New Moon - Stephenie Meyer There are no spoilers in this review, because the description on the back of the book tells you the whole story anyway.

Okay, something was wrong with me when I originally rated this. I like to think my mouse froze up or the computer was slow, so I thought I clicked one star and I didn't. It had two. *shudders*

My mother recommended these books to me years ago, before I even knew anything about the series. I didn't know they were sickeningly popular, or that so many people hate them. I didn't know any of the silly stories the author has told about them. (You thought up the idea by dreaming about a beautiful vampire? Seriously, lady? How stupid do you think we are? Did your publishers tell you to say that, so people would swoon and clasp their hands together and call it sweet?) I repeat: I didn't know anything.

And you know what? I read the first book, and something compelled me to read this one afterwards. And even though I had kind of enjoyed the first book way back then, I still didn't like this one.

Now I've grown up some, I've seen what this series has done to the world, and looking back on New Moon, I'm just so disgusted. This book is 594 pages of whining.

The book opens up in a dream . . . about a beautiful vampire. Very clever, Stephenie. *rolls eyes* Bella sees herself as an old woman - literally, sees another version of herself who is elderly - and wakes up, and proceeds to whine about getting older.

Why exactly does Bella Precious Swan think that she should be exempt from the aging process? Billions of people the world over are getting older every second, she doesn't give a thought to them. All she knows is that she doesn't want to reach her twenties, and she stamps her foot and beats her fists on the ground and wails like a four-year-old because she can't have immortality for her birthday.

Speaking of . . .

Scene two: school. Bella whines about school, about her mundane, worthless human friends who have been shoved out of the storyline to make space for Meyer's glittery vampires.

Scenes three, four, five, six, and seven: Bella whines about her birthday. Over and over and over again. (Shut up, girl! You're turning eighteen, what a tragedy. Grow up already. . . . oh. Ha ha Ha.) Bella is too special to grow up. She tells her friends and family to ignore her birthday, and doesn't want presents, and she snaps and snarls at them when they try to bring it up.

What a great person you are, Bella. Such a tribute to humanity.

Scene eight: after whining about her birthday some more, she walks into the forest with Edward, where she proceeds to whine to him about her life in general. Then he dumps her.

I want to cheer him on for about two sentences. Then he's gone, and Bella falls over, comatose, onto the forest floor. She stays there, whining to herself internally, until a search party finds her and brings her home.

This reminds me . . .

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That's Elliot Nightray on the right, there. And that's how he feels about Bella's reaction. Want proof? Here's some of his dialogue:

Elliot: "How many people have you hurt by acting that way, you suicidal idiot?!"

Oz: "...Stop it. Don't go treating me like I have a death wish..."

Elliot: "But you do! Don't you?! When you sacrifice yourself like that, do you really believe you've saved someone?! You're only trying to protect your own feelings!

If you treat your own life lightly...you don't deserve to protect anybody else's life!

You've given up on yourself. You go around pretending you're some tragic hero. Are you gonna keep living your life...hurting yourself and the people around you?!"


Dialogue is by Jun Mochizuki. Thank you, Elliot and Oz, dears, for making my point so beautifully.

Seriously though, Bella collapses like a felled tree and then spends MONTHS OF HER LIFE sulking, like a kid whose toy has been taken away. Forget about the fact that she's been ignoring her friends and family. Forget about the fact that they're worried about her, they've been trying to take care of her forever, it hurts them to see her like this. Forget about the fact that she's lucky they haven't put her in an insane asylum yet, or in fact tried to get her mental help of any kind.

And why? Because her BOYFRIEND left her? Bella, sweetie, girls all over the world are getting dumped every . . . single . . . day. I don't see any of them lumbering around like zombies.

Oh . . . wait. This book is about vampires, not zombies. I forgot. Apologies.

Another problem I have with this book - one of many, obviously - what on earth is with the title? It's a new moon . . . because Bella's stinking boyfriend left her, and everything's dark because he doesn't sparkle to brighten her day? Wow, that's poetic. *sarcasm* Why not just call it Full Moon, since everyone knows it's the werewolves' book?

Ah, the werewolves. Joy joy.

Werewolves used to be cool, before modern YA lit cheesed them out. They'd be big, hairy, humanoid monsters who wolfed out once a month at the full moon. They would run around ripping people to shreds and devouring babies and such. They would stagger back into human form, naked and drenched in blood, and have no idea what had happened. Used to be, a werewolf wouldn't even know that he was a werewolf, he would just black out for one night.

Now, Meyer realized that her werewolves were so lame, they couldn't even be proper werewolves. At one point, she actually goes out of her way to point out that the werewolves in Twilight, aren't real. The real beasties might be out there somewhere, but instead we get pretty-boys who like to run around with their shirts off and only wolf out when the situation is absolutely dire.

Okay, fine. It's Meyer's world and her imagination, she can do what she wants with it. But good grief, woman, can you cut back on the cheese? I'm begging. She literally used the "werewolves" in these books as an excuse to have a bunch of muscular dudes running around half-naked. And of course, so that they can periodically have macho-matches with the vampires.

Is this supposed to be . . . appealing?

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So anyway, back to the review/rant/whatever the heck this thing is anymore. Honestly, I'm whining about this book almost as much as Bella whines about . . . everything.

So, when Bella finally wakes up, after spending half a year (*gasp* aging) sulking, her family and friends are actually stunned that she's talking to them. She acts all defensive about it, like she has every right to give them the silent treatment for half a year and then suddenly act like nothing's happened.

Bella hangs out with Jacob. And then she goes to school. And then she hangs out with Jacob. And then she uses the microwave. And then she hangs out with Jacob. And then she goes to school. And then she hangs out with Jacob. And then she goes to school again. And then she crashes a motorcycle and almost kills herself, without telling her dad or her friends that she even owns a motorcycle, knowing that it would terrify and anger them if they did know.

Cue Elliot again:

"How many people have you hurt by acting that way, you suicidal idiot?!"

Of course, it's not like her parents care if Bella goes to the ER every Thursday. They expect it, they don't show any concern or anything. Just like regular people, no?

So, because Bella realizes that if she died she would gravely wound those she "cares about", she vows to change her ways and never . . .

WHAT? YOU JUMPED OFF A CLIFF, ARE YOU INSANE YOU MORONIC GIRL?!

After Jacob tells her that jumping off high cliffs is dangerous, she finds a high cliff and jumps off. After years of exaggerated clumsiness, she jumps off. After years of schooling, during which I'm sure she must have heard of the dangers of jumping off of really high cliffs into unknown, rocky water ALONE, when the ocean is turbulent, she jumps off.

You get the idea.

So, Alice, who can see the future, sees Bella jumping off a cliff. She tells Rosalie, who hates Bella's guts almost as much as I do. Rosalie tells Edward, Bella's stinking boyfriend, who thinks Bella is dead and decides to commit suicide himself. Only problem is, he's already dead. Very hard to kill the undead, right? He goes to Italy and tries to coax some other vampires to rip him to pieces.

Bella, the little hero that she is, hears about his plan, and throws away her college funds so she can fly to Italy WITHOUT EXPLAINING TO HER FATHER WHERE SHE'S GOING OR EVEN SAYING GOODBYE, EVEN THOUGH SHE KNOWS IT'S DANGEROUS, to save her stinking boyfriend's life.

Elliot, it's your turn:

"If you treat your own life lightly...you don't deserve to protect anybody else's life!"

So, naturally, both separated lovers choose to give up on life in the other's absence. 'Cause that's what love is all about, right? Life is nothing unless you have a boyfriend/girlfriend to share it with.

Of course they both get out of the vampire den okay, and they fly home together. Bella wakes up and proceeds to insist, for about twenty pages, that Edward (who sneaked into her room to watch her sleep again, the creep charmer) is an hallucination. She sobs and listens to bad poetry and guess what? She whines. She whines about him being back.

WHAAAAA? Didn't you spend five hundred pages crying because he wasn't here anymore? Now he's back, and you cry about that, too? Girl, I don't even . . .

I don't even care.

So, she finally gets her wake-up kiss from Prince Creeper Charming, and dances off to tell the other vampires that she wants to be a vampire, because naturally, she's spent a whole book whining about her age, why wouldn't she go find the nearest solution? I mean, if you're a cold, dead thing, you certainly won't age, right? You might start rotting sparkling, but aside from that it's all benefits. I mean, why are people even alive anymore? Why doesn't everyone go and die, since being dead is so awesome?

Because apparently, it makes you into this:

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And that pic pretty much sums up the entire life of every vampire, ever. Either you're a rampaging super-villain who never ever gets noticed by the human population at large, or you're . . . that.

Gee, I wonder why I have problems with this series?

Side note: if you like this series or this book, good for you. I'm genuinely glad it didn't give you a headache, or worse. I'm very, very glad it makes you happy. . . . Just leave me out of it, okay?