Title: New Moon
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre(s): Young adult, Horror, Romance novel
Publisher: Little, Brown
Release Date: August 21st, 2006
Preceded By: Twilight
Followed by: Eclipse
NOTE: SPOILER ALERT!
Isabella “Bella” Marie Swan is given an eighteenth birthday party by Alice and Edward Cullen, the vampire whom she loves, and his entire vampire family consisting of Carlisle, Alice, Emmett, Esme, Rosalie and Jasper Hale. Bella accidentally gets a paper cut there which leads to a violent and tense moment. Jasper, the newest member of the ‘family’ to try out the non-human diet, cannot contain himself at the sight and smell of her blood and makes a leap for Bella. Edward is forced to protect her, but this makes it all too clear that keeping Bella close to the family puts her at risk. In the midst of this, a pivotal moment occurs during a conversation with Carlisle while cleaning her wounds. Bella is told that Edward believes that vampires are soulless creatures and that there is no better place for them if they die. It is made clear that Edward’s relationship with her is a constant tug of war in his heart because he doesn’t want to risk turning Bella into a creature who he believes is damned. Edward begins to withdraw himself emotionally, and later he and his family depart from Forks in an attempt to keep Bella safe. He unknowingly hurts Bella further by taking photos and memories that would prove his existence, in an attempt to make a clean break of their relationship.
Bella becomes severely depressed and withdrawn from the world after his departure. She enters a state of mourning lasting four months where she is just going through the motions of everyday life without actually experiencing any of it. Eventually Charlie confronts her and she realizes how this is affecting her dad and attempts to pull herself together for his sake. On an outing with a friend, Bella finds herself in a potentially dangerous situation and finds that she can hear Edward’s voice in her mind. She prolongs the situation and can hear Edward during the entire episode which makes her pain of losing him more bearable. Bella finds that she can always hear Edward if she is in potential danger and, because of this, becomes increasingly reckless.
Jacob Black, the young Native American from Twilight, makes a reappearance in New Moon. Bella finds two motorcycles on the side of the road that need work and she remembers that Jacob is a mechanic of sorts. She loads them onto her truck and offers Jacob one of them as payment if he can make them run. They become very close friends and Bella depends on him, filling up the hole in her heart as best as she can with their friendship. Jacob is attracted romantically to Bella and although Bella knows this and tells him they are just friends, there is nothing uncomfortable about their closeness.
In the midst of their growing closeness, Jacob confides in Bella that something is going on at La Push reservation. Jacob confesses that he is afraid of Sam Uley, the leader of a group of older guys on the reservation. A friend of his had expressed fear of the group, went missing for days, and then resurfaced as a member of the gang. He has been acting strangely and Jacob believes they are up to no good. He is also frightened that he could be next on the list.
During an outing with Jacob he becomes very ill and fevered. After this episode Bella finds it is almost impossible to get in contact with Jacob before finding that he has reappeared as a follower of Sam Uley. Bella confronts him at his house and Jacob harshly tells her that he must stay away from her and never see her again. However, after a fight ensues, Jacob clearly hurting and regretful, sneaks into her room late at night to tell her that she knows exactly what is happening to Jacob, she just doesn’t realize it. The only clue he gives her is reminding her of the legends he told her when they first met.Bella eventually recalls a story about werewolves and vampires and realizes that Jacob, and the rest of Sam Uley’s gang, are indeed werewolves, and thus the enemies of her beloved Cullens. This presents a whole new set of problems for Jacob and Bella, because not only is there animosity between Jacob and Edward because of their mutual love for Bella, but they are also sworn enemies because of what they are. There is genuine potential for bloodshed and the possible death of either at the other’s hands.Things are further complicated by the return of Victoria. Victoria seeks to avenge her mate, the vicious tracker vampire James, whom Edward killed after James attempted to kill Bella. Rather than kill Edward, Victoria sees killing Edward’s “mate” as a fair trade. It is up to Jacob and his pack to protect Bella from Victoria’s revenge.
The climax of the story leads Bella on a rescue mission to save Edward after he is misinformed of Bella’s supposed suicide when she was actually cliff-diving (a popular form of recreation among the La-Push werewolves). He makes a trip to Italy, home of the dangerous and ancient Volturi vampires, in the hopes that they will kill him. Alice accompanies Bella to Italy and during their trip she receives flashes of what is happening with Edward and the Volturi. Seeing how valuable an asset Edward would be, the Volturi refuse to destroy him and invite him to join their coven. He refuses and devises a plan to walk out into the middle of the city at noon with his skin exposed in order to force the Volturi’s hand. A vampire’s skin, when exposed to the sun, glitters like diamonds, which would expose him and potentially, the Volturi. Bella and Alice arrive in time to stop him from stepping into the sunlight, but are cornered and escorted to the underground home of the Volturi by vampires working for them. It is here that we find that even the eldest of the clan are not able to penetrate Bella’s mind and that any powers that the vampires might possess will do them no good when it comes to her. The Volturi tell Edward that Bella cannot leave because she is a human who knows their secret and that is not allowed. Bella, Edward, and Alice make a deal with the Volturi; they agree that in the near future they will turn her into a vampire in order to prevent them from harming her. They agree, with the assertion that they will be paying a personal visit in order to ensure the deed is done. The group is allowed to leave, but upon returning to America, Edward refuses to turn her right away. He wants to wait until it is absolutely necessary, which could take years. Bella then brings the decision to Edward’s family who have returned to Forks. They take a vote and all but Rosalie agree on the decision to turn Bella into one of their family. Edward eventually offers to turn Bella himself on the condition that she marry him first, but Bella is horrified at the thought of marrying Edward at such a young age, remembering her parents’ marriage and how it fell apart due to them marrying young.
In the epilogue, Bella returns home one day to find Jacob waiting for her and there is a showdown between Jacob, Edward and Bella. Jacob tells Bella that they cannot be friends with Edward in the middle, while also reminding Edward that if he bites a human he will be breaking their treaty, which would leave their coven open to attack by Jacob and his pack. The story ends with Bella determined to find a place for Jacob in her life while also dealing with her desire to be a vampire.
Not since TV’s Buffy “the Vampire Slayer” Summers battled demons in the halls of Sunnydale High has a teenager faced the number of monsters that Bella Swan does in Meyer’s melodramatic sequel to Twilight. Bella’s vampire boyfriend Edward and his unusual clan are joined by an ancient pack of werewolves-also with connections to Bella-in a story that’s got romance, adventure, thrills and even a quick detour to Italy. Thanks to Kadushin’s (who also read Twilight) consistently smooth delivery and her plausibility as a teen navigating heartbreak, hormones and confusion, listeners are likely to hang on for the many fever-pitch moments of suspense here, even if the lengthy tale could have used some pruning. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
What’s a girl to do when her choices of guys to date are either a vampire or a werewolf? Teenaged Bella does not seem to make wise choices when it comes to boyfriends in this sequel to Twilight. The original book focused on Bella’s relationship with her “good” vampire boyfriend, Edward. Nevertheless, in this novel, the vampires only appear in the beginning and the end; in the middle, the action grinds to a halt. The story starts out with Bella and Edward splitting up; Bella spends the next 100 pages or so mourning his loss. Gradually, the sullen teen rekindles her interest in a friend, Jacob Black, who lives on a nearby Indian reservation. Still depressed over Edward, she initially resists Jacob, and just about the time she wonders if she might be falling in love with him, she finds out he is not quite who or what he appears to be. The last portion of the book primarily focuses on Bella in a race against time, trying to locate Edward. Edward believes that Bella has died when she has not–ala Romeo and Juliet–and he is determined to end his vampire existence. Readers who have not read Twilight may find some of the references to previous relationships and plotlines hard to follow. This is an overly long novel with a minimum of action. The ending makes it clear that there is another sequel to follow.
Angelica Delgado – VOYA
Readers return to the Pacific Northwestern hamlet of Forks in Stephenie Meyer’s sequel to her debut novel, Twilight (Little, Brown, 2005/VOYA October 2005). Human Bella remains incredibly enamored with her vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen, and continually hints at her desire to become a fellow nosferatu. A disastrous birthday celebration leads to the Cullens’ exodus from Forks, leaving behind a devastated Bella. Morose and depressed, she discovers that reckless activities elicit auditory hallucinations of Edward chastising her to stay safe. Bella’s new friend, Jacob Black, helps bring her out of her melancholia. As their friendship begins to shift into something deeper, Jacob himself undergoes an unexpected metamorphosis. Misunderstanding and miscommunication lead to Bella’s flight from Forks and into the clutches of the Volturi, an influential vampire family in Italy. From its orchid-embossed cover to the epilogue, vampire aficionados will voraciously consume this mighty tome in one sitting, then flip back and read it once more. It maintains a brisk pace and near-genius balance of breathtaking romance and action. While certainly better written than its predecessor, it may leave the reader wishing for something different-a more empowered and self-assured heroine, comic relief to balance the perpetually brooding Edward, fewer references to the vampires’ innate beauty. Meyer is at work on the third addition to the Forks saga so there is hope these transformations can occur. Despite the flaws, expect this book to remain checked out by its legions of fans as they await the third novel’s release. VOYA CODES: 4Q 5P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Every YA (who reads)was dying to read it yesterday; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Little Brown, 563p., Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Recovered from the vampire attack that hospitalized her in the conclusion of Twilight (Little, Brown, 2005), 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.-Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
All is not well between demon-magnet Bella and Edward Cullen, her vampire Romeo. An innocent papercut at Edward’s house puts Bella in grave danger when various members of the Cullen family can barely resist their hunger at the smell of blood. The Cullens promptly leave town, afraid of endangering Edward’s beloved, and Bella sinks into an overwhelming depression. Months later, she finally emerges from her funk to rebuild her life, focusing on her friendship with besotted teen Jacob from the reservation. Bella’s unhealthy enthrallment to Edward leads her into dangerous and self-destructive behavior despite her new friends, and supernatural complications are bound to reappear. Bella’s being hunted by an evil vampire, and Jacob’s adolescent male rage turns out to be incipient lycanthropy: It seems many Quileute Indians become werewolves in the presence of vampires, their natural enemies. Psychic miscommunications and angst-ridden dramatic gestures lead to an exciting page-turner of a conclusion drenched in the best of Gothic romantic excess. Despite Bella’s flat and obsessive personality, this tale of tortured demon lovers entices. (Fantasy. 13-16)
Stephenie Meyers Soundtrack:
(Note: this loosely follows the story sequence. I’m going to put a B, E, or J after each song, so you’ll know who’s perspective I’m hearing it from (that might help you categorize them into where they fit in the novel). Mostly B’s of course, since she’s telling the story.)
- “Do you realize?” – The Flaming Lips (B)
- “Papercut” – Linkin Park (B)
- “Hyper Music” – Muse (B)
- “Apocalypse Please” – Muse (B)
- “Time Stands Still” – The All-American Rejects (B)
- “Empty Room” – Marjorie Fair (B)
- “Unwell” – Matchbox Twenty (B)
- “Pain” – Jimmy Eat World (B)
- “Ride” – The Vines (B)
- “Fix You” – Coldplay (J)
- “Blueside” – Rooney (B)
- “Over My Head (Cable Car)” – The Fray (B)
- “Going Under” – Evanescence (B)
- “Tautou” – Brand New (B)
- “Be My Escape” – Relient K (B)
- “Never Let You Down” – Verve Pipe (J)
- “Sing For Absolution” – Muse (E)
- “Ya Mamma” – Fatboy Slim (Generic action-scene music)
- “D.O.A.” – Foo Fighters
- “Stare” – Marjorie Fair (B)
- “Memory” – Sugarcult (B)
- “The Truth About Heaven” – Armor For Sleep (B)
- “The Scientist” – Coldplay (E)
- “Sound of Pulling Heaven Down” – Blue October (E)
- “Drag” – Placebo (B)
- “Like A Stone” – Audioslave (B)
- “World Has Turned and Left Me Here” – Weezer (B)
- “Best I Ever Had” – Vertical Horizon (B)
- “My Immortal” – Evanescence (B)
- “Not the One” – Collective Soul (B)
- “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” – U2 (B)
- “Rest In Pieces” – Saliva (B)
- “White Flag” – Dido (B)
- “Everybody’s Changing” – Keane (B)
- “Unintended” – Muse (B)
- “I Miss You” – Blink 182 (B)
- “The Reason” – Hoobastank (E)
- “Hate Me” (radio edit) – Blue October (E)