So I don't know if it was because I wasn't expecting to love it that... well... I kinda did.
I am a big fan of this series. I think Meyers has a great deal of talent in capturing the excitement and romance and intrigue of such a relationship. I've enjoyed where she took the story, and always felt as if Bella and Edward didn't end up together somehow, I would feel cheated.
BEFORE YOU READ ON... It's really impossible for me to review this without discussing the storyline, which most people probably already know, but if you don't want to spoil the surprise, don't read on.
Okay, with that disclaimer out of the way... we already knew going into this book that a big wedding was on deck for Bella and Edward. Alice pulled out all the stops and it's a great scene. So off the happy couple goes on their honeymoon and yes, the standard honeymoon activities ensue.
LET ME PAUSE HERE TO SAY that in no way shape or form should these books be considered appropriate for anyone under, oh I'd say 14. Maybe I'm conservative, but the sexual themes/tension within the covers are way too adult for the elementary-aged girls I've seen carrying these books around. Just my opinion on that.
Okay, back to the review. So Bella ends up pregnant. I was totally surprised by this, although it explained a lot about the pro life/pro choice buzz. Like I said, I was trying not to pay attention. At first I thought, you've got to be kidding me, right? But Meyers drew me in so well that before long this arc was just as believable as the original concept. The baby grows at an accelerated rate, and no mother who has ever carried a child like this (of which there haven't been many) have survived the birth. Edward's wrenching guilt and anguish over this, and Bella's instant maternal instincts carry us through the pages of waiting and working out how to save Bella. Of course, they end up making her a vampire when the baby is born.
Bella turns out to be an excellent vampire, although whether this is because she had so much time to mentally prepare or whether it's from sheer stubbornness, we don't know. Jacob, who had hovered at Bella's bedside, unable to leave her during the pregnancy, discovers something amazing that totally caught me off guard and I won't mention here because finding out was just so much fun.
Then, the half human, half vampire child draws the attention of The Volturi, who suddenly have reason to condemn the family. Alice sees that they are coming for them, and they immediately recruit some of their vampire friends from around the world to stand with them. They have to convince The Volturi that the child is not an immortal child (which is forbidden).
The final showdown is tense and well done and I was kept up all hours reading which is always a good sign.
I recommend this and give it 4 bookmarks, but I do want to add this caveat -- if you have preconceived notions about the book, or feel like Meyers is trying to make a political/ethical statement, you may not want to spend the 700+ pages of reading time on it. However, if you can go into it with an open mind, forget what everyone is saying, and just enjoy the story for what it is. Which is pretty darn good.