New Moon - Stephenie Meyer "Perhaps there was no moon tonight--a lunar eclipse, a new moon"

Bella and Edward are together...but it doesn't last long. An incident at Bella's birthday party makes Edward realize how dangerous having Bella live among Vampires is. So he breaks up with her, leaving her alone and catatonic. But when Bella starts spending time with Jacob Wolf, she comes alive, slowly realizing the boy isn't quite what he seems to be.

I Liked:
Once again, Stephanie Meyer sucked me into her world of vampires and werewolves. I hadn't planned on reading this book so soon, but when a friend finally pushed me in, I started reading...and I couldn't stop. She writes in an easy, breezy manner. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, plops you right into Bella's mind, and carries you away into the night. You go to bed, reading, then glance back at the alarm clock and notice that an hour has gone by, wondering where the time went. This is a gift, a hard thing to do, and Meyer must be applauded for it.
In "New Moon", Edward leaves for most of the book, allowing Bella to be a character, instead of constantly mooning after him (but there are still problems with this, see below). Here, we see that she has likes and dislikes. She doesn't really like her "friends" Lauren and Jessica but spends time with them because "it is the socially acceptable thing to do" (or at least, that's my interpretation). Also, you see that she really likes Angela and that she actually enjoys spending time with Jacob Wolf, the boy she played with as a child. Even when she loses Edward, Bella reacts in a way I can associate with. I've experienced loss myself, particularly recently (though not of a boyfriend). I felt similar to she did: the dropping out of the stomach, the mind slowing down to nothing, the emptiness, the sorrow. For the first time, we see Bella, bare, empty; and we can empathize with her. And we can see her feelings for Jacob grow and mature. Perhaps she wasn't meant for one man. Perhaps she could love another...
My favorite character is probably Jacob Wolf. He has hobbies (shock of all shocks!) and is genuinely protective and sensitive to Bella. Yes, he is somewhat overprotective, but never in a way that is creepy (no sneaking into her bed at night to watch her as she sleeps), and he lets her do what she wants, instead of dictating the actions of her life. He is a true friend, through and through. And his transformation to a werewolf...his interactions with his pack...and with Vampires...amazing!
Besides the characters and brisk pace, the story becomes far more interesting. Yes, at its heart, it still is a love story, but it transcends slightly. You can see the battle forming, the lines drawn in the sand, the territories marked out, the armies settling in for a fight. Werewolves appear. Victoria and Laurent, the bad vampires from "Twilight" return to harass Bella. And Alice and Bella fly to Italy to prevent a knock-down. Good stuff.

I Didn't Like:
Stephanie Meyer did a great job building her story and improving her faults, but there are still areas I have problems with.
1.Bella. Bella remains a problem with this book, as she did with the last one. What about Bella does Edward love besides her scent? What does anyone like about Bella? She supposedly isn't beautiful. She is rude and socially inept, spending FOUR MONTHS not talking to people and walking around like a zombie. She is a klutz. She has almost no hobbies (however, in this book she does spend time working on cars, but that is to be with another man, Jacob) other than maybe English with her devotion to classics and "Romeo and Juliet". I'm sorry, but I don't know too many guys that would hang around a lifeless, paper-thin girl like that, particularly if they don't even have a body or good looks to compensate!
2.Melodrama. I can understand Edward's absence hits her hard, but spending FOUR MONTHS in a zombie state, ignoring friends, family, and doing only what was necessary? She acts more like she has lost a husband, not a man that she's only been dating for six months (or less!). And then to be reckless and stupid, to ride motorcycles and jump off cliffs only to hear Edward's voice?? How pathetic, lame! And then, even when it is obvious that Edward lied to make her believe he didn't love her, she keeps insisting it is a dream. Is she really that dumb? Could she not see that he was lying, that he loved her? In the beginning, yeah, okay, so what, but towards the end, when it becomes more and more obvious that Edward really does love her, she continues to disbelieve it, making it frustrating, putting a conflict where one doesn't belong or stretching a conflict to obscene proportions.
3.Implications. I know this book is for enjoyment, but I can't get past some of the ramifications of the characters and their actions! Bella shuts down when Edward leaves and ONLY returns when she hears "his voice" chastising her for doing something stupid. Her reaction? Continue to do stupid things to hear his voice again! This leads to spending time with Jacob, and FINALLY coming alive. What kind of impression does that set on our society, particularly our young, impressionable girls? That a woman can only be alive when thinking of a man or in the presence of a man or when doing stupid things that could harm you? What is this, the Middle Ages? Hardly! This is the 21st century; women are out there, being CEOs, presidents, astronauts, lawyers, doctors, single moms, and everything in between! We don't need stories that chain us to the past, saying we only get "alive" when with a man! And this leads to another problem "New Moon" raises: Bella has two plans in life: Plan A) become a vampire, Plan B) go to college. She resists Plan B furiously, wanting Plan A only to be with Edward. Edward pushes Plan B, so she can live her life to the fullest (which, as you know, she believes she would only be living to the fullest if she was with Edward). Here, a young woman is throwing away a great opportunity, only to be with a man! I am not condemning marriage, being a housewife, being a mother, whatever, but most people will tell you not to give up a chance at going to college even if you do get married! Even housewives do well if they go to college first, then have a family. But this scene yields yet another problem: Edward does all the pushing, moving and shaking in Bella's life! He makes the choices, chooses what plan she will follow, when he is "too dangerous" for her. He never asks her opinion or even listens to it. Edward just decides and acts. And Bella never questions it, never counters it, never defies it. She blindly listens, even going so far as to take the blame for his overbearing actions (when Edward apologizes for lying to her, for example)! For once, I would love Bella to do something even if it were only to defy Edward! Show some backbone, girl! Be your own person, instead of letting your significant other haul you around like a toy dog on a leash!

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Mild, mostly "crap", "he**", and at least one instance of "d***".
The relationships are surprisingly chaste; however, it should be noted that Edward does spend the night often, though sex is not included. Also, Bella and Edward share a very deep, passionate kiss.
Bella is a klutz, so going to the ER on a regular basis is a given. Not to mention, she takes up motorcycling, so she has a lot of incidents with that. A large portion of the story revolves around murders in the vicinity of Forks. Werewolves hunt Vampires...and so on and so forth.

While Bella and her utter, complete "devotion" (at the expense of her own person) to Edward still drives me bonkers, I can't help but get sucked into the book. Meyer may not be the best of writers (grammar, style, etc.), but she can definitely suck you into a story bringing up new insight on old characters and glimpses of new characters. I would caution younger audiences with the way Bella acts and for her unhealthy relationship to and obsession with Edward.