One good thing of driving home for the holidays (17ish hours) is that I’ve got plenty of time to read. After reading Twilight in a rush to get ready to record Episode 3 of “Come Read With Me,” I immediately went into reading New Moon and am typing this response as we finish the drive to the NC mountains in which I hope to finish reading Eclipse and at least a large portion of, if not all of, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Yes, I’ve fallen into the hole.
I think having finished this novel I’m firmly entrenched in Team Jacob. I mean I can completely understand the whole Edward thing and I know how it ends, so I’m not holding my breath, but less face it. Jacob is kinder, warmer and I think an easier character to relate to because he is half-human. Edward has this almost holier than though, which is of course from Meyer’s constant angelic and deity like references. I also think Jacob’s enthusiasm for Bella, and life in general, carries through from the first novel even after he discovers his tribe’s secret.
“Like an earthbound sun, whenever someone was within his gravitational pull, Jacob warmed them. It was natural, a part of who he was. No wonder I was so eager to see him.” (145)
Add in that I felt Meyer’s writing improved incrementally and that definitely influenced my Team Jacob commitment. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was still incredibly simple (still working in its favor) and Meyer still doesn’t have the broadest vocabulary, but with the broader world building in this novel it didn’t bother me as much. Or I’m growing numb.
The biggest problem with this novel, and with Twilight, is that they both barely move anywhere. They take place in a little over a year and 1000+ pages are just too much for that short amount of time. Both novels felt solely as if they were filling space and VERY slowly building up toward something. I’m not being a contrarian, they should do this, but at the same time they should also serve a purpose and provide a self-contained story and neither did a great job of doing that. I’m 1000+ pages into the series and so far we’ve faced three foes, and met what I’m assuming are the primary antagonists of the series, the Volturi, and learned a bit about vampire history and have just scratched the surface of werewolf lore.
If there’s one thing I was hoping for in this novel as Jacob’s pack was revealed, it was that Meyer would include more of the Quileutes history, but she didn’t. And apparently that wish of mine won’t be granted. Oh well.
I’m still not impressed with Bella and I want to smack her into action. The only active thing she’s done is work against Edward to become a vampire herself and again it’s completely selfish and I have a feeling she will continue to be selfish throughout. I’m also not impressed with how nonchalant and completely nonplussed she is about discovering vampires and werewolves. It’s like SERIOUSLY? How are you not shitting yourself? The only time she showed any sense of normalcy, in my opinion, was when she thought,
“The whole world lurched, tilting the wrong way on its axis. What kind of place was this? Could a world really exist where ancient legends went wandering around the borders of tiny, insignificant towns, facing down mythical monsters? Did this mean every impossible fairy tale was grounded somewhere in absolute truth? Was there anything sane or normal at all, or was everything just magic and ghost stories?” (293)
I mean I guess if you’re in that world you just learn to live in it, but she’s only had one freak out moment and that was when she thought Jacob and his pack were murderers!
The other reason I’m not impressed with Bella is that she really reminded me of how Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was such a a self-involved, self-centered whiny little ass. They probably would’ve been better off dating. I mean come on, I was nowhere near this moody as a teenager and I’m a moody person in general!
Recommendation: I would actually recommend this one over Twilight, but I guess you can’t read one with out the other. I shockingly gave this one an extra star because I felt it was better written and the characters were a little less obnoxious and better written. We’ll see how the rest of the series moves forward as I churn through them.
Opening Line: “I felt like I was trapped in one of those terrifying nightmares, the one where you have to run, run till your lungs burst, but you can’t make your body move fast enough.”
Closing Line: “I squared my shoulders and walked forward to meet my fate, with my destiny solidly at my side.” (Whited out.)
Additional Quotes from New Moon
“Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.” (93)
“Once you cared about a person, it was impossible to be logical about them anymore.” (304)