Oh, Stephenie.

You know, I really did like Twilight. At the very least I was willing to overlook the artistic license the author took with vampire conventions. And I was willing to forfeit my belief that the vampire myth is intrinsically connected to sexuality because there’s no sex in Meyer’s books. Given all that, Twilight at least moved along at a reasonable clip. The same can not be said about New Moon.

The central character of these books is Bella, a high school student living with her Police Chief father, Charlie. She turns 18 as the book begins and soon after her vampire boyfriend, he of the exquisite face, Edward, announces that he is leaving her. For her own good. Of course. Problem is, his reason for leaving is explained in a line which is lost in pages of pedestrian prose which I had to re-read several times to actually figure out why he decided he must depart.

They aren’t reunited until 500+ excruciating pages later…pages filled with, um, filler. Bella restarts her friendship with Jacob, a boy with a secret of his own. Her relationship with her father stretches and strains and Bella rebels by…learning to ride a motorcycle.

I wish I could say that the book (and the characters) redeems itself by the end, but it doesn’t. New Moon felt like a rushed (bloated) sequel to a popular book. It could have used a really good editor. And a story.