Last Saturday afternoon, less than a day after "Breaking Dawn," the conclusion of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, hit shelves, the Internet grumblings began. Of course, many readers were still eagerly drinking up the saga of Edward and Bella. But one fast reader expressed her disappointment in the book by launching a discussion on Amazon.com urging fellow disgruntled fans, "Don't burn your copies of the book — RETURN THEM."
(SPOILER ALERT, though we'll try to keep them vague for all you slowpokes.) And judging by the heated back-and-forth that followed, there are plenty of other Twilighters complaining about what is or isn't in the book: the lack of more explicit sex scenes, the excessive amount of sex scenes, the implausibility of Bella's pregnancy, the pace of the story, the lack of a big battle scene, the whole Jacob section, and on and on. One blogger told Entertainment Weekly that the story "didn't seem to fit the world that I thought Stephenie Meyer created." So how does the author feel about this venomous reaction to the novel that sold 1.3 million copies in its first day?
"You see the punch coming; that doesn't mean it's not gonna hurt when it hits," Meyer told MTV News on Thursday. "There's no way to make everybody happy. When I do one thing that a lot of people want, there's always the opposite reaction.
"But how can you possibly meet up with the expectations that this book had?" she asked. "It just got so built up. There is no book in the world that could stand up to that. So I knew it was going to happen, but at the same time it hurts."
Of course, members of Team Jacob can't be too thrilled from the very start of the book. But Meyer won't pander to their preference for Bella's hot-blooded werewolf pal.
"If they really love the characters, then I would hope that this would make sense to them, because these are the true characters," she explained. "This is the story the way it was always meant to be."
And other readers are giving Meyer grief about the fact that Bella does get a "happily ever after" without having to make any major sacrifices.
"I think she worked for it pretty hard," Meyer countered. "It doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes you make a decision about what you want and you pay for it and you suffer for it and it doesn't work out. Those types of stories always leave me horribly depressed. I'm not going to live in a world for a year at a time where that's going to be the ending. If people wanted a really depressing, tragic ending, I gave them a lot of hints that it wasn't going to be that way. They really shouldn't have been surprised!"
And though Meyer knew the complaints would come, she was surprised by what some of them were about. One minor quibble seems to be the awkward name of Bella and Edward's daughter, Renesmee.
"I should have known that people would feel that way," she laughed when we read aloud one comment about Bella's hybrid of Renee and Esme. "The name has been real to me for so long now that I've forgotten how unusual it would sound to everyone else."
Meyer did seem taken aback by the "don't burn it, return it" threats. "I've read a lot of books that I didn't like very much, and that thought never occurred to me, because I had read them! I hadn't heard of [doing] that before. That's not fun to hear."
But Meyer holds out hope that "Breaking Dawn" detractors will eventually see her side of things. "I hope that if they really do enjoy the other books, they'll realize that this is kind of where it was supposed to go."
Check back here on Tuesday for Meyer's answers to your questions about "Breaking Dawn." And head on over to the MTV Movies Blog for more thoughts on this backlash, as well as the answer to the question on everyone's mind: Where's Larry?