Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
August 8, 2007
Legions of readers entranced by Twilight are hungry for more and they won't be disappointed. In New Moon, Stephenie Meyer delivers another irresistible combination of romance and suspense with a supernatural twist. The "star-crossed" lovers theme continues as Bella and Edward find themselves facing new obstacles, including a devastating separation, the mysterious appearance of dangerous wolves roaming the forest in Forks, a terrifying threat of revenge from a female vampire and a deliciously sinister encounter with Italy's reigning royal family of vampires, the Volturi. Passionate, riveting, and full of surprising twists and turns, this vampire love saga is well on its way to literary immortality.
Recovered from the vampire attack that hospitalized her in the conclusion of Twilight, Bella celebrates her birthday with her boyfriend Edward and his family, a unique clan of vampires that has sworn off human blood. But the celebration abruptly ends when the teen accidentally cuts her arm on broken glass. The sight and smell of her blood trickling away forces the Cullen family to retreat lest they be tempted to make a meal of her. After all is mended, Edward, realizing the danger that he and his family create for Bella, sees no option for her safety but to leave. Mourning his departure, she slips into a downward spiral of depression that penetrates and lingers over her every step. Vampire fans will appreciate the subsequently dour mood that permeates the novel, and it's not until Bella befriends Jacob, a sophomore from her school with a penchant for motorcycles, that both the pace and her disposition begin to take off. Their adventures are wild, dare-devilish, and teeter on the brink of romance, but memories of Edward pervade Bella's emotions, and soon their fun quickly morphs into danger, especially when she uncovers the true identities of Jacob and his pack of friends. Less streamlined than Twilight yet just as exciting, New Moon will more than feed the bloodthirsty hankerings of fans of the first volume and leave them breathless for the third.
Kill. Me. Now. Okay, I am sure part of my response is because I am no longer an angst-ridden teenager. In reality, parts of the book are fun and worth reading. You just have to survive Bella. And Edward. Long ago I saw a wonderful play called The Elephant Man. While discussing Romeo and Juliet, Merrick (the Elephant Man) makes an astute observation about Romeo’s rush to kill himself over Juliet’s “death.”
Does he take her pulse? Does he get a doctor? Does he make sure? No. He kills himself. The illusion fools him because he does not care for her. He only cares about himself. If I had been Romeo, we would have got away…. Looking in a mirror and seeing nothing. That is not love. It was all an illusion. When the illusion ended he had to kill himself.
This echoes in the actions of both Bella and Edward. They are Romeo and Juliet and we are groaning, “Go ahead and do it and put us out of our misery.”
Still once we get past the teenage angst (which Edward was far too old to succumb to), the story became more interesting. Vampire come into full 3-D that form a counterpoint to our vegetarian vampires and give them character and purpose. The battle lines are drawn.