- "Tonight the sky was utterly black. Perhaps there was no moon tonight—a lunar eclipse, a new moon. A new moon. I shivered, though I wasn't cold."
- ―Bella Swan[src]
In the beginning of the book, Bella is upset because it's her birthday and it will make her older than the "forever" 17 year old Edward Cullen. Much to her dismay, the Cullen family throws her a birthday party. She, then, receives a present from Alice and Edward, a CD with Bella's lullaby on it. At the birthday party, Bella gets a paper cut when opening a present and then Jasper Hale tries to attack her which then leads to her being accidentally smashed into a mess of glass that cuts deeply into her arm, Carlisle ends up giving Bella stitches. Even though Jasper does not harm Bella because the rest of the Cullen's manage to restrain him, the encounter shakes Edward. This reminds Edward of the danger he puts Bella in because of their relationship.
After the party, Bella begins to sense that something is amiss. First Edward is being unresponsive and sulky, then Alice suddenly stops showing up for school. At last, when Bella plans to find out what is happening, Edward meets her after school and takes her into the woods by her house. There Edward tells her that his family has already left Forks, citing that people have noticed that Carlisle is not aging. This shocks Bella, as she realizes that Alice is gone, but even worse is when Edward declares that he is leaving too and that she cannot follow. He does this by telling Bella he no longer loves her, leaving her heartbroken. As soon as he leaves, Bella enters a deep depression that lasts for months, becoming a kind of a zombie with no friends and no life. Bella likens the experience to having a hole in her chest, which flares and throbs at the slightest reminder of Edward. She is plagued by incessant nightmares, and becomes detached from the world altogether. She feels this way not only because she has lost her true love, but because his disappearance has triggered the irrational thought that he never existed in Bella's life.
As her condition gradually worsens, Charlie begins to worry. When her father threatens to send her to live with her mother, she seeks comfort with Jacob Black, an old family friend who helps Bella's pain. Bella soon discovers that rushes of adrenaline in her system yield hallucinations of Edward's voice. Desperate to hear him, she purposely places herself in dangerous situations. She rides a motorcycle and even approaches strange men in Port Angeles. It is through Jacob that she is taught how to ride a motorcycle, and the two bond overtime. Bella soon realizes that Jacob has deep feelings for her, and while she feels she cannot return them, she does not stop him because she depends on his company.
As their relationship flourishes, word soon spreads of disappearances in the woods, with the blame placed on sightings of a large bear. Charlie is alerted to this, and warns Bella to stay clear of the forest. But Bella disregards his words when she attempts to find the meadow that Edward took her to once. Bella ventures deep into the woods and finds the meadow, but the reminder only upsets her. But she is suddenly encountered by Laurent, an old member of James' coven. He is surprised to find her alone, having visited the empty Cullen house recently. When Bella asks why he is around, Laurent reveals that he came on a errand for Victoria. It turns out that Victoria has decided to avenge her fallen mate by killing Bella; a mate for a mate, so that Edward will be grief stricken. Bella is horrified, but Laurent tells her that he is thirsty and plans to kill her himself, insisting that he shall make her death less painful compared the torture Victoria plans for her.
They are interrupted however by the arrival of the "bear", only it turns out to be a large wolf. Not just one wolf, but at least five of them. To Bella's surprise, not only does Laurent run from the sight of them, but the wolves completely ignore Bella and give chase. A shocked Bella quickly escapes the forest and returns home and tells her father what she saw. She becomes paranoid, fearing that Laurent will tell Victoria that the Cullens are not around to protect Bella, and that Victoria will eventually find her.
Aside from this, her condition improves seemingly, though she still feels the pain in her chest. When Jacob suddenly stops seeing her, Bella panics and confronts him. Jacob has become part of a gang lead by Sam Uley, who rescued Bella the night she was lost in the woods. Jacob tells her that he cannot see her anymore, and seems aware that the Cullens are vampires. But later that night Jacob comes to Bella's house, apologizes and tries to give her a hint about what has happened to him. After he leaves, Bella recalls an old story about the Quilette Werewolves, part of Jacob's tribal heritage.
Bella soon finds out that Jacob is a werewolf, a secret that had always been in his family's genetics but reveals itself only when vampires, the werewolves' natural enemies, are around. It is a secret he is forced to keep from Bella at first, but he eventually finds a way around it, making Bella guess what he is. As soon as Bella figures it out, Jacob reveals as much as he can without betraying his pack. Bella and Jacob begin to spend more and more time together. He reveals that Laurent was killed after they chased him from the meadow, but the "redhead" vampire is still at large. Bella realizes that it is Victoria, still trying to kill her. Jacob and his pack then decide to protect Bella as best they can.
Needing another dose of adrenaline, Bella wants to try cliff-jumping, a recreational activity, participated in by Jacob's friends, but Jacob tells her it is not safe by herself and cannot find time to take her, since he and the other werewolves are busy protecting the town against Victoria. However, Bella grows tired of waiting for Jacob. She jumps and gets caught in a riptide in the water. After a few minutes, Jacob rescues her and brings her to safety. When they return to Jacob's house, they learn that Charlie's friend, Harry Clearwater, has passed away because of a heart attack.
Bella's cliff dive sets off a series of unprecedented events. At the same time of her cliff dive, Alice, Edward's "sister" who has visions of the future, foresees Bella jumping to her apparent death. However, werewolves are invisible to her foresight, and she does not see Jacob rescuing Bella. Presuming Bella is dead, Alice rushes to Forks to check on Charlie. When Alice gets there, she finds Bella alive and well. Bella is thrilled to see her again, and she explains that was not committing suicide. For a time Alice stays at Bella's house, an arrangement which Charlie is happy to accept. But when Alice and Charlie are speaking alone, Charlie confesses how tough it has been for both of them. He fears that she will never recover, even with Jacobs around, and he clearly vents his anger to Alice that Edward is responsible. However Charlie is happy to have her around.
But Rosalie, not knowing the truth, called Edward to tell him that Bella is dead. Edward wants to see if it is actually true by calling at Bella's home. When Edward calls, Jacob answers the phone, however, and informs Edward, who is impersonating Carlisle Cullen, that Charlie is at the funeral, referring to Harry, but Edward draws the conclusion that it is Bella's funeral. Having lost the will to exist as immortal, Edward flees to Italy to see the Volturi (peace-keeping vampires who would be able to kill Edward if he broke the vampire laws) thus granting him leave of a world without Bella. Alice foresees this however, and in a panic she and Bella hasten to stop him.
Bella and Alice rush to Italy to stop Edward. Bella stops Edward from stepping into the sunlight by running with all her energy to save him, he is happy to see Bella and know she is alive. She states you didn't have to feel guilty or anything, I can let you go now. He states you'll never have to let go. The reason why Edward decided to reveal himself is because Aro refused to kill him at first so he tries to break the law by an act that would have revealed the existence of vampires and invoked the wrath of the Volturi. Instead, all three of them are brought before the Volturi for judgment. Aro, the most exuberant of the Volturi and their overall leader, is very curious about Bella and her power to block Edward's mind reading. So he sets up tests for her, and finds out that neither he nor Jane can affect her. Intriguied, Aro asks if she wants to join the Volturi when she is a vampire, but she refuses. One of the leaders, Caius, states that Edward has still broken the law by revealing the vampire world to a human, violating the one rule of keeping the existence of vampires a secret. Therefore they decree that Bella must be killed because she knows too much about vampires. Aro however says that Bella may still live if Edward will turn her into a vampire himself. They are saved when Alice shows Aro a vision of the future. Aro, who can also read minds, sees Bella becoming a Vampire and is satisfied. The three are free to leave on one condition: Bella must be turned into a vampire, and soon.
When they all return to Forks, Bella wakes up to see Edward and believes she had drowned or is dreaming and starts going into hysterics. Edward tells her what he was doing before he heard about her dying, that he left to try and protect her because, in spite of his words, he still loves her deeply. But she still believes that he is a dream. He finally manages to make her believe he is real by kissing her. He also explains that he will never leave her again. She is happy to have him back, but he upsets her when he says that he won't damn her soul by turning her into a vampire. Bella knows that she must become a vampire, knowing that the Volturi are incredibly powerful and will surely punish them for breaking their deal. She then tells him that she is going to ask his family to vote on the matter. Everybody says yes to her being a vampire except Edward and Rosalie, with the latter only voting no because she herself resents the life of a vampire and feels obliged to at least vote otherwise. Edward is angry at his family, but Carlisle himself will not risk Edward running off to the Volturi if Bella dies as a mortal. Edward takes Bella home, and tells Bella that he will turn her himself after she marries him. Bella is subsequently healed from her psychological wounds, and her life begins anew.
The book ends with Bella being grounded for leaving Forks without permission. Because she hadn't gone to La Push in a while, Jacob thinks that Edward was keeping Bella away, so he drops off the motorcycles at her house, which makes Charlie furious. When Bella and Edward come back and find this out, Jacob confronts them. Bella explains that she didn't go to see him because she was grounded before, and Jacob (who thinks Edward plans to change Bella into a vampire) reminds Edward that if he or any of his family bites a human, their treaty with the werewolves will be broken. Jacob is shocked when Bella reacts angrily toward this revelation, and realizes that Bella wants to become a vampire. He leaves looking hurt and angry, and Bella gets the feeling that he now counts her among his enemies. The novel ends with Bella contemplating all the problems that she has: Victoria, Jacob's mistrust, the Volturi, and the threat of a war with the werewolves. If she does not become a vampire the Volturi will kill her, but if she is transformed then the werewolf pack will attempt to do the same.
Cover and title significance
Stephenie Meyer has stated that the red and white ruffled tulip on the cover of New Moon has no significance to the story, as she had no part in choosing its design. However, fans suggest theories like the "flower is drooping because Edward and Bella's love is failing," and "the white and red represents Bella adjusting to vampire life," and "like the falling petal of the flower, Bella is also falling into a deep depression."
The title refers to the darkest phase of the lunar cycle, indicating that New Moon is about the darkest period of Bella's life when she doesn't have true love. Stephenie Meyer has stated that it has absolutely nothing to do with werewolves.
Awards and nominations
New Moon rose to the #1 position on the New York Times Bestseller List for Children's Chapter Books in its second week on the list, and remained in that spot for 11 weeks. It spent over 30 weeks in total on the list.
- Main article: New Moon (film)
On November 22, 2008, Summit Entertainment, the producers of the Twilight film, officially announced that they would move forward with the production of the second installment in the saga, New Moon. This announcement came after the first film's early success at the box office. Stephenie Meyer stated that she is very happy to be able to continue working with Summit on the production of the saga. The majority of the original cast have signed on for the sequel, which will star Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, and Ashley Greene. Chris Weitz is directing the film, replacing Catherine Hardwicke who could not return to direct New Moon due to time restraints. Summit released New Moon on November 20, 2009.
- Stephenie Meyer's official New Moon website
- The Twilight Series' official website
- The Twilight Lexicon
|Published novels||Twilight • New Moon • Eclipse • Breaking Dawn • The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner • Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined|
|Unpublished items||Midnight Sun • Forever Dawn|
|Graphic novels||Twilight: The Graphic Novel • New Moon: The Graphic Novel|
|Illustrated guides||The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide|
|Movie companions||Twilight: Director's Notebook • Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion • New Moon: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion|