Let me start off by saying that if you haven’t first read Twilight and then read New Moon, DO NOT CONTINUE TO READ THIS POSTING!!!!! I can’t stand to spoil one bit of the surprise for you. Do not continue, rush yourself to a library or bookstore right now!
We discussed Twilight at book club last night and it was killing me not to say anything about New Moon because it answers so many of the questions book club members had about Twilight. I flew through this book just as quickly as Twilight (although I did miss Edward in the middle). Since you’re only reading this if you’ve read Twilight, I’m not writing a summary, I’m just going to dive right in. I really wondered how Meyer, a Mormon author, would continue Bella and Edward’s love story while keeping it relatively clean. As much as I missed Edward in most of this book, keeping him away from Bella for most of the book was definitely a good solution.
I have to say that I loved the comparison/contrast of Bella and Edward to Romeo and Juliet and how they developed to be more than infatuated teenagers. The comparison also fed right into the way Bella felt when Edward left her. It explained why she became so reckless. Meyer did a wonderful job of describing Bella’s depression. The chapter heading of the names of months with blank pages was brilliant.
I was so happy to learn more about Jacob. Stephenie Meyer posted outtakes from New Moon on her Web site and one of them is from Meyer’s first draft of New Moon in which Bella never finds out from Jacob that he’s a werewolf. As much as I missed Edward during this part of the book, when I read the outtake I realized I wouldn’t change the final version. Bella’s struggle over whether or not to give in and become romantically involved with Jacob is so interesting. If your true love was gone from your life forever would you settle for someone that you really cared about, but didn’t love if you knew it would make them happy and keep you from losing your best friend? And by the way, WEREWOLVES!?!?!?!? First I have to admit that I really enjoyed a teenage vampire romance novel, and now I have to admit that I like a teenage werewolf/vampire romance novel. Try explaining that to someone and still get them interested in reading the book, but the beauty of Stephenie Meyer’s writing is that it’s so vivid and it draws you into the story so that by the time you get to the werewolves, you absolutely can’t put the book down because you’re already hooked.
I was completely surprised by the ending. I think it’s very out of Bella’s character to not jump at the chance to marry Edward when she wants to be with him forever and she doesn’t even like him to leave her side. I think maybe that was a little poor character development because it could have been clearer earlier in the story that because of her experience with her parents’ divorce she was anti-marriage. Instead Bella seems pretty happy that her mom was remarried and happy.
I was also surprised that Meyer covered as much time as she did in this book. It started several months after the first book and went through most of her senior year and Meyer has already said this will be an ongoing series, not just a trilogy. A lot of authors would want to keep Bella in high school as long as possible, but Meyer seems to have no fear of moving on and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
For those of you in Ohio or Utah, Meyer will be touring in the area soon. Check out her tour schedule here.