Author: Stephenie Meyer
Point of View: 1st Person
Pages: 563 pages
Age Recommendations: 16 and up
Main Characters: Isabella Swan, Edward Cullen, Jacob Black
During Bella's 18th birthday, she gets a paper cut and Edward's brother Jasper smells the blood and tries to attack her.
Trying to protect Bella, Edward grows increasingly distant with Bella. Finally, he drops a bombshell - he is leaving Bella forever. Edward leaves Bella utterly alone and despondent.
Bella drowns in her pain for months, resurfacing only when her father threatens to send her to see a psychologist or to live with her mother. Desperate not to forget Edward, Bella rekindles a friendship with Jacob Black, a large, hard-edged boy with a tendency to live life recklessly. Jacob lives on the area's Indian reservation, whose inhabitants loathe the vampires for reasons that become increasingly clear as Bella's friendship with Jacob deepens.
Suddenly, Jacob stops calling or coming by. Bella is hurt and confused. Upon confronting him, Bella discovers that Jacob is a werewolf. Jacob is worried that Bella won't want to be friends anymore, but Bella insisted that they continue their friendship. Bella continues to do reckless things in order to stay close to Edward.
One day, she chooses to jump of a cliff and nearly drowns. Alice, Edward's sister, sees in a vision Bella supposedly trying to kill herself and rushes to Forks. When she arrives and realizes Bella is OK she receives a vision of Edward headed to the Volturi to ask them to kill him. He figures if Bella is dead, he doesn't want to exist. Alice and Bella race to Italy to save him, where Bella and Edward realize that they can't live without one another.
Impressions: Meyers does a superb job drawing contrast between the two love interests in Bella's life. Hot vs. cold, dark vs. light, and puberty vs. maturity. New Moon expands on the vampire story and draws new conflicts into Bella and Edward's relationship. It maintains a brisk pace and near-genius balance of breathtaking romance and action.
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