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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: New Moon (Twilight Saga, Book 2) by Stephenie Meyer


"Which is tempting you more, my blood or my body?" Things are heating up between Bella Swan and her vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen, in this sequel to the immensely popular Twilight (2005). Then Bella is injured at her birthday party, and the Cullens' reaction to her blood sends Edward's family packing. Bella is inconsolable until she discovers that reckless behavior allows her to hear Edward's warning voice in her head.

To keep him close, she decides to live as dangerously as possible, acquiring two motorcycles and developing a close friendship with Jacob, who helps her rebuild them. Romantics will miss Edward's presence, but the suspense created by a pack of werewolves bent on protecting Bella from a vindictive vampire will keep them occupied until the lovers can be reunited.

The writing is a bit melodramatic, but readers won't care. Bella's dismay at being ordinary (after all, she's only human) will strike a chord even among girls who have no desire to be immortal, and like the vampires who watch Bella bleed with "fevered eyes," teens will relish this new adventure and hunger for more. Cindy Dobrez Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

My Review:

In the last review of Twilight, I focused on the relationships between Bella and Edward. The problem with the sequel, New Moon, published in 2006 by Little, Brown, is that the relationships have changed. Perhaps, I should start from the beginning.

The book starts with Bella (Isabella) Swan’s eighteenth birthday. She is now a year older than her boyfriend when he was human, and from the overly-dramatic reasoning of a teenager, she is aging rapidly. The night before, Bella has a dream about being old and wrinkly –the way things should be in 50 some-odd years- while her love, Edward, is still an eternal seventeen-year-old boy.

With the question of her inevitable mortality hanging in the air, she attends school ̶ which I find to be incredibly boring ̶ and she ends the night at her vegetarian boyfriend’s home for a birthday party. Things seem to be going nicely during the small family get-together, until she cuts herself on some wrapping paper.

Before she can comprehend the meaning of her paper cut, she is surrounded by several ravenous vampires. Apparently, human blood from the tap is a bit more appealing than they thought it might be. Everything that would excite a vampire occurs and begins a blood frenzy.

 Dr. Cullen comes to the rescue and helps to usher everyone away so he can tend to her wounds. Bella and Dr. Cullen have a touching moment where they discuss immortality and his former friends, The Volturi. The Volturi are the top of the vampire hierarchy and some would call them the peacekeepers of their secret world.

Bella finally makes it home and her boyfriend, Edward, is acting very oddly. While she is taking her ruined birthday party in stride, her boyfriend isn’t being quite as accepting of the fact she was almost the main course for his family. The couple agrees to disagree on the matter and they leave things at that.

In coming days, members of Edwards’s family start disappearing. This change, without any notice, prompts Bella to question Edward. He brings her to the woods near her house and tells her that the Cullens are moving, he is breaking up with her, and she should stay out of trouble. Talk about a horrible day! She chases him in the woods as far as she can go, until she succumbs to her heartache, lying on the ground and crying.

The hopeless romantic in me was crying with Bella. I wanted Edward to rush back and help her, tell her he was lying, and that he was sorry. Bella is eventually found by her friends in the Quileute tribe ̶ which is the tribe her friend, Jacob, belongs to ̶ and they rescue her from lying on the ground. I know that makes me sound awfully sarcastic, but she was pretty much just lying on the ground. I read nothing about a sprained ankle, or medical problem that might have debilitated her in any way to stop her from getting up once she was done being a drama queen.

Through months and months of mourning her lost love, Bella goes (for lack of a medical term) “crazy” in attempting to remember every little detail about Edward. Her human mind eventually forgets some of the things that made him so great, until she does something careless.

Visions of her lost love appear to her when she goes against Edwards’s orders to be safe, so she becomes as reckless as possible in order to see him again. Her behavior is kind of stalker-like and definitely odd, but I can think of worse things to do after a breakup than learn to ride motorcycles and go cliff jumping.

Bella spends more and more time with Jacob, a friend from the Quileute tribe a few miles north. Most days are spent together fixing up things, hanging out with his friends, or doing homework. For a while, Bella seems like a normal girl who has become adjusted to her life without a supernatural boyfriend ̶ that is, until she meets her goal of seeing Edward in her head again.

Just as I thought the story was getting routine, Laurent, one of the human-blood drinking vampires from Twilight, comes back to Forks for some recon work as a favor for Victoria. Victoria is the third vampire in the trouble-causing group that came to Forks in the last novel. Her boyfriend was James, whom the Cullen family killed in order to protect Bella. Victoria is angry her mate is dead, and is out for blood. She plans to kill Bella so Edward suffers the way she did after losing James.

There is a bit of a stand-off in the woods between Bella and Laurent, until a group of giant wolves tear through the clearing they are in, and Bella bolts away to safety. Now Bella has to figure out what the deal is with these massive-sized wolves. She expects her friend Jacob to help her, but their friendship is strained, due to him hiding a secret.

Bella, being smarter than I give her credit for, figures out that a select few in Jacob’s tribe are actually the werewolves that attacked Laurent and saved her life. With the giant secret out of the way, their friendship can continue, until Bella does something life-threatening again. She goes cliff diving ̶ alone.

The whole time the story has been going on, Bella tried numerous times to get in contact with the Cullens. She is worried for her own safety as well as everyone else’s now that she knows Victoria is holding a grudge. She finally gets her wish to see at least one of them when she almost dies after a cliff jumping incident. Luckily for Bella, while Jacob deals with problems in his pack (an elder member of the tribe has a heart attack) he senses something is wrong and shows up just in time to save her from drowning.

Edward’s sister, Alice, uses her precognitive abilities to keep track of Bella for her brother in their absence. She has a vision that Bella jumps off of a high cliff, but never sees anyone rescue her. Thinking she is dead and wanting to console her family, Alice heads to Bella’s home to help her father through this tough time.

Once Jacob brings Bella home, a chain of events has already been set in motion. Alice believes Bella is dead and relays the information to her vampire sister, Rosalie, who then speaks to Edward, and tells him the terrifying news. Alice, already at Bella’s home when Bella and Jacob arrive, learns she was mistaken and that the werewolves inhibit her abilities to see the future.

Before Alice can make a call to explain things, Edward has phoned Bella’s home, spoken to Jacob, and was informed that Charlie (Bella’s father) is at a funeral (the one for a member of Jacob’s tribe, not Bella’s). Edward hangs up and makes a decision. Despite the fact he chose to leave Bella, he decides to seek out the Volturi and ask them to end his existence. He simply can’t bear living in a world Bella is not a part of.

While it might seem romantic the first moment you read it, the teenage angst can be more than overpowering. These characters are beginning to become so over dependent on each other, it is as if they can’t survive without knowing where the other is at all times. I wish I could say there is a reason I liked this book, or even a reason to kind of like it, but essentially there is just too much melodrama for my taste.

There is, however, a lot of action in the final chapters of the novel as Bella and Alice depart from Forks, WA in order to intercept Edward in Italy before he allows the Volturi to murder him. I would like to say that it makes the rest of the book tolerable, but it doesn’t. The brooding these teenagers dish out expunges all of the good this book might have had going for it. I give it 1½ of a kiss.

I wouldn’t fully dismiss it since it is a necessary part of a series, but if you want to know what happens without wishing all the characters would just commit suicide already, watch the movie instead. It is very true to the book, and you can feast your eyes on all the man candy in it :)

1. We meet the werewolves.






1. Too much needy, brooding, overdramatic, drama!

2. It is a necessary part of the story when it comes to the evolution of the characters relationships, so you can't skip it.

3. Does a poor job of setting up the next book and it’s dynamic.


Posted by:

K R Y S T L E Red lips

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the review, Krystle and agree to the yummy man candy in the movie! Plus, I LOVE LOVE Twilight's CG wolves - they are so HUGE :) Now that's how you make a werewolf! LOL True Blood's Weres are so puny, and Underworld's are not very nice to look at :( But Twilight's are my fave by far
    -julie :)


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