Tag Archives: romance

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (unabridged audiobook read by Ilyana Kadushin): Shortly after Bella’s 18th birthday, her vampire boyfriend Edward abruptly dumps her and leaves with his vampire family for parts unknown. She is, in a word, devastated. However, she finds the pain eased somewhat when she does something stupid or reckless, because she hears Edward’s voice in her head, telling her to stay safe. She becomes addicted to these delusions, and pulls more and more idiotic stunts to get her fix. Meanwhile, childhood friend and would-be paramour Jacob Black is more than willing to step in, and the two become close.

Though the technical issues are still present in this book – Bella’s repetitious stream of consciousness, the overuse of adverbs, the underuse of “said”, etc. – the plot moves much more naturally. Jacob is a very likable guy, and I felt bad for him even though I think Edward and Bella are a better match, what with their angst-ridden, melodramatic tendencies. The constant Romeo and Juliet references got really old. The delusion angle wasn’t wrapped up very well either, but I was able to more or less ignore it. It’s not like I didn’t already know Bella’s crazy and obsessive.

The werewolf treatment is interesting as well. They are as unaffected by the moon as the vampires are by the sun; they more resemble The Incredible Hulk, in that they turn into wolves when they lose their tempers. Vampires and werewolves are sworn enemies, which is nothing new, but the whole vampire-human-werewolf love triangle is kind of fun. The last few chapters are especially good as Bella attempts to convince Edward to turn her into a vampire, despite several unexpected complications.

And here comes the confession: I found myself utterly sucked into this one. I zipped through it in record time, unable to put it down. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m champing at the bit to start Eclipse. Clearly there is something wrong with me.

P.S. – A new moon and a lunar eclipse are not the same thing. Just sayin’.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (unabridged audiobook read by Ilyana Kadushin): I am often surprised by the depth of feeling people express for this book, from unconditional adoration to absolute loathing. So when I had an opportunity to get a free copy, I decided to find out what all the fuss was about.

Bella is the new girl in town; Edward is the mysterious stranger. The romance at the core of this story is certainly nothing new, and neither is the vampire angle. The writing isn’t all that great: the descriptions are bland, the dialogue unnatural, and the narration amateurish. Adverbs abound. Bella shares her every thought and repeats herself constantly. The text is a shining example of why consistently avoiding “said” is terribly distracting. Most of what we learn about the characters is from the narrator’s descriptions rather than their actions, and I still have absolutely no idea what Edward sees in Bella except as an entree. The plot alternates between forced and outright silly. Worst of all, Bella is a total Mary Sue. I was repeatedly reminded of the sorts of romantic fantasies I wrote about as a teenager. There isn’t a whole lot to recommend this book, from a technical standpoint.

But. (You saw that coming, didn’t you?) I can, on the other hand, understand the draw. I remember being that teenager who wrote this sort of unlikely drivel. I remember the obsession over boys and the fervent hope that he would ask me out. I even remember fantasizing about having too many suitors. So yes, while this book is ridiculous and will probably disappear from collective memory within the decade, I can understand its appeal to awkward teenage girls who dream about men who are both dangerous and devoted, strong and tender, attractive and yet still an outcast. And so I did enjoy it on that level.

I’ve heard a lot of complaints about sparkling vampires, how they’re not “real” vampires. And yes, the vampires in this book are not vulnerable to sunlight (and in fact only avoid it because of the attention their sparkling draws), and the creation of a vampire is not from drinking the blood of a vampire. I would like to mention that Dracula himself was only sometimes hurt by sunlight, and people in that book became vampires both by drinking vampire blood and by simply being bitten (but not killed) by a vampire. I doubt that Dracula did much twinkling, but considering how often Edward’s skin is described in terms of minerals like marble and granite, sparkling isn’t so far fetched. I wouldn’t recommend this book to, say, Anne Rice fans, but I can’t complain much about the authenticity of something that doesn’t exist in the first place.

This may surprise you, but I’m planning on reading the rest of this series. I know what kind of silliness to expect, and I look forward to dissecting Meyer’s werewolf treatment. All in all, I enjoyed Twilight. It’s not my favorite book ever and I doubt I’ll read it again, but it was a fun bit of brain candy. I was never bored; I even chuckled aloud in some places. Many of the characters are quite likable regardless of their lack of depth, and part of me likes being transported back, half a lifetime ago, to an alternate reality where awkward teenage me gets to be the bell of the ball.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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