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Guilty Pleasure

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Guilty Pleasure
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New Moon by Stephenie Meyers is the sequel to her bestseller Twilight. New Moon
is the continuing story of Bella and Edward as they face new challenges to their
relationships. A fantasy novel, the book deals with the disconnect between the human
life, Bella, and that of vampires, the world in which Edward exists. An especially
close encounter at her birthday party involving one of his family members brings the
real dangers of their relationship to light. As Edward leaves Bella behind to keep
her from the dangers she encounters as his girlfriend, Bella struggles with the loss
of her love and the subsequent darkness into which she is plunged hence the symbolic
title New Moon, the darkest phase of the lunar cycle. After months of depression and
what feels like months of reading, Bella’s horizons brighten when she rekindles her
acquaintance with an old family friend, a young member of the Quileute tribe named
Jacob Black. As Bella and Jacob’s friendship grows deeper, Bella seems to come out
of her funk, but she also clings to the memory of Edward by throwing herself head
first into dangerous situations that cause his apparition to appear discouraging her
from putting herself at risk. Although her friendship with Jacob helps her through
her break up, a secret Jacob keeps threatening to tear them apart. Despite her
growing attachment to Jacob, when Edward’s life is at risk because one of her
exploits leaves him thinking she is dead Bella rushes to Italy to keep him from a
suicide mission.

New Moon is a fantasy novel that spins a tale of vampires and
werewolves with the human emotions of love, passion, and longing. Themes of
immortality and the blurry lines of the conflict between right and wrong propel the
plot of the story as the characters struggle through the difficulties of family,
friends, and significant others. The depth of the relationships and their
definitions and boundaries are a major conflict throughout the novel as well as well
as the cause for much of the action. New Moon uses allusions to classic literature,
especially drawing from the tragedy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering
Heights, the classic stories of star-crossed lovers faced with challenges, as Bella
and Edward are similarly encountering. The complex nuances of the immortal world
present the lovers with problems that could end in tragedy, and the battle to
achieve happily ever after, or even just safety, drives the plot of the novel
through the actions of the characters. Meyer’s prose leaves something to be desired,
and lines such as “They have a name for someone who smells the way Bella does to me.
They call her my singer—because her blood sings for me”(Meyer, 490) feel sappily
sentimental, but her expert characterization, especially in the case of Bella and
Edward, makes the novel engrossing and worth reading. The extensive cast of
characters creates an intricate plot that keeps the novel diverse and surprising,
although it is not intricate or complex. Bella’s emotionally driven actions create a
sense of the depth of the characters’ love for each other which creates interest.
This book falls under many genres making it universally appealing as it is romantic,
a buddy story, and the classic battle of good versus evil in a complex world where
everything seems to be shades of gray. New Moon is well classified as a Young Adult
Novel, and while it is a decidedly easy read, it is a guilty pleasure that gives
back with its uplifting message that true love really can conquer all, both mortal
and immortal.

Meyer, Stephenie. New Moon. N.p.: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2006. Print.

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Stephenie Meyer
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Jessica Glosson
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