When is a paper cut not a paper cut? When it’s in a room full of vampires. Bella, the reluctant birthday girl, seems to be destined for bad luck as a slight slip of a finger sets off a vampire frenzy. While she survives with a few cuts, it begins a series of events that has a profound effect on her life, bringing to light the fact that vampires aren’t the only supernatural force in Forks and leading many in the fandom to ask: What team are you on? Beware, there are spoilers in this review.
Shortly after the book starts with a near bloodbath, Edward decides that he must remove himself from Bella’s life in order to keep her safe. He decides that the best way to do that is to first convince Bella that he no longer loves her, and then he leaves. In his wake he leaves an emotionally broken Bella, who goes through life as if she were a zombie for months after Edwards leaves. Charlie, Bella’s father, is tired of seeing his daughter suffering and tries to send her back to her mother. Bella can’t bear the thought of leaving, so she decides to try and appease her father by being social again.
While her first attempt to be social isn’t very successful and almost provokes an attack by some lowlifes, managing to completely freak out one of her friends, she does discover that she can at times hear Edward’s voice in her head. After some thought Bella decides it must be when she is doing something dangerous, and she decides that she should start breaking some promises she’s made and start living life dangerously in order to keep hearing his voice. This leads her to taking over ownership of two broken down motorcycles. Fortunately for her, she knows the perfect person to help her fix them up: family friend, Jacob Black.
After spending some time with Jacob, who makes no secret of the fact that he is falling in love with her, Bella begins to wonder if she couldn’t be happy with him. That is, until something mysterious happens. Jacob goes from doting friend to a complete recluse, hanging out with a gang on the reservation and completely ignoring Bella. Having had enough of this behavior, Bella goes to confront him and shortly after finds out the secret of the Quileute Tribe. It turns out the vampires haven’t cornered the market on supernatural. Jacob Black and the rest of the gang are werewolves.
As with my last review, I’m not going to spoil what happens at the end, but New Moon follows the same route of adding an extremely desperate and dire situation. Towards the end, our main characters have to fight against time and this time the “vampire government” to save one of their own. Between Bella and Edward, it’s amazing that they survive each other, but somehow, love seems to in fact conquer all, much to Jacob’s dismay.
Overall, this was a good sequel to Twilight. I don’t feel it was as strong as Twilight itself, and Bella doesn’t come across as very likeable at times. She is still a relatable character, as no one likes to be dumped, and some of us have even taken it really hard. In that sense she isn’t beyond the reader. Bella does come across as selfish and as though she is just using Jacob so that she can be in situations where she can hear the hallucinations of Edward’s voice. Where other reviewers just pan her, I want to say that at least she was always honest with Jacob, so the fault isn’t all Bella’s. She always told him she could never love him the same, and he chose to continue to try and change her mind.
If you liked Twilight, you’ll like New Moon. I feel that it’s a bit weaker, but it still is an enjoyable read. The suspense at the end is high and had me biting my nails. It’s still a good read, and it leaves you wanting to continue reading the series. I would give this book a 4.25 out of 5. Not the strongest, but still definitely worth reading.