Last month I reviewed Twilight, the first novel in Stephenie Meyers vampire saga. It was probably the hardest review I’ve written thus far as I have so many conflicting emotions and opinions about that novel that it was difficult to give an honest review with being too opinionated. However, I figure the only way I’ll get better at writing reviews is if I keep writing them. So here we are.
New Moon is the second novel in the Twilight Saga and is very different from the first. Meyer takes a step back from the Cullens (she actually removes them from majority of the book!), and instead focuses on the relationship between Bella and her friend Jacob.
After a disastrous birthday party in which Edward’s brother, Jasper, almost kills Bella, the Cullens leave Forks. Bella becomes lost without Edward and stays inside, on her own, for months. Eventually, she starts spending more time with Jacob Black, the son of her father’s best friend. However, Bella gets more than she bargained for when she finds out Jacob, and several of his friends on the Quileute Reserve, are actually werewolves. The quiet town of Forks truly got turned upside down the day Bella moved in. From werewolves to adrenaline fueled hallucinations to Italian vampires, New Moon introduces one new adventure after another.
Meyer’s book had several aspects that make it truly interesting. The addition of werewolves invited a whole new audience to the books. For people who may not have been a fan of vampires, by introducing werewolves it started a whole new adventure for both Bella and readers. Similarly, the addition of The Volturi, vampires from Italy who essentially keep order of all other vampires, was a fascinating new storyline. Before this, we’d only met the Cullens and the nomads in book one. Here we have a coven of vampires who are nothing like either of those groups.
Finally, Stephenie Meyer did something I found both interesting and effective near the beginning of the novel. When Edward first leaves Bella, and she is left alone for months, Meyer shows this by printing empty chapters, titled with each month as it passes.
Of course, just as there were good aspects to this novel, there were also things I feel could have been different. While I understand that introducing Jacob and the other wolves was an integral part to the rest of the series, I feel like it could have been done in a better way. We spent the entire first novel book falling in love with the Cullens and then in a matter of pages they were just gone. Again, I understand why this happened as it was important to the story that the wolves be introduced. However, I feel that removing several central characters and adding new ones weakened the novel as we now had to get to know a whole new cast of characters in a short amount of time.
Something else I believe could have been different was Bella’s reaction to Edward leaving. I know there are tons arguments about this, so I’m not going to get into it too much. But I do feel that the dependency Bella is shown to have on Edward is incredibly unhealthy. I don’t mean her feeling depressed for several months. That is understandable of anyone who has lost their first love. I mean her getting on motorcycles with strangers and jumping off cliffs just so she can hallucinate Edward, Again, there are tons of arguments about this and as a book containing vampires and werewolves, it’s not really meant to be taken seriously. But there will always be people out there who do take things away from the books they read, even ones like this, and I don’t think Bella should have been shown to depend fully on Edward.
Overall, I feel this was the weakest book in the series. I know there are people who love New Moon particularly those who are ‘Team Jacob’, but personally I feel this one really could have been done better.
What do you think? Did you like New Moon?