With Bella Swan broken almost beyond repair by Edward Cullen's departure (damn that vampire's twisted nobility - leaving her to save her), Bella's life darkens until she has very little left to believe in, or to guide her onward. "Time passes. Even when it seems imposible. When each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me."
The angst present in this book all but leaps off the pages - and upon my first reading of the book, seemed genuine. Bella really was
lost without Edward. She grieved for him, still loved him - could barely say or think his name.
Upon a second, closer reading, I was appalled. Who forms their life so closely around one love that, when it ends, they cannot go on, literally cannot move forward? Bella moves sluggishly through life, screams in her sleep, literally tries to hold herself together...because Edward left? New Moon is a study in unnatural grief and loss, and while the reader's heart absolutely breaks for Bella...
Enter Jacob Black.
Bella gravitates toward him at first as a distraction, a means to an end, a way to feel -something- again. And bless his heart, Jacob is there for her, unequivocally. He doesn't judge her. He doesn't turn her away. He doesn't call her out for treating him the way she does.
He just accepts her. And in time, loves her."But, as it so often did, Jacob’s presence kept me whole."
For the first time since Twilight
, the reader is given a choice in who they prefer Bella to be romantically linked to: Edward or Jacob. For me, the choice was immediately clear.
Unfortunately for the author, breaking from tradition was not quite
that easy, and New Moon sets the stage for a love triangle that continues on into Eclipse.