New Moon

Author: Stephenie Meyer
Lexile level: 690L
This book has the same reading levels as Twilight...which in my opinion means hold off until at least 13.
Fiction

** as with Twiglight, if are looking for a plot synopsis, don't read this.  If you want my take on the book, read on!

As much as I enjoyed reading New Moon, when I finished it, I held up a good third of the pages and told my husband, "This would have been a great book without all of this."
Bella and Edward have just started another year at Forks High when Bella attends a birthday party at Edward's house.  While opening a gift, she gets a small papercut and the smell is so strong, Jasper attacks her and the saga begins.  (This is why we should tear our presents open, rather than "saving the paper"...not only is it quicker, but it will save the headache of the Vampire attack.)  Edward decides that he's simply too dangerous for her (duh...) -- and the only solution is for him to leave.

With the Cullens gone, Bella sinks into a deep depression for months.  After her Dad threatens to send her away, she finally promises to "go to a movie with her friend, where she ends up approaching some drunk men outside a bar, because she "hears Edward" warning her against them.  (Perhaps, this would be a good discussion moment about the dangers of approaching strange drunk men outside bars....or maybe even schizophrenia.)  With this little bit of information, Bella decides that recklessness is the key to her happiness (hearing Edward speak) so she acquires a couple of motorcycles.  With the motorcycles, she heads to Jacob's house so that he can fix them for her. (I am sure that this violates some Native American child labor treaty and the Quileutes will be suing.) 

Soon, Jacob has fallen in love with Bella but, he is going through some horrifying changes of his own.  Bella continues to use Jacob so that she can "hear" Edward (again, this is Stephenie Meyer's wishful "man-thinking".   Anyone who thinks a boy is going to like a girl who is using him to hear another guy for that long doesn't get out much.)  The story ends with Edward trying to kill himself, because he thinks Bella just killed herself, and Bella and Alice racing to meet the Volturi in Italy to save him (the number for the suicide hotline is 1-800-knives-for-you...).  Up to this point, we have had little dialogue between the "good-vampires" and the "bad-vampires".   But the bad-vampires are just icky and have very dark powers.  They have a human secretary who has hopes that they will change her to a vampire.  Plus they bring in several humans, including women and children, for dinner.  (YUCK!)

New Moon has probably caused the greatest divide among the female race in centuries, Team Jacob vs. Team Edward.  Not to worry though, no matter which team you choose, you will be able to find some one who agrees with you.  As for me, I am going to side with the good guy!  :)
Happy Reading
~Liz  

Becky says:
This book posed a few huge issues for me. The fact the Bella gets totally suicidal because Edward leaves is such a bad message for teenage girls, and really everyone. There is no boy that is worth giving up everything about living for. Yes it’s sad and hard and we wish it never happened, but that's life. Meyer makes it seem, if not ok, at least justified. What a horrible message for her target audience of teenage girls. Then there is the whole notion that it’s ok to use another boy that you don’t really like, because he is there (can you say selfish manipulation?). Great life lessons these are.
Now let's take Edward who is rather short sided thinking that leaving Bella is for her own good. He’s only lived like 100 years, yet he couldn’t figure out that Victoria might seek revenge for the death of her lifemate. Hello, he set up the dangerous situation and then he bails and leaves her defenseless?

The big scene that totally bothered me was the humans (men, women and children) being led to meet the Italian vampires, and the mention of screaming as Bella and Edward leave.  This was sooo yuck and way too much info, I was disturbed!!!  Alas, I again read the whole book, and will read the next.  What does this say about me, perhaps that I have issues too?

Enjoy!
Becky

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