Tuesday, September 16, 2008

REVIEW: New Moon

Title: New Moon
Author: Stephenie Meyer
ISBN: 9780316024961/Little, Brown and Company
Protagonist: teenager Bella Swan
Setting: present-day Forks, Washington, and Italy
Series: #2
Rating: A

First Line: I felt like I was trapped in one of those terrifying nightmares, the one where you have to run, run--till your lungs burst, but you can't make your body move fast enough.

I let two weeks go by before I read New Moon. I have to admit that I felt a bit like Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate after reading Twilight. I also didn't think I could run headlong into another rhapsody about Edward's beauty. If there was one thing that bothered me in Twilight it was the non-stop references to Edward's suitability as the hunk of all hunks. Fortunately I didn't have to mute my gag reflex until I'd read three-quarters of New Moon. Instead, Bella is left high and dry, Edward-less, and feels like she's coming apart at the seams. It takes her a while, but she finds someone to fill the holes: Jacob, the young Quilete boy who lives in nearby LaPush. I like Jacob, probably because he isn't nearly as beautiful as Edward. I'm not going to say anything more about the plot just in case you happen to be one of the readers who hasn't read this series. I've been trying to keep on top of what's going on without actually learning the plot lines of the upcoming books, and it's very difficult. I'll just make a few comments about my reactions to this book.

These books are so...teenage...that it's amusing. I've lost my boyfriend, and all I want to do is die. Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century. Bella is some kind of addictive personality. She's so unsure of herself that she has to attach herself to someone she perceives as stronger and "better" than her. She can't have Edward, so she clings to Jacob instead. Her name--Bella Swan--tells everyone that she's meant for greater things. Bella? Beautiful. And we've all heard of the ugly duckling who turned into a swan, haven't we? I know she's meant for Edward, but I hope that Jacob isn't left in the lurch. (Don't anyone dare tell me what happens!)

In spite of clunky writing and endless descriptions of physical beauty, it was still almost impossible for me to put this book down. Why? Perhaps I'm reliving my own, rather boring, high school days. I know whom I've cast as Edward, but I'm having difficulty finding someone for Jacob....

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