Around this time last year, I read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight for the first time. The YA vampire romance series and its subsequent film adaptation was exceedingly popular in my tween years but also extremely divisive. You either loved Twilight and were obsessed with it or absolutely hated it. No middle ground existed in the hallways of my middle school.
I rooted myself in the anti-Twilight realm, just not understanding the hype. The whole sparkly vampire vibe wasn’t my thing. I guess I just wanted to fit in somehow, so I jumped on the bandwagon of hating on it.
The issue was I hadn’t read the books and had only seen the first movie at a sleepover but wasn’t impressed.
As I got older, the toxic nature of Bella and Edward’s relationship became more apparent. I absolutely love the bad boy trope, but there was something about Edward that didn’t sit well with me. My knowledge, however, was relatively secondhand because I hadn’t read it.
Thankfully, former Twilight fans in my circle were not as apt to defend Edward’s behavior as they may have been prior.
Twilight seemed to slip into meme territory over the past several years, with people poking fun and cringing at their former Team Edward/Team Jacob selves, others bringing more attention to the nature of Bella and Edward’s relationship in light of the #MeToo movement, writers using it as an example of what doesn’t necessarily work in a “good” book (good is in quotation marks here because writing, like any art, is subject to opinion), the inundation of vampires on the pop culture scene, and the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey in relation to its origins as Twilight fanfic.
Despite all of this, I still had not read it.
Following the tenth anniversary of the first film’s release, Twilight experienced something of a renaissance, and it was around that time that I finally decided to sink my teeth in to the first novel.
To my astonishment, my post detailing my experience of reading it became one of if not the most popular on my blog.
A year has passed and I’m ready to dive into Forks once again with the second book in the series, New Moon.
But not without some housekeeping.
Why Not Midnight Sun?
This summer, Stephenie Meyer released Midnight Sun, which explores the Twilight through Edward’s point of view rather than Bella’s.
I considered reading it for the blog and pushing back my planned New Moon post, but ultimately decided against it—at least, for now.
My primary reason for this is to limit spoilers.
When a book is new, especially when it is part of a series as popular as Twilight, social media can be flooded with content relating to it. Spoilers can be prevalent and impact a person’s experience reading the book, or even ruin it if they are going in blind.
In high school, I had a classmate get into Divergent, and she was so excited about it she asked me to read it so she would have someone to talk about it with. This girl wasn’t an avid reader and as far as I could tell only read when it was mandated by the school, so hearing her rave about this book seemed to indicate that it was worth checking out. This was also around the time I had just finished reading Mockingjay, the final installment in The Hunger Games trilogy, so checking out another YA dystopian seemed right up my alley.
After reading Divergent and Insurgent, I went to order my copy of Allegiant, the third entry. I wasn’t too late to the game, so to speak, but wasn’t exactly on time.
When I went to order Allegiant, I was flooded with a wave of articles and reviews. I remember one in particular pretty close to the top of the search page being something like, “What Tris’s death could mean for the future of Divergent”.
I didn’t give it too much thought because it seemed like a publicity stunt. The Walking Dead was my favorite show at the time and it was common for posts to circulate with headlines such as “Is Maggie Dead?” or “Did TWD Just Foreshadow Carol’s Death?” before every episode, so I learned to take those with a grain of salt.
It seemed to be the same situation with Allegiant: mere speculation intended to draw attention and get people talking.
That is, until I logged onto Facebook and found a post from another classmate saying something along the lines of, “Tris is dead and I don’t even know how to feel” with a lot of crying emojis.
I knew this person read Allegiant as soon as it was out. Tris was, in fact, dead.
Looking back, I think I would have probably predicted Tris’s fate within the first couple of chapters given the switches between Tris and Tobias’s POV, a significant change considering the first two books were told solely from Tris’s narration, but having this big twist spoiled for me negatively impacted my overall experience.
Midnight Sun is a bit of a different circumstance because it’s a retelling of the first Twilight novel but from the perspective of a different character, and I’d imagine that many events will be revisited like Edward stopping the car from hitting Bella or the dinner date, and I’m really hoping to see Edward kick James’s ass in the fight towards the end because, if you recall from my first post, missing out on that because Bella had been unconscious was SUCH a disappointment for me.
The point is, we know a majority of what will happen in Midnight Sun if we’ve read Twilight.
But I’m still susceptible to spoilers for New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. As I learned from reading Twilight, there is plenty that my secondhand knowledge didn’t broach.
I mention in the original Twilight post there had been some foreshadowing to Jacob’s being a werewolf but no direct mention of it (my understanding is that this is one of the reveals in New Moon, with Jacob playing a more significant role in this storyline and revving up the infamous love triangle). These hints were not necessarily things I would have picked up on if I didn’t already know Jacob was a werewolf.
It would not be a surprise to find foreshadowing about events occurring the other three books in Midnight Sun. These might also be made more obvious because they would be Easter eggs, so to speak, little gems hidden for those who have read the first series whereas I’m still experiencing it for the first time.
This post is also a bit different from others out there, in that I’m reading this series more than a decade after its release, so I’m assuming people reading this post have some familiarity with Twilight.
Depending on their format or platform, reviewers might be more inclined to limit how much they say about a new release, presenting their opinions without going too into the details about why they’ve rated it as they have. Using the Allegiant example, they might be more apt to say, “The major twist at the end” than “Tris’s death.”
I wouldn’t want someone to read a Midnight Sun post like this assuming it’s a review and be met with spoilers because I’m sharing my thoughts as I read rather than just an overall impression.
Which brings me to my next point.
As I mentioned before, this is not a review of New Moon.
This post is designed to be like watching a film with the commentary on, in that I’m sharing my thoughts as I’m making my way through the book and give you a glimpse of what’s going though my head.
The “Chronicle of Thoughts” is transcribed from the notebook I wrote in while reading. They are strictly opinions and loaded with spoilers. Reader discretion advised.
As I did with my first post in this now-series, I want to take some time to break down what I’m thinking before reading New Moon.
Twilight is known especially for its love triangle between Edward, Bella, and Jacob. In the first installment, we got a little glimpse of Jacob here and there but he was much more of a side character than I expected given the hype around the dynamic.
Something tells me he will be playing a larger role in the second book, and I’m expecting we’ll be getting more into the werewolf stuff because of that (which I am especially excited about).
What I’m mostly curious about is how Jacob is going to be built up in order to endear himself to Bella (and many avid readers). Thinking back to my post about love triangles, it’s always important to me that both suitors have some draw to them, something that makes them worthy of the person they are vying for.
Considering Edward, much of his appeal to Bella is the dark and broody bad boy type and the mysterious around him. She spends a good amount of time in Twilight wondering what’s up with him and why he doesn’t like her. She’s fascinated by him, a draw considering the overall blandness of her everyday life in Forks. Learning he is a vampire exposes her to a whole world she didn’t know about, and the departure from the mundane and the ordinary is something Bella craves.
Jacob is someone Bella’s known for years, and admittedly a bit younger than Bella (insert Puppy Love joke here). I expect his being a werewolf will have a similar effect Bella that Edward’s being a vampire did because, again, it is a departure from the mundane and the ordinary. In my notes on Twilight, I mention feeling as though Bella and Jacob have a stronger chemistry than that between her and Edward, and that’s something I anticipate more of and am interested in seeing how this dynamic changes once Bella does find out he is a werewolf.
With that all out of the way, it’s time to sink my teeth into New Moon.
The Chronicle Of Thoughts
For those interested in following along at home, my page numbers are taken from the paperback edition.
0 – Right off the bat, we get a Romeo and Juliet line. The whole star-crossed lovers/forbidden romance was certainly a tone in the first Twilight book with Bella and Edward as far as the Human/Vampire “Lion fell in love with the lamb” thing. My main thing selected and how it ties into what I know and have read of the Twilight narrative thus far, “These violent delights have violent ends/and in their triumph die.” I know Bella eventually does become a vampire, through death, giving her that eternity with Edward she yearns for, but I can’t help but focus on the “violent ends” bit. Edward isn’t a stellar guy or love interest. He’s actually very toxic. Violent delights seems very on point given what Edward is.
2 – “Trapped by brilliant sunlight” is definitely an interesting image, especially in the context of vampires. However, typical vampires combust or burn in sunlight while the Cullen crew just sparkles (but revealing who/what they truly are has its own problems, not knocking that).
2 – “Only I was free to run across this bright, crowded square.”
What strikes me most about this line is the way it sets Bella apart from the vampires she wanted so much to be a part of in the first book. Her being different actually seems to be to her advantage in whatever scenario she is in. The whole preface doesn’t feel Twilight-y, at least compared to the previous installment, and I’m intrigued by this switch.
5 – “I usually felt grateful that I was the only person whose thoughts [Edward] couldn’t hear just as clearly as if they were spoken aloud. But now I wished he could hear me, too, so that he could hear the warning I was screaming in my head.”
I was ready to comment about how someone being able to read your thoughts to the point he can literally track you down like Edward follows Bella to Port Angeles by reading her friend’s mind and how creepy I found that and how uncomfortable that made me, but the second half of this line threw me through a loop. Wanting to warn him. Contrast to the previous note of how being different was an advantage, here it is nor, and it puts Edward at risk. Overall, this already feels more well-written than the first Twilight book and I’m actually finding myself pulled in (to my surprise and not-violent delight).
6 – Normally the “It was all a dream” opening is frowned upon in English 101 but it is a great way to convey of Bella’s aging and eventually growing old compared to Edward’s being forever-seventeen. Bella is now eighteen, so kind of technically older than Edward but not because he’s got decades on her. Let’s not over think this…
7 – Another English 101 Don’t is the “Protagonist uses their reflection to give the reader a description of themselves” but the way it is implemented here works for me because Bella is looking for something specific: proof that the dream was a dream, that she hasn’t aged as far as appearance goes. It reminds me a bit of the opening scene in Divergent where Tris is describing the act of looking in the mirror because rules of the Abnegation prohibit looking at her reflection because doing so promotes vanity, and that it is limited to occasions like having her hair cut every few months. For me, having the narrator describe themselves via what they see in the mirror can work if it does something more than tell the reader “I am blonde and have brown eyes” or what have you. Tying it into the scene and giving it a particular meaning.
7 – “Even after half a year with him, I couldn’t believe that I deserved this degree of good fortune.” I wouldn’t say that’s good fortune per se. He is a problematic guy. I mean, yes, he saved her by dealing with James and sucking out his venom before it could have killed her, but something about this line just isn’t sitting right with me.
8 – Bella’s ancient rust-bucket of a truck compared to Edward’s car is a nice subtle note to the fear of aging that’s on her mind. I appreciate that.
11 – I adore Alice, really I do, but her calling Bella’s workplace to get her out of having to go in for her shift, birthday or not, is toxic in its own right. Especially after Bella has stated on several occasions that she didn’t want to do anything for her birthday.
On a couple of occasions in the first book, Edward isolated Bella from her friends and family, and I don’t like seeing his family starting to do the same. Isolation of this nature is one of the signs of a toxic or even abusive relationship, so there’s that. It just makes me uncomfortable.
12 – “We had almost every class together now—it was amazing the favors Edward could get the female administrators to do for him.” RED FLAG. This is not only invasive but actually a bit possessive. I get wanting to spend time with someone. I’d always get excited when I found out I had a class with a friend. But actively arranging it in the way Edward likely did (remember the mind manipulation from the first book), he’s basically forced it to happen and given his character I can’t help but wonder if it’s more about keeping tabs on Bella than genuinely spending time with her.
13 – College was Plan B
College isn’t for everybody. I get that.
For context, I did attend a four-year college right after high school and earned my Bachelor’s in English/Communications. But I also went to a technical high school. While I didn’t stick with my trade, plenty of people I know did and got jobs, apprenticeships, internships and the like within their field right out of the gate or pretty soon after. I also had some classmates join the armed forces. Some delayed their college enrollment for a year or two, and some people did go to college the fall after graduation and decided it wasn’t for them. That’s perfectly okay, too.
Regardless, and I cannot stress this enough, DO NOT MAKE YOUR S.O. THE REASON IT’S A NO (or determine what college you choose to attend because that is something I have yet to forgive Troy Bolton for in the third High School Musical film, even though obviously wanting to be somewhere that he could pursue both sports and theatre was a thing, he called out Gabriella in his little speech, indicating that was a factor, too, but I digress).
13 – Predicting stocks is a valid use of Alice’s powers, and something I’d admittedly do, but also kind of selfish if you’re not using at least a bit of that money for charitable causes.
13 – I will give Edward points for promoting Bella’s “Plan B.” Good on him. But it also poses the question of why he is a perpetual high school student rather than college. Several guys on my college campus could pass as high schoolers as seniors so… Especially with the kind of money the Cullens allegedly have to their name, not to mention an infinitum of time.
13 – “Edward thought I was being unnecessarily difficult.” I mean, you are…
17 – “I had a thing for Romeo.” Well that explains a lot.
And good on Edward for calling Romeo out on his crap. Given the book opening with a Romeo and Juliet quote and this, I anticipate this coming up a lot, but I’ll never understand how these two became such a standard for romance and young love. While I do enjoy a forbidden lovers kind of romance, I’ve never been a tremendous fan of Romeo and Juliet. I’m more of a Macbeth gal when it comes to Shakespeare.
18 – Envying suicide as a vampire, something I’ve always wondered about.
And it definitely seems to be foreshadowing a Romeo and Juliet ending.
18 – Guilt tripping Bella on her birthday. Just stop.
19 – I don’t know too much about the Volturi but now I definitely want that Carlisle backstory. To rehash the first post, I got really into Carlisle’s backstory. That was the most fascinating part of Twilight for me.
20 – Nighttime patrons of the Arts – I NEED to read more of this kind of thing.
22 – I really hope this game on TV is some made-up-in-the-moment excuse and not Charlie’s actual plans on his daughter’s brithday.
27 – Okay, the empty box btw Emmett’s already installing a stereo in your truck is actually cute, but it also disregards what Bella has expressed more than once about wanting nothing for her birthday, so I feel like I need to dock some points because of this not listening to her/doing their own thing issue.
That said, I do ironically have my heart set on getting myself a truck like Bella’s and having a killer stereo would be awesome. The whole vision in my head is me driving the kind of thing one might expect to see in a cliche country music video but blasting stuff like Black Veil Brides and Escape The Fate because that’s what I actually listen to.
28 – Ah, yeah vamp attack! Best part of the first book (even though Bella’s being unconscious resulted in the Edward/James fight happening off-page and not something I got to see, leaving me sorely disappointed).
34 – I really like Carlisle. He just seems like a legitimately good guy. And it’s clear that he’s put in the work to be a good guy based on this conversation with Bella and compared to Edward who doesn’t seem to be making as much of an effort (ignoring the centuries of vampiredom Carlisle has on Edward). He’s just fascinating and I’m glad to have gotten more of his backstory.
37 – “The only kind of Heaven I could appreciate would have to include Edward.” Kind of kills the mood for me here.
38 – Good on Carlisle for calling out the impact siring Bella would have on Edward. Makes Bella seem even more selfish/self-absorbed because she’s not thinking about that but rather just becoming a vampire because that’s what she wants for herself. And good on Carlisle for telling her that she needs to work this out with Edward rather than go behind his back and getting vamped up by someone else.
41 – Firstly, yay for more Carlisle backstory
But also, his being the one who turned Edward adds a whole new layer to this, as he did it to save Edward’s life (flashing forwards with what I know about the series, Edward does eventually turn Bella but to save her life/resurrect her after she basically dies in childbirth). Turning into a vampire on a whim or just to be with Edward forever is pretty selfish by comparrison.
45 – “I’d rather die than be with Mike Newton.” Poor Mike.
In all seriousness, Edward does make some valid points about the Cullens not being a good thing for Bella to be involved with.
48 – Getting tickets so Bella can visit her mom as a birthday gift is actually very sweet. The Cullens aren’t all bad, per se. It’s just Edward I take issue with.
49 – Also, I’m a sucker for mixtapes/playlists/listen-to-this-one-particular-song scenes. This CD is actually making me feel things.
57 – Wanting to be alone with Edward/not wanting to scatter the Cullens because of her is an instance of what I typically refer to as a “Selfish Martyr.”
This isn’t the first time Bella’s done this. The whole reason she moves to Forks is so her mom and new stepdad can go off and do their own thing, and she makes it out to be this whole sacrifice on her end, but the way she talks about it gives off the vibe of doing it to be the good guy, not because it’s the right thing to do.
Wanting to be alone with Edward and run away with him, it’s setting her up to be a Selfish Martyr because she’s making a “sacrifice” that she will ultimately benefit from because she wants to be with Edward, but she doesn’t seem to be considering what would be best for him or what he wants. She’s focused more on preparing to make this “sacrifice” for the Cullens.
62 – This camera scene is interesting from a 2020 POV. Had it been a digital camera or cellphone, it would be a lot harder to hide Edward’s not showing up in pictures (assuming this is a rule Twilight vampires play by).
65 – Evidently, Twilight vampires do not play by the aforementioned rule and do show up on film.
69 – “I’m no good for you, Bella.” Yeah, I got that, pal.
Honestly, Edward is making the right call by breaking things off.
71 – The “Take care of yourself for Charlie” coming from Edward. Rather than the “Do it for me” line I was expecting from him (and that would have probably worked better on Bella).
72 – Honestly this is the best thing Edward could be doing in this scenario. Like he was saying, it was bound to happen sooner or later given the Cullens needing to relocate to keep up with appearances. It was simply inevitable.
80 – “They know the forest better” Gee I wonder thy that is…
85-94 – The blank pages as the prophecy foretold.
In the context of the story, it’s a good approach and makes sense, but it also took me out of it at first.
96 – So like I mentioned in the first Twilight post, I’ve never been in a romantic relationship and cannot speak from the POV of someone who has been broken up with. That said, Bella does seem a little melodramatic here. At the same time, it’s not wholly unexpected given how she was completely obsessed with Edward in the first book and her “Plan A” of being turned into a vampire and living with him for eternity, then deciding to take herself out of the equation by running away with him and actively planning to do so…
My point is, good on her dad for putting his foot down and essentially telling her to get a grip/stop moping around/suggest she get some help from a professional, even if it is a few months too late.
111 – Are we imagining Edward’s voice or has he managed to get through whatever mental block was preventing him before?
112 – At least she’s recognizing this is weird/concerning rather than just going along with it
Ammendment: kind of, anyway.
113 – If this is him breaking though that mental shield, what happened to leaving her alone/as if he never existed? This won’t end well…
122 – I’m guessing these “bears” are not bears
128 – Recklessness/risk-taking is all part of the grieving process, so I’d like to hope this spontaneous acquisition of a motorcycle is linked to that, but my gut is telling me otherwise.
130 – I’ve missed Jacob. I am excited.
132 – Jacob is literally adorable. Puppy-level adorable. Yes that is an intentional canine pun. He’s just cute.
135 – The chemistry between Bella and Jacob is phenomenal. First time I’ve actually smiled since starting New Moon. He’s just so endearing.
139 – “Many of the words they used were unfamiliar to me, and I figured I’d have to have a Y chromosome to really undersand the excitement.” Same. Car-car-blah-blah as was said in relation to my dad’s work as a mechanic.
141 – Also loving the friendship between Jacob/Quil/Embry. This is the kind of dynamic I love reading about.
146 – Dog years. Ha.
This kind of subtly is one of my things in books and something Meyer does well. If I didn’t already know Jacob was a werewolf, this one might have gone unnoticed. Well-played. Well-played, indeed.
164 – I’m a huge fan of friends-to-something-more in romance, and I’m starting to get that vibe from Bella and Jacob. Even though I know how things eventually go, I’m still getting the warm-and-fuzzies.
165 – It’s great to see Bella acting like an actual high schooler again. It makes her feel more authentic as a teenage character.
172 – Bella has gone from “we need to call an ambulance” after witnessing a dive to “Jake, you have to take me cliff diving.” Perhaps a bit too quickly from my view, but then again I did watch Midsommar recently so…
Edit – Jacob is literally making the same point I just did, sans Midsommar. I knew I liked him.
178 – This puberty/coming-of-age thing…does Jacob know he’s a werewolf but hasn’t wolfed-up yet? That’s actually kind of interesting.
184 – This intrusion of Edward’s voice is actually more unsettling than endearing.
186 – I will say this standoff between Jacob’s presence and Edward’s voice in Bella’s head is well-written. Great concept, especially given the involvement of the motorcycle that was a catalyst for Bella and Jacob’s relationship (even if they’re still just friends at present) and a representation of getting herself into trouble with Jacob’s help, even though he does seem to be keeping her out of it or at least making sure she’s getting into trouble safely.
193 – “I’d had the most amazing hallucination today…I’d take whatever pain that would cause me tonight without complaint.”
Your ex-boyfriend literally invading your mind is not a good thing. It is creepy. Insupportable. Thank u, next.
202 – This panicking about not being in danger isn’t sitting well with me.
202 – Flirty Jacob is honestly so flipping adorable and I would be all over him and completely aboard the Team Jacob train if I didn’t know where things ultimately go with him and the whole imprinting mess. I hate to bring him into this because as far as fiction characters go, he is top-tier boyfriend material for me, but I’m getting an earl Drake Carne (Poldark) vibe right now from Jacob. Like the shell bracelet Drake gives Morwenna. These fifty-cent candy hearts are kind of in that realm and I am, as the kids say, here for it.
203 – One thing I am noticing about Bella in all of this is how absorbed she gets in whichever guy she is with, and I think that lends itself to the common criticism of her lacking personality or being a Mary-Sue. Rarely is she a character apart from or detached from either guy. There isn’t much to her that isn’t tethered to either Edward or Jacob in some way.
204 – Poor Mike. And why does Mike remind me of Freddie Benson from iCarly?
213 – And there’s the sting of the friendzone.
216 – This Jacob’s skin being so hot is an interesting callback to Edward’s skin being so cold. If I didn’t already know what was up, I’d be getting suspicious now.
226 – Something tells me it’s not Mono that Jacob has…
243 – Finally some werewolf action!
244 – “The wolf closest to me, the reddish brown one, turned its head slightly at the sound of my gasp. The wolf’s eyes were dark, nearly black. It gazed at me for a fraction of a second, the deep eyes seeming too intelligent for a wild animal. As it stared at me, I suddenly thought of Jacob…At least Jacob wasn’t going to die, too. At least I wouldn’t have his death on my hands.”
Except I’m pretty sure that is Jacob.
And it’s also giving me some Hunger Games vibes. The grand finale intended by the Gamemakers, when it was down to three Tributes, was to create wolves infused with the DNA of the fallen Tributes and release them into the arena, and we get a second with Katniss talking about the Rue wolf, especially its eyes. To this day, I’m upset this detail wasn’t included in the film, making them seem like regular wolves.
Unrelated, I know, but I needed to vent.
253 – I’m honestly relieved she “needs” Jacob in this moment and not Edward/Edward’s voice like I was expecting.
“Safer for him.” So basically what Edward was saying when he broke up with Bella.
262 – Jacob cut his hair and I’m honestly saddened by that.
263 – This shift in Jacob is very disconcerting.
279 – I’m also a fan of the sneaking though the window kind of thing (provided it’s not done creepily).
284 – Jacob can’t tell her what’s up but is willing to let her guess in a loophole of sorts to get himself off the hook. Kinda has me wishing Edward had been this open with her about the vampire thing.
293 – CALLED IT
306 – “Try not to be a werewolf” as if Jacob chose this for himself. Jeez, Bella.
327 – Finally some werewolf action!
329 – Nevermind. Bella’s being whisked away before it gets good. Typical.
340 – Should have touched on it sooner, but there is some hypocrisy going on here as Jacob has said.
343 – I do feel for Jacob here, though. He’s definitely a good match for Bella. For now, at least.
345 – What interests me as far as the werewolf/vampire thing goes is their outlook on their respective conditions. Wolves seem mostly chill, like it is what it is and it be like that sometimes, whereas vampires like Edward treats being a vampire as his own version of Hell, that they’re damned to it. But both Edward and Jacob share their worries about putting Bella at risk because of what they are.
352 – “I was addicted to the sound of my own delusions.” Speaks for itself.
352 – “A date with Jacob, a date with Edward.” It’s like she’s just using Jacob on the chance they get into some sort of mischief that can conjure up Edward’s voice in her head and I cannot get behind that.
357 – I was at least hoping she’d be smart about cliffdiving and not go solo.
359 – “He was angry now, and the anger was so lovely.” I’m having trouble putting my thoughts into words here. I guess it boils down to this being the nature of the Bella/Edward relationship right now. Sure, I can understand wanting to get back at your significant other for something insignificant, like harmless pranks and inside jokes. I honestly think that’s so cute and love anecdotes like that. But that’s not what Bella’s doing. She’s intentionally pissing off Edward/Edward’s voice so she can hear it. Putting herself at risk to do it. This isn’t a healthy relationship. This isn’t cute. It’s troubling. I’m actually losing respect for Bella in this moment.
360 – Why does Edward’s “dialogue” here sound like 90s DiCaprio? Specifically end of Titanic 90s DiCaprio?
362 – Thinking back to violent delights, and how Romeo and Juliet meet their ends, something tells me Edward won’t be taking this almost-but-basically-death of Bella well if word gets to him.
369 – I was wondering if the Romeo and Juliet stuff would be referenced outright.
376 – This sudden “Be happy” from Edward has me circling back to the Romeo and Juliet stuff, like her almost dying is too much for him to bear. What I can’t figure out is if it’s “Be happy” as in “Be happy as you live without me” or if it’s meant more as a “Be happy with yourself, what you’ve done to me” thing.
379 – Kinda siding with Jacob on this one.
384 – So while Bella wasn’t intentionally staging a suicide as Juliet does, I’m anticipating Edward with endeavor to follow in Romeo’s footsteps.
387 – “There’s nothing wrong with werewolves.” Insert vampires in lieu of werewolves and there’s Bella’s outlook in Book One.
389 – “It’s not like you left for my benefit.” Except they did??
401 – Alice’s past was another point of intrigue for me with the first book, so seeing more of that is cool.
403 – Alice not being able to “see” werewolves is interesting.
412 – Poor Carlisle
415 – Definitely setting up for the Romeo death here…
415 – “Save your remorse for someone who believes it” is just a great line.
416 – Surprised I didn’t catch how Jacob’s saying Charlie was “at the funeral” without specifying whose funeral it is plays into the Romeo and Juliet allusions. Well done, indeed.
417 – Also worth mentioning Romeo and Juliet is set in Italy, so setting up what sounds like Edward’s suicide in Italy is a nice adjunct to what is becoming an homage to Shakespeare’s work.
420 – Good on Jacob, but I’m also curious about the ramifications of “Screw the treaty.”
422 – I’m honestly glad Jacob is standing his ground and not going along with this 100%.
425 – Edward’s needing to go to the Volturi to be killed rather than doing it himself in the typical fashion of suicide is interesting. Early on in New Moon, there is talk about Edward feeling like he’s lost his soul or is afraid of losing it (in relation to being the one to turn Bella despite her asking it of him). In some religions, suicide is considered a sin, and Meyer’s own religious beliefs have been woven in here and there (views on abortion are prevalent in the fourth book from what I hear), so I’m wondering if it’s linked to that somehow. Like Edward can’t bring himself to end his life for fear he will be damned to another hell worse than being a vampire, but being killed by the Volturi would theoretically absolve him from that sin because he wouldn’t be the one committing it. Even though he’s seeking it out and asking for it, it would technically be something that happens to him rather than something he did.
445 – So this is what the preface was centered around.
468 – Something is telling me that I shouldn’t, but I’m starting to like Aro. He amuses me.
484 – This is another instance where I wish we could have gotten to witness the action playing out rather than just walking away from it.
498 – Poor Charlie. I feel for the man. I really, truly do.
511 – “It never made sense for you to love me” is pretty accurate.
526 – I’m glad to see Edward disturbed by Bella’s Violent Delights escapades. Even if it’s only in a limited capacity.
534 – Rosalie’s explanation of her dissent here is sound. After all, so much of Bella’s wanting to become a vampire is linked to wanting to be with Edward, and it doesn’t seem like she has given much consideration to the consequences of it.
536 – Selfish martyr again.
541 – I was not expecting a marriage proposal in all of this. But I do like that Edward’s stepping up and calling her bluff a bit. You want to commit to being a vampire but can’t commit to marriage (and the whole reason you’re wanting to become a vampire is for a guy/to be with a guy) is a valid argument.
544 – Poor Charlie.
545 – And there’s Bella getting absorbed in Edward again and not giving much thought to her father’s feelings. Teenagers, man!
548 – Again, happy to see Edward trying to make Bella at least consider college.
I’ll start off by saying this: I liked New Moon much better than its predecessor. From the standpoint of a writer, it was better. I wasn’t making as many mental notes about the style of the writing, things I would have done differently (there are still instances like, “Aro started to laugh. ‘Ha, ha, ha,’ he chuckled.” (476) but that’s not exactly important). And there seemed to be more depth to this one than Twilight.
Sure, New Moon can be heavy-handed with its allusions to Romeo and Juliet. The human/vampire romance has its star-crossed lovers vibe, and the werewolves and vampires longstanding feud does bare a resemblance to the Montagues and Capulets. But there were things that were done well, like Jacob’s saying Charlie was “at the funeral” setting up the misunderstanding that leads to Edward’s suicide attempt being reminiscent of Romeo’s being fueled by his believing Juliet is dead. Recalling my Twilight notes, many of them were focused on the surface-level feeling of it, its feeling shallow, and its focus being primarily on Bella wanting to get with Edward and not understanding why he didn’t seem to care about her at all while she had guys like Mike and Eric fawning over her. The Sadie Hawkins fiasco especially annoyed me for that reason. Yes, New Moon still has moments of Bella trying to understand what Edward’s deal is and moping around when he dumps her, but that was not the only thing going on.
Speaking of guys, we need to talk about Jacob.
In case this was not apparent from the notes above, I genuinely like Jacob. His happy-go-lucky-attitude vanishing after his first transformation is such an interesting portrayal of what it actually does to a person. But even with that going on, he’s not brooding and dark like Edward.
One of the main things that made me like Jacob more is the way he treats Bella (at least in this book, things could and will probably change by the time we get to Breaking Dawn and the imprinting chaos). His crush on Bella aside, he generally acts like he likes her compared to Edward who often pushes her aside.
Unlike Edward, who stalks her and isolates her from her friends, and engages in other toxic behaviors, Jacob lets Bella do her own thing. Want to work on a bike? Sure, let’s do it, but I’m going to make sure you’re safe doing it and make sure you know how to ride it. If you want to go cliff diving, fine, but let’s wait until the water’s not so cold and not go to the highest jumping point first. That is protecting her, not whatever Edward’s doing by reading her friends’ minds to keep tabs on her when she goes on a shopping trip.
The thing that made Jacob so much more likeable, apart from everything mentioned thus far, is how he handles his condition compared to Edward.
Edward treats being a vampire as his own personal form of Hell (which has me wondering why Bella is so keen on it, other than her obsession with Edward). He’s damned to it.
Something I wasn’t necessarily expecting was that Jacob had not ever transformed prior to New Moon, and that it is linked to puberty. And we see he is genuinely freaked out about it happening, but also about it not happening, not exactly sure what it will do to him. But once he does experience that transformation, he seems okay with it. It is what it is and it be like that sometimes, you know.
The key thing for me was the way each handles their circumstances as far as Bella is concerned. Edward is very closed-off about his being a vampire. Bella only figures it out after extensive research prompted by her own curiosity. And even after she figures it out, he’s still tight-lipped. Carlisle delivers the most backstory about Edward we’ve gotten so far. While I’m not saying a person needs to spill their life story to someone they’ve just met, seeing as how he’s been Bella’s boyfriend for a while between the end of Twilight and the start of New Moon, I would have thought he would have told her a bit more than he has, at least about how a person becomes a vampire and what it does considering how dead-set Bella is on his transforming her. Make her more aware of the consequences of making that irreversible choice.
While Jacob doesn’t tell Bella outright that he is a werewolf, he does tell her. What’s more is that he finds a way to tell her even though he can’t. He finds a loophole of sorts. He finds a way to be honest with her. And he’s already told her before any transformation occurs, referencing his culture and legends in the first book as though warning her about the vampires. He’s as upfront about being a werewolf as he is able to be.
On the whole, I think my liking Jacob is in line with the kind of guys l’m drawn to, both in fiction and in real life. Don’t get me wrong, I love the bad boy figure. The rakehells, rogues, and rebels with a heart of gold. I have a habit of saying Hans from Frozen is my favorite Disney Prince—a topic for another time—but I love Flynn/Eugine from Tangled just as much. I cannot watch Pride And Prejudice and not have heart flutters when Wickham makes an appearance. Jack Dawson from Titanic was essentially my sexual awakening because while 90s Leo is a dreamboat, I had and still have a thing for his character. I’ll throw Patrick Swayze’s Johnny Castle from Dirty Dancing in here for good measure because why not? Depending on the route played, Connor of Detroit: Become Human also fits into this group.
The list goes on.
But I also love cinnamon-rolls. Sweethearts. The boy next door type. The guys who end up in the friendzone at least once.
I mention Drake from Poldark above, but Andres from Gran Hotel, Gonta from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony and (depending on the route played) Connor of Detroit: Become Human also come to mind. The guys who do or say things that make your heart melt because of their sweetness or adorableness. Connor’s infamous “I like dogs” for example.
Jacob has a foot/paw in both zones.
He’s a total sweetheart when introduced, but takes on a dark side of his own after his first werewolf transformation.
The difference is, he’s not so much of a bad boy that he feels like an antagonist the way Edward does at times. And that made it more of an enjoyable read.
In closing, while I did enjoy New Moon more than Twilight, there were occasions where the two were similar in plot. Some moments felt like nice callbacks, such as Bella realizing how hot Jacob’s skin while sitting with him in a car is reminiscent of her realizing how cold Edward’s is, and that moment being one of the things that makes her realize something is amiss. However, that something being amiss seems to be a running thread between the two. Last time had Bella focused on Edward possibly/probably being a vampire, while this time around she’s trying to figure out if Jacob might be/is a werewolf. Both installments also see a vampire hunting Bella, be it James or Victoria, but the key difference here is that the New Moon occurrence seems to be setting up something more by having Victoria not attacking or finding Bella and introducing the Volturi, whereas the James scenario was a one and done thing (which is typical in a debut/first volume in a series compared to a sequel setting up a longer plot to be carried out next time).
I’ve certainly rambled on enough here. At this point, I feel I’m locked into the rollercoaster, so expect a Chronicle of Thoughts for Eclipse around this time next year.