NOTE: I'm adding, rather late, apparently, that there's a bit of a spoiler in this review. So, read with caution. That said, if you paid attention while reading Twilight, I'm puzzled as to how my spoiler could possibly be a spoiler. Myers spelled it out, in the book and interviews, almost as clearly as she spells out Bella's awed perception of Edward.
In my review of Twilight, I said that the book had more in common with "Catcher in the Rye" and "Pride and Prejudice" than it did with any vampire novels or stories. That still holds true, although be certain: I'm not comparing Twilight or New Moon to these books in terms of literary quality. There are few that match either.
In New Moon we miss the vampires for most of the story, and Bella spends time with her friend Jacob, an Indian fated with becoming a werewolf, and fated to hate all "bloodsuckers", regardless of whether or not the bloodsuckers took human lives. (Btw, that little bit is cleared up at the end...what exactly their treaty entails. It's interesting, kind of, but I have to wonder if the author thought of it as the story was being written, and that it wasn't planned when the "treaty" was first mentioned. I suppose it doesn't matter.)
If you're reading this story because you like vampire stories, you will be disappointed. Edward's only around for a bit less than 1/3 of the book. When he is around, however, his presence is appreciated. One thing that the author didn't do this time, and it was similarly appreciated, was to have Bella writing down every single thought that she had regarding his absolute perfection (remember, this is a first person narrative).
While spending time with "the wolves", Bella goes through some interesting growth patterns. I say interesting, because I'm not entirely certain that I followed them or that if I understood them that I agreed with them. That said, I've never been a teenage girl, and the author has been a teenage girl, so I have to bow to her experience in this.
Many readers will look at Bella's behavior during her "dalliance with wolves" as bizarre and entirely unbelievable. I don't think they were. For anyone that has had the absolute love of their life torn from them, with the *absolute* belief that this love would not return, and if you happen to be emotionally immature to top all of this off, your behavior wouldn't be too far off from Bella's. I'm not saying exactly like Bella's, just not too far off.
Again, this is not a vampire story. The fact that vampires were not around in this book as often as some may have liked did not lessen the quality of the story. What was missing, though, was the urgency, and the mystery. For example, we never knew why, in Twilight, Edward recoiled upon first seeing Bella until the very end. We had a reaction, and a resolution, and during that time we had lots of questions. That type of immediacy was missing here. Everything was rather straightforward.
When Edward lies to Bella, we know that he is lying, and we know that there will be resolution. The problem is that we know he's lying, and we know the resolution won't be too surprising.
I did enjoy the unique take on werewolves, but I felt that since we had seen so much of the vampires in the first book, that we should have seen and felt more of the werewolves in this book.
One thing that I found particularly frustrating was the similarity of emotion that both Jake and Edward have for Bella. Yes, Bella is a clutz, and she definitely needs protecting. But to have two main characters, in two separate books, respond to her in a nearly identical manner (both fearing for, and being vocal about, her need to be less careless), is tough to buy.
There were some hints of future issues between the Cullens and Jake's clan. I hope we see them. And I hope that this story can survive the necessary metamorphosis - at some point, it will need to be less about Bella's intense love for Edward, and more about the actual situations surrounding them.
This may sound like a negative review. It's not. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I've seen others that gave Twilight 5 stars give this 1 or 2 stars, and I've questioned that. I think that given the nature of this story, readers need to be more aware of what this story is really about. See the first paragraph of this review for that.
I'm anxiously awaiting the third book. There are a lot of possibilities, and I can't help but wonder which possibility the author will choose, and how she will resolve whatever roadblocks her choices give her.
on January 9, 2009
Anyone who enjoyed the first book but found the phrasing repetitive and the character of Bella to be mildly annoying, be warned.
Pgs 1-70 are actually interesting, aside from Bella being a brat about turning 18
Pgs 70-400 are basically the plot of the first book, recycled, with Jacob as the new love interest. As with Edward, she shuns the other kids at school, wants to spend all her time with him, and, when she finds out what he really is, she embraces it, meets the family...etc etc.
pgs 400-the end are essentially the only novelty to the book. Even so, it's ruined by the fact that Bella is so helpless and insecure. I don't understand why Edward loves you either, Bella, but he does. And I don't want to have to read 500 pages of him convincing you of that.
This book is basically ACT II of the first book, but with a few less obnoxious descriptions of Edward's bronze hair/marble body/topaz eyes, and a few more obnoxious descriptions of the aching hole/depression in Bella's soul when Edward leaves her.
Bella morphs from being slightly annoying and whiny, to being completely pathetic. Her world revolves around Edward, so when he leaves, she is left in a catatonic state...until eventually she decides to rebel and do crazy things, in the hopes that she might hear his voice (oh yes, that velvet voice of his is in this book too, and velvet must be on Meyer's 'favorite adjectives list").
But then Bella finds reason for living again, in the arms of another man, Jacob. Her basic attraction to him is based on...wait for it..."she's less miserable with him". Hmmm....the co-dependent latches on again. She completely leads him on, because the whole time she is with him, she is still thinking about Edward and how she can reunite her crazy messed up head with a precious delusion of him.
In the end, Edward and Jacob are mortal enemies (oh no!) and Bella is left choosing between the man who is the world to her, and the man who is the world to her when the man who really is the world to her is unavailable. Gee, I wonder who she'll choose in the end. Apparently Meyer wants us to think it's a toss up and plans to make another book of it. Yeah right.
I can only hope that the third book doesn't contain the following phrases and/or words, because I HATE THEM BY NOW:
touseled bronze hair
it felt like I was dreaming
I wasn't sure if it was a dream
it had to be a dream
on July 24, 2008
There are already alot of reviews for this book, but here's one more for you.
I bought it on a whim. I did not like "Twilight" - I thought it was poorly written. It had a romance that had no real flare or reason behind it, the heroine had a brain full of marbles. And there was the ridiculous stuff - vampires playing baseball, glittering in daylight, etc.
Why did I get "New Moon" then? Because it was at Wal Mart and I had run out of books and it was literally the only thing that seemed interesting. I wasn't completely revulsed by "Twilight" so I thought I'd give her vampire world another chance.
And she blew it. The breakup was ridiculous. Bella leading Jake around as she did was irresponsible and completely horrible. Of course she was hurting him and she knew it and did not care. Bella is a selfish character in general, and a delusional one at that. Despite the fact that Jake cared about her, she kept using him to force herself into more "dangerous" situations so she could "break her promise" and "even the score" to counter the promise that her vampire wannabe lover did not keep (that she supposed anyway). So "dangerous" motorcycle riding (oh shock, that's the worst you can think of?) and cliff jumping come into play so she could hear Edward's voice (it came to her only to warn her of doing stupid things, which of course, made her want to do even more stupid things).
Trying to get into a situation with some potentially dangerous strangers hanging out in front of a bar, while she was out walking in a dangerous area WITH HER FRIEND was even worse. Just so she could hear that voice and get her delusion fix. They could have been attacked, raped, or worse.
The book gets stupider, just as Bella does. Her relationship with her father makes her seem more like a 12 year old than an 18 year old legal adult. Through it all I think the most disgusting part was this: Throughout the whole entire book - Bella is begging to become a vampire like Edward so they can be together forever (she is afraid Edward will leave her once she's over the age of 20 or something since he is "forever 17" and as long as she's human she will still age). She manages to make a deal with "The Family" regarding the future state of her mortality after a particular set of circumstances. This makes future issues become nonissues. Edward is against this but says that he would help her along her road to immortality if she would marry him first.
Which she won't commit to.
You are willing to be bitten and changed by vampires to become an unsleeping, glittery-in-the-sun blood sucker for the rest of ETERNITY, and leave your parents and friends to rot and suffer without you, but you will NOT agree to marry the man that you *kept trying to kill yourself over just so you could hear his voice after he had faux dumped you?*. The one you absolutely cannot live without? Who gives you that freakin HOLE in your soul that we had to read about ten billion times while she ignored her friends and wallowed in self pity. The heck?
I know the author may be trying to discourage young marriages, but that just smacks of ridiculousness. I have no problems suspending disbelief for good fantasy takes on reality but its things like this that just blow it right out of context. It's also strange how attached she is to these people. When her vampire-friend Alice showed up, she was hanging on to her so hard and being so obsessive and overflowing with love that I thought they would end up being a same sex couple before the book was over.
In short "New Moon" is implausible, ridiculous, emo in the whiniest way, and finishes with a clunking thud. Character development is nonexistant, there is no sensual spark between Edward and Bella - just a creepy obsession, and thus leaves no reason left to read it. Yet, I'm sure there are zillions out there that lap this up like its the best thing since sliced bread.
on July 19, 2009
I'm reading this series because my 11-year-old is reading them. These books are written for adolescents but still deal with some adult themes so it seemed prudent for us to read them together. I am far from a prude, but I had trouble with many of the underlying messages.
1. Pain that never eases or ends is normal:
No! I've had to explain to my child that when a relationship ends that yes, you feel horrible and yes it feels like a part of you has died, but that degree of pain is time-limited and you get over it! If, 6 months after a break-up, you are still clutching your chest in agony when someone mentions your ex's name, then it's time to get professional help.
2. Suicide is a viable solution:
It is not OK, healthy, common and especially not romantic for both main characters to consider suicide as the only logical end to their emotional suffering. An absolutely horrible message for kids.
3. If it hurts this bad, it must be love:
I don't care for the authors assumption that the degree of suffering equals the depth of love. Another horrible message, especially for young girls.
4. Role-confusion between the children and their parents:
The parents are portrayed as inept, weak and incapable and they would surely perish if not for the competent, strong children who cook and shop for them. In fact, Bella's dad is unable to make spaghetti, so would surely die if she did not take care of him. [Insert eye-roll here]. Adding to these layers of disrespect, she calls her parents by name rather than `mom' and `dad.' This underscores her character, or lack thereof.
5. Flagrant disregard of her father's authority:
Interesting that she sneaks her boyfriend into her bedroom to "stay over" every night without any consequence. And leaves the country for three days basically leaving the note "home soon." Her dad is the police chief, like that would ever happen? The assumption that adults are dumb or clueless runs through the entire book.
6. Friends are disposable:
Bella sees her friends as clearly disposable and even a nuisance to her even though they are nice kids. God forbid should someone reach out to her and try to shake her out of her emo world. Her cavalier treatment of her friends is sickening. If this book is about relationships, why oh why doesn't the author show even one healthy relationship?
7. Women are nothing without a man:
Intensive descriptions of this identity-losing co-dependence with her boyfriend. Without him she is less than nothing. She only begins to recover when she, you guessed it, finds another man. And then she uses this other man, knowing that the relationship is lopsided. News flash - having a man in your life is not the only thing that will make you happy. I also have no idea why they are in love. They don't actually have substantive conversations or do anything together. They just stare at each other and doubt their worthiness. Where are the feminists!? Why aren't women outraged over this! And BTW, women can drive their own cars and men can be passengers.
8. Generally poor writing:
I got so tired of hearing how "perfect" her boyfriend was, how beautiful, how cold, how statuesque. OK, OK, I get it. It doesn't have to be said over and over again. I have no clue why an editor didn't reduce the tonnage of adverbs.
9. Weak and illogical plot line:
Did the Cullins really have to leave Forks? Did Bella really have to go to Italy? Really? Am I supposed to believe that the same girl who dreaded gym class because she can't play volleyball is going to cliff dive without instruction on an impulse? And if everything they've done throughout the book is about the threat of Victoria, why, suddenly at the end is that threat gone? Nothing was actually resolved. Sloppy plot line.
10. Unbelievable plot devices:
I am supposed to believe that neither of the main characters can tell whether they are dead or alive?
11. Terrible Character development:
I know nothing about Bella. Does she have any interests? Hobbies? Talents (besides whining)? Plans for her future? Thoughts about her past? I don't know anything about her previous school or friends left behind in Arizona. Did she even have friends? Seriously, how can I buy into an adolescent character without any knowledge of her social identity. That's all adolescents do at this age. Why doesn't the author think this is important to share with us? And Edward, isn't there something else about him we might be interested in knowing about besides his physical appearance? Like, what does he do with all his free time if he doesn't need to sleep?
12. Didn't do her research:
Washington State requires motorcyclists to wear helmets.
If your kids are going to be reading this book I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you read it first and discuss it throughout their reading, just to let them know that fiction isn't truth, that not all authors are responsible, and that in the real world, friends are important, as is taking care of yourself.
on April 4, 2008
...if you're an aspiring writer in need of a primer that gives never-ending examples of what NOT TO DO.
I'm working on a teen fantasy novel of my own, and Meyers' Twilight series never fails to remind me of the things I want to completely avoid in my own writing. Let's consult the list, shall we?
1) THE BORING SUE HERIONE. You may have heard of the Mary Sue, the perfect female protagonist who can do no wrong, who has unnatural beauty, who is beloved by all; Bella isn't quite a Mary Sue. She's described (by herself, at least) as plain and is endlessly clumsy (though her clumsiness is so contrived that it seems like a magical Sue ability, practically). She also has no interests, hobbies, or anything that she excels at in particular. Despite these flaws, Bella nevertheless ends up a Sue because everyone loves her for reasons that defy explanation or logic. Even when she is behaving in a selfish, whiny, and intolerable way, Bella is never called out for her behavior. The only character who ever seems disgusted by Bella is Jessica, but since Jessica is written as a shrew anyway, we're clearly not meant to put much stock in her opinion.
2) FATED TRUE LOVE. In my world, Fated True Love isn't romantic, it's lazy. It says "hey, instead of working out why these characters are attracted to each other and showing how their relationship develops, I'm gonna just put it in the hands of FATE and have them fall in love for no reason whatsoever!" Edward loves Bella because she smells good, which means Edward loves Bella like I love freshly baked bread. Bella loves Edward because he's beautiful. God-like. So beautiful...really BEAUTIFUL, in case you missed it in all the numerous descriptive reminders. But really, why do they love each other? I have no idea. Shakespeare was all too aware of the ridiculousness of star-crossed love, which is why he was smart and killed his teenaged lovers off. But Bella and Edward's happiness hinges entirely on their togetherness. What a strong, solid message to send to the young women of the world: happiness isn't something you create for yourself, oh no, it's something you can ONLY find in a beautiful, immortal man. Bella's slow recognition of Jacob as a potential suitor was far more interesting and realistic, and it was teeth-gnashingly disappointing to see Bella repeatedly insist to herself that no one would ever do it for her again but Edward.
3) THE ZERO-HOUR PLOT. Nothing much happens in Meyers' books, aside from Bella's enthrallment/suffering over Edward. In the last few chapters, Meyers will attempt to inject some kind of conflict into the narrative, either in the form of James, Victoria, and Laurent ("Twilight") or the Volturi ("New Moon"). It's difficult to get invested in this conflict at the last minute, and again feels like a lazy, tacked-on, "oh right, I am writing a book, maybe something should happen!" move from the author.
Of course, as someone who hopes to be successful at writing teen fantasy, it's depressing to know that all I would need to do to achieve this success is construct a BORING SUE HEROINE, a FATED TRUE LOVE, and a ZERO HOUR PLOT.
Or maybe it's not depressing...maybe it's an incredible relief! After all, coming up with those three things shouldn't be too hard. If a lazy writer like Meyers can do it, anyone can!
For readers looking for good, solid teen-level fantasy featuring interesting heroines, more complex and realistic portrayals of love, and truly gripping plot, I recommend Diana Wynne Jones and Libba Bray.
on June 2, 2008
You end the book hating the character of Bella more then you could have ever thought possible. She comes off as two things throughout the book. First a bit of a bitch to one her father, for ignoring him for months then running off to Italy with only a note to tell him where she is. Also for obviously jerking Jacob around by his heart strings throughout the book.
The second thing? She comes off as very much not in her right mind. She goes catatonic for a week and into a zombie trance for months because Edward left her. I'm sorry I refuse to believe one's soul mate leaving them would warrant a reaction like that. She's obsessive about Edward to a degree that if it weren't for the fact he's equally as obsessed, we would have a set of psychotic stalkers on our hands. Instead it's true love, ain't that just the most darling message?
Edward comes off as a dick for leaving Bella, who is very much not in her right mind (she goes catatonic for a week then goes zombie trance for months?), and honestly seems very suicidal. He constantly tosses around the idea of suicide so much and how he's going as soon as she goes, you get the idea that he's going to cut her brakes, just so he can off himself.
Any actual plot was procrastinated off to the very end, when Alice deus ex machina's in and tells Bella about suicidal Edward. Then it's off to Italy, a narrow save of Edward (who could have seen that coming?), and the Volturi lovingly shoving it down our throats that Bella is the most special snowflake of the lot.
And I very much appreciated the Romeo and Juliet comparisons being shoved down my throat every other chapter. Ms. Meyer, I'm sure you've read it (because Bella is so obviously a young Mary-Sue version of yourself), the main things I took away was a cautionary tale of feuding and how it will destroy what you care for most.I never saw the true love of the play, and it always seemed like a plot point more then anything, for the rest of a more interesting story to go off of. Hey maybe New Moon is more like it then I thought... except with the lacking of a more interesting story.
In review what does her brand of true love tells us what? You can't live without your man. It's perfectly okay to drop entire lives for someone you love. It's perfectly okay to commit suicide just to hear your ex's voice. It's perfectly okay to go comatose because you where dumped.
I only have one question after being forced to read this book. Why. Ms. Meyer, Why?
on September 6, 2007
Maybe I'm being stuffy, maybe I'm out of touch now that I'm an old lady of 28. But I generally like quality young adult fantasies, and I liked the original book a lot.
What got me about this one, like others have mentioned, was Bella's inability to function without her boyfriend, and later without a man in general. Like Charlie told her, she's not the first one to have gone through a break-up or have her heart broken. I wish she would have just sucked it up, gone on with her life, maybe gotten ANGRY with Edward for being such a drama queen. Instead it's wah, wah, wah, I've lost everything. Even though I have a home, two parents who love me, friends who are willing to support me even though I dropped them to be with a guy...none of it means anything because my true wuv, my high school boyfriend of one year, is gone. Boo-friggin' hoo, Bella. Her identity is so wrapped up in her boyfriend that her conscience speaks in his voice. Gag me.
Then, naturally, the only person to pull her out of her depression is another boy, and naturally she can't just tell him she ISN'T INTERESTED before things spin out of control. She thinks she's ready to become a vampire, but she can't break it off with a dude. It just bothered me.
All that aside, I liked the parts where Bella wasn't moping! :)
on October 20, 2008
As soon as I finished reading "New Moon" I wanted nothing more than to be able to contact Stephenie Meyers (a face-to-face interview would be preferable!) and ask what the hell she was thinking when she decided to make Bella Swan such a co-dependent, pathetic excuse for a character. I mean come on, its only so obvious that many young, impressionable girls are reading the "twilight" series and (god forbid) thinking that they need a man in their life or else there's nothing left to live for. And by the way, I know some of you are probably wondering why I've read not only "New Moon" but "Eclipse" as well, after writing a less than wonderful review for "Twilight" but ill get to that later. First, lets go over the basic plot of "New Moon" and ill tell you why I especially despise Bella in this book.
At the beginning of "New Moon" Bella and Edward are happily in love (atleast as far as I can remember) until an unfortunate event happens during Bellas birthday party at the Cullens house, in which Edward realizes that his being near his dearly beloved puts her life in danger. So then.....*dramatic pause* Edward decides to leave, for Bellas own good (gasp!) and doesn't plan on ever coming back (oh no!) and worst of all, before leaving he acts as if he hates Bella and informs her that he no longer loves her (is it really so?!) for months afterwards, Bella turns into a catatonic headcase, barely able to function without her beautiful Edward around. She can't eat, can't listen to music, and can't even watch TV because something on it might remind her of Edward. (Rolls eyes) she makes pretty much no effort whatsoever to help herself and let her friends cheer her up, and she might have never recovered if not for....Jacob Black. Jacob Black, aka the werewolf (by the way, werewolves are enemies with the vampires which I just had to mention because I love how Bellas future best friend happens to be an enemy of the love of her life) Bella starts hanging out with Jacob more, and slowly starts to complain a little less about the "massive hole in her chest"....etc etc (skip ahead to the best parts) but of course Bella can't get Edward out of her head, especially when she realizes that she hears his voice when she is in danger, so then what does she do? Starts purposefully putting herself in ridiculously unecessary dangerous situation, even practically committing suicide just so she can hear his voice. Of course, the vampires find out and Alice Cullen informs Bella that Edward thinks that she is dead and so he decides that he no longer has a reason to live and decides to pay a little visit to Italy, in hopes that the volturi will play a role in ending his life as a vampire. So of course Bella immediately hops on a plane to Italy, and of course gets there just in time to save Edward. And then of course he ends up going back with Bella, realizing that he can't bear to live without her....blah, blah, blah! (Oh and I do love Edward, atleast until I read Eclipse, so I'm not trying to diss him I just couldn't help but roll my eyes at his dramatics in this book)
Ok, so now that I've finished with my summary of the book, here are some more things I'd like to add. Feel free to stop reading at anytime, really as I'm aware that I've written quite a lot already and I'm sure much of what I've said has probably angered many of you twilighters.
first, let me start off by saying that I did understand Bellas depression in this book (I just can't believe the extremes that she took it to) after all, I'm 19 and I've had my heartbroken before. But come, practically going into a catatonic state for not just weeks, but months and months, because your boyfriend left you? (And yes I understand that its definitely not easy to get over someone, especially someone that you love. I know this takes quite a bit of time) and not even being able to watch TV? And not being able to function in general, until another guy comes along? (Yep another great message there, girls: remember that having a man in your life is the only thing that will make you happy!) and seriously... are we really supposed to believe that Edward no longer loves Bella? And better yet, are we really supposed to believe that Bella really believes that Edward no longer loves her? Please. And worst of all is the fact that Bella was intentionally hurting herself in order to simply hear Edwards voice. Yet ANOTHER great message for young girls (missing your man? go jump off a cliff and commit suicide and hopefully that'll get his attention! Life without him isn't worth living anyway!) and then there's the extreme and completely unecessary drama of Edward deciding to end his life over Bella, and Bella getting there just in time (but of course) to save his life! Now, I know I may be making a huge deal out of nothing, seeing as how this is just a book, but there are many books out there in which the characters go through so much worse (I.E. Losing a loved one to death or something of the nature) and none of them act half as bad and self-pitying as Bella Swan. Someone needs to give her a swift slap to the face and tell her to wake up and smell the sunshine and inform her that having a man isn't the most important thing in the world. Perhaps somebody should inform Mrs. Meyers about this as well. A bit harsh? Maybe, but reading these books just made me realize how much I hate reading about female characters with no backbone whatsoever. And really, I have nothing against Stephenie Meyers so don't get me wrong. I think she could be a very talented writer if she wanted to be (after all, I haven't met one person who has never heard of her book series) but I just don't agree with the way she portrays Bella (as you can tell) and I don't like the kind of message young girls will get because of that.
And as I said, yes its true that I didn't like "twilight" and had no intention of finishing it, but my sister (who is a huge fan by the way) didn't understand how I couldn't like these books, and persuaded me to atleast finish the first one. So I did, and I came to the conclusion that the second half of the book was only slightly more interesting than the first. And was I the only one rooting for that vampire to kill Bella? And yes, even despite my dislike for "twilight" I still decided to read "new moon" because you know what I realized? These books are like a bad soap opera, something you don't necessarily like, but can't help but get caught up in it all, if only to laugh and say to yourself "seriously, why does everyone love this so much?"
And just one more thing I'd like to add. I don't necessarily dislike "twilight" overall. Atleast not the idea of it. After all I like the cullen family, and the volturi are actually pretty interesting. I just think that Stephenie needs to make some HUGE changes with Bella (if only!) and add some events of actual interest to the pages of "twilight" (instead of just Bella describing how beautiful Edward is every other paragraph) and then maybe ill have some nicer things to say about it all.
on January 22, 2007
... Back when it was called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, literally a decade ago. Let's think about this: girl moves to new town, finds mysterious boy who happens to be a vampire, they date against everyone's better judgement. That's the first book, and coincidentally ("coincidentally"?) one of the main subplots of the first season of Buffy. The temptation to suck blood having to be faced in order to save Bella's life from poison? Angel needing the blood of a Slayer after being poisoned by Faith and having to take it from Buffy. A bit flip-flopped, but still a parallel. And now in this book, Edward abruptly breaks up with Bella and leaves town, stating that it's "For the best." Last few episodes of season three, anyone? Buffy starts going out with Riley, who turns out to be part of a special ops group dedicated to hunting demons, especially vampires. Bella starts spending a lot of time with Jacob, who turns out to be a sworn enemy of vampires along with the rest of his werewolf pack... are you sensing a connection?
And it wasn't just the plot basically being lifted from Buffy that made this book nigh unreadable. This is Bella's first boyfriend. Supernatural or not, when your first boyfriend breaks up with you and you haven't even been going out a year, your life is not over. You may think it is. You may pout and cry and mope... for maybe a month. Not six. I have never known anybody to get *that* depressed for *that* long over their first boyfriend, no matter how much they said they were in love. Bella wins the award for "Heroine you should never, EVER imitate," because first off she was absolutely useless as a person. She forever had to have a man (be he werewolf, human or vampire) come rescue her from the latest scrap she got herself into, and secondly, watching her whine and thrash around in agony for literally three-hundred and fifty of the five hundred odd pages is the most pathetic thing I've ever read. If they were real people, I'd say separation would do them a bit of good, because it is truly unhealthy to think you literally cannot live without a certain person. They'd need time to figure out who they are without each other. It also really bothered me that Bella could not mention Edward's name without saying how absolutely beautiful he was. Every single sentence about him was coupled with that, and usually chased by her saying how klutzy or unremarkable or otherwise unworthy of her vampire boyfriend's affections. To say it got old fast would be an understatment; it was absolutely pointless to begin with. So skip this book. It's not even good as a sleep-aide; you end up yelling at Bella to stop being so stupid.
on November 28, 2008
I read Twilight on the recommendation of one of the students who attends the university I work for. I should probably mention that this was a law student who is in her mid twenties.
I have to say, I didn't care for it much, and Bella Swan (that Stephenie Meyer gave her female protagonist the completely subtle and not-ham-fisted-at-all-really name "Beautiful Swan" was an immediate source of hilarity right out of the gate) is easily one of the most overt examples of Mary Sue-ism I've ever encountered in published, professional fiction.
In spite of this, since the book is one in a series, I decided to read "New Moon" (I work in a library, so what would it cost me really except a bit of time?) in the hope that the series would show signs of improving. It did actually, which earned it the single star I've given NM. More on that a bit later.
What I was specifically looking for was an improvement in the portrayal of Edward's character. According to the author, Edward was dying of the flu at the age of 17 in the very early part of the 20th century. Even at 17, Edward would have been considered and behaved very much more like an adult than his modern counterpart. Beyond this, since being transformed into a vampire has enabled him to have "lived" for well over 100 years, he is extensively world traveled, and was present for every major societal change and event within that time period (WWI, WWII, just to name two of the most obvious); yet, none of these things is reflected in his character in the least bit. That is, he gives no indication of having gained the intellectual insight or emotional wisdom that anyone would acquire who was the least bit intelligent and had an infinite amount of time to acquire them.
I understand that this series is primarily aimed at very young people, but even so, any fiction, especially if it's considered good enough to publish professionally, has to have some sort of core consistency in terms of the rules that the author has established for how the world that they've created operates. The world of NM is exactly like ours except that it includes vampires and werewolves. This being the case, why is Edward, who in spite of the obvious differences is essentially a 110 year old man, even capable of being reduced to some sort of girlie moo-cow over a teenager? Because she smells tasty? I'm sorry, no.
Edward is over a century old, yet has the mental processes of an emotionally effeminate pubescent boy.
In terms of authorship and character development, this is indefensible.
The author does a noticeably better job with Jacob's character, and earns a single star for no other reason. Jacob exhibits recognizably age appropriate habits, interests, and behaviors. Even his interest in Bella (ha!) seems more authentic, as there are at least reasons that can be pointed to that might make it understandable (Why wouldn't he have developed a crush on the cute enough and slightly older girl he'd met a few years earlier? He's inherently the most likable character of the series so far, and for the sake of the readers, I hope she's done nothing to ruin him. Under ideal circumstances, he will have only improved along the way.
I won't ever know, because this is the last book in the series I'll be reading.