Christina's Reviews > New Moon

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
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Jun 01, 15

bookshelves: back-away-from-the-book
Recommended for: writers who want to learn what NOT to do with romance
Read in August, 2008

The first thing I'll tell you is that Stephanie Meyer knows her way around lyrical prose. She finds the balance between sensual and realistic, modern day language. Unlike say, Anne Rice, who bores me to tears with her page-long sensual odes to, say, cement walls and turgid baby nipples. Meyer doesn't so much turn a phrase, no; she lays it gently on it's back and rubs it's tummy until it purrs.

When I landed in Port Angeles, it was raining. I didn't see it as an omen -- just unavoidable. I'd already said my goodbyes to the sun.

So the first book had conflict, love and sensual embraces that can go no further. I liked it because I like Bella. She is funny and accident prone. In true Mary Sue fashion, despite her "ordinary" looks, every carnivorous boy within sniffing distance acts as though she bathed in meat. Edward is not my favorite character. He's gorgeous, melodramatic and just a touch creepy in the 'I lay awake all night and watch you sleep' sort.

In "New Moon" after a horrible incident, Edward breaks up with Bella and leaves town. She collapses. I don't mean she falls down. I mean she has a total emotional breakdown.This is where my problem with the book starts. Early on, the author captures the exquisite pain of loss. At first, you ache for Bella, then you get annoyed at Bella, then you want to kill Bella. About 380 pages of ACHING EMPTINESS and HOLE IN THE HEART THAT WILL NEVER HEAL and SCREAMING NIGHTMARES OF EDWARD LEAVING, WHY GOD WHYYYYYY? It becomes interminable. I kept hoping that the book would find Bella learning that she is capable of taking care of herself without Edward and that she can be a whole person without him. It is a wasted hope. Without Edward, Bella has no more personality. She becomes a turnip. He sucks the soul out of her and turns her into vegetable matter.

Bella spends most of the book angst-ing over her pain and using her friend Jacob. He is funny and they actually have fun scenes together. Sadly, she calls him her "safe harbor" while she pines for her pasty, Emo Romeo. She is just biding her time until the glistening, fanged wonder boy gets his head out of his ass and comes home.

The readers are supposed to buy Bella and Edward as star-crossed lovers. We don't go on a journey that makes us root for their love. Superficial and jarringly automatic, he loves her smell, she loves his beauty. They don't earn their relationship and there's no REAL conflict because the author has crammed it down your throat that they are meant to be together. You never doubt that poor, besotted Bella will choose Edward because she has no identity of her own.

I find this whole thing very problematic because it is a YA book. This is not a healthy book for teenagers to read. This is not for young teenagers, unless you are willing to have some real conversations about self-hood, identity and what real loving relationships are like.

Oh and the "plot twist"... ugh. Without giving away the cliched secret of LAUREL K HAMILTON proportions, I have to say, this book was predictable. It didn't hint, it beat you upside the head. You can only be concerned that Bella's IQ is that of a bowl of Caesar salad because you figure it out 150 pages before she does.

Despite my dislike, Stephanie Meyer did wow me again with more of her lyrical prose.

The smile broke across his face the way the sunrise set the clouds on fire.

Lovely.

I still hate the book but damn that's pretty. An entire book written like that would be cliche and difficult to take seriously, but in small doses, it's incredibly effective. If Stephenie Meyer could write a book with a heroine who didn't set my teeth on edge, I'd be shouting her praises from my rooftop.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Cassie I understand that that is your opion. but i wanted to say thanks for not dissing us who like twilight i mean u can say your opion and still not diss us twilight fans. most people seem to say that just because we like twilight means that we are hopeless teens who don't have a life. please tell me if i am wrong. but still i hope u don't want to affend us twilight fans so i would really like to know if i am wrong.


Christina I know many women (and one man) who really enjoyed the books. I don't have an issue with Twilight fans. As a teenager I read my share of god-awful romance novels that made Twilight look positively feminist, so I try hard not to make mean spirited comments about readers that enjoyed these books. My issue is with the characters and the quality of writing not the people who liked them.

That said, I DO think many people "dis" Twilight fans because a lot of the fans are just so damn self-serious (and zealous) about the books and the movie. People need to lighten up and develop a sense of humor. Just because you loved the book doesn't mean it's perfect and it doesn't mean that everyone who didn't like it is a hater or jealous or stupid. Just because you liked it doesn't make it a good quality book.

The best way I can explain it is to use Brad Pitt in an analogy. Many women find Brad Pitt very attractive. They squeal over him. On an intellectual level I understand why he is considered handsome, but he has never done a thing for me. I'm not attracted to him at all. The parts of his face come together in a way that I don't find pleasing. Books can be like that too. I see why some people enjoyed these books, but they just didn't do anything for me. The story comes together in a way I don't find pleasing.

As far as offending Twilight fans, I had no plans to do so. But whether or not you are offended by my opinions is entirely up to you. It's your choice. Many people are going to give you a hard time about the things you love. I happen to have an irrational love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and "true crime" novels. Lot's of people give me crap about those things. That's fine. They don't get it. Why waste your energy being offended by people who don't understand what you enjoy? Acknowledge their opinions and ask yourself if they are valid. Then decide whether or not those opinions matter to you. If the answer is no, then say screw it, go microwave a bowl of popcorn, cuddle down and re-read Eclipse. It's your right to enjoy something, even if curmudgeons like me don't understand it.


message 3: by Shanshad (new)

Shanshad Whelan Like your review--funny without being mean, and I totally agree about Meyer's writing style. And I like your philosophy on likes and dislikes. --Shanshad


message 4: by Nic (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nic I agree that some of her prose is lovely. Those pieces would stand out much better if the rest of the writing were more spare, and the repetitive nature of some elements (i.e. sucking chest wound of tragic abandonment) sometimes made it difficult for me not to just skim, which again diminishes the effect of those phrases that are so well-crafted. While I can't stand Edward and Bella's relationship, the actual writing could have been rendered fantastic by a good editor.


Christina Nic wrote: "I agree that some of her prose is lovely. Those pieces would stand out much better if the rest of the writing were more spare, and the repetitive nature of some elements (i.e. sucking chest wound ..."

I totally agree. If you have a chance a read the rest of the series, it's all downhill from here. But it gets HILARIOUSLY BAD by the fourth book. And kind of grody.

Actually the fourth book has huge sections written from Jacob's perspective and those parts are actually pretty good. The werewolves are sarcastic and funny and nearly three dimensional. It's ironic to me that Stephanie Meyer gave so much depth to a werewolf who has no bearing on the final product. Leah Clearwater has teeth, literally. She is a tragic character and there is so much emotional depth to be gleaned from her feelings. For me, the last books bad parts were exceptionally awful because Mrs Meyer finally wrote some characters with depth. Sadly, they weren't the main characters who remain as thick and empty headed as ever. But the werewolf scenes prove that if Miss Meyer can tone down her angst and dial up her understanding of what is truly sexy... she will become a hell of a writer.



message 6: by Christine (new)

Christine Here's my review for Twilight but its basically the feel of the whole series

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is the latest in fictional sensations to sweep the teenage population. Stephenie Meyer’s vampires force readers to think outside the box. With their ‘vegetarian’ diet and sparkling skin these vampires push the limit on logic and traditional lore. Although I have to give Stephenie Meyer credit for originality I could not help but notice the lack of character development or flaws. Bella Swan, the seventeen year old protagonist seems to be nothing more than a hollow place holder for teenage girls to project themselves onto. This book seems to be the teenage equivalency of a romance novel, minus the believable romance. I cannot see anyone over the age of thirteen thoroughly enjoying this book. One upside to the book were the lovable characters. From the big burly brother type to the short playful sister type everyone is bound to find one character they will find enjoyable in contrast to the overly cliche plot line.

Over all I give it two stars.



message 7: by Nesrin (last edited Nov 20, 2009 08:25AM) (new)

Nesrin L. @ Cassie, the first commenter - WTF is Opion? -Did you mean Opium, perhaps? Twice?

and... I liked the Review, one more reason no to try again, to read this so called 'Saga'...


Dennis Thank you for this review; you put into words the most of the feelings I had while attempting to read it. I gave up after the Italy reunion and refused to read another page.


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