Friday, September 08, 2006

New Moon - by Stephenie Meyer

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.

October Books

We’ll be meeting at Tara’s in October and we are reading books that we selected last night at book club. Here’s the list:

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

The House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo

Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach

Since we had such a hard time narrowing the list down, we will be reading a few of the other suggested books in January under the theme of books about thieves.

New Moon was just released so it will be hard to get a copy. Reserve a copy at the library ASAP and if you own a copy or get a copy from the library, please pass it around to the rest of the group.

Happy reading!


If I was rich I would be on this site right now buying some of this amazing artwork. Who wouldn't want to own a Mo Willems print?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My Life Starring Mum - by Chloe Rayban

13 year-old Hollywood Bliss Wintermann tries to have a normal life at her Catholic boarding school where only her best friend knows that Holly’s mother is singing superstar Khandi (think Cher or Madonna). Khandi yanks Holly out of school and deposits her in a suite in the posh hotel she’s staying in London. She tells Holly that there’s been a serious threat so she wanted Holly near her because the school couldn’t provide enough security and she also says she wants to spend more time with Holly, but Holly’s not too surprised when it seems her mother forgot she exists and hasn’t even bothered to set up tutors. Holly has to make appointments to see her mom and is thrilled when she gets her mother to agree to set up tutors. She isn’t thrilled when dancing and singing tutors show up.

I was surprised that it took quite some time for Holly to realize that Khandi was using her and trying to turn her into a superstar too. Although Holly is witty at times, I wanted more emotion from her character. She never lets her mom have the honest criticism she deserves, and I don’t know many teenage girls who would handle things that way. The most interesting part of the book is Holly and Khandi’s relationship and the author spends a lot more time focusing the posh life than the real issues at hand. Although Holly doesn’t become a mini-Khandi in the end, she also doesn’t do much to improve her relationship with her mother. Maybe that means there’s a sequel in the works.

I was a little bored at times, but some pre-teens may enjoy reading about Holly’s disdain for the life of the rich and famous.