Back Cover Blurb
"Shoot," I muttered when the paper sliced my finger; I pulled it out to examine the damage. A single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut.
It all happened very quickly then.
Edward threw himself at me, flinging me back across the table...
I tumbled down to the floor by the piano, with my arms thrown out instinctively to catch my fall, into the jagged shards of glass. I felt the searing, stinging pain that ran from my wrist to the crease inside my elbow.
Dazed and disoriented, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm—into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires
Since I thought that 'Twilight' was excellent, you can imagine my surprise when 'New Moon' blew it out of the water in terms of greatness.
In the beginning, Bella Swan is high on life and has just experienced a romantic whirlwind summer with her vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen. Unfortunately with her eighteenth birthday looming closer on the horizon, Bella can't stand the fact that she's grown a year older than Edward's seventeen years. Granted she understands that he's technically over hundred years old, in his human life he was only seventeen when he was transformed. This, combined with Bella's longing for immortality and Edward's continued denial of her request, frustrates her beyond belief.
After a terrible accident at her birthday party hosted by the Cullen's, Edward's nightmare comes to life thus proving his previously stated fact and ultimate fear that Bella is in danger of him and his family's vampire nature. Over the course of a few days, Edward progressively distances himself emotionally and physically from Bella. Ultimately Edward breaks off their relationship after telling Bella that he doesn't love her anymore and in fact never has. After which, Edward vanishes all traces of himself from Bella's life by not only removing himself and his family from Forks, WA, but by also retrieving all the material gifts and items that Bella had acquired over the term of their relationship. This leaves nothing for Bella to hold on to and it would appear for all intents and purposes that Edward never even existed.
It is a this point in time that Stephenie Meyer becomes a literary genius, IMHO. Meyer provides the most simple yet visually stunning portrayal of a persons' heartbreak in the fewest words imaginable. For several pages Meyer prints only the name of the month and nothing else on the page, conveying the absolute emptiness that has saturated Bella's every waking moment. It's like her entire spirit shut down and all that's left is a robot capable of doing every day tasks but is still truly lifeless. My heart broke when I read on first one page 'November' and then turned to the next and saw only 'December'. The nothingness was so tangible...it's just amazing to me how I truly felt the utter emptiness in those single words and as the pages kept turning to reveal the same bleakness, I fell further into heartache.
Enter Jacob Black.
Jacob played a minor but intriguing role in 'Twilight' but it wasn't until 'New Moon' that he really takes center stage. It's Jacob's endearing friendship that really pulls Bella out of her darkest hour. I know that I fell in love with Jacob before Bella did and it was not simply over the fact that he hit puberty and rapidly grew into a seven foot sex god, but in part due to the fact that he had a pulse and was warm to the touch. I've never liked that Edward's body feels like a meat locker and it was a nice break from constantly being reminded of such by Bella. Instead she now constantly notices how hot, temperature wise, Jacob is. What truly made me fall in love with Jacob was how he pulled Bella through the bleakest part of her life, not by berating her with questions or laying down judgments but by being a true and honorable friend.
At first I felt like I was betraying Edward in my love for Jacob but as time passed and Edward continued to be out of the picture, I let myself fall. Bella did this as well but on a more gradual scale. Slowly she let Jacob steal pieces of her heart until the moment arrives when she must either wait forever on a vampire who doesn't love her, or settle on life with Jacob. Of course it's at the exact moment when Bella leans into Jacob, bent on the task of changing their fates forever that Edward slams back into her life.
'New Moon' was not only dark in the sense of heartache but also with the threat of suicide on both Bella's and Edward's account. Bella has held a death wish ever since awakening from her heartbreak coma. She gets a rush with each dangerous act she attempts because she hears Edward's voice berating her each time. With the thrill of his voice in her head, Bella dives of the cliffs of La Push. She makes it safely into the water but is soon physically overpowered by the strong rip currents. Feeling that life is just too difficult to live without Edward, Bella gives into the waves and bids Edward goodbye. Luckily she is saved by Jacob but her unintentional attempt at suicide is soon heard through the psychic means of the Cullen's, but they've only received half the story. In their minds Bella is dead and with that knowledge Edward seeks to die as well.
After being told of Edward's death plight, Bella abandons Jacob and races to save Edward's life. I along with Jacob, felt betrayed by Bella's actions for I was not only in love with Jacob but I was also in love with his love for Bella. Jacob's pain is visible in his tears and I couldn't help but also shed my own. I mourned their potential relationship that wouldn't be.
'New Moon' is a painful and heartbreaking read and I don't feel that I could pick it up again for a very long time. I must point out that I've read the 'Twilight' saga as an adult reading romance, not an adult reading young adult fiction. I don't believe that these novels are suitable for teenagers under 18 based on the fact that the content is controversial to say the least. Suicide is a major theme of 'New Moon' and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. These "teenage" characters are experiencing love and emotions that eclipse the teenage psyche, IMHO. If I were grading for the young adult genre I would give this book an F. Wanting to kill yourself because your boyfriend leaves you is just not right. Grading as an adult, I give 'New Moon' an A based on the fact that I'm a veteran of romance novels and I know what I want in my romance novels - all consuming and life changing love.