My last day at Microdyne was uneventful, almost (gasp!) enjoyable. My manager called in sick, which amused me, so I spent all day working on our gigantic pile of emails. I jumped off the phones entirely, in fact, and spent the day writing responses while listening to my iPod--particularly the excellent mix made for me by deliriumdriver
. By the time I left, there were only about a dozen unread emails left, more than manageable if they choose my replacement quickly.
Haven’t done much on the job-search end this weekend because Mom’s been online a lot doing schoolwork. Instead, I’ve been reading a lot. Among others, I picked up and read New Moon
, the second book in the Twilight
series (from the library this time). I’m still asking myself why I care so much about the books, and I really don’t know. But there you go; my thoughts are below. For those who haven’t read the book and plan to, there are spoilers.
1. The writing didn’t bug me as much as Twilight
’s did, mostly because Edward is gone for most of the book and therefore SMeyer doesn’t have a reason to abuse the thesaurus for new combinations of words that mean ‘stunningly gorgeous’ and ‘dazzling’ and also ‘sparkly’.
2. I had read a recap of the book that summarized Bella’s post-Italy conversation with Edward as "Shh, hold on a second. I think I'm having an epiphany here." (Give her a moment, Edward, she doesn't have a lot of these.) "Oh! Okay! You love me!"
And I thought it was meant facetiously. Silly me. That’s almost a direct quote
from the book. As the same reviewer said, “Twilight means never having to say you’re kidding.”
3. I agree with many reviewers that Jacob and Alice are probably the best and most engaging characters in the whole series (which makes me kind of dread Eclipse
). Once I got past the nonsense of Alice’s walk being described as ‘dance-like’ (seriously, what does that ACTUALLY MEAN? Does she go around doing a little ballet waltz-step all the time? Answer: it is SMeyer’s lazy attempt to describe extremely graceful movement.) I really enjoyed her as a character, not least because she is one of the few people in the books you’d actually like to know in real life. Actually, that applies to Jacob as well.
4. One of the few characteristics that Bella showed in Twilight
besides her adoraklutzability was being a bookworm. And you know, I can relate to that. So all through New Moon
, I was waiting for her to drown her sorrows in reading. And it never happened. Finally, this is ‘explained’ by Charlie telling Alice that Bella stopped reading along with listening to music because it ‘reminded her of Edward’.
I’m sorry, WHAT?
As a bookworm myself, I can assure you that one of the easiest and most satisfying ways to mentally ‘escape’ is to read. I will grant that perhaps her usual fare of romantic 19th century novels and Shakespeare plays would be too painful to read. But geez, that still leaves a pretty wide field. Fantasy and sci-fi. Biographies, history, economics, sociology and psychology. Science books written for non-scientists. Epic poetry. Even self-help books, for goodness sake (I suddenly want to see a story in which Bella reads It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken
). I do not find it credible that the simple process of looking at and comprehending words and sentences somehow inescapably reminded Bella of Edward. It comes off, again, as a lazy way to keep the heroine in a perpetual state of suffering that nothing! nothing! (besides illicit motorcycles, cliff-diving, and werewolves) can alleviate--contrary to the heroine’s previous characterization.
5. I have a Big Theory regarding New Moon
(okay, not that big, but bear with me):
SMeyers makes it quite clear that New Moon
is supposed to be a retelling of Romeo and Juliet
; she practically hits us over the head with it, in fact. But I don’t really buy it.
All of a sudden, I realized that New Moon
is an adolescent girl’s version of Peter Pan
. The Cullens become Bella’s version of Neverland, and Jacob is (in an interesting gender reversal) Wendy, doing his best to help Bella grow up. He also falls in love with her, something she realizes but cannot deal with. She does mature somewhat after spending time around him--one huge indication is that she realizes how immature and selfish she has been--but in the end, she returns to the Cullens and her fantasy world, and Jacob cannot stay with her.
(Does this make Alice Tinker Bell?)
6. One last thing. Even more so than in Twilight
, Bella shows her incredible self-absorption in New Moon
. The entirety of her concern for any negative possibility, up to and including Jacob dying, occurs to her in terms of how it will affect HER. How does anyone read this series without wanting to slap her?
Next up on my self-flagellating reading spree: Eldest
, the sequel to Eragon
. Just out of pure sadistic curiosity. Wish me luck? On the bright side, the thing is so huge that if it gets too painful, I can use the book to clonk myself over the head; it’s easily heavy enough to knock me out.