New Moon

New Moon

New Moon is the second book in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. The narrative follows on a few months from where Twilight finished, starting at Bella Swan’s 18th birthday. Her boyfriend, Edward Cullen, and his family throw Bella an impromptu birthday party at their house during which Bella gets a paper cut while opening a present. This causes Edward’s foster brother, Jasper to attempt to kill her as the smell of her blood drives the newly ‘vegetarian’ vampire wild. In an attempt to protect Bella from the world of vampires, Edward and his family move away from Forks which leaves Bella devastated.

After Edward’s departure she rekindles her friendship with Jacob Black, a cheerful decedent of an ancient Quileute tribe in La Push, on the outskirts of Forks. It soon emerges that Victoria, the mate of the vampire who was hunting Bella in Twilight, has returned to take revenge on Edward for killing her mate by killing Bella. During this time, Jacob undergoes a transformation which causes him to turn into a large wolf at will; the Quileute’s are decedent from shape-shifters who take on the form of a wolf to protect the tribe from the threat of vampires. A miscommunication leads Edwards to think that Bella has died and so he goes to the Volturi, the ruling vampire coven, to ask to die. Now Bella must choose whether to go and save Edward from death or stay with Jacob.

Bella remains the narrative voice throughout the book, but rather than being about the joy that a first love can bring like Twilight, this book is about the devastation and heart-break of the end of first love. The all-consuming love we experience with Bella in Twilight is replaced by all-consuming grief; grief at her loss of Edward, grief at her future with him being taken away, grief at losing the feeling of belonging.  During this period, Jacob becomes a comfort to Bella and she describes him as her own personal sun. With the threat of Victoria looming over them, he replaces Edward as her protector and chases Victoria off with the rest of the wolf pack.

This is the foundation for the infamous Twilight love-triangle, as Jacob reveals his feelings for Bella are more than that of friends and fights for her affections. His hatred for Edward is enhanced by his wolf transformation and he isn’t afraid to express to Bella what he and the pack think of the Cullens. The film adaptation of the book focused on the love triangle, forming ‘Team Edward’ and ‘Team Jacob’ to attract and audience, but the book makes it clear who Bella cares for throughout due to Bella being narrator.

Despite this story being longer and developing a variety of interesting characters, like the Volturi, it doesn’t quite have the edge of Twilight. Bella’s continuous depressing monologue becomes, well, depressing, which is aided by the fact that Edward’s intentions behind his departure at the beginning of the novel are clear. While Bella falls hook, line and sinker for his speech about his family lingering in Forks too long without aging, it is obvious that the events at Bella’s birthday party were too much for him to handle and he decided the best course to keep Bella safe was to leave her. This decision is moronic, which the reader can see, and so lays the foundation to a weak storyline revolving around it.

New Moon is compelling reading because the reader is dying to know whether Bella will eventually become a vampire after Edward’s continuous refusal to change her, pun intended. The outcome of the book leads Bella to convince the Cullen’s to allow her to join their family as a vampire, which inclines the reader to continue in the series with the next book, Eclipse.

Click here to read a review on Twilight, the first book in the series and don’t forget to check back tomorrow for a review of the third book, Eclipse.


By Sophie Atherton @SophAthers