Book Geek Wednesday: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

I picked up New Moon with the usual trepidation reserved for sequels. In my mind, there was no way it could match how Twilight made me feel. Imagine my surprise when it not only matched, but surpassed it. If Twilight is all about the magic and mystery of falling in love for the first time, New Moon is about the soul crushing effects of losing it.

All of us can look back on life and clearly remember the first boy or girl we loved and lost. Something about that moment is forever embedded in our psyche, has forever influenced how we view members of the opposite sex and relationships. But as Kristen Stewart has very aptly stated, there is no reference to breaking up with a vampire, especially one that you think is your soulmate, and so Bella’s grief is shattering. I hadn’t realized how intensely emotional I was on her behalf until I got to chapter 4 and came across what is perhaps my favorite quote of the entire series:

Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.

Now I’ve heard many people say New Moon is their least favorite book of the series. They feel Bella is whiny and over-dramatic. But all I have to say in regard to that is this: those words are the most honest, the most brutal and the most raw I have ever read in connection with teenage heartbreak. It is so unlike any other emotion. Being young and in love, it always feels like it will last forever so when it actually ends, it feel as though life might as well end with it. And with those words, I fell irrevocably in love with New Moon.

The great thing about this book is the many surprises. (Keep in mind, I read New Moon before the Twilight series became… TWILIGHT, as we know it now- so I was not spoiled.)For starters, I did not expect to find so little of Edward Cullen. And I did not expect NOT to miss him. I was what I consider a die hard Edward and Bella fan in book one. I fell in love just as she did. I was taken by the Roswell-esque similarities and Edward and Bella had become my new Max and Liz, two people I could get completely fangirly over. I’d enjoyed Jacob, but I would never have believed I could grow to love him the way I did.

Herein lies the power in Stephenie Meyer’s writing. She took what I consider a small supporting character and turned him into a leading man. By the time Jake and Bella went to the movies with Mike, I was convinced that he was the only person on earth capable of making her whole again. Each moment he was on the page it was like he filled the entire scene with warmth and love and happiness. I don’t remember the last time I cried and smiled so often in one reading.

But the book was epic on more than just the emotional level. It held some of the  most iconic scenes of the series. The cliff jump remains to this day one of the most visually moving scenes I’ve read- in any bit of fiction. And the entire bit in Italy… it brought the story to a whole other level. It went from simple girl meets vampire to this centuries old mythology with rules and royalty and serious consequences. It raised the stakes and made the Cullens’ existence that much more fascinating. Not to mention, Alice’s larger role in this book was so much fun to read! She is definitely my favorite Cullen.

So when it comes to New Moon, I have to give it an A+. It remains my favorite book of the series.

 

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About Isabelle

Isabelle is a multi-published author who dabbles in 1950s romance, speculative science fiction, and more recently fantasy and YA. A twenty something dreamer who loves chocolate, romance novels, and heart wrenching movies, Isabelle is most comfortable on stage behind a microphone belting out her favorite karaoke tunes, or curled up in bed with a book and a cup of cocoa on a rainy night. View all posts by Isabelle

8 responses to “Book Geek Wednesday: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

  • Lisa

    Okay, I love that line in the books, too, but I don’t know how “honest” Meyer is with teenage heartbreak. Bella ix CATATONIC for months. That is not healthy, and it’s really not likely. Even Liz Parker was never like that for more than a few days, and Max did a hell of a lot more to her than leave her for her own protection. /rant

    I did miss Edward when I read New Moon for the first time. I was just as thrilled when she’d have her little delusions about him as Bella was—in fact, the one thing about the first three books that disappointed me at all was that that really was in Bella’s head, because #1) again, HOW unhealthy of an example did Meyer want to give girls? and #2) I really wanted Edward’s protective fury to be real. Because apparently I like that stuff.

    JACOB BLACK, though. Like I said yesterday, I honestly didn’t like Jacob when I first read Twilight. I thought he was a throwaway character, what a prof. of mine once called an “Extrapolation monkey” because he just seemed to be there for info. But OH MAN, NEW MOON JACOB. That bit in the book when she’s sitting in the car with him and just about to give in… I think the only reason I don’t love Alice as much as some (though I do love her quite a lot) is because she messes up THAT moment. So what if she’s worried her brother’s gonna off himself, Bella almost decided on Jacob, right there. It’s my favorite/least-favorite moment in the book.

    Sigh.

    • Isabelle

      Perhaps I wasn’t as clear as I intended to be. I do agree that Bella’s catatonic state is neither realistic nor healthy and SHOULD NOT be the example teenage girls follow. I do believe she realistically symbolizes what it feels like to get broken up with as a teenage girl. I remember feeling like it would tear me into pieces. Like I could not go on another day without him. Like I would never love again. Melodramatic yes, but I mean, you’re a teenager. Life is melodramatic and love? Forget it. It’s all way too much. I think people are reading too much into her reaction as a teenager… I mean, it’s a work of fiction. It’s obviously overdramatized. But I think it gets the point across which is that losing your first love, is like losing a piece of yourself forever. And for the record, Liz Parker was a doormat. I mean, doing the whole let’s pretend nothing ever happened isn’t healthy either.

      • Lisa

        No way was Liz a doormat – you’re talking about S3 Liz – who was obviously not really Liz but a slightly skanky clone. Because S2 Liz was about as far from doormat as possible.

  • Katie

    I’ve just finished reading New Moon, and I suspect bashing my head against a wall would have been more enjoyable. To start with, I hate that macho bull of ‘leaving her for her own good’ Seriously. It happens far too often in romances (first example that comes to mind, and probably the most well known in my experience is Angel leaving Buffy) and I hate men not allowing women to make their own choices about the risks.
    Lisa is right about Bella’s reaction too. Sure teenagers over react to the loss of their first love, but catatonic for months on end? Really? How unbalanced is this girl? And do we really want young girls (and I have seen girls as young as 7 or 8 reading these books) idolising such a poor example? The total lack of any explanation of hearing Edward’s voice, except delusion, only adds to the idea that she is mentally unbalanced.
    There were a few good moments, but on the whole, the book simply irritated me.
    Can anyone explain to my how on Earth rock solid and ice cold is sexy? Or why in 2006 Bella was given a film camera, not a digital one?

    • Isabelle

      Katie,

      Yea, if I could only tell you how often I’ve heard your opinion among New Moon readers – and you know what, I totally see where you’re coming from. Granted, (as I said to Lisa above) Bella’s reaction is completely overdramatized, but it also takes place in a world that though similar to ours, isn’t. I mean… vampires and werewolves? Not real. Dating one? Less real. And so Bella’s reaction to losing love of her life vampire… not real either. And I think a big responsibility belongs with parents letting their 7-8 yr olds read these books to explain that to them. They’re looking for their Edward and being a vampire aside… he’s not real. He’s a fictional person, an idealization. These little girls and preteens and even some teenage girls, fail to realize that.

      And I absolutely agree with no explanation to hearing Edward’s voice. For a second I thought he’d figured out why he couldn’t read Bella’s mind and broken through. Now that I think about it, his reason for not reading her mind was never truly explained either. I swear for a while I thought she had a brain tumor.

      • Lisa

        I thought the reason he couldn’t read Bella’s mind was fairly reasonably explained, with her “mind shield” thing. I don’t get it, or how that’s a “talent” but I think it was a somewhat-decent explanation.

    • Lisa

      Can anyone explain to my how on Earth rock solid and ice cold is sexy?

      ROFL SERIOUSLY.

      I’ll take the HOT Indian boy, thanks.

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