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REVIEW: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Shoot, I muttered when the paper sliced my finger; I pulled it out to examine the damage. A single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut.It all happened very quickly then.Edward threw himself at me, flinging me back across the table…I tumbled down to the floor by the piano, with my arms thrown out instinctively to catch my fall, into the jagged shards of glass. I felt the searing, stinging pain that ran from my wrist to the crease inside my elbow. Dazed and disoriented, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm-into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires.

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.

We join back up with Bella and Edward at the beginning of their next school year.  It’s Bella’s birthday and thanks to an “awakening” dream, she realizes that she’s officially eighteen years older and that makes her one year older than Edward was when he was turned.  Bella spend the better part of the beginning of the day bickering with Edward off sides about turning her, an idea which he is adamantly against.  Upon celebrating her birthday with the Cullens, she has a small accident which almost comes accompanied by horrible consequences. 

One of the things that I LOVE about New Moon is the existential side we get to see.  In a rare personal conversation between Carlisle and Bella, she finds out that Edward isn’t just trying to be a pain about turning her.  He has good reason – he believes that vampires have no soul and he’s not willing to be the one to take hers away.  Although Carlisle is a good man in every sense, he tries to make Bella really understand where Edward is coming from instead of getting angry with him: 

“But if I believed as he does,” he looked down at me unfathomable eyes.  “If you believed as he did, could you take away his soul?”  The way he phrased the question thwarted my answer.  If he’d asked me whether I’d risk my soul for Edward, the reply would be obvious.  But would I risk Edward’s soul?  I pursed my lips unhappily.  That wasn’t a fair exchange.

 

I feel that at this point in the story, Bella really needed a good heavy dose of reality.  Edward is a vampire and he had to die to become one.  Asking him to do the same to her is in a sense selfish.  She’s asking him to commit murder – a decision that, if he were to give in to her wishes, she could not change her mind on once it was done.  I think that Bella’s feelings for Edward definitely cloud that fact for her.  As a bonus in this conversation, we get to hear some of Carlisle and Edward’s history. 

 

Left devastated by a for-your-own-good decision that Edward makes, Bella finds herself spending more and more time out on the LaPush reservation with Billy Black’s son Jacob.  Awkward at first, Jacob and Bella end up developing a beautiful friendship and New Moon gives you the opportunity to see that unfold. 

Overall, I honestly liked New Moon a little bit more than I liked Twilight.  This book gives you a much more in depth look at the characters and where they come from.  Not only do you get more back story on the Cullen family but it also also brings in Jacob and he has his own mystery (we’re are just going to pretend that you don’t already know what it is).  He’s very young but he’s a very sweet and caring character who watches out for Bella all though the book. 

Stephenie Meyer doesn’t give it all up on the second date.  We are now two books into the series and a good portion of the characters are still a complete mystery.  At this point, we don’t know the full story as to why Rosalie is always so…..(ahem)…..cranky…and we have virtually no information on Jasper yet. 

Lots of romance and mystery (and a few heart-pounding moments) thrown in a blender with the supernatural.  New Moon is also a little more “grown-up” than Twilight was.  Still 100% appropriate for the Young Adult crowd but the book has much less of a junior high school feel to it.  If you liked Twilight for more than just Edward, you’ll definitely like New Moon.  3.75 stars!

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