by Stephenie Meyer
Format: Paperback, 608 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
But then, we all know that curiosity killed the proverbial cat. And even though 'New Moon' didn't exactly kill me (after all, I'm no cat), it surely tried very hard to do so. At least, I ended up feeling like something has eaten my brain, as if 'New Moon' wasn't a regular novel but rather a Tome of Un-knowledge. Yes, it's that bad, and from now on, I won't touch the Twilight series again. Unless I'm dying to read something and there are no other books available (which is not very likely!).
The thing is – I knew what happens in the book. Most of my girlfriends were talking about it for weeks, so it was really hard to dismiss everything being said. It really is fairly simple: Edward leaves, Bella is devastated and turns depressive, Jacob Black falls in love with her, Edward thinks that Bella is (after a series of unfortunate events) dead, so he wants to commit suicide; Bella rushes to Italy to save him at the last moment and he promises to never leave her side again. Awww. That is all I heard, and it was enough – you don't really need to know all the details (not that there is so many), and you most certainly don't need to read the whole book. Don't take me wrong, I have nothing against emo culture, but Bella really does create an impression of a most pathetic, wannabe-tragic and caricaturised emo, only the razors missing from the picture. I wallow in self-loathing; my heart is broken, torn and numb! - that sort of things.
I concede one thing to Stephenie Meyer – she kind of manages to pull it off despite everything. You read, read and read New Moon, until it suddenly hits you how pathetic everybody and everything is. Of course, you decide to bang your head against the wall for some time ... but then, you go back and read some more. I don't really understand it, but I know that it's not just because I try to finish books I read ... it's something else.
Well, whatever it is, it's not character development, because that does not exist in 'New Moon'. Characters who are given the most 'screen time' are Jacob Black (who is, despite all the physical changes he's undergoing, essentially still the same), Edward (since he's a vampire, the lack of change in him is at least explainable) and Bella (who, after months of being excessively emo, even takes a step or two backwards instead of forwards). Here's some of her typical problems:
*she is not able to hurt her loved ones. Okay, that's very nice, but begging Jacob to be her friend, even when she knows that's most likely to cause major trouble, because his feelings might be a bit hurt otherwise, still makes no sense whatsoever. Wasn't it said a million times that Bella is a very rational person?
*she is extremely perceptive (she figures out immediately that it was Sam who scarred his girlfriend's face), yet she cannot figure out what Jacob is changing into. I can't see how a sensible reader is supposed to believe that, I really can't.
*she is fatally in love with the most gorgeous guy anybody's ever seen and their love is the deepest, purest, most perfect love ever. She's also (almost literally) dying to become a vampire, and yet she'd rather wait for all those things than marry the above mentioned Mr.Perfect, which would result in instantly getting everything she wants. That's more than illogical - it already borders on plain stupid.
If plot was almost inexistent in 'Twilight', nothing's changed much in 'New Moon'. There are some uncertain attempts at creating an actual plot, but they all quickly end as the author returns to the thing she does best – dealing with Bella's feelings. The saddest thing is that in 'Twilight,' there was enough style to make it up for the ragged plot, but in 'New Moon', that’s not the case. It’s more like a recycled ‘Twilight’ – the problem is that describing a girl’s feelings just doesn’t give enough material to make up for another book. There are some (successful) attempts at humour and the style of writing isn’t really that bad, just worse than before – but even taking that into account, 'New Moon' doesn’t come even close to 'Twilight'.
I guess I have to repeat myself – Reading 'New Moon' is recommended only for hardcore fans of Meyer and for the utterly bored voracious readers. It’s an easy book to read, despite all the drawbacks, that much is true. But it also seems to simultaneously destroy your brain cells, so read it on your own responsibility. And to the guys (excluding those who enjoy the series, I guess, I heard that they do exist) out there, I’d recommend steering well clear of it, if my fellow blogger Thrinidir is anything to judge by – I tried to entertain him with excerpts from the book, but had to stop as he threatened to drain the whole bottle of whiskey otherwise.
- Trin -