The Book Reviews – Website

June 7, 2009

New Moon

New Moon (Book 2 in the Twilight Series)

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Page Length: 563

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: Bella Swan continues her romance with her vampire soul mate, Edward Cullen. Things are going well for the couple despite Edward’s suppressed feelings to attack and consume Bella. The story begins with a birthday celebration for Bella at the Cullen residence. When Bella falls prey to another clumsy accident, she cuts herself on glass which reveals her blood for the vampire family to salivate over. Jasper Cullen, who has difficult suppressing his appetite for human blood, lunges at Bella. Luckily he is held back by his family members and escorted away from Bella. This incident is the last straw for Edward who has tried his best to create a safe and controlled atmosphere for himself and his girlfriend.

After some odd behavior, Edward tells Bella that he is moving away, leaving her alone. Edward immediately exits the town of Forks and Bella’s life. Before leaving, Edward makes Bella promise not to do anything that would put herself in danger. Knowing the kind of person Bella is, this promise is sure to be one that will be broken.

Over the course of the next several months, Bella wanders around in a pseudo catatonic state. She is depressed and does not know how to live her life without her one true love. Luckily, a motorcycle and an old friend resurrect Bella from her dejected condition. Jacob Black, an old childhood friend from the local Native American reservation, helps Bella in her quest to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Little does Jacob know that the reason Bella desires to ride is to engage in dangerous activity which Edward asked that she not do. Bella has realized that while engaging in high risk activities, she is able to “hear” the voice of her vampire lover. This “voice” becomes an addiction to Bella, thus her quest for thrill-seeking adventures continues for much of the novel.

On the bright side, Bella grows closer to her friend, Jacob. She becomes happier, more productive, and almost “back to normal”. Jacob has strong feelings for his friend in return but is not forward enough to initiate much action initially. Just when Bella feels that she and Jacob are reaching a point where their relationship could move in a whole new direction (in a positive manner), Jacob disappears for several weeks. Bella attempts to make contact over time only to be ignored and shut out. Bella suspects that Jacob may be involved in some gang activity on his reservation but she is not quite sure. She later finds out that it is something much more secretive and unusual. Jacob is a member of a group – a pack of werewolves!!!

Jacob is fearful to reveal all that he is to Bella, however Bella expresses to Jacob that she is not turned off by the fact that Jacob is a werewolf. She even goes so far as to divulge many of the secrets that she and Edward shared. Of course Jacob was sure that Edward was a vampire, but to hear it from Bella’s mouth only reinforced his thoughts. Bella goes on to say that an evil vampire, Victoria, is after her. Jacob states that his pack of werewolves is on the hunt for this vampire and that Bella need not worry.

When Bella goes on a cliff diving venture she suffers a minor concussion in the water. Jacob saves her, but her action creates trouble for many. Alice Cullen has a vision of Bella cliff diving (appearing to commit suicide) and relays this to her family except for Edward. Rosalie Cullen, however, takes this information and shares it with Edward. Edward in turn sets out on a quest to visit the Volturi, an ancient vampire family in Italy, to stir up trouble in hopes of death. Edward would rather die than live on this Earth without his true love.

Alice and Bella track down Edward and save him, however Bella is revealed to the Volturi to be a special and intriguing human. The Volturi release Bella, Alice, and Edward on the condition that Bella will be turned into a vampire at some point. The Volturi further stated that they would check up on the Cullen family to view the new state of Bella.

When the Cullens and Bella arrive back to Forks, they have a discussion about turning Bella into a vampire. Carlisle Cullen agrees to turn Bella into one of them upon graduation from high school. Later it is revealed that Jacob Black is aware of this plan and is not happy. He tells Edward that if the Cullens turn Bella into a vampire, the treaty that the werewolves and the vampires have held in the town of Forks will be broken.

At the conclusion of book 2, Bella is in quite a predicament: if she is not turned into a vampire soon, the Volturi will kill her. If she does become a vampire, the vampire / werewolf treaty will have been broken, and the werewolves (including Jacob) would kill Bella and the Cullen family.

REVIEW: Book 2 in the Twilight series is much more action packed yet still retains much of the emotion from book 1. The comparisons and contrasts between Jacob and Edward is striking. Both Jacob and Edward love Bella. Both Jacob and Edward are non-human creatures of violence. Jacob and Edward are true enemies connected by their affection for a human. New Moon is a roller coaster of emotions. Many references to the Shakespeare characters of Romeo, Juliet, Rosaline, and Paris are mentioned. Bella compares herself to Juliet, Edward to Romeo, and Jacob to Paris. I enjoyed how Bella is caught in the middle not only emotionally but sometimes physically between Edward and Jacob. The twist at the end involving the vampire / werewolf treaty was a nice touch in connection to Bella’s continued desire to become a vampire. Just when Bella feels she is close to becoming more like Edward, she realizes that the very thing that she wants the most, might lead to her ultimate death at the hands of another that she loves.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: characterization, cause and effect, setting, comparison / contrast

RELATED BOOKS: Twilight, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn

MOVIE CONNECTIONS: “New Moon” (movie set to release in late 2009)

RELATED WEBSITES: (official website of the author)

REVIEWED BY: Kevin Stratton

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