30 November 2011

Book Review: New Moon

Title: New Moon
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher/Year: Hachette / 2006
Date Finished: 19 November 2011
Source/Format: B&N / Print
Book #: 88

Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid

The Short and Sweet of It
When a party mishap puts Bella in danger, Edward decides the only way to keep her safe is to keep her away from all vampires, including himself. With the Cullens gone, Bella sinks into a depression unlike any experienced in all of human (or vampire) history. And so it goes.

A Bit of a Ramble
I won't lie. I would be all over Jacob. A giant, muscly, adventuresome, daredevil type who radiates heat. Bring. It. On.

But on to more pressing matters. I found this story almost as entertaining as the first. While Bella annoyed the hell out of me - she is naive, selfish, and self-centered - the interplay between her and Jacob and the development of the werewolf lore definitely captured my interest enough for me to overlook and slightly downplay Bella's ridiculousness.

I spent a bit of time pondering the effect of No Edward in this book. He appears at the very beginning and at the end, but he is dramatically absent for a giant chunk of the book. It's a strange tactic, removing one of the main characters from the story. Recently a favorite tv series of mine did that - Fringe - and I hated it. I thought it changed the dynamic of the story much too much, and I've even thought about not watching anymore (despite the character's return (to a whole new timeline)). With this book, it didn't bug me. This could, of course, be in part due to the fact that I am not a huge fan of Edward. Skinny, pale, martyrish, despondent, gloomy pessimists aren't my cup of tea.

But I don't think that's it. I'm not a huge fan of Bella either, but the story needs her. So why doesn't this particular story need Edward? My guess is that Bella's obsession with him keeps him very much on the page throughout the section where his physical self is MIA. Her constant mentioning of him, and nihilistic attempts to keep him fresh in her mind, anchor him in the reader's mind despite his absence. This strange removal of main characters (of both Bella and Edward) is mirrored in the fourth book when Jacob becomes the focus of the narration. I haven't seen this happen much in novels, this removal of one (or both) of the primary characters. I'm interested to know if anyone had any strong thoughts on that choice?

And I apologize for the spoilery nature of my "reviews" of these books, but I am operating under the assumption that 99% of those who will ever read Twilight have already read Twilight (excluding those too young and I don't think many of them read my blog).


  1. I admit, I hated this book with a passion. I didn't really see why people made a big deal (positive or negative) about the first book, but this book had me laughing and rolling my eyes at the beginning (September...October...November...), and downright ready to throw the book at the wall by the end. My review was quite scathing, and I never went on to read the rest of the series. :D

  2. The first book, while juvenile and creepy, was compulsively readable and pulled me back to a time when I was young and stupid and was in the midst of young love. The middle two books bored the crap out of me, and annoyed me. Bella is a whiner and a martyr, and I never could figure out why every blood-sucking creature found her irresistable. They might change their mind if they spent ten minutes with her. It didn't really bother me that Edward was MIA. I am a Jacob kinda girl anyway.

  3. I haven't read these books, but know too much about them from the movies and from my daughter's multiple readings of them. I also sort of hate Bella. She is so self-centered, and the things she does to get attention are mind-boggling! I am pretty sure that I will not be reading these books, but I am enjoying reading your reviews and getting your perspective on these!

  4. It happens that both in this and in the True Blood series, in spite of hot vampires, the Very Hottest guys are the werewolves. ...wonder what this means....

  5. You know, I'm almost embarrassed to admit this but I was way more of an Edward fan than a Jacob fan while reading. Despite the fact that he's creepy and etc etc. (After the movies, of course, I've changed my mind. lol.) I actually had read the first couple chapters on a weeknight and then called in sick to work the next day to finish the book because I HAD TO KNOW how it turned out! lol. Hilarious I know ;)

    I think that you are right - he may not be physically present BUT he is totally still anchored to every page by Bella's obsession.

  6. I was a big fan of Jacob when I read the books...mainly because he isn't a crazy creeper like Edward. I was always really bothered by his attitude and in this title, by Bella's obsession. I think that it what really turned me off from really enjoying the rest of the series. Meyer created a likable and more realistic love interest in Jacob, but rather than portraying that, she continues to feed the belief that love is supposed to be obsessive and all-encompassing. I don't think that is healthy (I mean, I have some moments where I'm "obsessed," but never to the extremes and extent of Bella).

    I hope that made sense.

  7. I was surprised she attempted this, too, but I thought it effective. This was the book that made me solidly Team Jacob (Bring. It. On.). I don't think the audience would've ever considered him a main character if he hadn't taken center stage in this book. It really helped to further cement the love triangle and played well into Eclipse (which was my favorite of the series).

    I've been itching to re-read these. I would probably start with New Moon, since I re-read the first novel most recently.

  8. I hate to break it to you, but I think you're too old for Jacob. He digs the younger chicks.

  9. I watch Fringe sometimes when Jason has it on and I completely agree with you about Pacey!! (I know that's not his name on the show, but that's how I think of him). I agree it was weird that Edward wasn't in this one as much, although if I were Bella (I agree with you) I'd choose Jacob.

  10. Jill - I cannot stop laughing over that comment.

    Jenny - I totally think of him as Pacey too.

  11. For some reason, I "fell" for Edward so this was my least favorite book. Bella can be super annoying though!

  12. I definitely would be all over Jacob as well. I remember really enjoying this book when I read it years ago. I liked it better than the first installment, although I thought the movie was seriously lacking. You make some good points about the absence of Edward. Bella does anchor his presence despite his being thoroughly absent. I find Bella and Edward to be annoying although I had to keep reading the series to find out what happens next. Fun review, Trisha!



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