How I Liked It
During my first reading of Breaking Dawn
, Book Two was my favorite. The pregnancy threw me off a bit and the final confrontation with the Volturi played out ... oddly. (Each re-read I grew to love them more until I really enjoy the whole thing, but I am talking about initially.)
The "snarky" humor of Jacob's mind, especially since Edward is frequently his only beneficiary, made it. Without some comic relief, Bella's drawn-out death would have been just too depressing. (I don't think I have ever read another author who has done painful emotions so well - by a long shot.)Team Edward vs. Team Jacob
I've always hated the Team Edward/Team Jacob thing. Even before I read Eclipse, I liked him even though it was obvious that Bella was totally committed to Edward. Then I read "Being Jacob Black" (http://stepheniemeyer.com/pdf/nm_extras_jacob.pdf
) and liked him even more. Part of the Edward/Jacob problem is that it is really separate two issues.
The first is who gets the girl? Who is she best off with? What choices will make her the happiest? (Obviously, each guy thinks she's best off with him and that she will be happiest with him.) On this issue there is plenty of room for honest differences of opinion and vigorous debate. Natural vs. Magical. The risk of loving a person who is capable of imprinting but hasn't on you. Children vs. No children (Buzz! Wrong!) Maintaining human relationships vs. abandoning loved ones. Knowing who she can't live without.
The second issue is far less debatable. Is Jacob Black a good guy with Bella's best interest (even if he doesn't always agree with her as to what those "best interests" are) at heart? The answer is a resounding yes. Jacob is a great guy who loves Bella beyond the bounds of rationality. Is he frequently irritating? Yes. Does he present, at times, a viable threat to the Bella/Edward relationship? Yes. Does he sometimes act without totally thinking out the consequences of his actions? Yes. Does he occasionally exhibit the "maturity" of a 16-year old boy? Yes. Within the constraints of doing what is best for Bella, does he try to optimize the situation for himself? Yes. But is he a true friend to Bella? In all respects ("returning" her motorcycle and phasing in front of Charlie not withstanding), he is her true friend.
People often merge the two issues and express "hate for Jacob" when discussing their personal values about what is "best" for Bella and which relationship could provide that "best".Book Two Table of Contents
Did anyone notice that Book Two has no table of contents? I laughed my butt off when I saw that. Not only are the chapter titles way too long to fit on the page, but think about what a table of contents does. It gives the reader a glimpse of what is coming, i.e. the future. And you can't foresee the future of werewolves. Therefore, you can't have a table of contents for Book Two. I get the giggles just thinking about it.