October 23, 2006

In the Dark with Vampires

Stephanie Meyer's highly romantic stories of star-crossed lovers Edward and Bella have garnered comparisons to a more modern Romeo and Juliet, and have gained her hundreds of thousands of fans. Her newest novel in the celestial quartet, New Moon, is rapidly gaining Meyer thousands more. However, it should be noted that while New Moon is somewhat of a stand-alone novel, it is best read after having first read Twilight (or at least seeing Twilight, the movie, which is allegedly due out in 2008).

Nothing is more important to the improbably-named Bella than her boyfriend, Edward. His perfect beauty, his perfect logic, his perfect... perfection keeps her going. It also bums her out. She's only human, and it's perfectly natural for her to assume that someday Edward is going to figure that out, and kick her to the curb. Oh, it's not just because he's so good looking... it's because he's a vampire, immortal and flawless, while Bella is flinching at merely turning 18, imaging wrinkles and death ahead, while Edward is forever young, beautiful, and lost to her.

A papercut at Bella's birthday party turns über-dramatic and almost ends in her death, as Edward, in trying to protect her from his bloodthirsty brother, Jasper, flings her across the room and injures her further. When Edward and his family leave New Forks in order to save her life, the anchor of Bella's life is ripped out of its mooring. She drifts for months, losing friends and contacts, unable to smile or get a grip. She's beyond wallowing. She's sleepwalking through life. But that begins to change when she reconnects with an old friend, Jacob Black. Jacob's only a sophomore, but his liveliness and sense of fun are just what Bella needs. Even better is Jacob's ability to keep a secret -- and his promise to teach her to ride a motorcycle and to cliff dive. Because Bella's found something almost as good as having Edward back -- wonderfully accurate hallucinations of his voice when she's in danger. And if that's what it takes to preserve a memory, Bella's all about living on the edge. But there's something else that Bella didn't count on... one, that Jacob loves her, and two, that Jacob can't stay forever.

The ending of this book will make you alternately want to slap someone and long for the next episode -- read and decide if you're still cheering for the path of True Love, or wondering if Obsession isn't a disturbingly melodramatic substitute. High school: from difficult to impossible, just add vampires.


DaviMack said...

Wanted to slap her last time ... the author, that is. Will pass on this one, thanks for reading to confirm that it's more of the same, and I'll wait 'til we're all sure that she's bloody well done with the series before trying to get any enjoyment out of it. Who knows? By then I may've grown sick of waiting ... as I'm sure Bella will have also.

a. fortis said...

Huh. I don't know about the movie, but I do look forward to reading the second book.

tanita s. davis said...

The second book I thought was actually a bit better than the first one -- I was really caught up in the Obsession with Edward, but introducing new characters is making me rethink some things. I'm interested in seeing how the last two books in the quartet play out.