Science fiction and fantasy                                            

New Moon

by Stephenie Meyer


Bella Swan is neurotic and insecure at the best of times. In New Moon she lets slip just how much of a fruitcake she really is, when events take a turn for the worse.

Getting older is getting Bella down, especially since she spends so much time in the company of the eternally young and beautiful Cullen family. She wants to join the ranks of the undead, but Edward is determined that she should remain human. The Cullen vampires may have sworn off biting humans but even they are tempted sometimes, and Bella's scent is the equivalent of shoving a delicious Sunday roast with all the trimmings under the nose of a starving man. It's a precarious situation.

So, in an attempt to be responsible, Edward decides that Bella's better off without him, and he leaves. Heartbroken, she falls into a stupor that lasts for months. She alienates her friends, freaks her father out, and behaves increasingly recklessly. Only her growing friendship with Jacob Black can begin to ease her pain. But Jacob has a secret of his own.

There's more moping about than some readers will be comfortable with, but Stephenie Meyer uses her main character's instability to draw out the suspense and romantic tension slowly and scrumptiously. This is often at the expense of making Bella appear to be as dense as a black hole, but at least it gives the story a strong emotional intensity. The pace picks up considerably towards the end, when a number of vampires, both new and familiar, appear on the scene, and the treaty between the Quileute and the Cullen vampires is strained to its limits.

The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is a motif throughout New Moon, as Bella notices the parallels between her life and Shakespeare's story. However this novel is more than a simple contemporary re-telling of the play. For one thing, a lot of things remain unresolved at its finish. Bella faces a slew of new problems and no clear way out of her dilemmas. This means New Moon seems half-finished, like the middle chapters of a much longer book. But there's much to appreciate nevertheless. The good news is that Meyer's characters are so alive, and so vulnerable, that fans of supernatural romance will be aching to find out what happens next.

Book Details

Year: 2006

Categories: Books

  YA     Horror
  Female Protagonist  

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4 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
Read more about Stephenie Meyer

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