The Twilight Series 2012 Challenge is hosted at Pages of Forbidden Love
by Stephenie Meyer
I haven’t read these books in years, so I’m rereading and reassessing my feelings about the series. I’ll try to review only this book and the previous book and not touch upon the next books in the series.
I’ve been putting off rereading the rest of the series, but as the end of the year started to approach quickly, I knew I needed to get going. Rereading New Moon was every bit as nerve wracking as I imagined it would be. After reading Twilight and finding that I liked it as much as I did before, I was even less optimistic about this one. I just knew somehow that this book would be the one that I felt differently about and I feel that way about the rest of the series, too.
I was mostly right in my prediction that I’d feel differently about New Moon. I rated it 3 stars, which ended up being the same rating I’d given it years ago. But the way I felt about the characters completely changed. I think I rated it 3 stars before because Bella was so depressed and it took Edward forever to come back and 3 stars was a much worse rating to me back then. This time, I rated it 3 stars because Bella and Edward drove me nuts and the redeeming quality was Jacob’s character. Don’t worry, I didn’t switch allegiances. I simply liked Jacob.
When I first read this book, I was devastated when Edward left and I was waiting anxiously for him to come back. I didn’t want Bella to move on because this was supposed to be a saga and I thought she was supposed to be with Edward. I’d never read any kind of romance that changes love interests and I expected nothing less than Edward’s swift return. This time, I knew what to expect and I was able to focus on other things since I knew what would happen.
The first thing I noticed when rereading New Moon was how much I disliked Edward and Bella’s relationship at the very beginning. All of the love and connection I felt between them in Twilight was gone and none of their exchanges seemed good, even before said incident on Bella’s birthday. I can only guess that perhaps the author was already in “Edward’s leaving” mode and was unable to reflect love in their exchanges. Still, it made me uncomfortable and made it easier for me when he eventually did leave. I found it hard to connect book 1 with this book as far as their relationship went. Bella was really timid in the beginning of New Moon and gave all control to Edward and the entire dynamic was terrible for me.
Because I knew Edward would be back, I was able to focus on Bella’s relationship with Jacob a little bit more. I cannot get over how much I liked Jacob in this book. I’m not talking about him as a possible love interest for Bella. I imagine I’ll have more insight into that in the next book. As a character, I just liked him. He was full of personality and love and charisma. I loved the way he interacted with Bella and how he treated her and noticed things about her and was willing to get into all sorts of trouble with her. This time around, I would have been fine if Bella moved on with him. It would have made a great point and would have worked for me. I wasn’t necessarily rooting for him, since I knew how it would turn out and Bella’s feelings as the narrator were perfectly clear, but had the story been about getting over your first love, it would have worked for me.
I wish I was more of a fan of Romeo and Juliet. As it is, I absolutely cannot stand the story as a love story. I think it’s one of the worst possible love stories to idolize. I like the story, don’t get me wrong, but not when used as any sort of example for love or devotion or anything like that. Because of this, it’s difficult for me to get on board with the next chunk of the story. It’s entirely too immature and melodramatic for my taste and I cannot stand that both Bella and Edward relate to the characters or there’s any sort of theme or parallel. It drives me nuts. It always has. I read through the whole clock tower scene just waiting for it to be over and the characters can go back to being a little less melodramatic. The whole issue makes me lose respect for Bella and Edward. I’m just never going to get on board with any of it. I’m just glad that the parallel ends here in this book and isn’t really revisited.
I liked the exchanges between Edward and Bella from after the tower incident to the end of the book and I’m back to liking him again. I enjoyed seeing him explain his reasons for leaving and watching the two of them communicate as they always should have. I was also happy to see Bella finally realize that Edward does indeed love her and she can stop putting herself down and thinking less of herself. I only wish that after this scene, she would have slapped Edward one good time and told him he was a complete idiotic jerk for not communicating his feelings to her, leaving her because he thought it would be helpful, and basically making any decisions without at least talking to her about the way he was feeling. Had this happened, I would probably rate this book a 4 or 5. Especially because Bella stood up to her dad afterwards. It just would have been nice to see her lay into Edward a little bit. I know I wanted to.
I’m glad I reread this book and I’m definitely glad I still liked Bella and Edward. I didn’t get all “Team Jacob” despite preferring his character to any of the others in the book. Part of me thinks that perhaps my dislike of Edward in various parts of the book is due to the fact that I am on his side and think he’s an idiot for leaving. I don’t know. I still have reservations about the rest of the series and I still think Twilight was much better. Part of me wishes it would have just been Twilight with no saga because so much of what I felt about the characters was completely lost in this book.
Book 2 Challenge Questions:
1. Were you heartbroken when Edward left Bella early on in this book?
Not really, no. I was disappointed in Edward and Bella’s relationship at the beginning of the book (before any issues occurred) and I was just sort of over his melodramatic behavior and the way Bella let him control the situation.
2. In your opinion is Bella strong or pathetic in her behavior when Edward leaves her?
A mixture of both. Her ability to sort of push the pain to the side and not let it tear her apart showed some strength. But her unwillingness to deal with the heartbreak and/or move on was weak. She deliberately avoided dealing with anything.
3. Jacob plays a huge role in this book, do you love him or were you just secretly wishing for Edward to come back into the picture?
I loved Jacob as a character. It could have gone either way for me. As the reader, I would have been just as content to see her move on with Jacob. I wasn’t wishing for Edward to come back quite like I did when I first read the book.
4. What was your favorite moment in this book?
It’s a tie between three moments.
The moment when her and Jacob are in the kitchen before the phone rings and she is deciding if she will move on with him or continue to keep him at arm’s length. This was where it could have gone either way. I would have been totally happy if the phone hadn’t rung and she chose to kiss Jacob.
The moment when she chooses to leave with Alice and Jacob begs her to stay. I’m not really sure why this is one of my favorites because it is so heart wrenching. I really feel Jacob’s pain this moment makes me wish she wouldn’t leave, either. Which is weird, because I obviously wanted her to go help Edward.
The moment when she realizes that Edward loves her back when they are back at home and he’s explaining himself. Not only am I relieved that everyone is back on the same page and I’m understanding why Edward even left in the first place, but I’m relieved to see Bella regain her self worth. She’s constantly underestimating her worth as a person and this moment sort of turns it all around in the book.
5. For those who have read the book before and this is a re-read for you, did you feel differently about the book this time around?
Yes, definitely. I’m much more bothered by Edward in this book than I’ve ever been before. I’m seeing him through new critical eyes and he’s not quite so perfect to me anymore. His actions made me roll my eyes repeatedly, which is really saying something since he’s not in this book a whole lot! I’ve also discovered how much I genuinely like Jacob. While I didn’t completely join the whole “Team Jacob” craze in this book, I did like him a lot and I would have been happy to see the story go in a different direction. This is new and I would have found it totally unacceptable in the past.