The book immediately shot to the number one sales position at Amazon.com, where, according to this article in Publisher's Weekly, the message boards are now buzzing with disgruntled readers who are encouraging others to return the book and get their money back. Why? Because the heroine ended up with the wrong guy and many readers didn't like the way the book--and the series--concluded. This from PW:
In one heavily trafficked thread [at Amazon] entitled “Unhappy with Breaking Dawn? Don’t burn it—RETURN it!,” commenters debated whether returning the book was a valid way to express unhappiness with the book. “Technically, reading a book and returning it is theft of knowledge,” read one post, while the original commenter, a former bookstore employee, wrote, “I don’t advocate making a habit of buying new books, reading them, and returning them. But once in a while... I do think mass returns are a useful form of consumer protest.” Another poster recounted, anecdotally, returning the book at Borders: “They took back my book with no problem. Got into a discussion with the cashier about how I was the 15th (!!!) person to bring my book back today.”
Not every fangirl hates the book. But many do, and some of them want to punish the author and the publisher for raising their expectations and then failing to deliver a satisfying read. Take a look at this snippet from the Amazon discussion mentioned above. Here's how "Baby Strange" launched the thread that has logged 527 comments as of this morning:
If you haven't already messed up your copy, GO GET YOUR MONEY BACK.
There's a good reason for this, besides well--getting your money back and getting that infernal book out of your house.
It won't harm the bookstores; they end up returning unsold hardcovers to the publisher anyway. If you feel bad for them, buy another book with the money or credit you get back.
Who it will hurt is Little, Brown, for having the gall to let this piece of trash hit the market in the first place. Seriously, they should be ashamed of themselves.
It will also hurt Stephenie Meyer. She earns royalties on books that have been sold. If you burn your books, she's already made her money off of you, so it doesn't really matter. If you return them, she won't earn royalties on those books. She should be ashamed of herself for handing in such a travesty of a book; she doesn't deserve your money. Don't line her pockets with any more of your money--take the book back.
I don't believe anyone needs to worry about Stephenie Meyers not being able to pay her electric bill. After the success of her first three books, the woman can probably afford to buy her own small country. So these angry little girls aren't hurting her by refusing to contribute to the royalties she'll earn on Breaking Dawn. What they are doing is whipping up vengeful attitudes and behavior that can't do our society any good. You didn't give me the entertainment I demanded so now I am going to hurt you and the people you work for!
Listen, children. Purchasing a novel is an investment that may or may not pay off. You do your research--consider your friends' advice, read the back-cover blurb and maybe the first couple of pages--and then you take your chances. You may have a pleasant reading experience or a disappointing one or an amazing one. That is the nature of novel-reading. If a book is morally reprehensible--say you get to the middle of it and there's a graphic child-rape scene--then returning it makes sense. But demanding your money back because you didn't like a book's ending? Childish and rude.