A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while very mild by the standards of its genre, this is a vampire romance, so there is talk about blood and romantic kissing. There is more action in this sequel, so teen fans will have no trouble racing through it -- and then taking on the next installments in this popular series. Readers will relate to Bella's romantic misery and find it easy to root for her as she races to save Edward from ending his life.
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What's the story?
In this sequel to Twilight, Bella reluctantly attends a birthday party in her honor given by her beloved Edward's vampire family, the Cullens. But when she accidentally gets cut and members of the family have to be forcibly restrained, Edward decides that he's simply too dangerous for her -- and the only solution is to leave. With the Cullens gone, Bella sinks into abject misery and depression for months. Her only solace is her growing friendship with Jacob. She also discovers that when she does risky and dangerous things, she can hear Edward's voice in her head -- so she takes up motorcycling and cliff diving. But Jacob is going through some horrifying changes of his own, and Bella is being stalked by another vampire out for revenge against Edward.
Is it any good?
If the plot summary sounds a little silly, that's because ... well, it is. But it's terrifically readable silliness, which is a good thing, since NEW MOON is even longer than Twilight, its overlong predecessor. It also has lots more action and plot, though not until Bella mopes around, pining after Edward for 200 pages.
Fans of the first novel may be disappointed that Edward is hardly in this one, which focuses on the flatter personality of Bella. But author Stephenie Meyer does pining as well as she did true love in the first book: It's exaggerated but engrossing -- at least until you put down the book and think about what you've been reading. But the target audience, teen girls, won't mind. Romantic misery has its appeal, and this author does it better than most, all the while keeping the objectionable content low and the suspense and excitement rolling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the popularity of this series. What do you think makes it so appealing? Why has it sparked such a plethora of fantasy and vampire media?
Have you seen the Twilight movies? How do the adaptations compare to the books? Are movies ever as good as the original text? What would you have done differently if you were the director?
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