Amanda's Reviews > New Moon

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
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Apr 11, 2008

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Keep in mind that though this review is about to wheel off into an angry rant, this book is good. The series is addictive. And as I said previously about Stephanie Meyer, if you want to cease brain function for a few hours, she's your girl.

The beginning is slow, the middle is gold, the end is lacking. The blank pages to represent months passed in zombie-depression, great idea.

Now, my problem. My problem is not so much with the story as it is perhaps with the idea behind the story and thus, the author herself.

It all starts with Romeo and Juliet. Stupid kids. Yes, yes, the great tragedy of love. Please note the word tragedy came before the word love. Because without the tragedy there would be no story. What would the story be otherwise? I'm not going to presume to rewrite Shakespeare (at least not for the hypothetical purposes of illustrating a point in this review).

I will say, that I find it sad and unfortunate that Meyers insists on her characters not only admiring Romeo and Juliet (not the play, but the hormone-addled teenagers who committed suicide rather than take a minute to think it through), but specifically referencing the star-crossed lovers in near direct comparison to her protagonist and the lover-vamp. (Her main character also can be caught reading Jane Austen, but more on that later).

My point? Impossible love is a great story. No doubt. And Meyer's characters, the human girl and the vampire (um, Buffy and Angel anyone?) are certainly in an impossible situation. Great, perfect, wonderful.

The difficulty? No where to go. That's what makes Romeo and Juliet a tragedy. That's why Buffy and Angel never got back together. What choices has she left us? Either the human becomes a vampire or the vampire (in what would be a HUGE cheat) becomes human again. So? Make the human a vamp, right? Problem solved. Well, despite the flippancy with which so many of Meyer's characters approach this option, to do so would be a tragedy of sorts. Because in effect, it would be suicide, a life ended to be with the man she loves so senselessly that it makes you wonder how she could admire Jane Austen at all.

Yes, Jane Austen writes about love, but take a look at "Sense and Sensibility". Jane Austen recognizes that love is more complex than the simple lust of it (while Romeo and Juliet barely get a chance to blink before they marry, screw and die-much like the carrion flies Romeo references. . .) Strength of character, not the sweaty passion, conquers all. Clear conscience and unerring moral fortitude conquers class-differences, social stigmas and familial disapproval. And so, they all get to live happily ever after.

This is your dilemma Stephanie Meyers. You've laid the groundwork, not for a Jane Austen like happy-ending despite the odds, but a Shakespearian tragedy that will not only leave the audience sobbing, but foaming mad. Frankly, the readers of today don't want a tragedy (for the most part), they get that enough every day. They want the happy ending. I want the happy ending and what would that be in this situation?

As far as I can see there is no way to have a true happy ending. Either you make a living girl a vampire. Or you pull out the deus ex machina and make the vampire a human. Neither option will be unsullied enough to be fully satisfactory.

Personally, I would rather see the girl become a vampire, though I wish the character would take it a little more seriously than she has. Because my sense of fairness would be violated if the vamp miraculously becomes a human. But no matter how it ends, I fear I will be disappointed, as the endings of both books have been so thoroughly let-downs I cannot imagine the author has it in her mind to tack a new course at this point.

How do I have the audacity to be so critical? Have I written a New York Times Bestseller? Two, three?

Not yet.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2008 – Finished Reading
April 11, 2008 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-50 of 56) (56 new)

message 1: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen Good review! ... And yet, I'm still addicted to this series - ARGH! I actually did not love the second one though I'm told book three is addicting again ... And, of course I'll be reading it. I mix that "get-away-from-it-all" reading in a lot with my other books I have to admit. Happy reading!

Amanda Thanks for the kudos.

I will be reading the third one as well,but I've been holding off. I have to say, for all my issues with the books, you have to give credit to an author for being able to inspire such strong reactions from so many people, good and bad.

And I agree, mixing the "get-away-from-it-all" books with other genres is the way to go.

Enjoy your next escape from reality!

Lily I think many of Meyer's readers would not view Bella's transformation into a vampire as a tragedy. Since I'm firmly convinced vampire's aren't real (again, as I hope most of Meyer's readers are), I can enjoy the drama of Bella's choice without worrying about the morality too much. It's a teenage romance series after all, not a morality play.

Plus, the scene where she turns is going to be one sexy, sexy scene. (Haven't read the third book yet, but I can't wait for it.)

Amanda Vampires aren't real? This is fiction?

My subjectivity is crumbling . . .

message 5: by Lily (last edited Jun 30, 2008 09:12AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lily *laughs* Hey, you never know. People've believed weirder things.

Amanda Ain't that the truth! Thanks for the comments. I'm looking forward to reading the third one too. I've been saving it for when I really need a fun read. Happy reading!

Lily Thanks! You too :)

Christina Great review! I felt the same way as I read. The middle had me reading until later last night than I should have, I was thinking I'd be a really late night. And then she switched and I didn't feel the need to finish instead of sleep so I put it down. Don't get me wrong I'm still excited to read book three (will start as soon as I get off the computer) but something about the end doesn't sit right with me. We'll see!

Amanda Thanks for the comment! I'll definitely be reading the third one too, and hope that the ending does more for me than the last two, but either way, I'll be reading it. And now I hear the fourth is coming out August 2, so I'm sure I'll be reading that one too. Happy reading!

Christina Yeah, I sat down after I logged off the computer and wham, I'm over 100 pages in and that's with stopping a little when hubby came home. They are amazingly addictive! I won't be at the midnight party for book four but I can safely assume I'll have it within that day.


message 11: by Derrith (last edited Jul 11, 2008 07:15AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Derrith I just got the 3rd book on audio disc in the mail yesterday. Can't wait to listen to it in a little while(while I paint my bedroom). I have the book too, so I will probably switch back and forth, as I am doing with another book right now. Funny that I am so addicted, since I find Myer's writing less than stellar (thesaurus much, Steph?) and that the endings of both Twilight and Eclipse, as you say, didn't sit right. They did, however, feel like lead-ins for the next book. But I find I MUST know how it all turns out!!!

Hs anyone read the first chapter of Midnight Sun, the book she is writing from Edward's perspective? Interesting. It's on her website...

Amanda Meyer's books seem like great painting-the-bedroom listens. I just bought the first book for my friend to read on her ten hour airplane trip. For all the problems I have with Meyers, I still receive much enjoyment from her books. And I know I'll be there on August 2 to buy the next the one.

I haven't read the first chapter of the next book, but with my to-read list, I should avoid seeking out anything other than what's sitting in the waiting pile on my bookshelf.

Happy painting and listening!

Derrith I am on chapter 9(and the second coat) and so far this is my least fave of the 3 books. I definitely hope it improves. I was just trying to explain the appeal of these books to my husband, since he is not impressed with the prose from what he has heard, and really, it all comes down to Edward... I keep wondering why I am not gagging over how perfect he is, or how sickeningly sweet their relationship is, as I normally would be. But Myer has done an amazing job of creating a character that I, like the narrator, am drawn to. Edward is the key to her success, I think.

I agree logically that there can be no true happy ending. But I want them to be together, and this makes logic bothersome and unneccesary. A better written book would probably have us analyzing the "soul" theme and its implications on the choices of the characters, and beyond. But this series just has us rooting for the happy ending, soulless or not. I don't feel like myself for even liking them. I have never been a fairy-tale girl....weird.

Christina Good for your second coat!

I have to say I loved this book only because of the non-Edward parts. I liked going into the other characters histories so for me the book was worth it.

Amanda I have yet to start the third book (much distractions as of late), but I have to give it to Meyers for keeping people hooked, regardless of what it is that draws them in. Ya know?

Derrith, I'm with you on the whole, why-am-I-so-into-these-books feeling. I have yet to pin it down for myself, but obviously Meyers has got something right as it seems to be working for millions of people. If only I could distill it and sell it!

I was discussing the nature of fiction with a random person a few days ago and was trying to explain to him that for me, the amazing part is how people take different things from a story. One person likes the Edward parts, another doesn't. . . We're all bringing something of ourselves to the table when we sit down to read, (or paint and listen) and that is what keeps us engaged-or not.

Sometimes, individual perspective and subjectivity just blows me away. It is weird.

I have to admit, in the second book I found myself rooting for Jacob. I guess I'm more into the friendship-hot-wolf-love than the passionate-cold-vampire-love. I knew it could never happen, but I was still kind-a hoping. But that's just me.

I'm definitely wanting my happy ending though, and while I have my issues with some of Meyer's choices as a writer and story-teller, I know they won't stop me from reading her books (and don't think a part of me doesn't jealously curse her for it).

While there are things we certainly all could get put-off by, I guess at the end of the day it comes down to the entertainment factor. I say if we want to work on the thematic stuff, we can, or we don't have to. If it's fun to delve in, then do it. But if not, then there's no need to justify simply reading for pleasure-even if we don't understand what it is that we're enjoying. I certainly wouldn't want to have to explain some of my reading choices to anybody.

I look forward to the third book, even though there's bound to be disappointment in it for me. And wow, I'd say this surpasses "comment" length!

Neela Love your review, but please fix the spelling of Jane Austen's name. Thank you.

Amanda Thanks! I wish someone had pointed that out sooner.

message 18: by Lara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lara I adore this review. You said everything I was thinking very well. My brain is addled a bit right now due to some personal tragedy, but your review managed to say it all so much clearly than I can at this moment.

I want to dislike these books, but I've read 2 1/2 of them since Saturday evening. (It is now Wednesday, early afternoon.)

Amanda Thanks for the comment. I'm always glad to hear that I've managed to string together my thoughts coherently enough for someone else to identify with them. Sometimes I wonder how any of us manage it ever.

These books, if nothing else, seem to be a great escape (and a quick read! Five days, woo!). Though I started the fourth and I'm feeling more irritated than ever before. I put it down and I'm not sure when I'll pick it up again.

I'm sorry to hear that you're going through a difficult time. I wish you all the best.

Meghan THANK YOU. I am both disgusted by and addicted to these books.

I am sickened by the fact that Bella is so quick to throw away her humanity. I don't care that it's a teenage love story, I think the fact that teens DON'T care about their (her) humanity is perhaps even MORE frightening.

I am also frustrated at this point about Jacob, because he seems to be so much... healthier... in his care for Bella. Why is it no one is really drawn to his character like I am? I'm sad that Stephanie hasn't let it be a little tougher for Bella to take Edward back. I've had some romanic drama in my life, and it wasn't just *SNAP, EVERYTHING IS ALL BETTER NOW THAT YOU'RE BACK*.

I'm going to read the third book because I'm masochistically and morbidly curious about the outcome. What a pickle.

I'm glad you feel the same way about where these books are headed. Either she gives up her mortality (anyone ever read Tuck Everlasting?! Hello?!), or Edward magically becomes human (which I'm more in favor of anyhow, deus-ex-machina or not)

Christina You are right, it is so tough! I do love Jacob though, always have been a Jacob girl in fact Edward drives me nuts!! Good luck with the third one Meg.

Amanda I hear you Meg, I really, really do.

You're not alone in your disgust and addiction. And I was far more impressed by Jacob than I ever was by Edward.

I raced through the second and third books.

And though I was sure I was just going to have to live with this strange love/hate relationship for as long as the series continued, I started the fourth book months ago and I think I've hit bottom. I can barely get through a paragraph without cringing. I do intend on finishing it, but the love is clearly gone. Even Jacob has lost all appeal. Frankly, I'm relieved.

Good luck with the third, and thanks for the comment. Happy reading.

*****what It I agree about the non-edward parts. It is neat to get to know Jacob better. And you are right, he is much healthier in his love for her. He also is the only really honest person she deals with. Even Charlie isn't totally honest with her. It is a fun read and engrossing too. (I missed my bus stop by 4 blocks the other day!)

message 24: by Simone (new)

Simone I bought the first book because of some of the quotes listed on this site. I didn't happen to notice "new adult (UGH)" but I saw vampires so I went and bought the book. Uh, I didn't need to relive high school, and wasn't wondering what it would be like to go to prom with a vampire. My solution? Bathroom book--Bella and Edward lived on the back of my toilet for the duration of our brief time together. Sweet Valley High meets Count Chocula.

Amanda Dear Monie,

I'm relieved you didn't get suckered in as I did, especially by the first two books. Another appropriate place in the WC area for these books, might've been in the toilet. Best of luck in future reading endeavors. I hope we didn't turn you off to the good reads community.

message 26: by Simone (new)

Simone Not at all, not at all! I don't know why fictional fangs in former human flesh fascinate me (that's a lot of f's!) I've read my share of vampire books, but I agree, even if it'd take roto-rooter to get it to go down, IN might be better than ON the toilet. Out of curiosity, since it's pretty much the complete opposite of "Twilight," has anyone checked out the Jeanne Kalogridis series, starting with "Covenant With the Vampire" from 1994? It's actually got bits that'll scare the pants off you--it's technically the story leading up to Bram Stoker's tale. Some parts are a bit on the randy side, but then again it isn't "young adult" either...

Josette I agree, it would be a terrible ending for Bella to become a vampire, although that is the direction in which it appears Meyer is heading. I really think I'll hate the series as a whole if that happens. It's no kind of ending at all, and what does that say to today's young readership? That girls (or anyone) should just give up their lives for love (or obsession, really!)? If she were doing it to save Edward, that'd be different, I suppose, but she isn't. She wants it for purely selfish reasons. She doesn't seem to care about her soul or God or her family or friends and how they would all feel if she were to sacrifice her life with no consideration for any of them. She lives for Edward and for herself, and I don't think that's very romantic. But what else can Meyer do? You're right that she's written herself into a corner. We know now that Edward and Bella breaking up is not an option. So they must stay together. But how? I admit I had not thought of the option of him becoming human again, but I don't think I'd like that solution any better than her becoming a vamp. I think the only way in which I would be happy is if it ended in a giant conflagration. Forks and everyone in it blows up, leaving Bella friendless and parentless (because Renee was visiting when it blew up), and she, too, is dying. Edward bites her to save her life, and she becomes a vampire. I could live with that ending because at least that way she isn't giving up anything (except, I supposed, a sainted afterlife, all assuming that vampires do not go to heaven) in order to be immortal.

Amanda All well said Josette, I couldn't agree with you more. I have to say, I never considered the whole town blowing up possibility, though I sort-of like the idea (huh, that seems a little twisted of me).

I must not comment more, as I've read the next two books and know where the story will in fact head.

All my best.

And by the way, conflagration, great word.

Josette Thanks, Amanda. I look forward to reading the other two, but I had to take a break from the series for a few weeks. Like with other readers, reading the books takes over my life completely, and I'm too busy right now to devote my time to that. Plus, I've been borrowing them from the library, and I'm on the waiting list for #3, so it will be a few weeks at least. A week ago Monday I was #76 on the waiting list! At least the library has several copies. By January I'll be ready to resume.

Joanie This. Review. Is. Poetry.

You have taken everything I ever wanted to say about these books and like, spit it out in a fabulous, eloquent, well educated way. *raises a glass to you* And no, it isn't blood. XD

Amanda Thanks for the kind words, JoAnn, and the toast. Sometimes the opinions manage to manifest in more than a half-coherent manner and that's always a good thing.

Happy summer of reading!

message 32: by Jenn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jenn Derrith wrote: "have u read the chapters of midnight sun?"

ya i read the first 12 chapters and it was pretty good. much better than twilight from bellas POV.


message 33: by Huda (new) - rated it 3 stars

Huda "The beginning is slow, the middle is gold, the end is lacking. " exactly how I felt! well said!

message 34: by Jenn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jenn yes, very good!

Allison I definitely feel the same way about the books. It took a long time for me to begin the series because I am not particularly into romance novels (especially when they seem to lack intelligent thought on the part of the characters) but I finally picked them up due to the fact that I could not understand what my friends were talking about half the time (I just finished my senior year) I agree that they were quite hard to put down. I think for me this is due to the fact that I was predicting so many things and just had to see if I was right. The writing was not really very good, the plot line seemed far too easy to guess and I had never related to a single thought going through Bella's one track mind. It seemed as though I shouldn't even be able to read them, but a mysterious force held my curiosity. I got through the first, second and third but I never finished the fourth. It was just such a terribly written book, I didn't even want to make theories about what might happen. Therefore I was no longer hooked at all except that I had started and never finished it.
In my opinion, the Edward Myers has created is so much what every girl wants: an honest and truly in love with me intelligent sexy guy. My question right from the start though as to why he was so attractive to so many girls was, "he has had 100+ years to figure everything out, so why is he still a confused teenager and why would I want that forever?" That is just about as unappealing to me as it gets. Knowing that he would never grow out of that stage just sickens me.

Amanda Allison, I really appreciate your thoughts on the series. I, too, was unable to finish the fourth book, I skimmed much of it. In the year since I put the books down, I continue to wonder at the apparent inexplicable draw of the series. As we know, it has nothing to do with good writing.

Happy reading!

Veronica "... but I have to give it to Meyers for keeping people hooked, regardless of what it is that draws them in. Ya know?"


Laura I found the book severely depressing. I know that Bella's depression was a big part of the story, but still, it made me very depressed. And then she leaves poor Jacob to go back to glitter-fairy? Whatev. If I knew Bella in real life, I wouldn't be her friend, seeing how she treats her own friends.

message 39: by Genesis (new)

Genesis i love this u saw the movie omg it made me cry

Kaye (krikabica) good review there,
but Meyer emphasize that it's not Edward's choice to become a vamp. it is something he would not choose if given the chance to.
so it was just bella who is very vulnerable that she would sacrifice her life, her soul, just to be with Edward. Poor kid, selfish.

Carrie Wow, you wrote my review! Thanks for saving me the trouble. I had no idea someone else felt so exactly the way I do about this series (many someones, judging by the number of comments you have here). I want to hate these books -- and I do hate that they are so close to being really good, like if she'd just tried a tiny bit harder, they could've gone beyond the teen drivel romance. But I'm hooked nonetheless. And (like all of you) I'm furious at Bella for her cavalier attitude about becoming a vampire. And what's up with her horror at the idea of getting married? Oh, beloved Edward, I'd like to become undead and spend eternity with you -- but marriage, that's just going too far. Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks for the great review!

Susanna Great review - I agree with you completely! I just started reading these books and since I'm reading them in French I was wondering if they'd be better in English, but from all these comments it doesn't seem so.

And, like Caroline, Bella's objection to marriage really puzzles me. So her parents had a lousy marriage - divorce is an option, but how do stop being a vampire? (Well, if vampires were real, that is!)

message 43: by Abbey Rhenhartt (new)

Abbey Rhenhartt Rheinhartt Totally addicting and totally delicious!

message 44: by John (new) - rated it 3 stars

John Hate the writing but highly addictive and I just started the fourth one more mature than any of the ones that have been in the series
FYI they are coming out with a fifth book

Readitnweep I agree with you about Romeo & Juliet. Further I thought the premise of following their story line was very forced here. There should be great emotion with the vampire loving a human he craves to kill, yet there's really not much emotion, thanks to the flat writing. Also agree with you that other characters take Bella's proposed transformation lightly indeed. It reads as if not much thought was put into it from the characters' perspective. Also, Jane Austen did not write characters who would commit suicide if they could not be with their love - because it isn't a sign of love. Can you see Darcy committing suicide? Uh, no. He's mature and intelligent, which is why it's so ridiculous for Edward to start his own suicide. Would a supposedly mature guy of, oh about a hundred or so, really kill himself over a teenage girl, love her or not? No.

message 46: by Niena (new)

Niena great review team jacob

message 47: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Zaid-Kunz i agree

Austine Etchevery A success in writing is one where readers analyze the book long after they've finished reading.

Readitnweep No matter how poorly done it was? No, I don't think so. I can remember reading Bazooka Joe jokes, too. Doesn't make them literature.

message 50: by Victoria (new) - added it

Victoria You are a genius Amanda. Pure genius. This was by far the best review I have ever read (despite the fact that I haven't really read that many). It was cleaver and creative and oh my god there's a dead bird on the side of the road!!!

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