Monday, December 8, 2008

Okay, so New Moon

I will confess that I liked New Moon a lot better than Twilight. The biggest reason, however, is that the main "relationship" of the series (Bella and Edward) was on hold throughout most of the book. Edward breaks up with Bella about ten pages in, and then doesn't reappear until practically the end of the book. Which means that there was a distinct drop in the "oh, why won't Edward make me a vampire? i must not be interesting enough for him. yes, yes, he's so wonderful and i'm so plain, i can't imagine what he sees in me. oh, if only Edward would make me a vampire and we could be together forever. he must not want to be with me forever. which i can understand. who would want to be with me forever, i'm so clumsy and stupid and he's so brilliant and graceful and wonderful. and handsome, oh my, is he handsome. have i told you how handsome he is?" And (and I've heard others disparage this) Meyer substitutes blank pages for the months that Bella mopes around after Edward dumps her. I personally was grateful for that choice. Three months worth of whining would probably have made me quit reading the book. Also, there was considerably more dialog and less of Bella's thoughts in this one than the first one. Which is a dramatic improvement in my opinion. Like I said, I think Meyer has captured the voice of a teenage girl, however, that voice is REALLY annoying. And the action is better. It's more plausible and more interesting. The first one had one small action section that took place practically at the end of the book, and it was...just lame. Ridiculous even. New Moon has more action, so there's more showing than telling, and the action in New Moon makes a lot more sense. Characters do predictable things and react to situations in believable ways. The peripheral characters get more development in New Moon, which some of them desperately needed. (*cough* Bella's dad *cough*) So that's what I liked about New Moon.

Now, on to things I don't like about the series as a whole (based on the first two books):
  • Bella and Edward's relationship. He treats her like an idiot. (Now, I'll grant you that she acts like an idiot most of the time, but still.) He acts like he knows what's best for her and either does it or makes her do it. He basically acts like he's her father. There is zero mutual respect with these two - it's all one sided.
  • Bella's complete dependency on men - she mopes around for months after Edward dumps her and only perks back up when she starts hanging out with Jacob, another guy who likes her.
  • Bella's constant talk about college as "Plan B". "Plan A", which Bella desperately wants, is to become a vampire and hang out with Edward. She doesn't want to look at colleges, apply to colleges, think about colleges. I hate to be one of those "BUT THINK OF THE CHILDREN" types, but this series was written for YA girls. What kind of example is Bella if she refuses to live her own life?
  • Okay, I'll just say it - I really can't stand Bella. Everything around her isn't that bad, but she IS the main character. And I hate her. She's the worst heroine I've ever read. She has zero self-esteem, zero self-respect, zero initiative, zero independent thought. There is nothing that I respect or like about her.

With all that said, I will probably read the last two books. Just to see how bad this series can get.


Pickles and Dimes said...

I haven't read any of these books, but I really liked what you said about Bella not being a very good role model for YA girls.

Shelly said...

Shauna - spare yourself and don't read these books. They are not good. But yeah, Bella's a terrible role model. I'm really glad that the furor over these books will be long over by the time my daughter is YA. I would not let her read them.

artemisia said...

I agree whole-heartedly!

I think it is irresponsible to lift Bella up as any kind of heroine or role model. (And yet, I can't stop reading the books. Now it feels like a goal that I must complete, and less of an enjoyable endeavor. *sigh*)

Really, the relationship reads like a scary, co-dependent one. Drive me nuts.

I am half curious to see how this is handled in the movie, but I don't want to spend $8 to be pissed off, either.

Shelly said...

Hey Artemisia and welcome! I agree- I'm reading the books to keep up with the girls in my office, but I kind of hate the whole series. I have to read something really good after each one so that I forget how bad it was.

Yes! Co-dependent is EXACTLY right!

I MIGHT rent the movie when it comes out on dvd, but that's it.

Alice said...

i'm just pissed that everyone thinks i named my cat after some stupid vampire chick.

Shelly said...

Alice - DUDE, I hadn't thought of that. I had a cat years and years ago whose name was Bella. So I always think the character was named after MY cat. Heh.