100 Books in 2011: New Moon

The second book of the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer is New Moon. In this part Edward leaves Bella, for her own good natch, and she goes into a big funk for months. Then she discovers that if she engages in activities that could kill her, her subconscious provides an hallucination of Edward being all domineering. She hangs out with Jacob who falls in love with her and turns out to be a werewolf. Bella wonders if she can settle for being adored by someone she can’t love but then discovers Edward has gone off to get himself killed because he can’t live without her.

Bella goes off to find Edward in the company of Alice (Edward’s sort of vampire sister), meets lots of scary vampires who like to eat people, and brings Edward back. She bangs on a lot about wanting to be a vampire.

There’s even less plot in New Moon than there was in Twilight and even more disturbing relationships. The quality of the writing has slipped a bit from the first book and doesn’t seem quite as polished. It wasn’t as engaging and afterwards I felt a bit dirty.

Now I really understand what the issue is with these books. Twilight was ok, really it wasn’t any worse than your average romance novel. But New Moon takes it to another level. Bella only regains any happiness when imaginary Edward is abusively yelling at her in her hallucinations.

Then there is a really telling moment at the end. Edward has been his usual terse, controlling self who appears to only speak to Bella in order to correct her, admonish her or berate her over something. He acts as though he hates her. But for a moment, at the end, after he has left her and tried to kill herself, he makes a speech about how he loves her to distraction really, and all his arsehattery is because he loves her so much. It was a little out of place and read like the sort of thing the author wishes someone would say to her.

It is tragic that this resonates with so many women and girls.

3 thoughts on “100 Books in 2011: New Moon

  1. I couldn't get through Twilight. The writing was surprisingly poor. But my issue with New Moon is the fact that the main character, Bella, is really whiny and suicidal.But Meyer kinda glorifies it.

  2. I'm not arguing that the writing is particularly strong, but I really don't think it is poor. There are plenty of best-selling authors who are much worse and Meyer is harshly judged for her craft. The content on the other hand… Jay, you're right, she glorifies what are abusive relationships and glorifies passivity in women.

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