New Moon (The Twilight Saga, #2)
by Stephenie Meyer
I am always amazed at this author’s writing style. There is something so immediate and emotional in her scenes. Even if Bella is just doing something boring like eating cereal, there is an emotional undercurrent that makes every action meaningful. It captivates me every time.
This book is not perfect, but I really loved it. The flaws were not severe enough to ruin my enjoyment, and all the good things and the wonderful characters made it so satisfying to read.
I really like the way that this second book emphasizes Edward and Bella’s romance as a star-crossed destiny/fate type of love. There are a lot of references to Romeo and Juliet that bring depth into the way I think about Edward and Bella together. It’s not just a silly romance; it’s a fairy-tale romance that is destined in the stars. And that brings Bella’s reactions into perspective when Edward leaves her. I mean, the girl has hallucinations. In real life, it would be ridiculous, but in the context of a mythological romance, it makes sense.
And I love this book because we finally get to know Jacob so much more! I like the way he is constantly described as having a ‘warm’ personality with a ‘warm’ smile.
I don’t mind a love triangle as long as all the characters have well-developed complex personalities and their own character arc. If one person has practically no backstory and no other purpose for being there other than to “mix things up” that bothers me. But all three characters in this love triangle are wonderfully complex and relatable and endearing, so I don’t mind it.
I think I forget how truly imaginative these stories are. All the little details of how vampires and werewolves came to be, and how their different powers and abilities work; it’s actually quite original! But I think it has just become so well-known and so commonplace, that we forget that when the books were first written, this was a fairly new thing. The whole backstory of the Volturi and their entourage is really interesting. And of course all of the weird abilities that the werewolves have is so imaginative and cool.
I love Alice in this book! She is a really powerful character, but she exudes a sweetness and kindness that belies her underlying fierceness. She is so loyal to Bella and affectionate with everyone. I just love her close relationship with her brother Edward, and the way she warms up to Charlie.
There are so many great storytelling techniques in this book, but one of my favorites are the blank pages that show the passage of time after Edward leaves Bella. With just the month written on a blank page, it really gives you the feeling of these long empty stretches of time when Bella is just barely existing. Nothing happens. It’s a blank for her. You can really feel the bleakness on those pages. It’s such a simple thing, but very effective.