Monday, September 3, 2007

Jenn's Review: New Moon

Summary: New York Public Library

Recovered from the vampire attack that hospitalized her in the conclusion of Twilight, Bella celebrates her birthday with her boyfriend Edward and his family, a unique clan of vampires that has sworn off human blood. But the celebration abruptly ends when the teen accidentally cuts her arm on broken glass. The sight and smell of her blood trickling away forces the Cullen family to retreat lest they be tempted to make a meal of her. After all is mended, Edward, realizing the danger that he and his family create for Bella, sees no option for her safety but to leave. Mourning his departure, she slips into a downward spiral of depression that penetrates and lingers over her every step. Vampire fans will appreciate the subsequently dour mood that permeates the novel, and it's not until Bella befriends Jacob, a sophomore from her school with a penchant for motorcycles, that both the pace and her disposition begin to take off. Their adventures are wild, dare-devilish, and teeter on the brink of romance, but memories of Edward pervade Bella's emotions, and soon their fun quickly morphs into danger, especially when she uncovers the true identities of Jacob and his pack of friends. Less streamlined than Twilight yet just as exciting, New Moon will more than feed the bloodthirsty hankerings of fans of the first volume and leave them breathless for the third.

I really feel that this second novel from Meyer flows much better than the first. There is no waiting around for the story to begin and much more development of non-central characters. Some of this due in part, I'm sure, to the fact that Meyer expects you to have read the first book and she feels that she can start in the middle of her story. Also, without Edward, Meyer is forced to focus on other characters.

To me, this story feels far more complete from a writing standpoint. Although, I find the incident that sparks Edward's decision to leave Bella is rather tame in comparison to his reaction, it gives us a chance to explore Bella's world without him. Meyer beautifully depicts "going through the motions" and the attempts at regaining some sort of semblance to a shattered soul. Should Bella let herself get romantically involved with someone who obviously loves her more than she could ever love him, if only just to feel again? And is her penchant for danger going to kill her even without being involved with Edward?

My only objection is that I really feel that the blurb's on the back, and to some extent the prologue, give us too much information on where we are headed. I'd rather be pleasantly surprised when I get there. All in all, this was a very solid read for me.

Overall Rating 4.8/5


Julie September 4, 2007 at 9:01 PM  

Do you think the the consistency in the writing is due to the fact that this is her 2nd book and she's gotten the voice of the characters down better? Maybe better editing too?

Sounds like it's not just for the vampire fans either.

Jenn September 4, 2007 at 9:29 PM  

I think she has more experience and more confidence in general, and certainly a better feel for her characters.

Definitely not just for vampire fans, but I'd say one has to appreciate fantastical fiction. :)

Julie September 5, 2007 at 10:10 AM  

So if you enjoy Harry Potter, Chronicle of Narnia and that other YA series, A Great and Terrible Beauty; you would probably enjoy this?

Jenn September 5, 2007 at 10:18 AM  

Exatly... it has more of a classic gothic flavor than those, but in a similar vein.

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