“New Moon” by Stephenie Meyer

You know when your friends start a conversation with “So I had a crazy dream last night” and you immediately groan because other people’s dreams are NEVER INTERESTING? Well this whole book is like that. We open on another Bella nightmare, and obviously it’s a dark harbinger of things to come. She’s searching for Edward, and /or afraid of getting old, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Back in the conscious world, it’s Bella’s birthday! Fun times, right? Not so much. As Bella is a total ingrate, she basically bitches all day long about people being nice to her and getting her presents and throwing her a fancy party. While opening one of those presents at said party, she gets a paper cut and all hell breaks loose! I guess constantly being surrounded by vampires does have some inherent dangers. Edward tries to protect Bella from his bloodthirsty brethren, and accidentally throws her into a table full of glass, slitting her arm wide open. Nice one, Edward.

Carlisle stiches her up while everyone else vacates the area in order to avoid eating her alive.  Carlisle and Bella briefly discuss the process of becoming a vampire and despite the fact that it’s incredibly painful and you have to die, Bella is super on board. What a trooper!

Unfortunately, Edward is NOT quite as on board. In fact, he starts acting all distant and weird, and heck, we’ve all been there – it means a break-up is a-coming. Bella doesn’t see it though, and is completely caught off guard when Edward finally lowers the boom. He says he doesn’t love her anymore, and is leaving town immediately. He even takes away all evidence of his existence, so she won’t be reminded of him. Harsh!

Almost the entire remainder of the book is basically Bella being SUPER depressed and melodramatic about this situation. Which, fair enough, but after a few months it’s like, buck up soldier! There are other fish in the sea, but none of them are gonna bite your bait of despair. Well, except Jacob Black. Yay, Jacob is back!

They become best friends when Bella buys two junk motorcycles and asks Jacob to fix them up for her. Her plan is to do reckless things so she can hallucinate Edward’s voice telling her to be careful… I’m not saying it makes sense, this is just what happened. So Bella and Jacob are quickly likethis, and Jacob starts to get the wrong idea, but Bella is too selfish to distance herself from him so he continues to try to “wear her down.” How romantic.

And then one day he goes home feeling sick and doesn’t call Bella for days and days. She is confused and hurt but it turns out he was busy transforming into a werewolf and was under an embargo against talking about it… as excuses go, that’s a pretty good one.

Also, conveniently, it turns out that werewolves’ sole purpose is to destroy vampires! This especially comes in handy when our old friend Laurent shows up and decides to kill Bella. Not while Jake’s around! They tear him limb from limb (we presume, it’s not described)!

So Bella is chillin’ with werewolves and cliff diving for fun, and is SO CLOSE to totally making out with Jacob when… Alice shows up in Bella’s living room! She had a flash of Bella jumping off that cliff but didn’t see her being rescued by Jacob, so she assumed Bella was dead. Well, wouldn’t that be the answer to all our problems? No one tells Edward that Bella survived the cliff jump, so just like Romeo he decides to off himself too. Because even though he broke up with Bella and was never going to see her again, he didn’t want to live in a world where Bella didn’t exist… ooookay.

When you’re a vampire, death isn’t so easy to come by (because technically you’re already dead?). So Edward goes all the way to Italy to ask the ancient vampire council, the Volturi, to kill him. They refuse though, because Edward is too handsome (or something), so he decides to provoke them into killing him by making a spectacle of himself in public. But Alice and Bella are in hot pursuit and manage to get to Edward just in the nick of time. There is a moment where the Volturi might kill Bella just for fun, but they don’t (booo!) because Alice promises that Bella will eventually be a vampire too.

When they get back to Forks, Bella and Edward make up and it takes waaaay too long for Bella to grasp the fact that Edward was just Harry and the Hendersons-ing her to get her to leave. He loved her the whole time! Duh! But then Jacob shows up and is pissed at Bella for ditching him to hang out with vampires again, and he doesn’t want to be her friend anymore. Which… is a totally reasonable reaction. He also reminds Edward that the vampire / werewolf peace treaty states the truce is null and void if one of the Cullens bites a human. Dun dun DUN!  THE END!

This book is WAY more annoying than Twilight because Bella is such a morose pain in the ass the whole time. She’s constantly moaning about the “gaping hole in her chest” and WE GET IT ALREADY! You have a broken heart, move on!  Jacob is always a bright spot, and we definitely get to see him more in this book, but then he turns into a moody bitch too, and my love for him wanes. I give this book three stars – half a star less than its predecessor because the recurring nightmares were the most obvious device ever devised. Next up, “Eclipse”!

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