Sunday, 23 August 2015

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Saga, #2) - Book Review

4/5 Stars

"You...don't...want me?" I tried out the words, confused by the way they sounded, placed in that order.



Edition: Paperback
Pages: 497
Chapters: 24 (Plus a preface and an epilogue.)
Publisher: Atom

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Website


It's hard to decide between a 3.5 rating, or a 4. New Moon is a capable sequel to Twilight, but it manages to lose itself frequently in its repetition, pacing and the poor choices made by its cast. The length also works against it.

Conversely - conversely is my new favourite word! - it also carries the same powerful and alluring qualities that make its predecessor so addictive, while adding smatterings of new ones. Meyer has a way with her characters and their dynamics; they're sometimes far too hyperbolic, but nevertheless, she manages to inject you with the full force of every emotion. 

The compulsion to read through the story is strong, unyielding. And as soon as we hit the action, everything ramps up in intensity.


Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

Bella has her future planned.
It's decided, at least from her perspective.
But when her connection to Edward puts her in harm's way, the love of her life isn't sure she'll have a future if he stays.
So, he doesn't, he leaves.
While Edward's intentions are pure, the devastation his departure inflicts on Bella could destroy her.
And as the angelic vampires vanish from Forks, devilish ones wait to take their place...

Plot - 4/5 Stars

New Moon follows the same sort of structure Twilight does. We have an ominous and exciting beginning that promises something special for the reader; an infuriatingly drawn out development between two characters (Bella and Jacob); before an action- and adrenaline-packed conclusion that leaves several plot threads still hanging to pull you into the next entry. 

The contentment between Bella and Edward at the start is heartwarming and sweet. It's basically guaranteed to make you smile. There's a real sense of family, and Meyer's characters dutifully fulfill their roles. When she rips them - the Cullens - from both Bella and the reader, there's a palpable shock. Even I'm still a little surprised at the ferocity. 

Bella's reaction after divides me, but I'll come to that in a bit.

We then move on to developing the relationship between Bella and Jacob, and I absolutely love it, and them. Jacob is a very different character. The fire to Edward's ice. The mystery concerning Sam and his 'disciples' add needed elements of spice that fit and progress in a way that has you glued to the book. 

It's during this time, mainly the huge chunk that is the middle of the novel, that the repetitiveness kicks in. There are too many scenes that are alike; too many passages that appear over and over again; too many discussions and thoughts that we've already reached conclusions to. In short, Bella and Jacob's time together is lengthy, negatively so.

Luckily, the introduction of werewolves, and the elaboration of the series' lore really gives New Moon something different from its predecessor. From Jacob and his pack, to Aro and the Volturi, Meyer is increasing the stories she can go on to tell, and they're pretty exciting stories. 

The end also makes the difference. Everything picks up. The tension and suspense fully, and finally, come into play, forcing the reader to turn the pages as fast as they are able to.

Pace - 3/5 Stars

Damn you, pace! Why do you have to be so slow!?

There are, of course, redeeming elements that help you through the story, but it's a long ride. I pretty much covered my misgivings above: The repetitions, the focus on things that would work better condensed, the lack of happenings. 

Characters - 4/5 Stars

Characters such as Mike and Jessica still aren't up to par with the rest of the cast. They feel more like tools to move the plot, rather than whole people. The Cullens, are, as usual, awesome, and despite their limited appearance in New Moon, the heavier focus on Jacob and the pack of werewolves is stellar. 

Bella divides me. She's a former shadow of herself, and this works at the same time it doesn't. It works in a way that it highlights the effect of Edward's departure, and the feelings she has for him. It doesn't work in terms of her actions. On more than one occasion I thought the word 'overreaction'. Bella's actions are just too reckless. It calls to mind a picture I love because it's hilarious:

Come on. it's partly true... Plus, Buffy!

Bella still has some great, comedic lines, but they're too few and far between. Her bravery shines near the end, but it feels like it's a little too late. I'm hoping the next instalment, Eclipse, gives us a Bella more along the lines of who she is in Twilight. 

Despite the overt nature of Bella's emotions, Meyer manages to imbue the reader with their severity. Here comes my sappiness, but even I get a little - okay, I admit, more than a little - upset when Edward leaves. 

Edward isn't present much, but he's very much still rocking the sweet and creepy vibe, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why that's so alluring. But, it is. 

Jacob, on the other hand, fills the gap. I really, really like Jacob. He's funny, warm and good-natured. I perhaps like him more than Edward, but, his and Bella's chemistry just isn't the same. I think even the author holds back with this relationship. Team Edward!

Writing - 4/5 Stars

Pretty much the same as I feel about Twilight's writing: Too flowery at times, too repetitive - like me, ha-ha - and a little passive.

New Moon, though, similarly to its predecessor, gets a lot of things right, with a lot of great passages. There's often a prettiness to Meyer's writing flow.

Overall - 4/5 Stars

A nice, if lengthy, entry to the series, but, it hasn't affected my interest, and with the way everything's progressing, I am more than excited for Eclipse.

Previous Instalment: Twilight
Next Instalment: Eclipse

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