Saturday, November 22, 2008 By: Suzanne

New Moon

I apologize in advance. :)) If you can't stand to read my review of this, skip to the end for recommendations.

SPOILER ALERT! Don't read if you think you might read the book and haven't yet.

I just was very frustrated by this book. First of all let me point out some things that bothered me in the first book that carried over into this one:

1. Bella's aversion to blood and preference for sunlight.
Why make such a big deal about these issues over and over again if it doesn't mean anything more than that. It's a vampire novel. I keep waiting for the punch line. What's the special thing about her that makes these so very important. If they're not anything other than what they seem, then quit making it such a major issues all the time. Your readers are not stupid. We remember when you wrote that before. We didn't forget.

2. Rosalie
There is never any real conflict with Rosalie. This could have made a great addition to the storyline. Rosalie HATES her and Rosalie is a vampire. HELLO! If you don't want the girl around, confront her. Scare her. Conflict is a good thing in a novel. Meyer pushes it out of the way like it's inconvenient. Even the conflict that does happen (James in the first and the Volturi in the second) in the story is always wrapped up so fast that it's hardly worth bringing up.

3. The werewolves
Talk about a source of great conflict! There could have been more about this in the first book. I know I kept waiting for it. So Jacob is mad and can't be her friend and he and Edward think maybe they wouldn't be able to be around each other without possibly killing the other. Oh, please. Have them fight for goodness sake. Show me something real. And why in the hell does it take her so long to figure out that Jacob is a werewolf? She figured out Edward so quickly and she's a smart girl. Meyer writes this part like Bella's an idiot. Why did it take Jacob so long? He grew up with the stories. He knew what to look for. Assuming that your readers and your characters can't figure it out until it stands right in their faces and screams at them is insulting.

Ok, so New Moon itself. Why (other than the above) was I so frustrated. Because Bella fell apart like Edward died. I'm sorry, but going completely comatose for weeks and living like a zombie for months because your boyfriend left you is grounds being committed. They weren't even together for a year. She acted like her spouse of ten years died. The ironic thing is something very similar happened to a friend of mine while I was reading this. Maybe it's why I was so irritated by it in the book. Because I could see someone in real life doing this. This is what happens when you don't have an identity of your own. When your entire life is wrapped up in someone else; when your entire life IS someone else's life, you will fall apart like this because you have nothing of your own to live for. No one should let themselves be lost so much in another person that they simply have no life if that person leaves. I made mention of the fact in my post about Twilight that we really don't know anything about Bella. The reason is because she doesn't have a life outside of Edward. Why does she want to be vampire so badly? Because she hasn't let herself become a real person. What does she want out of life (besides Edward)? What does she want for her future (besides being a vampire)? Nothing. She didn't have any wants before either so she has nothing to fall back to.

I was a little encouraged when she decided to develop her friendship with Jacob. I thought, "Finally, something other than moping is about to happen!" She was actually finding something that made her happy, being with friends and finding things she liked outside of Edward. But then that all fell apart when she said:

It was a very strange kind of day. I enjoyed myself...I was beginning to think it was mostly Jacob. It wasn't just that he was always so happy to see me, or that he didn't watch me out of the corner of his eye, waiting for me to do something that would mark me as crazy or depressed. It was nothing that related to me at all.
It was Jacob himself.

What???!!! So she simply traded one boy to depend on and lose herself in for another. Yeah, that's a good thing. And she says it like it is! Does Meyer really believe this is a good thing? And later while she's putting herself in dangerous situations simply to "hear"Edward's voice (oh, yeah, good thing) she gets hurt and says, "I tried to tell myself that fear was pointless. I'd already lived through the worse thing possible." That is just simply not true. If she believes that her boyfriend leaving her is the worse thing possible that could happen, the girl's headed straight for the psych unit when something truly awful happens. What kills me is she even admits it yet doesn't seem to know or care why she feels this way. She says, "I'd been broken beyond repair. But I needed Jacob now, needed him like a drug."

That's exactly what this is like. Her addiction to boys taking care of her is exactly like an addiction to a drug and just as unhealthy. THEN, just when she's finally starting to believe she can live without Edward (even though she's simply trading him for Jacob instead of living for herself) HE COMES BACK! We're supposed to be happy about this I think. Meyer and many of her fans (I guess) are just overjoyed that it works out this way. The world makes, sense. Bella and Edward are together again! No, instead of figuring out how to be own person, she simply throws herself into his life that much more.

If someone can give me a REALLY good reason why I should continue this series, then maybe I'll think about it. I simply can't see myself reading anymore of it. Plus, I'm sure the fans of the series don't want to read my hate posts about it!

If you want some good vampire novels, check these out:
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton.
Talk about down and dirty vampires, werewolves, witches, and other nasties. Anita Blake starts the series hunting all these things and within a couple books is so intertwined with them that she starts to become less and less human.

Of Saints and Shadows by Christopher Golden
The vampires are the good guys in this and they take on the inner circle of the Catholic church. This is a series too but the first book is the best.

Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice
Seriously, if you like vampire novels and you HAVEN'T read at least the first three books in this series, you're not a vampire novel fan. You know nothing about vampire literature. I read these in high school a couple years before the movie Interview with the Vampire came out. It sealed my loved for vampire novels and later my addiction to Buffy.


Anonymous said...

I think it best if I refrain from commenting. Oh wait! I'm commenting right now ... okay, I'm stopping. ;D

Tonya said...

I'm sorry! I wish I had liked it. Did you get down to my recommendations or give up on it all together? :))

Anonymous said...

I actually read the whole thing. I can take it. I'm a big girl. Have I mentioned that somewhere else before? Anyhoo, I'm actually NOT a vampire person, so I will probably pass on the recommends. I'm shocked that I even opened up Twilight. It's their story that got me sucked in - not the whole vampire thing.

Andrea Aponte said...

I think what you dislike about Bella's dependency on Edward is a lot of people's romantic ideal. Many people think that true love means not being able to live without the other person because the other person makes them complete. Of course it's not healthy, but most of us have felt that way at one time or another. It doesn't help that Hollywood is constantly hocking this brand of love, but probably just because it sells better.

avm0525 said...

Try Kelley Armstrong's "Women of the Otherworld" series. It starts with werewolves, then runs through witches, wizards, vampires, even necromancers. It's not deep, moving reading but it is entertaining brain candy.

Tonya said...

Actually I read that one. Should have included in my recommendations. Thanks for the reminder!

Heather said...

I actually read the entire series and saw the movie this past weekend, but don't actually like them (which is kind of weird to have done, I know). I thought I liked them because I thought she was trying to do something ironically symbolic with the vampires (you know supressing the id and what-not), but then I saw an interview with her and she was just vapid. Sorry, it sounds harsh, but she stated in the EW interviews that she didn't really have a reason for writing other than just wanting to tell a story. Okay, sure, but if that's your only reason (i.e., not to teach readers a lesson or lead them in thinking about deep issues in a new way), at least tell your story in an interesting way.

To me it read like Harlequin Romance for teens.

Rebecca said...

You know what I find weird? The fact that I agree with every point you just made... but I still ennjoyed the book. Is that even possible?

I agree with what you said about Bella's excessive griefing, her dependance on Edward then Jacob, and her lack of an individual identity.

I also agree with your assessment of Meyer's underestimating the reader - forgetting to bring back huge points (like the blood and weather) and taking Bella forever to figure out the werewolf thing (when we all got it way back in the first book).

I think that I had classed the book as 'romantic fluff', albeit paranormal fluff, in my head before I even started reading it and so was far more (far, far more) willing to forgive it things in exchange for a quick (relative) read and interesting banter.

Tonya said...

You know it's very possible I took this book a little too personally! LOL I did mention my friend, and yes, she IS just like my nightmare version of Bella. But I might have liked this book at another time in my life!

Angela said...

I'm actually glad to read that someone else has so many of the same issues with the books that I do. I was beginning to feel like I was the only one who isn't liking this series!

I like the Anita Blake books up to a point but then she got into so much sex stuff (with the result of less actual story) and it turned me off.

I do love the Kelley Armstrong series. Kim Harrison is another great author - her main character is a witch but she lives with a vampire.

There are just so many better paranormal/supernatural stories out there.

Tonya said...

Yeah I haven't read the latest Anita Blake book for that very reason. When it becomes soley about the sex and talking about how deep down you're really a good girl who would never dream of doing these things if you weren't actually doing them...well, I think there's some deeper issues going on there! LOL However, the first 5 or so books are really good.