Monday, May 10, 2010

Monsters in May Review: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (and Twilight Swag Giveaway!)

Giveaway details at the bottom of the post.

After a horrific Spring Break spent running from a sadistic vampire bent on her torturous demise, Bella Swan enjoyed a blissful summer with her vampire boyfriend, Edward, and his quirky sister Alice. Unfortunately, when you're a mere mortal trying to keep pace with the supernatural, it's only a matter of time before disaster strikes yet again, this time disturbingly close to home. After Bella's eventful 18th birthday party, Edward makes a choice that will unfortunately have far-reaching ramifications he could have never anticipated. As Bella tries to pull herself together in the aftermath, she finds her only release in dangerous, daredevil stunts. In her never-ending search for a new adrenaline rush, Bella buys some broken down motorbikes - a purchase that leads her to La Push and her old friend Jacob Black. Jacob is special; for Bella, he's the only one who can hold her together while everything is falling apart. Their connection defies all logic and Jacob sometimes seems to know Bella better than she knows herself. As their bond grows deeper and Bella begins to think she might eventually sleep through the night without screaming herself into consciousness, her neverending bad luck intervenes yet again - this time in the form of disappearing hikers, a creepy cult and some old enemies.

Each installment of Stephenie Meyer's powerhouse saga has a unique feel and tone. New Moon is a dark and heartbreaking tale full of startling twists and turns that will surprise readers until the very end. Meyer does a magnificent job of pulling on her readers' heartstrings, as well as keeping them on the edge of their seats. Jacob and his La Push friends bring some much-needed levity to the emotional tale, and are lovable as well as entertaining. However, they also come with their own dangerous secrets, which prevent the enthralling supernatural suspense that hangs over the series from being dispelled completely. New Moon is full of fast-paced action, thanks in part to Bella's new-found affinity for extreme sports, and the unexpected revelations set up perfectly for the rest of the saga. When the story ultimately takes a tragic turn that results in a life-threatening showdown, readers will meet some of Meyer's creepiest characters yet, as well as be reunited with some familiar favorites. New Moon is a wonderful blend of the horrific and hilarious, the breathtaking and gut-wrenching. Meyer knows her characters inside and out, and while readers may be initially stunned, by the end of the novel it is clear that New Moon is the natural continuation of Bella's unusual story, flowing seamlessly from the unlikely romance that started it all.

Premise: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Setting: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.2/5

(You can read my review of the first novel in the series, Twilight, here.) 



One random commenter will win a Twilight-themed swag item from HotTopic! (Possible items are in the picture on the left; however the exact prize cannot be guaranteed until I've gone to the store.)

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post! I'll announce the winner in next week's Monsters in May post (May 15) and contact them via email - so don't forget to include your email address in your comment! Please note that your comment must contribute something relevant, not just say "great review" or something equally generic.

Good luck!!

Don't forget to enter my Monsters in May Giveaway of THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer (the new edition with bonus chapters)! UPDATE: Contest has been extended until Midnight EST on May 24!


Author Kelly A. Harmon will be stopping by on her book tour for her dark fantasy novel, Blood Soup, on May 12th for a guest post! Comment on her tour stops for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble giftcard!


Amanda Griffith said...

I like how you don't give away too much of what happens in the book that would spoil details for the reader. I have read all the books but know how spoilers can be considering my daughter told me about the dramatic Dumbledore sequence in one of the Harry Potters.

Jessilyn said...

I love the part where she jumps off the cliff, I loved the movie scene too I thought they did a perfect job of transforming that part.I agree this book flows seamlessly into the mix it moves the storyline perfectly oh I can't wait for Eclipse in theaters ;)

elizabeth said...

The first time I read New Moon I did not really like it, but the more I read it the more I love it! I love what Jacob brings to the story. Jacob and Bella's bond is amazing. Your review has made me want to go read New Moon again :)

pirate_pony2 at yahoo dot com

YzhaBella (aka Kate) said...

Wonderful review! I really enjoyed the twist Meyer brought to Bella's love life. For a while, I really thought she was going to end up with Jacob. I think some of her depression was a wee bit over done though. That is some pretty major emotional drama! Even for a teenager in love!

Great Event too!
Kate (aka YzhaBella)

Dawn Hullender said...

Oooooo Twilight swag! Sign me up!

Love the review.

Monica said...

I really love all your reviews! This one doesnt fail. You are also seriously awesome to be giving away so much stuff! :)


jellybelly82158 said...

Great review and giveaway.
Can't wait until the next movie comes out.

Katelyn said...

Thanks for the giveaway, gotta love Twilight!

Email Address:

lisa :) said...

Like many, I found New Moon to be the weak link in the Twilight saga but as with your review of the first book I think you give a really well rounded picture of the novel.

So what are your personal thoughts on Bella in this one? The part that I disliked most was her relationship with her dad. I felt that in the first book, Meyer set Bella up as very much caring about his feelings and opinions but a lot of her character as a daughter was missing from this one and the following books.

Of course I still adore the series! Thanks for posting these reviews and reminding me how much I enjoy discussing them!

lisa :) said...

Oh and I got too caught up in my comment, so I forgot to add my email address for the contest!
herbookself AT gmail DOT com

Once again, great reviews and thanks for the contest!

jewelknits said...

All of the females in my family (myself, my 26, 21 and 16-year old daughters) have read every book in the "Twilight" series and have also read "The Host". It's pretty cool to have a family of readers with their own money to buy books, as each of us purchased one of the books and passed it around!! We all enjoyed them, but I mostly enjoyed "Eclipse" out of them all.

jewell330 at aim dot com

mountie9 said...

Nicely written review. This wasn't my favorite of the series, but it was still a good read
contestmom AT hotmail DOT com

The Bookish Type said...

Thank you all so much for reading and commenting!

@Amanda Griffith - Thanks! I definitely try. It's hard sometimes though - I feel like a lot of New Moon & Twilight are public knowledge now, after the madness surrounding the movies, but I HATE people who spoil books for me, so I try my best not to. Thank you for noticing! =) I'm so sorry your daughter ruined that Harry Potter scene for you! It was so epic! I read that part in the middle of the night and there was no one around to share my shock with - I thought I was going to explode! I hope she didn't spoil book 7 for you!!

@Jessilyn - I love the cliff-jumping too =) I've decided that my Twilight friends and I need to go to La Push & cliff-dive =) You might already know, but the first clip from Eclipse has been released on Apple trailers!

@elizabeth - I was the same way!! I didn't start liking Jake & New Moon until after I'd read his part in Breaking Dawn multiple times lol. I hope you enjoy your re-read!

@YzhaBella (aka Kate) - Jake was the natural path her life would have taken...sigh. I still think that would have been a preferable alternative to what happens in Breaking Dawn (trying to avoid spoilers lol). I definitely agree about the emo drama. While I understand why Stephenie did it the way she did, it was a little eye-roll-inducing lol. But their connection "trumped a soulmate" so I guess it had to be a little over-the-top. =)

@Dawn Hullender - Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed the review and swag =)

@Monica - Aww, thank you so much! I really appreciate that =) I'm glad you enjoy my reviews!

@jellybelly82158 - Thanks! Only a few more weeks till Eclipse =)

@Katelyn - You're welcome! So true! =)

@Lisa - First of all, I want to say thank you SO much for your terrific comment! That's the kind of discussion I was hoping for! Hmm...well, I could see Bella's supposed "selflessness" somewhat in Twilight, and it makes an occasional appearance in Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, but I feel like she's generally just as selfish as the rest of the human race. The way she strings along those two boys is cruel, and her random disappearances could have given her poor dad a heart attack! I LOVE Charlie and I felt so bad for him all along being SO out of the loop. Bella was pretty self-centered in New Moon, but she did try to hide her pain from Charlie, she just couldn't quite manage it. She was hurting and I can understand that. Still, she was a pretty one-dimensional character for most of New Moon. I felt like the plot and the new characters (Jake and company) were the main appeal of this one.

@jewelknits - Aww that is an awesome arrangement! I wish I could get my family to read them - I talk about them all the time and my mother just looks at me like I have 3 heads lol. I agree - I think Eclipse just might be my favorite of the series =) I'm really looking forward to reviewing that one because I feel like it has the most to work with. Are you looking forward to the movie?

@mountie9 - Thanks! New Moon does seem to be the least popular for most. I wasn't a fan at first, but it grew on me with repetition. Chapter 3 still breaks my heart every time though.

Thanks again to everyone who commented, and special thanks to those who left such thoughtful ones!

nakeisha said...

Well Written! And I love the enthusiasm!! I especially like how you ended the summary with a sort of cliff-hanger, it definitely makes people want to find out what really happens. Cant want for the movie!!!

Aik said...

Thanks for your review! I had read New Moon, but I didn't enjoy it as much as Twilight. But somehow I'm still a great fan of the series and would certainly love to win the swag! :)

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Emily said...

Things I liked about this review:

You gave the writing a 3.5. Excellent rating because it didn't live up to her others at all.

You give Jake his props.

You have an eloquence with your diction that always makes me happy and longing for more who have your brains and grammatical talents.

Things I'm a little disappointed weren't there:

You left off any discussion of Jake as a narrator. This differentiation from her usual style was my favorite part of the novel. The glimpse of Bella from another perspective helped develop her for me.

I would also like your take on the literary appeal of those blank pages. I think you could incorporate an opinion without plot spoilers. You're that good.

Cari said...

Pick me ;)

The Bookish Type said...

@nakeisha - Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the review and the cliffhanger - I try to avoid spoilers ;-) Less than 2 months left till Eclipse!

@Aik - Thanks for stopping by! New Moon does seem to be the least favorite of the series for many. I think it might depend on what team you're on ;-) I really didn't like it the first few times I read it, but it's really grown on me now =)

@Emily - Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment!! Are you Team Jake, perhaps? There don't seem to be many of us out there =) Thank you so much for your kind words!! I'm so glad you enjoyed my writing! I'm not sure what you mean about Jake as narrator - are you perhaps thinking of Breaking Dawn? I don't think Jake gets to narrate in New Moon, unfortunately. I love him in Breaking Dawn though - I can't wait to talk about that in my review! =) Hmm, as to those blank pages, I thought they worked really well. Time passed for Bella in much the same way that those pages pass for the reader. Empty, repetitive. I thought it was a great way to make the reader feel time slipping by, rather than just starting the next chapter with "four months later...". I also think it was a great segue into that great intro paragraph to chapter 4: "Time passes. Even when it seems impossible...etc". You really feel Bella's emptiness and repressed pain. I'd be very interested to hear your take on those pages as well! I'm sure you've got some great insights! I also hope you'll visit again - I really appreciate your fantastic comment!

@Cari - Lol we shall see! =)

Thank you all for stopping by and commenting!

lisa :) said...

@The Bookish Type - "I felt like the plot and the new characters (Jake and company) were the main appeal of this one."

Couldn't agree more! Lots of people praise Meyer for her new take on vampires, but I think her adaptation of werewolf mythos was even more new, creative, and impressive.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, this is just too hot!
And unfortunately I have to point out the "great review" even if it isn't wanted (thoroughly hurt, by the way); however I wished it delved a little more into the book where it might interest both fans of Jacob and Edward (which was the main rivalry in that book anyhoo), like a cliffhanger to make them want to pick the book up and figure out why.
New Moon is beyond terrific (no doubt) and, in fact, one of the two favourites of that series! Even though most of my friends don't like it because of the huge shift to the Pack, I couldn't care less. Love it to death *cough*
Fun-ness! :)


The Bookish Type said...

Thanks you both for stopping by and commenting!

@Lisa - I definitely agree! I love the wolves! I think the history of them that you get in Eclipse is wonderfully creative =) Plus, the pack is just hilarious!

@Jade - Aww, the "great review" is definitely wanted and appreciated! I was just hoping for more in-depth comments (like yours) in order to enter the contest. I kind of feel like the Jake/Edward rivalry doesn't really show up in force until Eclipse, since Edward and Jake aren't actually present at the same time in this one. There's really no contest - on the one hand, her heart still thoroughly belongs to Edward, and on the other Jake's the only one around. No direct conflict, until Eclipse ;-) (*cough* tent scene *cough*) I'm so glad to find someone who loves New Moon and the pack too! I'm all about the wolves =)

Elise said...

I am a new reader of the series. So far only read twilight. Starting on New Moon. In your review you mentioned a life-threatening showdown which I am definitely looking forward to.
caliblue7 at gmail dot com said...

I am a new reader of this genre and think your site is awesome.

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