Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Moon Review (spoiler free)

My wife asked me to read Twilight last year, before the movie came out. I obliged, and went on to state that I would read New Moon before the movie came out for it. I finished the book yesterday, and I will now share my thoughts about it.

New Moon picks up shortly after Twilight ends. Bella is still in love with Edward, the vampire, Cullen. Her birthday is coming up and the Cullen's decide to throw her a birthday party, even though she doesn't want them to. In fact, she doesn't want to celebrate birthdays anymore, and still is trying to get the Cullen's to turn her into a vampire. But something happens at the party, and it sends the Cullen's away from the dark and rainy city of Forks.

Bella is then grief stricken and unresponsive. To me, this was the worst part of the book, reading through several chapters of Bella's depression. I can understand that she misses Edward, that her life is practically over without him there. But there comes a point when too much has been said about it. Where Twilight spent too many adjectives describing Edward's wonderfully beautiful body, New Moon spent too many pages on the loss of love. I think Meyer was trying to show the emotion of despair, and she held it occasionally, but it could have been done better.

Once the grief begins to fade away and Bella starts to semi-live again, the novel gets better. I enjoyed the relationship between Bella and Jacob Black, the Native American teen that lives a few miles away from her home. They become fast friends, and I liked reading about the things they did together.

But everything is not peaceful and perfect in Forks. People are going missing and are reporting large wolves about the woods. Pools of blood have been found, and things forgotten are returning and looking for Bella. Will she remain safe?

I liked New Moon better than Twilight. The story was more fulfilling and exciting, plus the subtle philosophy concerning a vampire's soul provides some time for pondering. Are good vampires eternally damned, or is there a chance for retribution? This question is not answered, but I feel that it will become more prominent with the last two books.

The things I didn't like about New Moon were characterization and the aforementioned superfluous amount of sadness. I feel that Bella is a weak, irrational, selfish character, but perhaps that is what Meyer was hoping for. Maybe she thinks that teens in love are irrational. But the things Bella does throughout the novel really irked me. She says she's concerned with other people, but then she acts completely selfish, and that was a turn off. The way she treated her school friends was annoying; the way she treats Charlie and Jacob is like slapping them in the face and telling them she doesn't care what they think. Speaking of Jacob, he was a character I liked, disliked, and pitied. His love for Bella is strong and obvious, but he sometimes treats her badly. At the same time, he's care-free and fun, which is good for the recovering Bella, but can be negative on her fragile psyche.

Truly the best characters in the books are the Cullen's and the Volturi. They are well developed and intriguing. They are mystical and ancient. I think Meyer did a great job with the scenes involving the vampire families, especially in the latter chapters of the book.

Overall I did not struggle to make it through the book, and I actually was curious to see how the climax would work out, which happened to be satisfying and well written. I'll add Eclipse and Breaking Dawn to my reading list, as I'm now wondering what will happen in the complex life of Bella Swan.


Krista said...

I agree with you a 100% on this one! You pinpointed all my likes and dislikes about these books, as well. Bella was way too Whimpy and whinny for my taste!

Breaking Dawn to me was the best book over all. I think if she would've taken all the good parts from each book and thrown it into Breaking Dawn we would've had a pretty cool book...LOL!

The Host by Meyer however was A LOT better!

Also, If your looking for a good YA book I would highly recommend you pick up The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins! Talk about a Quick-paced, Can't-put-down Teen Read!

logankstewart said...

My wife really liked The Host, and the idea sounds pretty cool. Mayhap one day, especially if I wind up liking Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.