After being abandoned by her vampire boyfriend and true love because he fears that her association with him endangers her life, Bella Swan is left in with her unbearable misery all alone… that is, until she befriends Jacob Black. Jacob and Bella have chemistry, and their friendship is the one thing that helps Bella through her pain, but Bella will be surprised to learn the extent of the truth behind the Cullens’ treaty with Jacob’s family, who live in nearby La Push, as well as the lengths that Edward and Bella will go when they are separated from one another.
The addition of Jacob Black is one of the best things about this sequel to the national bestseller and phenomenon, Twilight. Through Jacob, Edward and Bella’s seemingly perfect love has an alternative. Where Edward is cold, Jacob is warm. While Edward is overly protective, Jacob is freeing.
But Bella uses this freedom, putting herself in danger again and again, in order to “feel” Edward in her life despite his absence. Above all else, Edward is what Bella desires. Edward himself is willing to take on high stakes when he faces a life without Bella, and thus, we learn more about the world of the Twilight vampires, and exactly how they are governed.
While this love story has its problems, mainly that Bella is a questionable role-model for the many teens and pre-teens invested in her story, (is it really okay to put yourself in harm’s way to get the attention of your boyfriend who dumped you?) it’s appeal cannot be denied. After you get through the many chapters where Bella is moping, the story is hard to put down. The film version was able to depict Bella’s depression in a few moments, by showing her immobility while seasons changed around her. Meyer, on the other hand, drags us through these feelings throughout multiple chapters so that we understand just exactly how miserable Bella’s life would be without Edward.
When Edward leaves Bella because he fears that his vampirism is a threat to her safety, they each go to great lengths in order to survive without one another.
About the Author
Stephenie Meyer was made famous after the publication of Twilight, her first novel. She awoke one morning after a dream in which she saw Bella and Edward in a beautiful meadow. She wanted to know more about the two of them, and so she began to write. Stephenie is a graduate of Brigham Young University. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three sons.
-Appeal of Vampires (immortality, monstrous nature of humanity, etc)
Reading Level/Interest Age
These books have been challenged because they deal with vampires and other monsters, which could categorize them as “occult”, although in the first few volumes there is no graphic imagery or questionable language. The books include themes of love, lust, and marriage which may be considered inappropriate for younger teens, yet the text itself is not beyond their reading level or especially questionable. If such considerations are brought about, I would suggest that parents also read the series (many do enjoy it,) along with their teens.
Why Did You Include This Book?
As of July, 2010, the entire Twilight Saga was the number one bestselling children’s series(Roback, 2010). New Moon itself was released in September 2006, and spent more than 25 weeks at the #1 position on The New York Times bestseller list(www.stepheniemeyer.com).Many libraries have raced to keep the books stocked on their shelves. Those who are not avid readers will still pick up these large volumes, and then come looking for more when Edward and Bella’s story is through. Much like Bella finding solace in Jacob if she can’t be without Edward, teens will look to other literature to satisfy the emptiness. And just like Jacob, maybe that is the better choice, though Twilight remains their favorite.
- Best Books:
- Book Sense Children’s Picks, Fall 2006 ; American Booksellers Association; United States
Book Sense Great Reading Group Suggestions, Spring 2007 ; American Booksellers Association; United States
Children’s Pick of the List, 2006 ; NAIBA; United States
Middle and Junior High School Library Catalog, Supplement to Ninth Edition, 2007 ; H.W. Wilson Company; United States
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers, 2007 ; American Library Association; United States
Young Adults’ Choices, 2008 ; International Reading Association; United States
- Awards, Honors, Prizes:
- American Booksellers Book Sense Book of the Year (ABBY) Award, 2007 Honor Book Children’s Literature United States
Indigo Teen Read Award, 2010 Nominee Best Book-to-Flick Canada
Soaring Eagle Book Award, 2008 Winner Grades 7-12 Wyoming
South Carolina Young Adult Book Award, 2008-2009 Winner South Carolina
Young Reader’s Choice Award, 2009 Winner Grades 10-12 Pacific Northwest
- State and Provincial Reading Lists:
- Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award, 2008 ; Nominee; Colorado
Soaring Eagle Book Award, 2007-2008 ; Nominee; Grades 7-12; Wyoming
South Carolina Young Adult Book Award, 2008-2009 ; Nominee; South Carolina
Young Reader’s Choice Award, 2009 ; Nominee; Grades 10-12; Pacific Northwest
Roback, D. (2010). Children’s Series and Tie-ins Bestsellers. Publishers Weekly, 257(29), 16. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=52678835&site=ehost-live