New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I now understand why Team Jacob vs. Team Edward came about.
New Moon picks up while Bella is well on her way to recovery from the events that ended Twilight, but after an accident that reminds everyone that, yes, Bella is human and, yes, Edward and his family are indeed vampires, Edward becomes more and more distracted by his concerns for her continued safety. When he decides that the only way to protect Bella is to remove himself from her life entirely, Bella suffers from a major breakdown.
The budding friendship between Bella and Jacob draws her out of a deep depression. Despite her lack of romantic interest in him, she leads him on, afraid of falling back into her slump. She tries to be honest and tell him that she's stuck on Edward, but can't help but tell him that she also wants him to keep trying. It's kind of a flaky, selfish thing to do, not exactly endearing. The whole thing left me feeling sorry for poor Jacob.
But despite all that, I felt myself mourning with her. It's easy to say that she shouldn't have fallen apart so much over a guy, but then again, she didn't just lose him, she lost a family and a new sister, Alice. To have so much, love, family, acceptance and perhaps even the promise of immortality, and then to lose all of it all at once, how could she not have fallen apart? Do I agree with how she deals with it? No. Do I empathize? Yes.
As for Jacob, we get to know him in this story, and he has to be one of the most interesting characters so far. With Edward out of the picture, it's difficult not to root for him. He's the ultimate good guy: kind, funny and supportive. He knows Bella is broken, but wants nothing more than to make her happy and perhaps find a place in her heart. And then there's the whole werewolf thing. Kind of hard to court a girl, especially one like Bella, when you keep turning into a wolf everytime you're angry or jealous. I think it's ironic that he, like Edward before him, believes the only safe option for Bella is to stay away. She just can't seem to catch a break.
Besides all the drama, there is a good deal of humor sprinkled through the story, and horror as well. The Volturi are creepy, the encounter with them terrifying. The whole scene kept me up way late. I probably shouldn't have tried to read that chapter right before bed, not good for your peace of mind.
Overall, I loved this book, love triangle and all. Jacob is really the star of this one, and I can totally get why some people would tend to take his side. Then again, it's hard to argue against Edward, flaws and all. He is obviously Bella's soul mate, whatever that's worth. No matter how good Jacob would be for Bella, her heart belongs to Edward, and honestly I don't think Bella's right for Jacob.
I'd recommend this book to those who like YA romance, particularly with love triangles, werewolves, and vampires. It compares pretty closely with the movie of the same name, which I must admit I watched first. I thought it was fantastic that the movie was able to so vividly bring the book to life, and so accurately, which I didn't realize until I finished reading New Moon.
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