New Moon Book Report

This book report is being written for Mr. Reynold Bassant, lecturer for Comparative Literature. The book which was carefully selected is New Moon, it was written by Stephanie Meyer, one of the most promising new authors of this century. The book has 563 pages and was first published in hard cover by Little Brown and Company in September 2006, in the United States of America. After mass circulation and the sale of two million copies, the book became the New York Times Number One bestseller for 2007. It was later published in soft cover by First Media Tie in September 2009.
As a sequel to The Twilight Saga, New Moon is now a major motion picture which has received numerous accolades. Even though this saga comes in four parts- Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, I chose to do this review on the second saga because it best documents the sacrifices, heartaches and forgiveness one faces in the trials of true love and friendship. What makes the book even more exciting is the fact that Meyer chooses to weave this web of friendship with a mortal human, a wolf boy and a 145-year-old vampire.
I find the book intriguing because Meyer has created an amazing hybrid of romance, tragedy and adventure wrapped between the covers of this exciting sequel. The main characters of the book are Bella Swan, a 17-year-old high school student, her childhood friend and werewolf Jacob Black and Edward Cullen, a mind-reading vampire. Bella moves out of her mother’s home in Phoenix and goes to live with her father Charlie, who is a Sheriff. She promptly falls in love with Edward. Meanwhile, Jacob is a proud descendant of the Quileutes Indian tribe who lives in a reservation called La Push.

He and several other Quileutes are honour bound to protect the town from blood thirsty vampires. Because of this both Edward and Jacob are mortal enemies and Bella is trapped in between her star-crossed supernatural love for Edward and her genuine friendship with Jacob. The villains of the book are Victoria, a revengeful vampire, and the ancient Volturi vampire family who uphold law and order among their immortal clan. Other important characters in this book are Edwards’s family- father Carlisle, mother Esme, sisters Rosalie and Alice and his brothers, Emmett and Jasper.
Like Edward they are all “vegetarian vampires” who survive on animal blood. Carlisle is a prominent doctor who saves Bella’s life on two occasions. Alice is psychic who has an uncanny ability to predict the future. Her skill weaves a hypnotic thrill of suspense as she sets the pace for the various scenes in the book. Jasper can control moods with his mind while Emmett has brute strength. Rosalie is considered the most beautiful of the group while Esme is the glue that holds the family together.
Meanwhile, Bella’s mother Rene and step-father Phil lives in Florida and keeps regular contact with her through e-mail. Jacob’s father is Billy, a wheel-chair bound Quileute warrior who holds all the secrets of La Push. There are at least six wolves headed by Sam Uley and includes Leah and Seth Clearwater, Quil Atera and Embry Call who safeguard human life in Forks and La Push. New Moon is undeniably a suspense thriller. The book is mainly set in the contemporary rainy town of Forks, located in Washington DC in the United States of America.
Most of the scenes take place at Forks, at the La Push Indian reservation, located a few miles away, the town of Port Angeles and finally at Italy where the Volturi clan resides. Both Bella and Edward attend the Forks High school where they spend time with other friends such as Jessica Stanley, Angela and Mike Newton. But in the second chapter when Jasper attempts to attack Bella, Edward becomes concerned and decides to leave Bella so that she could enjoy her human life with someone from her own clan.
He makes the ultimate sacrifice knowing that Bella could never fit into his world. When Edward leaves, Bella spends three months as a mere shadow of her former self. She becomes introverted and it was only when Charlie decides to send her back to Jacksonville with her mother that she decides to visit Jacob. She gives him two motorbikes to repair and starts spending all her afternoons at the Reservation. Bella soon realises that whenever she does anything risky, she hears Edward’s voice in her head, cautioning her.
She becomes dependant on his voice in her head. When she jumps off a cliff to skydive, Alice gets a vision and Edward believes that Bella had committed suicide. Unable to live with himself, he goes to the Volturi hoping that they can end his life. The Volturi leaders Aro, Caius and Marcus refuse as they value Edward’s mind reading gift. Edward decides to reveal himself to Italians knowing that the ultimate penalty for such exposure would be death. But Alice gets another vision of Edward’s intentions and takes Bella to Italy to save him.
She manages to stop him before he commits the act. But the Volturi captures them both. They eventually release Bella and Edward after they both confess their love. They are allowed to leave only when Edward promises to change Bella into a vampire. When they return home, Jacob is broken hearted because he had fallen in love with Bella and cannot believe that she would return to Edward after he rejected her. The book shows the trials of sacrifice and the tragedy of love, especially love that is star-crossed.
Although New Moon is a fascinating book filled with myths and legends of ancient tribes, it is unfortunate that Meyer chooses to associate suicide with love. The book reveals that both Edward and Bella cannot live without each other. They both sacrifice themselves for each other’s happiness. While this is commendable, I believe that the emphasis on suicide in the final scene with the Volturi, as well as Bella’s apparent desire to die by doing risky things, is not healthy for the impressionable young readers who read this exciting trilogy.
I also find fascinating the plot that Meyer uses where Bella saves Edward. This is a refreshing change from the usual plots where the hero saves the damsels in distress. There is also a strong emphasis on the importance of family and friendship which I find commendable. Therefore, I will definitely recommend this book to other readers as it is impossible to stop reading this sequel once you get started. The book gives one an insight into the sacrifices that we humans would make, in our quest to protect those whom we love.

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