Review of New Moon, the Novel
by Julie Turner
New Moon, the second book in the ever-popular Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, picks up right where the first book Twilight left off. Bella has just recovered from her injuries from her attack by James. Bella is dreading her 18th birthday, since this will make her older than Edward. Bella desperately wants Edward to change her into a vampire so she can live with him and his family forever. Bella reluctantly allows Alice to throw her a birthday party, and the Cullens go all out. While opening a gift, Bella gets a papercut and Jasper lurches for her trying to drink her blood. All of the Cullens are ashamed and horrified, especially Edward. He makes the hardest decision ever and decides he and his family must leave town so they won’t put Bella’s life in danger. He takes Bella for a walk and tells her that he no longer wants her.
Obviously, Bella is devastated and goes into a deep, dark depression. She won’t eat. She won’t sleep. She goes to school and works at Mike Newton’s parents’ sporting goods store. She has no social life whatsoever. Her father Charlie becomes more worried by the day. He suggests that she rekindle her friendship with Quileute teen Jacob Black. Bella agrees for Charlie’s sake and realizes that Jacob’s friendship is the only thing that makes her heart hurt less over Edward’s absence. During Bella’s time with Jacob, we learn that as the Quileute boys are coming of age, something strange is happening to them. They are phasing into wolves, because they sense a vampire is threatening their territory. They assume it is a member of the Cullens, but they learn later it is Victoria (from the first novel). Bella soon starts displaying very reckless behavior showing blatant disregard for her own well-being, since Edward (her reason for being) is gone. Whenever she challenges death, she hears Edward’s voice in her head. To keep hearing his voice, she pursues dangerous pastimes such as motorcycle riding and cliffdiving.
Meanwhile, Edward is travelling the world tracking Victoria (the mate of the slain vampire James from the first book). Alice had a psychic vision that Victoria is plotting to kill Bella to avenge the death of her beloved James. Alice also had a vision of Bella jumping off a cliff. Alice assumed that Bella was going to commit suicide because Edward left her. She tells Rosalie about this vision, and Rosalie promises to keep it from Edward. Rosalie does not keep her promise. When Edward finds out that Bella is planning on committing suicide, he calls her house. He asks for Charlie. When Jacob answers and tells the unidentified caller that Charlie is at a funeral, Edward assumes it is Bella’s funeral and hangs up without speaking. Charlie is actually attending the funeral of a friend. Since Edward thinks his soulmate is dead, he does not want to go on living. Since a vampire is technically already dead, Edward goes to the Volturi brothers in Italy for help. The Volturi brothers are a governing coven of vampires that have been around for thousands of years. Carlisle lived with them long ago. Edward asks the Volturi to destroy him, but they refuse. Since the cardinal rule of vampirism is to never reveal your immortality to humans, Edward decides to reveal his sparkling skin in the sunlight in the center of Volterra, Italy. He knows this will cause the Volturi to destroy him.
Alice knows that she will be unable to stop Edward from revealing himself as long as he thinks Bella is dead. She decides to travel back to Forks to see for herself if this is true. Bella is thrilled to see her, and Jacob is repulsed since vampires have that effect on Quileute wolves. Alice explains everything, and Bella and Alice race to Italy to stop Edward before it’s too late. They arrive just in time to stop Edward from revealing himself, but they are all apprehended by the Volturi guards. They are taken to their dungeon and learn that all the members of the Volturi coven have special powers. All are awed to see that Bella is immune to their powers. The Volturi agree to spare Alice, Bella, and Edward as long as Edward promises to change Bella into a vampire. Bella is scared, but thrilled.