready to marry the love of her life, vampire Edward Cullen. Soon she will become a vampire, too, but first Bella wants to experience sexual love with Edward. It's a honeymoon night like no other, and it leads to a momentous event that becomes the catalyst for the rest of the story. It's odd to think of a 700-plus page book moving briskly, but except for some character-laden drag toward the end, that happens here, thanks to Meyer's fevered determination to tie up loose ends. Most pressing, of course, is the need to resolve the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and the werewolf Jacob. This is accomplished in a way that is consistent with what's happened previously, though some will find what takes place to be distasteful. Other plot points are checked off as well. For instance, Charlie is kept in the loop about his daughter's situation as long as he adheres to a don't ask-don't tell policy, and questions surrounding the wolf pack are answered, if rather surprisingly. Also problematic is the introduction of a major new character (to reveal who it is would be a spoiler). Everyone in the book finds her lovable, but many readers may have the opposite view. The most dismaying new story element, however, is the way domesticity replaces the heightened emotionality of Bella and Edward's love, even though there's now sex and plenty of it. (While the sex scenes aren't graphic, a birth scene is quite unsettling, and both may not be suitable for preteens.) For those who find it hard to say farewell to Bella and company, take heart: it may not be good-bye. Astute readers will see the potential for a series spin-off, complete with another love triangle, on the horizon.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2008 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.