Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer


I'm sure someone will review Eclipse, so I might as well get New Moon in first. If you read Twilight, you'll enjoy it's sequel, New Moon. As a YA read, it's easy and fast-paced. Bella is faced with a new challenge, this time involving something nearly as menacing as vampires, and threads that are introduced in the first book are carried through in New Moon.

It's hard to review this book without giving spoilers . . . I can't talk about any main plot element without giving away something . . . so I'll just tell you some of my favorite things:

1. Bella goes through a period of depression. When she gets to the depths of despair, the months pass without her remembering them. The author tracks the passage of time with the name of each month on a blank page. Very creative.

2. I loved the Romeo and Juliet tie ins--they were a fun addition. Some reviewer somewhere will probably criticize this as being cliche. But it was perfectly fitting to the story and perfect for the genre.

3. The ending leaves you questioning (and hoping) that the two main elements of the first two books in the series will be tied up in book three.

4. Read the author's acknowledgements at the end. It's great to catch such a personal glimpse.

5. This is my own warning: When I read New Moon, I decided to read Twilight again. It was better the second time because I wasn't racing through it to find out what happens at the end. I was able to enjoy all the foreshadowing to New Moon and really appreciate the obsessiveness between Bella and Edward.

9 comments:

Susan said...

I just found your blog and am so glad to see reviews of LDS books. Thanks for the recommendations. You can see my reviews (some LDS, mostly not) at http://www.blogginboutbooks.blogspot.com

Jennifer Leffler said...

Glad you found us. This blog has mostly LDS books buy non-LDS books are welcome as long as they meet LDS standards. I checked out your blog and look forward to getting more ideas for books to read and sites to search.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I really liked how the author did those months passing by, too. Very clever.

Michele said...

I agree about the use of blank pages. It was unique to say the least.
The ending tore me up. Talk about an author getting a reader to invest their emotions in her characters.
Stephenie sure does that.

Can't wait for Eclipse though. My librarian and I are in a contest to see who is going to read it first. Bet ya she wins. LOL

Steve & Emi Edgley said...

Who is going to speak out, within the LDS population, about this book?

Real teens who act in some of the ways Bella and Edward did probably find themselves in real trouble. Bella blindly follows a boy she knows is
dangerous. What might be some of the consequences of becoming involved with
a "bad boy," or a possessive person with anger or jealousy issues? Also, real teens emulating Edward and Bella would find themselves in sexually
compromising situations. Edward stays in Bella's room at night to watch her sleep. They caress each other in a secluded clearing, without anyone knowing where they are. How can we keep from placing ourselves in circumstances where temptation is too strong? Can touching in nonsexual ways be dangerous?

Edward and Bella engage in a number of fairly innocuous kisses. Although Bella and Edward don't have sex, their relationship is extremely intense and sensual. It seems the only thing preventing intercourse is the fact that Edward desires to suck her blood, not to deflower her. He abstains from
acting on his thirst because he loves her. She pleads for the opposite.

Bella's father has never parented before. He asks casual questions about Bella's activities, but he's easily satisfied by her frequent lies and half-truths concerning her whereabouts. He clearly cares for her but doesn't provide much "authority" (although he does set a few more boundaries toward
the end of the story). Bella's real protector is Edward. He sets the tone for their relationship, and Bella follows him fearlessly, despite knowing
that he literally wants to devour her. Edward excuses Bella's repeated lying to others because it allows them to be together.

Is this a book series we would be happy to have our daughters read? Why are we so happy about it then ourselves?

Heather B. Moore said...

This series is steamy. So of course every parent should determine for themselves if they want their daughter/son to read it. Yet, compared to most YA novels in the national market, it's extremely clean. And unlike many YA novels out there, the characters do decide to "wait." My recommendation is not to point fingers at Twilight or New Moon (or Eclipse), but to be educated in EVERYTHING your children read. Some children are very influential, others can discern between fact and fiction very easily.

The distance between Bella and her father is actually a common writer's technique. The writer "isolates" the main character from adults so that the main character has to face difficult situations by her/himself. In Harry Potter, Harry is an orphan with no parents. In Peter and the Starcatchers, the same thing. You'll see a common theme in YA books where the main character is somehow detached from parental presence or influence.

Tristi Pinkston said...

Heather's right -- the fact that Charlie is so detached is a fairly common literary device. How many great works of literature would we have if the parents were always right there? We wouldn't even have Alice in Wonderland (her parents were too big to fit through the hole)

In regards to the whole Meyer thing, I've written a blog you may find interesting. Here is the link:



http://tristipinkston.blogspot.com/2007/09/lds-authors-in-national-market.html

Heather B. Moore said...

Wow, Tristi. What you wrote on your blog is very interesting. Thanks for the insights into both the Twilight series and Austenland.

Maw Books said...

I read this entire series, and wasn't aware until recently the whole controversy within the LDS population about this book. In my opinion, this is one of the cleanest books out there. There is so much worse stuff we could be reading! If it was any other author, believe me,we would have had quite some steamy sex scenes!