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Breaking Dawn is the fourth and final novel in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Divided into three parts, the first and third sections are written from Bella Swan's perspective and the second is written from the perspective of Jacob Black. Breaking Dawn was released on August 2, 2008 at midnight release parties in over 4,000 bookstores throughout the US. From its initial print run of 3.7 million copies, 1.3 million were sold in the first 24 hours of the book's release, setting a record in first-day sales performance for the Hachette Book Group USA. Breaking Dawn is split into three separate parts. The first part details Bella's marriage and honeymoon with Edward, which they spend on a private island, called Isle Esme, off the coast of Brazil. Two weeks into their honeymoon, Bella realizes that she is pregnant with a half-vampire child and that her condition is progressing at an unnaturally accelerated rate. After contacting Carlisle, who confirms her
pregnancy, she and Edward immediately return home to Forks, Washington. Edward, concerned for Bella's life and convinced that the fetus is a monster as it continues to develop with unnatural rapidity, urges her to have an abortion. However, Bella feels a connection with the child and refuses.
The novel's second part is written from the perspective of werewolf Jacob Black, and lasts throughout Bella's pregnancy and childbirth. Jacob's Quileute wolf pack, not knowing what danger the unborn child may pose, plan to destroy it, also killing Bella. Jacob vehemently protests this decision and leaves, forming his own pack with Leah and Seth Clearwater. Bella soon gives birth, but the baby breaks many of her bones and she loses massive amounts of blood. In order to save her life, Edward changes her into a vampire by injecting his venom into her heart. Jacob, who was present for the birth, almost immediately "imprints'', an involuntary response in which a shape-shifter finds his soul mate, on Edward and Bella's newborn daughter, Renesmee.
The third section of Breaking Dawn shifts back to Bella's perspective, finding her changed into a vampire and enjoying her new life and abilities. However, the vampire Irina misidentifies Renesmee as an "immortal child", a child who has been turned into a vampire. Because "immortal children" are uncontrollable, creating them has been outlawed by the Volturi. After Irina presents her allegation to the Volturi, they plan to destroy Renesmee and the Cullens. In an attempt to survive, the Cullens gather other vampire clans from around the world to stand as witnesses and prove to the Volturi that Renesmee is not an immortal child. Upon confronting the gathered Cullen allies and witnesses, the Volturi discover that they have been misinformed and immediately execute Irina for her mistake.
However, they remain undecided on whether Renesmee should be viewed as a threat to vampires' secret existence. At that time, Alice and Jasper, who had left prior to the confrontation, return with a Mapuche called Nahuel, a 150-year-old vampire-human crossbreed like Renesmee. Nahuel demonstrates that the crossbreeds pose no threat, and the Volturi leave. Edward, Bella, and Renesmee return to their home in peace.
The title, Breaking Dawn, is a reference to the beginning of Bella's life as a newborn vampire. The cover is a metaphor for Bella's progression throughout the entire series; she began as the physically weakest player on the board, the pawn, but at the end she becomes the strongest, the queen. The plays The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night's Dream both influenced Breaking Dawn. Originally, Meyer wrote a book titled Forever Dawn, which was a direct sequel to Twilight. While the basic storyline remained the same, Forever Dawn was narrated completely from Bella's point of view, the werewolves and Jacob were "only sketchily developed", Victoria and Laurent were both alive, and there was an epilogue. Meyer went on to say that she "may post some extras someday if I ever have time to go back through the Forever Dawn manuscript, it's just as long as Breaking Dawn."
In regard to Renesmee's unique name, Meyer wrote that she "couldn't call her Jennifer or Ashley. What do you name the most unique baby in the world? I looked through a lot of baby name websites. Eventually I realized that there was no human name that was going to work for me, so I surrendered to necessity and made up my own." Meyer decided to include the pregnancy in her story while she was researching vampires and came across the legend of the incubus, a demon who could father children.
Meyer states in regard to ending the series that:
"The Twilight Saga is really Bella's story, and this was the natural place for her story to wind up. She overcame the major obstacles in her path and fought her way to the place she wanted to be. I suppose I could try to prolong her story unnaturally, but it wouldn't be interesting enough to keep me writing. Stories need conflict, and th