New Moon is the second installment of the Twilight Saga, written by Stephanie Meyer. The book was released originally in hardcover on September 6th, 2006 by Little, Brown Publishing Company.
New Moon received favorable critical reception, quickly selling out its initial print run of 100,000 copies after being released. It reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list as well as USA Today's 150 Bestsellers. In 2008, it was the #1 bestselling children's paperback with 5.3 million copies sold. It also became the best-selling book of 2009.
The novel's plot immediately follows the events of Twilight continuing the story of the human protagonist Bella and her immortal lover, Edward. The novel draws more focus to Bella’s independent take on life without Edward and she endures many hardships during this period of separation. The novel is noted for incorporating the character of Jacob Black as a serious contender for Bella’s affection’s, and sets up the love triangle that lasts throughout the remaining novels. Moreover, the novel is noted for the male protagonist, Edward Cullen, being absent for the majority of the book. Many fans have praised Meyer’s take on writing a romance novel without the male romantic lead being present for most of the book.
Meyer commented that New Moon follows a difficult period in Bella's life and is significantly darker in nature than its predecessor. The title, named after a phase in the lunar cycle, is reflective of Bella's transformation physically, mentally, and emotionally. The book cover is of a tulip with a petal falling and this represents Bella losing a drop of blood, which is a significant scene in the novel.
Meyer has commented on her struggles during the process of writing this novel, stating that she often cried for the pain that Bella endured during this period of her life. Initially, Meyer did not want the story to be based around the fact that Edward had left Bella, but ultimately she accepted the “inevitability” of it and claimed that writing about Jacob helped her to finish the novel. The first draft of the novel did not include Jacob’s revelation that he was a werewolf and also the epilogue was different to the current one that was published. Moreover, Meyer tried to base the novel around the story of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, as it revolved around a tragic love story, but in this case there was a relatively happy ending.
Critics have noted this novel for being more mature and advanced than the previous book, Twilight. Bella’s character was noted for having more depth and Meyer was praised for the way she portrayed Bella’s vulnerable state and her intense emotions. Norah Piehl of Teenreads.com stated that "New Moon will leave Meyer's many fans breathless for the sequel, as Bella finally understands everything that will be at stake if she makes the ultimate choice to give up her humanity and live, like the vampires, forever."
A movie franchise, directed by Chris Weitz, and starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner has been released, with the New Moon film adaptation being released in 2009 to a box office success.