Want to meet the guy who's smart enough to take over the world? Well he's twelve years old. And his name is Artemis Fowl. I have two words for this bo...moreWant to meet the guy who's smart enough to take over the world? Well he's twelve years old. And his name is Artemis Fowl. I have two words for this book: GREAT FUN. If you are at all young at heart or you just want to read something different from your usual fare, then check out this book. Artemis will keep you entertained with his hijinks. At the age of 12, Artemis is keeping his family afloat as they suffer from grief at the disappearance of Artemis Fowl, Sr, his father. His mother has retreated into delusions and barely leaves her room. The family is on the brink of bankruptcy, but not for long, if Artemis has anything to do with it. Assisted by his faithful bodyguard, a very large, deadly, intimidating man would do anything for him, Artemis decides to steal his very own fairy to hold for ransom: his very own pot of gold. He doesn't realize that Holly is just as dangerous as he is.
When LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police reconnaisance), the covert Fairy organization policing the faery creatures that have retreated underground to get away from humans, comes looking for Holly, he has to fight off a siege on his house of supernatural creatures such as a troll (don't want to be in their way), a dwarf with flatulence from ingesting rocks and soil when he burrows his way through the earth, and a centaur genius who is LEPrecon's equivalent to MI6's Q, and a whole slew of highly-trained deadly fairies.
I picked this book up on a lark, looking for something different to read. And boy was I rewarded. This book will make you laugh and keep you enthralled for hours. Although this is perfectly suitable for a young teen or a pre-teen, it's also sophisticated for an adult to enjoy, and a must read for lovers of Faery.(less)
Fun, action-packed, and intense. This is a book a child eight or older and an adult who is young at heart can enjoy. I especially, heartily recommend...moreFun, action-packed, and intense. This is a book a child eight or older and an adult who is young at heart can enjoy. I especially, heartily recommend this book to fans of the Greek myths. I thought Riordan's approach was very fresh and original, but showed respect for the origin myths. Having a lifelong interest in Greek mythology, I found myself wondering, hmm, I wonder if he's referring this or that story, only to smile and nod. Having said that, I believe that a person unfamiliar with the myths could still love and enjoy this book. If you enjoy a good urban fantasy story, please don't this dismiss this book as merely a kids book and overlook it.
This is one of the more intense First Love books. I remember being so drawn in and how intense the feelings were. I think this book is geared towards...moreThis is one of the more intense First Love books. I remember being so drawn in and how intense the feelings were. I think this book is geared towards older teens who can envision the idea that one might meet the person that one would want to spend a lifetime with. My sister owned the books and I read hers, but she let me have this one and the two sequels. One of my favorites.(less)
This book is one of the best books I've ever read. It has so many layers. It is an excellent coming of age book that deals with the issues of racism,...moreThis book is one of the best books I've ever read. It has so many layers. It is an excellent coming of age book that deals with the issues of racism, injustice, intolerance, and bigotry so eloquently. It also shows the love between a father and his children, and the true meaning of courage. It's a shame that Harper Lee only wrote this one book. But at least she hit the ball out of the park with this one book. Atticus Finch is one of my all time favorite heroes.(less)
Elsewhere is moody. It's from the viewpoint of young people who have dropped out and live on the streets, forming their own families and relationships...moreElsewhere is moody. It's from the viewpoint of young people who have dropped out and live on the streets, forming their own families and relationships. I don't especially feel comfortable with the idea of kids living this way, but that's one of the best things about reading. You get to see different worlds, lives, existences, and realize that humans are all the same, no matter what kind of lives they live.
Ron came to the Bordertown to find his older brother. He was living in denial, and this trip helped him to find himself, to let go of notions about who he was and what was important in life. I liked seeing him go through that evolution.
It was interesting how his name changed as his personality, or should I say who he thought he was, went through transitions. It was kind of ironic that he found peace within when his last manifestation would have seemed the most unfortunate. He found a family in the place he least expected it, but he sort of came full circle. To say more would be spoil the book.
This is a thoughtful book, with the capacity to inspire deep emotions in a reader. I picked it up because I am intensely interested in stories about Faerie, and this book is very good for those who like Faerie. Along with those elements is a deep story that gives a little more along with the surface fantastical elements. This book is about how we think we express our identities, purpose, bonds of loyalty and affection. How a person takes all those ingredients and uses them to become who they are meant to be, if they can make it through the painful metamorphosis that leads to the final state: that of the butterfly who emerges from its chrysalis, not without a lot of pain and effort. (less)
The Night Dance is a wonderful combination of the fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and King Arthur legend. I was captivated at the first pag...moreThe Night Dance is a wonderful combination of the fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and King Arthur legend. I was captivated at the first page, but at the same time wondering how the author could successfully tell this story and use the death of King Arthur and the sole remaining knight Bedivere's quest to return Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Well Ms. Weyn did an excellent job.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. I was excited to read a fantasy story built around this tale. Ms. Weyn preserved the aspects of this story that I really liked, and gave them a different spin. I found I wanted to know more about the twelve princesses' dad, Sir Ethan Colchester, because we meet him and his wife, Vivienne, who happens to be the Lady of the Lake long before we meet the daughters. It was interesting seeing how the girls' parents met, and how this tied into the King Arthur myth. They are both shown as sympathetic characters who have reasons for why their actions have led to the princesses being motherless and locked away from the world. We also get to see the youngest daughter, Rowena find true love with the sole remaining knight, Bedivere. Also we see one of the oldest daughters fall in love with a would-be suitor who fails Sir Ethan's challenge to stay awake and see why his daughters' shoes are tattered every morning after being locked in their bedrooms. And we get to see what becomes of the other ten daughters as well. I don't want to tell you the whole story, and give too much away. It's short, but a rewarding read, especially if you like fairy retellings and King Arthur.
Here's the thing with this book: If you cannot suspend your disbelief, then do not attempt to read this book. If you can, and you want to have lots of...moreHere's the thing with this book: If you cannot suspend your disbelief, then do not attempt to read this book. If you can, and you want to have lots of fun, enjoy a book full of adventure, with a deeper message, and you enjoy action/adventure, then dive in!
This was a fun book. It had a bit of a slow start, but then, watch out. I absolutely loved Alfred. He is considered a screw up--not good at anything. He's big and awkward, blocky big. Think linebacker. But this young man...he saves the world, and discovers a secret destiny.
And to think, when he bargains with this uncle (his only living relative) that he'll try out for football if he is able to get his learner's permit, Alfred has no idea that he will be driving Porshes, Lambourghinis, Bentleys, and Mercedes across the country and England, at 90-120 miles an hour. He has no clue that he'll go from being a 'loser' to fighting off evil henchmen with The Sword of all Swords--Excalibur.
Alfred's adventures are not all good. He sees lots of people die--deaths that can in part be laid at his feet for a monumental decision he makes to help his uncle steal a sword from his boss. When he becomes the sidekick to the last knight of an order sworn to keep Excalibur out of the hands of evil men, he does it out of guilt and because he has nothing left. But Alfred is taking the step toward his fate.
This was a very good book. As a fan of action/adventure, I had a ball reading it. It's pretty violent, so I'd probably read it first if you are a parent of a kid under twelve (although I read worse when I was that age). I think tween kids and younger teens (as well as some older teens who like a fun read) would love it (although I had some moments where I felt the POV seemed a little mature for the average 15 year old--but I could be wrong). I also think grown-ups who love adventure/quest novels and movies would eat this up. If you are a fan of these kinds of stories, what are you waiting for? If you like King Arthur, you need to read this book. Mr. Yancey managed to write a story that is chock full of adventure, but also with a message about realizing what your purpose is in life. I really felt for poor Alfred. He had been through a lot, and he had the weight of the world on his young but large shoulders. He showed a lot of courage, strength, heart, and intelligence, although he was his own worst critic. But, in the end, Alfred showed that he was in the right place at the right time. This is my first book by Rick Yancey, but it won't be my list. I'm excited to read more of Alfred's adventures. He proved to me that he's a hero who is up to the challenge of saving the world, and I enjoyed watching him do it. Highly recommended! (less)
Rich, vivid, entrancing. City of Bones is all those things and more. As I read this book, I felt that sense of childhood joy that I remembered from re...moreRich, vivid, entrancing. City of Bones is all those things and more. As I read this book, I felt that sense of childhood joy that I remembered from reading C.S. Lewis' Narnia series and Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time, and the many fairy tales and legends growing up. I found the world-building in this series without fault. I have to give it to Cassandra Clare for creating this book. It was a fantastic concept that kept me enthralled to the last page.
City of Bones is a fantasy adventure in all the best ways. The characters are interesting, made me laugh, and had quirks and distinct personality traits that made them come to life for me. The setting is another character that I thoroughly enjoyed. This is a New York hidden behind the glamour. The mundanes (regular humans) have no idea what they are missing. Just ask Clary Fray. Clary Fray lived most of almost sixteen years having no idea about the world of the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders. If she saw something weird out the corner of her eye, it was easily dismissed. Until she encountered Jace and Isabelle at a club. Jace kills a demon, who looks like a boy, or does he? That's just the beginning of Clary's adventure.
This book is a young adult book that I think most adults can enjoy just as much, especially those who have a serious love for fantasy and adventure. I thought that Ms. Clare had just the right mix of sophistication to appeal to the youth of today, and the ageless wonder quotient like classic fantasy novels to make this book zing for both younger and older readers. The sense of risk is high, and there are no guarantees that the kids in this book will be safe. They might be youngsters, but their world is fraught with dangers.
The action was intense and sometimes frightening. Ms. Clare's word choice brings every scene to life. I never felt like there was a wall between me and the events playing out in this story. I felt like I was right there for every part.
I met a whole cast of characters that I became involved with in this story: Clary, Jace, Simon, Isabelle, Alec, Magnus, Luke, Hodge, Jocelyn, Valentine, the Silent Brothers. Some I loved, and some I definitely don't love. But, I definitely want to see more of these characters.
While I truly loved this book, I must admit that part of the resolution in this book has me baffled. I am even a bit disturbed. I am truly hoping that the revelation that takes place in this book is not truly the way things were presented. Although this book doesn't have a true cliffhanger, there are some threads left unraveled which lead into the next book in the series. Honestly, I didn't want things to play out the way they did. All I can do is keep reading to hope that Ms. Clare has an ace card hidden up her sleeve. But there's not a chance I won't be reading the following books in this series. This is fantasy that is too good to miss.
If you are looking for a fantasy series that will captivate you and take you back to the golden days of children's/young adult fantasy literature, I'd humbly suggest The Mortal Instruments series. In my opinion, Ms. Clare has written a book that will be a new classic in this genre.
Eclipse started out pretty good, and by the time I finished it, I was once again feeling the love glow that these books give me.
1.Bella....moreEclipse started out pretty good, and by the time I finished it, I was once again feeling the love glow that these books give me.
1.Bella. Bella was rather annoying in this book. I have decided that she must have the lowest self-esteem of any person alive. I just don't get why she doesn't like herself, doesn't think herself worthy of others' love. I think that everyone should love themselves, and with two parents that adore her, you think that would have instilled some degree of self esteem within her. But, no! Yes, we all see our flaws magnified, but still we should love ourselves as God made us. Unique creations, good part and areas in need of improvement, alike. And to make her more annoying, her self-esteem issues make others' lives more difficult. As much as I love Edward, Bella's attitude that he's so far above her, that he couldn't love her is frustrating. She doesn't think she should take anything from him more than his love. Like he shouldn't fight for her, or be willing to die for her. When she'd do it for him. That he can't give to her selflessly, when she gives all for him. In contrast, she seemed to take Jake's love for granted. The saving grace of Meyer's portrayal of Bella is that she's actually fairly self-aware. She can see her flaws clearly, her tendency to be selfish, despite her lack of self-love. She knows she's neurotic and grasping, and seems ungrateful at times. She wants to do better, and she tries. And in other ways, she's very giving, the way she cares for others. In the end, I still like her, but she's hard to swallow at times.
2. Bella and Jacob. I'm not sure how I feel about the way Bella and Jacob's relationship changes in this book. (view spoiler)[ Why does Bella have to be in love with Jacob too? A woman/man love? I am not saying that people can't feel more than one kind of love, but I just don't believe that you can love more than one person as your mate whole-hearted. In this story, it seems as though part of Bella loves Jacob as much as Edward, but she can't live without Edward, so that's why she chose him. That's a cop-out. It makes it seem like Edward is more of an addiction, and not the man she chooses to love. That she loves fiercely. I'm not discounting Bella's capacity to love Jacob. Jacob is a wonderful guy. He's very lovable and wonderful in a different way from Edward. I think that in another life Jacob was her true mate. I know that when Edward left, Jacob was there, and his love healed that wound that Edward's leaving caused Bella. He's always going to be a part of her, and even Edward knows that. I believe that he is her soulmate in that he is her best friend. But I don't think he's her other true love. So that drama of having her heart broken because she loved both guys seemed unnecessary to me. Far be it for me to tell a writer how to write her story. If that's how Ms. Meyer wanted to write it, then so be it. I just wasn't too fond of it, though. (hide spoiler)] I do like the sweetness and the snarkiness and the enrichment that Jacob and Bella's friendship brings them both.
3. Jacob. I started caring deeply for Jacob in New Moon. Even when he is annoying, he's so vibrant, and it's hard to dislike him. I can see why Bella felt like he was so necessary to her life. He has that way of bringing life and love to the lives of those around him. I see him maturing into quite a man. I think some of what he does to Bella and Edward was kind of low-down, but he playing to win Bella from Edward and a future as a vampire. He thought he was doing the right thing, and I could see that, even though I can see why Bella and Edward wanted to hit him. I appreciated the perspective I gained of Jacob by learning more about his tribe, their pasts, and the awful things the Cold Ones had done to them. I can totally see why Jacob feels such hatred for the Cullens. I can see why he seemed so mercurial and he shows some emotional cruelty in moments. He has a whole lot on his plate. Not only does he have his unrequited love for Bella to deal with, he has a several tons' weight of all his pack and tribal family's issues to carry around. That's a lot, even for a six-feet, seven, enormous guy like Jake. At the end of the day, flaws and all, I want to hug him. Even if I don't think he should be with Bella in the long run. He needs a more balanced, more emotionally healthy person than Bella to be his true soulmate. (view spoiler)[ One thing I don't get is why he hangs onto Bella so hard, when he knows he's not imprinted on her. Is he trying to rebel against his destiny in this way? Shape at least one thing for himself? He sees that Bella can be the one thing he can claim selfishly, that doesn't have to be about his heritage as a Quilete tribesperson? I think yes. (hide spoiler)]
4. Edward. I still love him as much as I did in the first two books. Yes, he's kind of bossy sometimes, but Bella does what Bella thinks is right, and he's pretty easy for her to manipulate. He's wrapped around her finger. I love that Edward's love for Bella isn't a selfish one. He really does want what's best for her, and much of what he does comes out of that. That doesn't mean he's perfect. There are times when he does want to be selfish, or when he tries to be controlling in her best interests, but he realizes that he's wrong and he makes up for it. And I can't stay mad at him. Really, I love this character. Everything about him. He's very courtly and decent. He's also tough and protective. His beauty isn't just skin deep. It goes to the heart and that shines out, and becomes part of his appeal for this reader. I like his interactions with Jacob, how they both do the territorial guy thing, and you see some of his more primal aspects in those moments. But at the end of the day, Edward is always going to be that decent, kind man who will do the right thing even if he doesn't like it. I hurt for Edward that he could see the draw between Bella and Jacob, and how he was hurt by some of the interactions between Bella and Jacob. Almost as though Bella's love for him was so sacred, he couldn't have the normal moments with her that she shared with Jacob. I think he shows his love for Bella that he tries very hard to allow her to have that, and not to mess that up for her. I can totally see why Bella loves him, although I don't think she should put him on a pedestal. Even Edward doesn't want that.
5. Edward and Jacob talking things out. As with the movie, which I saw first, this was one of my favorite moments in this book. I felt that it shows a lot about the two characters, and they come to realize that they aren't the enemies that they believe themselves to be. They are part of a triangle that has complemented their lives even as it's complicated them, but also one that has enriched each person. I think this is when they make peace on a deep level (even though things are a bit rough after this point). Jacob comes to see how Bella can love this 'cold one', and that Edward would never be selfish when it comes to Bella. He would give her up out of love, if he thought that was what Bella wanted and needed. And Edward comes to realize how important Jacob is to Bella, and how he can give her things that Edward can't. It's a painful thing for both to accept--the importance that the other guy has in Bella's life. This part was very well done, in my opinion.
6. The Cullens' stories. I loved reading about Rosalie and Jasper's stories. Rosalie in the movies annoys me. I like her more in the books, because you can see that her enmity with Bella isn't so much against Bella, but the desire for Bella to have the life that she couldn't, and for Bella to appreciate those choices better. What happened to Rosalie was shockingly dark. It's hard to believe that people can be so wretched to do something like that. But that's real. I can't say I regret that Rosalie was 'theatrical' in exacting her revenge. Jasper's story was one of my favorite parts of the book. I have to say that other than Edward and Jacob, Jasper is up there for me as a guy in this book. I like him almost as much as Jake. I liked seeing more of him, and how Meyer takes him from being the 'strange' brother to having a rich back story and a crucial role in the story in this book. As Rosalie's story is dark, Jasper's is equally so. Even though people hate how Meyer portrays vampires, thinking is all sparkling and light, that's clearly not the case. I like the constrast that Meyer draws between the luminous beauty of the vampires, to their dark, ravenous, grasping, cruel, destructive natures. I think in some ways, these vampires scare me more than the traditional lore, and that's coming from a girl who's read vampire stories for many years. Her vampires are formidable in a more scary way than some of the traditional vampires I've read about The typical nature of the Cold Ones strikes a sharp contrast to the decent, loving, humane natures of the Cullens. I don't want to be a vampire at all, but being a Cullen....I think I'd like that very much.
7.Victoria. I can't stand her! She's so selfish and cruel. I think she got just what she deserved.
8.The Volturi. I can see a major standoff between them and the Cullens looming on the horizon. They will realize that it's folly to take the Cullens for granted. I especially despise Jane!
Overall Verdict: After the emotional rollercoaster of New Moon, it took me a while to find my feet in this installment. However, Meyer worked her spell on me once again. There are some moments of pure brilliance in this novel. I think that she has a way with words, with painting powerful imagery in my head. I loved the line in which Jacob says he is Bella's sun, but he can't fight the eclipse (which is Edward). That one line pretty much conveys the essence of this series. I love this series because it strikes me at the heart. The idea of a love that great, something beyond understanding. When you love someone, you can't always dissect out the whys, and you can't change it. You can move on, sometimes. Live your life, but part of you is always going to be with that person, and you don't ever get it back. That's what I see with Edward and Bella, and with Bella and Jake. Although not on the same scope, as an inveterate booklover, when I finish these books, I feel like part of me stays with them after I read the last page. It echoes that powerful feeling of love in a small way in my life. And I like that!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Blackbringer is well done fantasy fiction with faeries. The storyline is intricate and inventive. I never thought I'd read a book that was able to com...moreBlackbringer is well done fantasy fiction with faeries. The storyline is intricate and inventive. I never thought I'd read a book that was able to combine faerie lore with djinn lore, but it was done very successfully here. I liked the characters, including Magpie, the lead heroine, and her murder of crows who she travels with. They love her dearly and their love is reciprocated in spades. And there is also Talon, a Prince of a faerie warrior clan of Dreamdark, who was born with underdeveloped wings and who has always desired flight. Not only are there faeries, djinn, and talking crows, but there are also hedge imps (mostly benevolent, animal-type creatures) and devils (not benevolent--somewhere between mischevious and annoying to downright malevolent). The narrator, Davina Porter, beautifully illustrates the vitality inherent in the various characters in this novel.
Ms. Taylor has crafted her own creation myth in this story, and it was quite interesting. In this novel, the world was created through the dreaming of the djinn--which forms a tapestry which includes everything that exists in this world. However, the tapestry is unravelling through the dark methods of one who has the form of utter darkness, the Blackbringer. Fortunately, Magpie has a special ability that has kept the world tapestry together, and the potential to save it and everyone within the tapestry from the Blackbringer.
I enjoyed listening to this novel on audiobook. The creativity impressed me, and I thought Ms. Porter's narration was spot-on. Although it seemed a bit long towards the end (of course I had some long days in which I was pretty exhausted, so I can't blame that on the book alone), it was a worthwhile experience. Although this was written as a young adult novel, I think older fantasy readers would enjoy it. I am an admitted fan of YA literature, but I can fairly say that this story has elements that would appeal to older readers as easily as younger ones. I would recommend it to faerie fiction lovers, and fantasy fans in general.(less)
This book touched me in profound ways. Twilight was a book that I got deeply involved with. It was not a casual read that was easy to put down and mov...moreThis book touched me in profound ways. Twilight was a book that I got deeply involved with. It was not a casual read that was easy to put down and move onto everyday life. It was a book that I carried around with me and tried to read every chance I could.
The characters are moving and intense, their relationships with each other intimate and touching. I felt Edward's anguish that he can't let go of Bella, although he know he endangers her. I walked in Bella's shoes, feeling her fascination and intense love for Edward. Every touch, word, look between them was deep with emotion and that emotion went straight to my heart.
I can honestly say that this is one of the best romances I've ever read. Everything is there that a romance needs. The intensity, the emotion, the joy, the edge of despair of knowing that one is in too deep. And the fulfillment of knowing that your intense love is very much returned. It's what I read romance for. This book is proof that a romance doesn't have to have sex in it to be romantic and intense, or even erotic.
Romance aside, the other elements also make this book involving. I was fascinated with Bella and what made her tick. Her interactions with her parents and her friends. Her outlook on life. Her courage at facing a horrible situation out of love for another person. Even everyday things in her life were interesting to me. I would love to know why she's so clumsy. I identified with her in that sense, because I'm pretty clumsy myself. The Cullens are intriguing and I can't wait to learn more about them. I am also looking forward to learning more about their mortal (or should I say immortal enemies) the werewolves. Jacob was cute and sweet and I'd like to see more of him, although I am definitely on Team Edward.
Like Bella, I fell deeply in love with Edward. He is one of the most magnetic characters ever written, in my humble opinion. I know now that my reading life will consist of Before Edward Cullen and After Edward Cullen. Yes I am a grown woman obsessed with a young adult book, but I like it that way. Those people who despise Twilight because it's a sensation, I challenge you to read the book. If you truly don't like it, then to each their own. But you definitely should give this book a chance. It's worth the time and energy, and the tug on your emotions. (less)
I admit I put off reading this second book in the Twilight series, for a few reasons. Maybe my love for Twilight would turn out to be a fluke. I had w...moreI admit I put off reading this second book in the Twilight series, for a few reasons. Maybe my love for Twilight would turn out to be a fluke. I had watched the movie recently, so it would feel like a rerun. I wasn’t ready to dive back into the series. Well, I finally manned up and read New Moon this week. I can honestly say this is one of my favorite books of all time.
Many bad things have been said about Ms. Meyer’s writing. I don’t agree with any of it. Ms. Meyer has proven to me that she can write books that I can admire and enjoy, and that I can appreciate from an artistic and literary standpoint. She brings the story to vivid life, and pulls me right into the action. She knows how to make me feel. For me, it’s not a good sign when I read a book and I feel detached, bored, withdrawn. I want to be involved in a story that I read for pleasure, which is 95% of the time I spend reading. When I read Twilight, I couldn’t get over the awe and joy I felt as I discovered the world of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. The beauty of their love story. I didn’t think this book could top that feeling. Surprisingly, it did. Ms. Meyer took the story that much deeper for me with New Moon.
I have actually read few writers that have such a gift for illustrating and bringing emotions to live. Showing the complexity of relationships, how they all come to matter and play a part of our emotional landscape. The pain that Bella feels when Edward leaves….I felt it acutely. I felt like my heart was breaking along with Bella’s. I felt angry at Edward. I was so mad I wanted to slap him. But, I also felt that same love for Edward I felt when I read Twilight. I could understand why he left, not possibly knowing that his leaving could never be the best thing for Bella. With this couple, as with my favorites in literature, you can see how mutual, how all-consuming their love for each other is. Some might call it self-destructive. But emotions don’t follow the rules. Even when people try to control them, they still manifest in other ways. Especially those that are so powerful, like the love these two people shared.
When it came to Bella’s recovery (at least partial), I thought it was so well-written as Ms. Meyer showed Bella picking herself up from the abyss that Edward and the Cullens’ departure had thrown her into. The way that Ms. Meyer showed the first four months was so beautifully evocative and yet so basic, it was that much more effective. Just each month written on a individual page. Nothing else. That’s how it was for Bella. She couldn’t stop living, not knowing what that would do to her parents. So she existed. Nothing more. After that, there was her developing relationship with Jacob Black. Again, there was so much skill in describing how Bella becomes friends with Jake. I love how Jake is described as Bella’s sun. Her love for him that is more than just a friend, like a brother, but deeper. I know that if there was no Edward Cullen, then maybe Jake could have been Bella’s true love. But in the world where Edward existed, there was no substitute. I thought that the book would be boring without Edward, but it was far from that. I found that I loved this book even though he wasn’t technically there, except for his voice in Bella’s head. That voice that came around to warn Bella when she was in trouble. Yet at the same time, Jake had the power to hold the pain from Edward’s leaving at bay. When he would smile his sweet smile, and shine his light on Bella. Even though Jake was like a crutch that held a crippled Bella on her feet, I didn’t feel like she used Jake and gave nothing in return. Her friendship also helped him. She stood up for him and cared about him, bringing something to his life as well.
I love Bella as a character. She’s a good person, very caring, but also stubborn as a mule. I like how she is shown to be imperfect, but more than willing to examine her actions and her motives to see if she is doing what she feels is right. Yes, Bella did some immature things, but what do humans do when they are hurting? I think that considering the circumstances she went through, I don’t find fault with Bella. I think Bella might come off wrong on first glance to the casual observer. Like she is in her own little world, selfish and self-absorbed. The way I read her is what I’ve seen in people in real life like Bella. She’s one of those people whose capacity for love is all consuming. She has to hold herself at a distance or lose herself. Because some people don’t understand how deep she commits herself to others. It totally makes sense why she falls apart when Edward leaves, and then when Jake pushes her away because of what is going on with him. The fact that I respected Bella so much is why I loved this book passionately, even though my favorite character is hardly even in the book. It also testifies to Ms. Meyer’s skill at writing. Her characters keep me invested, the way they interact with each other, creating the fabric of this book, a beautifully-woven creation that sucked me in too deep to let go until I was done. I love my dad, but Charlie would be a great dad for any girl. He makes this book series special to me, just for his small parts in the books. He’s adorable!
Silly me. I didn’t expect to enjoy Jake’s story and the wolves as much as I did. I’m silly because I love werewolf stories. I’m silly because I was completely wrong. The wolf pack aspect was very interesting. I felt so much for Jake, how he was confused and at sea; how he truly believed that the wolf that had awakened in him made him bad. I was glad that he had Bella to help him see that the wolf was a beautiful thing, part of who he was. Part of why she loved him, and like she loved Edward even with his being a vampire, she would continue to love him, even as a wolf. I have to say that although Edward is still my favorite, I adore Jake tremendously. I could see what a special, sweet guy he was, how hard he tried to do what was right, and the control that he mustered when it was clear how much his ‘gift’ made control very difficult for him. I just love how he is described. He is like sunshine to Edward’s moon. So yes, I am a Jacob fan now, and well as loving his pack brothers and Emily.
Even though there is not a lot of action in this book, it still kept me riveted. I appreciated how the menace of the Volturi came off so clearly, even with very little onscreen violence. The contrast between the Cullens and the Volturi was beautifully, clearly rendered. How the Cullens had chosen the connection between them, the capacity to love over the bloodlust, even if it was terribly hard at times. This helped me to see that Edward’s motives were truly good, even if they seemed foolhardy. Once that was clear, and seeing his pain, how leaving Bella had destroyed him, I couldn’t stay mad at him. I love Edward way too much. I also adore the Cullens, especially Alice and Carlisle.
I honestly feel that this series shows a deep kind of love that I haven’t seen in all my twenty-plus years of romance reading. It’s not just boy-girl romance, either. It shows a deep, powerful romantic love, but also the love of friendship, the bonds of family (not merely by blood, but by choice), and how they all come together, serving as our greatest weaknesses, but also our greatest strengths. That’s the duality of human nature. Funny how I can learn this lesson from a book about vampires and werewolves, and a human girl caught between them. I can hardly describe how much I love this book! I’m done trying..for now! (less)