I forced myself to cool off for 24 hours before I wrote my opinion on "New Moon" by Stephenie Meyer for fear of becoming so incensed and irate that Mrs. Meyer's lawyers would come looking for me. I wrote about her first book, "Twilight" and was anxious to read the second, but I'm afraid I don't have nearly enough nice things to say about it. Mostly, it made me frustrated.
The main character (I hate to say heroine, since that implies a backbone), Bella, is still in love with her devoted vampire, Edward. She still wants to become a vampire, and he still refuses to do it. They are still slobbering all over each other and pronouncing their love, until Edward decides he's put her life in danger too many times and convinces her that he doesn't love her any more. Bella buys this lame break-up scene and falls apart. She spends the next seven months existing as a zombie and losing all her friends. Okay, so that's somewhat believable. I knew people like that in high school, but seven months seems pretty long. Bella comes out of it enough to make friends with Jacob, from the first book. This can turn into something real, I tell myself. I start to get excited that we've seen the last of Edward and Bella's spineless swooning. Now, I have to tell you that I have nothing against Edward. I think he's one of the most sensible characters in these books. The person who bugs me is Bella. She's a wuss. She's a great big self-centered mess. She can't possibly imagine why Edward would love her, so she buys the break-up fiction. She uses people for her own ends, mostly to get to Edward. She hurts people right and left. She apparently has no self-esteem to speak of. She needs to be shaken, hard. I think the main thing I hate about her is that everybody always has to take care of her. Bella cannot take care of herself. Don't start thinking I'm some sort of femi-nazi because I don't mind being swept off my feet. What I don't like is that Bella cannot seem to stand up on her own feet at any point in these stories. She's belligerent, impatient, selfish and she can't seem to stop swooning. Make. The. Swooning. Stop.
Jacob I like. He's practical. He's handy to have around. He cares about Bella (who knows why) and tries to look out for her. Bella and Jacob actually have a friendship, which is more than she has with Edward. And Jacob kills vampires. What's not to like?
What I'd like to see happen in the third book is Bella either growing some spine or dying. Jacob finds a really great girl and Edward finds him a little vampire honey so they can be immortal together. If Bella does become able to stand up without falling over, I want her to realize how much better Jacob is for her, but only if Edward is killed or something, because I don't want him to get hurt by Bella. Too bad the third book is already written and I don't have any say in this. Honestly, I half-way cringe at the thought of reading it. Maybe I'll put it off for a few months. I don't know if I can stand any more of Bella hyperventilating.