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New Moon: 2 (Twilight Saga)
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 January 2009
It is official -- Stephanie Meyer is the oldest emo teenage girl on the face of this planet.

How else could she have written a book like "New Moon," the second sparkle-vampire romance in her bestselling Twilight series? Unfortunately this is no deep and intense romance -- it's basically a big oozing lump of teenage melodrama and horrendously purple prose. And the resolutely obnoxious heroine Bella Swan doesn't help with her endless moaning.

Bella's whether-you-like-it-or-not birthday party is wrecked when she cuts herself and prompts Jasper into a feeding frenzy, and the Cullens realize that she's just too tasty to be safe. So they leave town permanently. Cue emo music, for Bella's life is empty and worthless without Edward.

No, seriously -- it's empty. We have blank pages with month names on them, presumably to show that life is utterly empty and pointless when Eddie boy is absent -- "that I wasn't the heroine anymore, that my story was over."

But when she deliberately tries to put herself in danger, she hears Edward commanding her to stop. So she buys a motorcycle and starts immersing herself in extreme sports, hoping to hear him over and over again -- and she also gets to know local hunk Jacob Black, who has a supernatural secret of his own. But her near-suicidal antics have disastrous results for Edward, who believes her to be dead... and takes drastic action.

For the record, being seventeen-plus and/or breaking up with your True Luv are a fate worse than death. Teen Romance = True Luv. Catatonia and suicide are valid responses to being dumped. And life is an endless vile morass of nihilistic doom without a Sparkling Undead Coverboy to validate your existance and keep life from being ordinary.

At least, that is what "New Moon" would have you believe, since Stephanie Meyer smothers it in enough teenage melodrama and endless whiny angst to choke a blue whale. Thankfully her purple prose has been toned down -- presumably due to the absence of the "godlike" Edward -- but unfortunately page upon page of whining and suicidal despair is not a good substitute.

The entire story is pretty much devoted to the ever-passive Bella moping and whining as the sound of the world's smallest violin plays. Meyer attaches hilariously melodramatic significance to such scenes as Bella trying to get raped and murdered by a random bunch of guys, or having a recurring emo nightmare about being -- oh gasp of horror -- alone. You'd think being single was a death sentence.

Belatedly, Meyer realizes that post-breakup angst is not enough to carry even this thin plot. So she quickly spins up a bunch of Bad Evil Restrictive Vampires (with a not-so-subtle anti-Catholic bent), and Edward attempting suicide by the most hilarious method possible -- public sparkling. Such scenes almost mock themselves.

And Bella's endless woe-is-me-for-I-am-a-plain-mortal angst doesn't make her more vulnerable and likable -- it just eats up pages. And while Meyer tries desperately to show Bella's obsession as being True and Eternal Love, it never seems like more than a teenage girl's overwrought crush. And in a feeble attempt at a love triangle, Meyer makes Bella flirt callously with Jacob Black -- a sweet, nice, friendly guy who deserves way better.

"New Moon" is a prolonged, near-plotless slog of teenage melodrama, and it's nothing short of amazing that a grown woman could write such a book. Only for those who enjoy a fine whine.
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on 13 June 2010
Before I write this review, I think I'd better state my position on The Twilight Saga. I LOVE the books but I am well-aware that they are not examples of quality writing. I like the atmosphere, the plot, the characters. I do not like the way they are written and do not consider Ms Meyer a good writer. I would have rated all 4 books as 5 stars for enjoyment and 3 for writing. Hasn't stopped me reading them over and over, so she has got something right and I acknowledge that. Just wanted to be clear that as a fan, I see the flaws of the series and do not give it praise where it's not due.

So, with that out of the way, Bree Tanner. I was always going to buy it, because I expected more of the same things that I enjoyed from the other four books. Well, I was right but I got all that and more. The quality of the writing has seriously improved! The word choice is better, the flow is better, the characters are more fully fleshed out. A bonus that I wasn't expecting at all!

Before I started reading, I wondered whether knowing Bree's fate (from Eclipse) already would spoil it for me. It didn't at all. If anything, it made me more engaged with the story. I really wanted her to make the most of her "short, second life". It is all told from Bree's point of view a short while after she has been turned into a vampire against her will. She is with all the other newborns but she is sitting back, keeping out of trouble, trying to get a sense of what is happening to her. We meet Riley and get a better feel for his character. We also meet two of the other newborns, Diego and Fred, both of whom end up being important to Bree's attempt to survive. Their characters are quite a highlight. Diego and Bree are somewhat thrown together and tentatively explore their doubts about Riley and his motivations.

Without spoiling the plot, here's what I liked about the story:
1) Bree is not at all what we thought when we met her briefly in Eclipse.
2) We find out a lot more about what it's like to be a newborn (puts Breaking Dawn and Bella's experiences into better perspective)
3) We find out what the newborns did and didn't know before they went into battle
4) We find out exactly what Victoria and Riley were up to when they were out of the picture in Eclipse.
5) We find out what the Volturi were thinking during the newborn problem and then the battle.
6) We find out more about the battle.

That and the fact that I just really liked Bree herself, made this short novel into a winner for me. I read it in 2 hours and really enjoyed it. Obviously, if you don't like the saga and didn't enjoy Eclipse in particular, you won't like this!
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on 12 May 2009
This is bad.

Most teenagers are guilty of being caught up in one stupid fad or another, but the increasingly disturbing Twilight series is more than stupid; it's frightening.

I knew the plot (what little there is) of this LOOOONG book before I read it, but even I read on with mounting horror (and increasing boredom).
Stephenie Meyer studied literature at university. We get it. But there is no need whatsoever to bring in literary comparisons and try to turn your characters into representations of Shakespeare's. Apart from anything else, she fails miserably at it.
Bella, Edward and Jacob are not Juliet, Romeo and Paris, but Meyer tries desperately to make them so. However, where Romeo and Juliet is a play about how hatred and outside forces can destroy something pure, New Moon is just an embarrassing display of teen melodrama.
Bella was always a whiny, insipid little wench; always needing a man to literally prop her up. In New Moon she takes this to a frightening new level. Bella simply cannot go anywhere without either being carried or being supported by a man. Hell, even in the car there's always a guy with his arm around her while he's driving (and how's that for road safety?!). She actually clings to whatever man is near her, and when there's no man she's sitting on the lap of, and clinging to, Alice, her female friend.
We are supposed to see Bella as Juliet. She's not. Bella's misery is embarrassing.
She goes walking at night in dangerous places, trying to attract men who previously tried to rape her. She rides - and repeatedly crashes - a motorcycle she does not know how to operate. She jumps off a cliff.
All so she can hallucinate her ex-boyfriend's voice.
She wakes up screaming - EVERY NIGHT. She does things that put her in the hospital every week.
Why? Because her boyfriend left her six months earlier.
This is not a broken heart; this is the world's most stupid girl being as melodramatic as it is possible to be. And anybody who's hallucinating a boyfriend should be medicated.

Stephenie Meyer is not a good writer, or even a trained writer, and she brags about it. If only she could get her ego under control and try and learn something about how to create a good book, then we might be getting somewhere. The thesaurus abuse does not come off as smart, just out of place and irritating. There is NEVER a good reason to use lots of fancy words just because you can.
And by halfway through I was actually laughing at loud at the overuse of the same few phrases. "His eyes tightened." (How in the world do eyes `tighten'?!) "His russet skin." "The hole in my chest." "My safe harbour."
Over and over again.
Meyer describes everything down to the smallest and most painful detail. We know exactly what Bella cooked for her father at every meal, and we know about every test and assignment she had to do for school. She frequently breaks off in the middle of a conversation for a four page ramble about her feelings, but then when the action actually comes along it is covered in just one or two paragraphs.
Meyer herself has admitted that when she started out writing she had no idea how long a manuscript should be. She found out when her first book was published and was bigger than a phone book. But then instead of giving future manuscripts a good and much-needed edit, she continued to ramble on and on. By the time anything actually happens in New Moon most - good - books would already have been finished.

And why are Stephenie Meyer's female (ONLY female) characters always cooking?!

The stereotyping just goes on and on; all of it inspired by Meyer's own biases. If you're a blonde woman, you MUST be evil. If you're a woman of any sort, cooking for any man near you is the ultimate life achievement (plus Bella seems to be cleaning the bathroom every second chapter). If you're anything less than a superhero, you're a waste of time. If you're male, you must be in love with Meyer's self-insert - otherwise known as Bella. I suppose it is quite amusing that Meyer wrote herself in as the starring character, seeing as said character is the nastiest and worst role model I have ever come across.
Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon, and it helps to keep that in mind when trying to come to terms with the frightening religious and antifeminist themes throughout the book.

Avoid at all costs.
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on 24 January 2008
I read Twilight and this book in a matter of three days because I found myself being drawn into the world of Bella, feeling the emotions she goes through and the desires she has for her lover Edward and her best friend Jacob. Although i love this book i can't help feeling that Stephenie Meyer allowed the reader to be caught up in the emotions and love that Jacob feels towards Bella and probably ruined the bonds that the reader developes for Edward. His absense during the book left an empty space in Bellas life and it also leaves an empty space in the book. Probably too much of an empty space. The passion becomes lost and although Bella comes round to thinking that maybe she should accept Jacobs feelings towards her and forget about Edward, it just doesn't pack the same punch as Twilight. Then all of a sudden Edward is thrust straight back into the lime light!! I can't help but feel sad for poor Jacob, he loves Bella and she dumps him when Edward returns. I found myself crying along with Bella. When she describes the feeling of her chest being ripped apart with the loss of Edward, as a woman i could relate to her feeling of utter loss. Stephenie Meyer really knows how to pack the emotional punches into a story aswell as the action sequences. I love this book as a whole and can't wait for the next one to be delivered. I'm ordering it straight away from Amazon!!
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Honestly? I don't even remember who the heck Bree Tanner is. But apparently she was a very minor character in Stephenie Meyer's third Twilight novel, "Eclipse."

And as a writing exercise of some sort, Meyer decided to write a novella centering upon the last days of a character that nobody really cares about. There's a good idea behind it, but the story itself feels thin and padded -- and Bree is not exactly a interesting character.

Bree Tanner is only three months into her "second life." She's also part of a gang of teen malcontents, thugs and runaways that Riley is collecting from Seattle, who are learning the ropes of being vampires. However, she doesn't know much about the true (SPARKLY) vampiric nature, or what Riley has in mind for them.

Since it would be boring to read just about "baby vampire mayhem," Bree and her friend Diego soon realize that there's a lot that Riley isn't telling them -- especially when they overhear Riley and a female cohort talking about their plans for the newborn vampires. And finally, Riley reveals the reason he's creating a newborn army -- to crush his enemies, aka the Cullens.

Let's be frank: "The Brief Second Life of Bree Tanner" is an extremely short book (both in plot and in pages), and feels like it was whipped up to cash in on the "Eclipse" movie. As Meyer's works go, it's a fairly decent story with some interesting scenes -- such as Diego and Bree examining their sparkly diamond vampire bodies in the cave.

Unfortunately, it's STILL not very good. It feels like Meyers had a good core idea, but rushed through writing it without fully fleshing out the story. The novella is padded with rambling conversations, brawls, and Bree and Diego skulking around eavesdropping, as well as some of the worst street-kid dialogue I've ever read ("Super-secret ninja club sounds way cooler than the whole BFF thing").

And what's more, she also avoids tackling the ugly, all-too-realistic subject of a cruel person recruiting lost teenagers -- a wonderfully chilling concept that isn't even explored.

But what makes this novella REALLY unnecessary? Bree. At the end, we don't know much more about her than we did before -- Meyer deliberately avoids revealing anything about her past, her family, her life, how she ended up a street kid, and why she chose to become a vampire. She's a complete blank, and she doesn't become much more interesting as the book goes on.

"The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner" has an interesting idea behind it, but the thin storyline and 2-D protagonist makes it seem like Meyer just rushed through it all.
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on 29 December 2008
I really don't want to say what I think I have to about this book: that most of it is a waste of time.

I started reading this series because it was supposed to be the ultimate romance between an ordinary girl and a gorgeous vampire. The first book, Twilight, was exactly that. So, I was really excited about where things were going to go in New Moon. I couldn't wait to see how Bella and Edward's relationship had developed, how she fitted in with his family, and how relations were with Charlie after the end of Twilight.

And for the first fifty pages, it was great. Then Edward gets distant, and it's clear he's going to leave.... and suddenly a good half of the book really wasn't worth reading. Don't get me wrong, I love a good bit of angst. Despite that it was heart-breaking that Edward left (not to mention how he left), i was interested to see how Bella would deal with it.

BUT, the next, what, four-hundred or so pages I just. could. not. buy. Not at all. Ok, great, Bella tries to move on. Good on her. Brave of her. Strong of her. And great, she finds a friend in Jacob. Who, oh look, turns out to be a werewolf. And, even better, turns out to be the sworn enemy of vampires. Ok, I can accept that, just for the drama. What makes it so annoying is that, surprise surprise, Jacob is a little more infatuated with Bella than he should be. Jeez, why can't they just be friends and leave it at that?

I tried to have nothing against Jacob, I really did. I tried to accept him and all the time Bella spent of the reservation, but I just wasn't interested as I should have been. The entire time I was wondering what the Cullens, not just Edward, but all of them, were doing and when they'd be back.

I realise I'm probably in a minority with that, many readers seem to prefer Jacob to Edward because, as far as I can tell, he's more 'human' and he and Bella are more like equals than Bella and Edward. To me there's no contrast at all. I LIKE that Edward is all about chivalry and protectiveness, it fits. Where as Jacob... he only stands out from other teenage boys because he's a werewolf. As a friend, he's great. As a love interest, I'm sorry, I didn't realise this was 'not-another-teen-movie'. For once, give me the cliche perfect guy, not the better-matched normal one, please.

An when the Cullens FINALLY did come back in the picture, despite that it's a bit of a desperate plot line, I was completely, indescribably delighted. At last, Edward was back to show Jacob as the ordinary some-what annoying boy that he is.

And yet Jacob still didn't go away. In fact, once Edward was back, i disliked Jacob even more because he was just a little too horrible about Edward. To me, it proved that characters immaturity that he couldn't even tone down his hatred for Bella's sake, despite knowing how much she loved Edward. He really reminded me of a child who'd had its favourite toy taken away.

Even the first time I read New Moon, I was bored by the time the Cullens come back in the picture. Now, I sometimes skip out most of that middle part entirely, and it hardly detracts from the story. So, personally, despite how much I love this series and the idea of it, if I were Stephenie Meyer (and I realise plenty of fans will say thank God I'm not) I'd have written this very differently.

I'm not saying I'd want to detract from Bella and Jacob's friendship - I don't deny that he's incredibly important to her, her rock while Edward is not there), but it could have been done a lot more succinctly. Also, I'd probably have thrown in a section from Edwards perspective, just to see how tortured he was while they were appart. Not to mention it would've been nice to see a bit of perspective from the rest of the Cullens on the fact that they had to up and leave. Personally, I'd have found that a lot more interesting.

I found it disappointing if not irratating that while four hundred pages are spent on Jacob, what Edward has been doing for months is briefly mentioned in a couple paragraphs, and all the pain Bella and Edward have both been feeling for months is completely healed within a couple chapters. Um, right. Where are the emotional scars?

Essentially, if you're a Jacob fan, you'll love this book. But if you're 100% on team Edward, a lot of it will probably feel like a chore.
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on 9 April 2008
This book is unfortunately the second book in Stephanie Myer's what was promising first series. The story focuses on a relationship between a human and a nice vampire. Sounds really interesting, and potentially dynamic. However this is the last thing New Moon is. It's dull, angsty and a giant Emo fest. I'm sure it appeals to what teenage girls feel but she over wrote it, Myer's repeated for several chapters the depressing "I want to kill myself I've been dumped" tangent and she clearly ran out of ways to say "im depressed" when she just wrote the names of the months in bold in the middle of a page.

I know there is a lot of hype for this "amazing" series, and I agree Twilight was a very good book, and would have made a good stand alone in my opinion, but in terms of writing quaity its utter rubbish. Myers characterisation I feel was terrible from the off set. I never liked Bella at all, a very feeble, selfish, cliched female protagonist who I felt no sympathy for, and everything bad situation she ends up in is her fault in the first place, yet we are still meant to feel bad for her!!
Edward Cullen... For somebody who is supposed to be hundred of years old, he acts like a lovestruck 12 year old, a lot of his dialogue is laughably tacky and sentimental, whislt Myers appears to develop his character, I get to the end of the book and still dont really know much about his character, and this is two books in!

I'm surprised no one has rated this book lower as it the weakest book in the series by far, Myers could have done a lot more with this story than she has, and considering how long this book actually is, it delivers a pathetic amount of story filled with metaphors of how her heart is broken blah blah.

Avoid like the plague.
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on 10 June 2010
God this book was so hyped up and I waited for a long time to read it...I waited in vain.

What has Stephanie done? She wrote this great series and now she's selling out and writting this watered down peice of trash! I am FED UP of her thinking that the only people who read her books are pathetic pasty faced teens that want to jump Edward's bones! She has a MASSIVE fan based of older fans, I would know as I've attended four Twilight conventions and all of the people who I've met at these things are over 18, my Mum is a huge fan and she's 50!

This story is just trying to cash in on the series and I really wish Stephanie would stop it already! We are introduced to the paper-thin character of Bree Tanner (who litteraly had about two lines in Eclipse then died) and her street-talking (well really BAD street-talking) band of teen vamps (who talk about superheroes and video games...oh shush and stop trying too hard to be cool) who are just annoying.

I'll admit I havn't even finshed it I got that bored and that hasn't happened to me with a book since I was seven. I finish EVERY book I start just to see if it got better....sadly I gave up on this as it did not get at all better. I am so glad I didn't pay any money for this piece of tosh, I read the free version online.

Reading this book just added to my annoyance at Stephanie for not finishing Midnight Sun, here she had an amazing book and a different spin to Twilight but becasue it was leaked she got all upity and now won't finish it...and we're given this piece of tosh instead...Thanks Stephanie...thanks.

I'll apoligise in advance if there are any spelling mistakes etc. It's late and I'm annoyed.
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on 28 November 2009
As a 15-year-old, and with it being so popular with my classmates, I was convinced I would like this book. I wasn't particularly impressed with Twilight but I made the naive assumption that the plot had to thicken, and that the storyline must improve at some point. I was obviously mistaken.

I put New Moon down around 2/3 in because I was so disgusted by just how...rubbish it is. I found that the book didn't grip me, because I really didn't care about the characters. They are all very shallow and one-dimensional.

Bella Swan is utterly bland without any personality whatsoever. The only emotions she seems to feel are angst and moodiness. She is apparently "unconditionally and irrevocably" in love with Edward, yet whenever she's with him she behaves sullenly and childishly. If I was her age and had already found someone who I loved that much, and who I believed to love me back, I would be ecstatic. Or at least I might smile a little. And not whinge and angst about that fact that the boy I love's family has spent a good deal of time planning a birthday party for me. This is NOT normal teenage behaviour. I was embarrassed that my age group was being represented in this way. In fact, I couldn't relate to her at all. I have never met anyone in or out of school of that age who behaves anything like her. This is part of the reason I didn't like the book; relating to the protagonist of a story is very important for me.

I won't blather on too much, though I do have an abundance of reasons not to read this book. I shall just point out one of my pet peeves about the book, in terms of Smeyer's writing style. Apart from her apparent abusive love affair with hyphens, and paragraphs littered with purple prose (Edward is "excruciatingly lovely", "like a marble tribute to some forgotten pagan god of beauty", with "liquid topaz eyes". Alright Smeyer, Edward's sexy, WE GET IT NOW) my main problem with this novel is the overuse of adverbs. They litter the page, and good trees are being killed to print these extra pagefuls as consequence. Unfortunately I cannot quote any at the moment as I have returned the book, but seriously, make a tally per page. It's quite amusing in a way.

Please, don't put yourself through the trauma of reading this book. Just don't.
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on 3 April 2008
I was very excited to see that there was a sequel to Meyer's debut. Twilight did have its faults, but it was light and the romance was refreshingly well written.

And let's face it, I fell in love with Edward just like the rest of us. He's beautiful and frightening at the same time and those of you who have a problem with Bella's continued amazement of his physical appearance: aren't we all shallow enough that we'd like our significant other to look that way? What's wrong with a little fantasy?

With New Moon, the light tone and Bella's sarcastic narrative changed into something dark and hollow. Bella's situation takes a sudden and drastic plunge for the worse: An incident at the Cullen house leaves Edward so shaken he decides to follow through on his promise to "do what's best for her." In this case it means he and his family leave Forks and with that: Bella.

Bella goes to pieces, turning into a shadow of her former self. Edwards absence literally leaves a hole in her chest --and in the book. It's like he was never there; he removed all evidence of his excistence from her, in a vain ettempt to force her to get on with her human life. It's the sadness, more than anything else that drains the book.

This is a story about people so in love with eachtother, their separation nearly destroys them both. New Moon is the 500 paged gap in their chest.

Then Jacob enters the plot. Their friendship takes the front seat --obviously an attempt by Meyer to fill the void Edward's departure caused. Thanks to his company, Bella slowly but surely becomes "alive" again. But ofcourse, her newfound best friend turns out not to be so human after all...

If you've read Helly Armstrong's "Bitten" you'll pick up the clues about what's going on with Jacob soon enough --and you'll become impatient because Bella doesn't catch on as quick. Meyer tried to create a effect similar to Twilight: now Jacob becomes the mysterious boy who isn't quite what he seems beneath the surface.

It's predictable, but I would be able to live with it he held the same amount of attraction Edward did. Instead, I'm having deja vu's all the time: (the "it's not safe for me to be near you" spiel starts all over again.) Jacob had potential, but it would've worked better if Meyer would've made him a completely different character. She did-- in the beginning. After "the change" it's Edward all over again, minus the velvet voice, the angeletic face and the smoldering eyes. He just doesn't have that -well what should I call it- pull. To add to the "fun:" he hates vampires. What a surprise.

Just when some some supporting characters are fleshed out, Edward is back in the story. I missed him so much I didn't even care it felt forced. But it wasn't the same.

Bottomline, New Moon isn't a bad sequel, but it doesn't have that freshness Twilight had. Bella's bordering on insanity and so insecure about herself I'd like to smack her head and tell her to grow up. Still, unlike some readers, I don't think she lost all her appeal as a main character. There's hope left. Hope that Eclipse will close the void New Moon created but could not close.
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