New Moon by Stephenie Meyer | Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
While I do have a certain fondness for the Twilight Saga, more out of nostalgia than actual love, New Moon is the exception to that interest. I absolutely loathed this book then, and my feelings remain unchanged: I hate New Moon far more than I do of almost any book in the world. Somehow Stephenie’s writing weakened and remains her worst to-date and soils the already weakened plot.
I’m honestly not trying to be mean about it, either. It’s just so bad.
Aside from the flaws: Twilight was romantic, adventurous and sometimes charming and funny, New Moon is a bore and downright offensively flawed. It shows us true emotional turmoil, breaking our hearts – that is true, but it’s so painfully unhealthy that it’s obvious a lot of concerns have been brought out from its original publication.
There is to say, though, that Stephenie’s still pulling our heart strings, even if it’s in pure irritation.
All that follows isn’t realistic (beyond the supernatural elements) or believable or healthy. It’s painful to read because with the amount of times the secondhand embarrassment and annoyance hit you, you find your interest and patience dwindling. I wanted to shake Edward, I wanted to shake Bella, I wanted to roll my eyes at the melodramatic tone the entire damn story took on because holy crap was it B-A-D.
It’s easy to forget how young Bella is, how young Jake is, because so much of the series depends on each characters balance of maturity and immaturity. In New Moon we’re reminded that Bella is basically just a kid and her dependency on Edward, her love for him, is horrifying.
What’s most disappointing is it started off pretty steady, the same pace and feel as our first installment, only to go downhill faster than any other book in the series. All it took was one massive, unfortunate, dangerous reminder of the differences between Edward and Bella before Edward takes their relationship into his own hands and makes decisions for not only himself, but Bella too.
Because that’s what Edward does. He makes decisions for her and for everyone without considering the consequences of his actions. He has no idea how to balance his feelings, hers and their fears and the roadblocks that follow. And while I’m not oblivious to the fact that he doesn’t necessarily know how to be human, because he ISN’T, it still irks me that he decides to dip out of her life so quickly because he is “protecting” her – like, honey, you think leaving is going to protect her?
On what planet does that even remotely make sense?
Moments like these remind us how new he is to relationships outside of his family. He may be immensely older than Bella, he may have a good mind and believe this is for the best, but the fact that he speaks for the both of them is so bothersome.
It’s a bit more forgivable, though no less annoying, when you remember he is no longer human; he has been frozen in a teenagers body for years and grew up in a different time. So you know why he acts the way he does. Though it’s an explanation, not an excuse, and at that point you know Bella deserves better anyways – unless he can change.
Ultimately New Moon is essentially just Bella sulking away in her own nightmare and heartache. I’m not saying it’s unrealistic to mourn your first love lost, it’s a part of life, but the manner in which she seems as though someone died? That level of dependency and sadness is incredibly concerning and an awful lot to take in.
Especially when factoring in how she checks out on everyone and everything. She goes about life like the walking dead. Bella has reduced herself into nothing more than a zombie – and for what reason? She loses herself, she distances herself from her friends and only checks in. It’s troubling. It’s uncomfortable to read. It’s so cringe worthy that I don’t even know where to begin except I wish that someone would have truly, truly, reached out to help her.
Or hunt down Edward and smack him a bit.
As the story progresses, her plots only grow more and more tiring and uncomfortable as she begins “thrill” seeking and hallucinates about Edward during the more dangerous moments in her life. I’m sorry but that is so bloody uncomfortable. I’m cringing remembering – when I was rereading these bits, I was all sorts of annoyed, confused and flat out concerned for her mental state.
Someone needed to help her.
Our only saving grace is brief: the introduction of wolves and more time spent with Jacob, who although is annoying at least he pulls out the human in Bella during her darkest hour. It isn’t enough to fix her, per say, but it does help a little more than anyone else’s presence.
Within a small frame of time, he brings her light and the friendship that blooms is warm and welcome. Jake and Bella become best friends, slipping into a comfort that is effortless for the both of them. He is the right balance of what she’s always needed; but of course things grow really complicated when something changes in their dynamic.
And I don’t mean just his growing feelings for Bella, which are oh-so-obvious. After their time spent together hits a speed bump and Bella feels hurt/ignored by Jake’s sudden disappearance from her life, as well as the cold and suspicious attitude he know sports we’re faced with a revelation.
There are more supernatural creatures out there than Vampires.
Jake is a werewolf, or rather a shifter. He is fairly new at it and couldn’t share the secret with her thus explaining the sudden abandonment. In my opinion, it was a nice twist but it added something unnecessary to the plot and only created more sadness for Bella and tension over the fact that these two supernatural species are sworn enemies by nature.
Bella continues to struggle with some things but does find bits of her old self and is able to reach out to old friends as well as bond with Jake’s pack. It’s rushed, though, and therefore a little cringe worthy.
In the climax of New Moon we reach the conclusion that after an unfortunate twist of events and Alice Cullen’s gift, things are about to grow darker for our characters. After a misunderstanding in thinking that Bella is dead, Edward takes to the idea that without Bella in the world he must remove himself from it as well.
Yawn. Yarf. Dramatic.
I know, guys, I know. And in this plot Alice and Bella take it upon themselves to rescue Edward before it’s too late. It’s a massive risk. We’re introduced to a sort of vampire government or hierarchy and a whole lot of drama ensues in their efforts to keep Edward existing. After a confrontation with them, it is decided that Bella must become a vampire eventually and eventually she and Edward are reunited or whatever.
I can’t go on. New Moon is weak and dramatic and overall a waste of my time. It had the potential to pick up on many occasions but was really a huge waste of something that could have been good. S.M. neglected to flesh out the world and instead took a cheesy, half assed, soapy route that was more cringe worthy than intriguing.