When the Cullens, including her beloved Edward, leave Forks rather than risk revealing that they are vampires, it is almost too much for eighteen-year-old Bella to bear, but she finds solace in her friend Jacob until he is drawn into a "cult" and changes in terrible ways.
Original publication date
The plot of this one is a little less known than that of the first book, so briefly: Bella and Edward break up because Jasper almost kills Bella when she cuts her finger while opening birthday presents. Edward realizes that he is not good for her and ends the relationship. The Cullens move away and Bella falls apart. She has horrible nightmares and goes through each day like a zombie, trying to keep the pain at bay. She begins hallucinating, hearing Edward's voice when she does dangerous things, and so she starts doing them more often just so she can feel closer to him (fantastic role model for young women right there). During this time she becomes friends with Jacob Black, who turns out to be a werewolf. Of course Jacob is in love with her, and because she feels warmed by his presence, Bella leads him on.
Meyer often makes her characters do uncharacteristic things because it serves the plot. But the characters are much weaker for it. The explanation of why Bella does not commit suicide is completely unconvincing; Bella says that she never considers it because she owes too much to her parents. Please! When you are in that kind of distress, you aren't worried about who you're going to hurt when you are looking for relief. If Bella was as bad off as Meyer wants us to think, she would have killed herself. Without Edward, there is nothing worth living for, in Bella's mind. But then we wouldn't have two more best-selling books, would we?
It also does not make sense that Bella would be hesitant about marrying Edward simply because her mom doesn't think anyone should get married before age 30 — yet Bella is willing to make an eternal commitment to vampirehood for his sake. So she won't marry him yet, but she is going to take an irrevocable step so she can be with him for the rest of their existence, which is pretty much forever? Weak.
One of the most disturbing parts of this book was the character of Emily, the fiancée of Sam Uley who is the alpha werewolf. Sam became a werewolf without knowing what was happening to him... and one night he was too close to Emily when he lost his temper. He gouged her left side, raking his claws down her face and leaving her with horribly disfiguring scars all down her face. But Meyer portrays their relationship as a very loving one; the past is all forgiven. The physical abuse is just a regretful memory that Sam has to deal with occasionally. Emily is happy to stay with the man who disfigured her so horribly in a moment of anger... just like so many women in physically abusive relationships. Oh, he was so sorry, he bowed and begged and felt just awful. But the woman is the one who wears the scars. I felt a little sick about how that was portrayed. What kind of message is that sending to young girls?
Fewer people will probably agree with me on this next point, but I was uncomfortable with the idea that a girl can have a male best friend. Jacob demonstrates the point by not being able to "just be friends" with Bella — but Bella is somehow able to not return his feelings. It's because of the Incomparable Edward, of course. But there are no Incomparable Edwards in real life (thank goodness), and I think most girls would develop romantic feelings in a "best friend" relationship like that. I think your lover should be your best friend anyways. It doesn't make sense to me to compartmentalize like that.
Again, just as in Twilight, I did enjoy the plot of the warring vampires and werewolves, with all the history behind their unusual relationship. The Volturi were fascinating too. I've rated this book a half-star lower than the first one mostly because the plot was not as interesting and it left me even less enthused about starting the third book. I wanted a break from Meyer's mediocre writing and the unhealthy relationships of her inconsistent characters. I have since started the third book and will probably be finishing the series soon. I want to get this over with! I'm enjoying it, but I'm not. It's hard to enjoy a series with so many fundamental problems, and yet the idea is appealing enough to fantasy fans to make it worth picking up. I don't see myself ever rereading, though.
Within the first three chapters, Edward has left Bella. Only because he loves her so
In the end, Bella takes Edward back and they return to their creepy, obsessive, co-dependent relationship.
In the first book, I took the Bella/Edward love story for merely corny and overblown, but with New Moon I found it became genuinely disheartening. Bella has no real life or substance beyond her feelings for Edward: she has zero hobbies that don't relate to him, beyond cooking and cleaning for her father. She's perfectly willing to abandon her family so she can be with him forever, even after he dumps her and disappears for months. Edward is characterized as perfect and god-like, despite his controlling behavior. What choice is it of his whether Bella becomes a vampire or not? When Edward disappears, Bella looses all hope and will to live, her only solace being another young man who she develops a similarly unhealthy dependence on. I couldn't comfortably recommend this book to any young woman. It's not that I need all my heroines tough-as-nails, but this one has no depth, no charm, and no backbone. Bella's supporting cast does little to redeem the book, considering their entire lives seem to revolve around her.
Ultimately, New Moon is 80% bitching and moaning, followed by 5% vroom-vroom, screech!, 10% syrupy "kiss-and-make-up", and then some "cliffhanger" nonsense to remind you that there are still two books for you to buy. Because Bella and Edward definitely aren't done bitching and moaning yet.
The comparisons to Shakespeare beat the readers over the head repeatedly. This is a tragic relationship, we got it. We don't need a constant analysis of Romeo and Juliet, nor do we need a play by play concerning which character in New Moon most accurately compares to Paris.
One point in New Moon that could be applauded would be that the story's topaz-eyed, bronze-haired, god-like Edward Cullen is absent for the majority of the book. Quite a bold move by the author, although it's wasted seeing as how the portions without Edward involve Bella acting like her life has literally ended. Instead of growing up and learning to exist without a perfect, beautiful boyfriend to guide her through life, Bella absolutely shuts down. Her only mild attempts to live occur only when she has Jacob to take on Edward's role, which suggests Bella is only fully functional when she has a man to please and be pleased by. This is particularly damning. Bella herself is easy to insist everything wrong be her fault, that she is simply too imperfect to deserve the attention she receives from the men in her life (hilarious, considering how many boys have fallen for her since the start of Twilight) and that she is just so painfully plain and human that she is nothing -- that her life is nothing -- without Edward by her side. She is incapable of being alone, of growing to support herself when no one else can. She is so dependent on Edward (and, to an extent, on Jacob) that whatever dangerous situation she intentionally (as her life means nothing now, without Edward) puts herself in that her own subconscious will tell her her actions are stupid and she should save herself not in her own voice, but in Edward's. This is shaky ground, as Bella lacks character anyway, striping her subconscious and replacing it with Edward's voice makes her seem less of an independent woman, much less a person.
There is no personal growth in New Moon for Bella or Edward. If anything, these two characters regress. The character that does make massive strides in terms of character development is Jacob Black, who will most likely be doomed to playing Edward's second fiddle and arch enemy.
Stephenie Meyer's third book in the Twilight series, Eclipse, comes out August 7th. While Edward and Bella continue their angst-ridden obsession with immortality and death and each other, one wonders if Jacob isn't the only thing worth reading about.
Read this passage... Charlie (her dad) is talking to Alice (Edward's sister) about Bella's depression. Bella interjects a thought in the flow of the conversation for the sake of the reader:
"It was like someone had died--like I had died. Because it had been more than just losing the truest of true loves, as if that were not enough to kill anyone. It was also losing a whole future, a whole family--the whole life that I'd chosen..."
She's 18... most people these days don't get married until they're around 30. She has a LOT of time to find another love (ahem, Jacob), get married, have a family... She's merely being melodramatic!
Then, Edward reappears and says he had never stopped loving her. She immediately welcomes him back into her life (and her bed) without hesitation! Really?! Here sits Jacob, a sweet guy who has treated her with nothing but respect and was there for her when no one else was... he brought her out of her depression, was able to make her smile again, loved her even as the damaged goods she was... And who does she choose?!?! The guy who left her wandering in the forest! Even when Jacob was going through the most horrible and terrifying phase of his life, he managed to make time for Bella, to see her and make sure she was ok. And at the end of it all, she picks the guy who abandoned her, because she's brainwashed herself into thinking she and Edward are soul mates.
These books are awful. Stephanie Meyer has a poor perception of what true love is and doesn't understand the teenage psyche well enough to be writing about it.
Sadly, it took a huge effort to get to the end of New Moon.
For the large
Edward Cullen and family are very compelling, and I was much happier when they were around (much as Bella is!). However, I don't feel I'm being given enough to get my teeth into, and the pendulum swings unsatisfactorily in favourof the highschool romance rather than the macabre dilemma and fantasy I so wish it would.
I'm still hungry. Maybe part three will help...?
one of my friends said that reading these books is like eating warm brownies straight from the pan. I couldn't say it better!
This novel surprised me so much - I couldn't believe the courage Meyer (and her publisher) had in order to spend so much time on a what was a minor character
It was a great, fast, fun read - I can't wait to start the next book!
Meyer knows hows to build excitement and get you wanting to continue on to the next chapter.
I can't say the same about her
What is it about her besides that Edward can't read her mind and her blood smells so good? What are her passions? What does Bella want to do with her life? What is her favorite book and why? How did she cope with her parent's divorce? What gets her out of bed in the morning? What makes her so intelligent to the point she comes off so aloof , lonely and stand offish to her classmates who she doesn't appear to care about in the least? What does she learn about herself because of her relationship with Edward? Meyer wants us to believe Bella is a deep old soul, yet where is the substance? Surely Bella must have some thoughts about the existence of God and the mysteries of the universe and the soul especially after meeting Edward and the other Cullens.
Why should I like Bella? She is our narrator and heroine. Shouldn't I care about her for reasons that stand alone - apart from her interest in Edward? Give me a reason to care about her! As it stands, the only reason I care anything about Bella is the same reason the rest of the Cullen family puts up with her - because Edward likes her for some reasons I don't get.
The novel ends with several loose ends. The Voltari, agree to let Edward and Bella leave Italy on the condition that Bella be made into a vampire ‘soon’. Edward is resistant to this idea as he believes it will destroy Bella’s soul. But the rest of the Cullen’s vote to convert Bella after she graduates from high school. Victoria is still on the prowl and presumably still poses a threat to Bella. Jacob and his pack renew their uneasy truce with the Cullen family. Sparks are sure to continue to fly though, as Jacob and Edward vie for Bella’s affections.
Twilight painted Bella as a love sick teen who would do nearly anything to hang onto her vampire love, Edward. New Moon takes that plot device to new heights of idiocy. Stephanie Meyer drives home the point that without Edward, Bella’s life is not worth living. That death is preferable to living without her ‘Romeo’. A more co-dependent, shallow, vapid heroine would be hard to find. Bella is probably one of the worst role models for young women in modern literature. This series should come with a warning label. Silly, foolish girls who think they are nothing unless they have a boyfriend and who have self-esteem issues should be kept far away from this ridiculous series of books.
I FELT LIKE I WAS TRAPPED IN ONE OF THOSE TERRIFYING NIGHTMARES…For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already
Sorry guys but really do you need more of a description than that? Everyone in the world seems to have already read these and of course I'm behind the times. My opinion on this book basically comes down to this: I liked this one better than Twilight. It still wasn't amazing or anything but I found myself enjoying it and wanting to pick it up again after setting it down. I've read the reviews and a lot of people find Bella annoying in this one. It didn't bother me that much but I found myself wanting her to look at Jacob as more than a friend. What it comes down to for me is that they are teenagers with those kind of emotions, and reading these books brings me back to all of it. I was less dramatic than Bella as a teenager but I remember being completely in love for the first and the first time that my heart was broken. Maybe that is why these books are so successful, because we identify with some of the emotions that the characters go through. Notice I said some and not all :) I like the way that we got to see the experiences that Jacob goes through in this book and by the end I was definitely rooting for him over Edward. Although I am pretty sure that Meyer is going to take it in the opposite direction. All in all, a good but not great book and I'll eventually get to Eclipse.
The Volturi were another weird element. It seemed like Meyer reached a bit too far in creating a bunch of mobster vampires who police all other vampires across the globe. Since Twilight vampires are almost impossible to kill, why would they care whether humans knew they existed?
Other than that, New Moon was fun. The disappearance of Edward was painful, and it was great getting him back. Stephenie Meyer knows how to create characters that seem real.
That's the sarcasm and jabs over with, now on to some of the more positive things. The writing's improved for one. Book one was basically your favorite trashy romance novel with fangs stuck on to male lead (and an unhealthy amount of glitter), this time the writing is slightly more mature and engaging. There's a fair amount of action and I can see the potential in the whole setting. It's just a bit wasted on a teenage protagonist whose defining characteristic seems to be that she falls down. A lot.
So, to wrap things up: Dan Brown meets Anne Rice meets That Highprofile Writer Who Won't Admit to Writing 'Dr. Feelgood, Please Rub Your Hard Bits Against Me.'
In short, Bella gets dumped, and as you might remember from being 18, it's absolutely the end of the world. Like totally. Bella wallows in her misery for a lot of this book, which does get irritating when you're as far from being 18 as I am, but to give credit to Meyer, she captures the self-indulgence and melodrama fairly accurately - right down to Bella and Edward comparing themselves to Romeo and Juliet. Oh please.
New Moon's redeeming feature is the development of Bella's friendship with Jacob Black, a Quileute indian who lives on the La Push reservation - a place where vampires do not go. As we discovered in Twilight, local legend dictates that the Quileutes cannot exist without the Cold Ones, and vice versa, though Bella has yet to find out the true extent of her friend Jacob's involvement in the long-running feud with the vampires.
I confess that I am completely Team Jacob. He is adorably patient, kind-hearted, happy, straightforward, and he brings Bella out of her sulk. Unlike Edward, he is a good friend to her and promises to be reliable. She herself admits that she feels happy around him. So it's a shame that she darn well appears to be leading Jake on by keeping him dangling as a potential back-up plan in case Edward never reappears.
While I again admit that I'm not the target audience for these books, I just cannot feel any sympathy for Edward or Bella. They're both hideously selfish and self-indulgent characters, only slightly redeemed by the success of their characterisation in the Twilight film. In the books, they are absorbed only in themselves, typical teenagers perhaps, and oblivious to the feelings of those around them. Maybe it works better if you're closer to their age?
Nevertheless, when you get through all the teenage angst (which seems under-edited), the plot can be really fun. It largely consists of Bella running away from various bad vampires who aren't as wonderful and human-like as the Cullens and the centuries-old werewolf vs. vampire feud. I also like that some of the other characters are fleshed out a bit more in this novel, even though Bella doesn't treat anyone other than the Cullens with much respect. It is difficult to balance relationships in real life, but I always feel like Bella's thought process works like this: "Wow, I'm really neglecting my friends and family and I think I'm hurting them. Maybe I should--Oh my gosh! Edward still has pretty eyes! Everything is good now." This was particularly frustrating, because New Moon focuses on the blossoming friendship between Bella and Jacob. If Bella weren't so insistent on Edward being "the one," I'd be routing for a Jacob/Bella romance right now. Although Bella might off herself before that could ever happen.
There is something about these books I like, and I think I'd be less negative if Bella gained some perspective. She's eighteen and there's nothing for her to look forward to except Edward? If she's going to live forever as a vampire, she needs some serious hobbies. I thought she appreciated Jacob's friendship for a while, but even that became questionable. In the novel, Bella is two years older than Jacob, and the pair joke about who is actually older based upon their different skills and abilities (i.e. Bella gains a few years for being a good cook, Jacob gains a few for being able to fix cars). Based on Bella's conduct, I'm left feeling that Jacob is "older." I wish that Bella, as the protagonist, were more mature than a high school sophomore who happens to be a werewolf.
But I'm still reading the third and fourth books . . .
Again, we have
In some ways I preferred New Moon to Twilight, due mainly to the larger role Jacob plays in this book. He appeals to me far more than Edward does, and the fact Bella isn't obsessed or worryingly infatuated with him is just a plus in my box. She appears to be able to have a normal friendship with him, which rang slightly truer for me than anything else does in these.
However, I found I was disliking more and more the way Bella is weak without Edward and strong with him. I'm by no means what you would describe as an avid feminist but I am independent and her inability to function or be happy without a man at her side doesn't feel the right message to be giving young girls. Love and friendship is all very well, but this felt like obsession and fanaticism which I didn't appreciate.
However, the book kept moving at a reasonable pace and I read it in one afternoon. It served its purpose in stopping me thinking about throwing up!
In one line: Badly written teen drama involving vampires that still manages to keep the interest to the end
I didn't like this book much. I felt that there was a real 'plot device' moment going on when Edward leaves - he has been through bigger problems concerning his relationship with Bella, yet decides to take off at this point. Before he leaves, he managed to bring up the Volturi in a 'signpost' moment - they weren't mentioned by name even when Bella was beginning to learn about the vampire culture, so once again Meyer introduces something because she needs it rather than as a natural flow to the story.
Some of the language is problematic, with such gems as "Bright light shined from every window on the first two floors." I do accept that this might have been more of an editting problem than Meyer's choice.
I sincerely disliked the whole sequence where Bella discovers she is hallucinating Edward's voice in moments of recklessness - and the culmination of that particular thread to the story (in an epiphany experienced by Bella) is true melodrama. Not fun to read at all.
The best part of the book by far is between when Bella first starts going round to visit Jacob and when she discovers he is a werewolf. This part of the book is natural and fun. On the downside, it doesn't last for long.
Jacob is a lovely character, and is characterised well. I don't think Meyer treats him particularly fairly, especially when Bella drops him immediately on Edward's return. I know the love triangle becomes a large part of the third book, but I wish that both men had a fair chance at Bella's heart.
(For people who enjoyed this book, and the love triangle angle about to start, I would recommend L J Smith's Strange Powers trilogy).
Altogether, a book where the quality dips from Twilight. At times I was openly mocking the story as I read it, and I simply could not suspend my disbelief. A poor effort.
I was inspired to hope that the Bella character was developing into a bolder, more independent person, but that's not the direction the series goes in. I would have enjoyed her becoming stronger and overcoming her clutzyness, not merely
And again, couldn't put it down until it was over.