***Spoiler alert - mostly starting near the end of the 2nd paragraph - don't read if you haven't read New Moon***
If you have been following my blog, you know I have been re-reading, or rather listening (audiobook) to New Moon. This is only my second time reading New Moon because it depressed me so bad the first time I read it I kept putting off re-reading it. The first time I read it, I got so depressed I didn't even cry, I just moped for a week while I read the book. Lost my appetite (VERY unusual for me) and was just miserable.
I think in hindsight it reminded me of darker times in my own life. My first serious boyfriend and I dated 2.5 years and then broke up when I was 19 and a freshman in college. Now the reason we broke up was nothing like Twilight, he was cheating on me. However, the pain I felt was dug out of my subconscious when I read New Moon the first time. I was young and devastated. I didn't have many close friends at the time because I had built my world around this guy. I lacked perspective. Now 20 years later, most of which I've spent with my now husband, I see things very differently, but somehow Stephenie Meyer and her talent brought back all the pain fresh again. Don't get me wrong, I feel nothing for that guy, not even anger at this point. However, I can remember the pain and felt so bad for Bella - only in her case it was worse, she'd lost her true love, a dream guy. I'd lost a jerk.
So this second time around was different. First I knew he was leaving so I braced myself. After chapter 3, I allowed myself to sit and cry and really wallow in the feelings and get it out of my system rather than stifling them and being a zombie for a week. Then I tried to really focus on the part of the book from the time Edward leaves until the time he returns and not rush through it. All I have to say now is fantastic!
After Twilight, I now think this is my favorite book. Not because of what happens, but because of the range of emotions and conflict. Her trying to decide right before Alice comes back if she could give in and let Jacob love her even though she knew she'd never feel the same way. The range of emotions Jacob goes through even though you don't get it from his point of view. She knows he wants her. Then while she doesn't know why he acts different, we do know he's changing into a werewolf and we can put ourselves in his shoes and try to imagine how hard that would be to have that suddenly thrust upon you. Then the rush to save Edward, the thrill of re-uniting only to have to face the Volturi. Bella's realization that he truly loves her and always has. Her confronting his family for a vote on changing her. And many other examples.
I know we already know this, but Stephenie is a genius. I used to think it was her gift to bring the characters to life, but now I think her genius is also in her ability to hit the widest range of emotions possible and get you to really FEEL them.