So, while I was revisiting some of my old posts looking for inspiration for a new post, I reread a lot of my old book reviews, including the two Twilight books reviews. (Twilight and Eclipse.) In the Eclipse review, I just briefly said that New Moon was enjoyable except for the parts that had Edward in them.
Unfortunately, I completely forgot what I said about the first Twilight, and when I reread that review, I realized I liked Twilight and New Moon for completely different reasons. Twilight had the characters acting like decent people, I wouldn't call it particularly deep or insightful, but there were a few statements and actions that, I thought, merited a little consideration and reflection, kind of in the same way some of those pretty Facebook memes do (just without having to scroll through all the negative that Facebook offers in order to find that one positive thing). You know - not profound, but not bad. Characters were just trying to act like decent people.
New Moon, I enjoyed for a completely different reason, which I feel a particularly strong need to mention because of Bella's idiocy in trying to put herself in danger. I didn't feel the need to mention that at the time because it has been soundly discussed already, and also because Bella realized she was wrong - she changed. She has at least one scene, even before Edward comes back, when she realizes she was acting selfishly. (As I mentioned previously, she did not do that in Eclipse.) However - given what I said about the previous book, I should probably make the distinction. What I said about the characters in Twilight does not carry over into New Moon. I like New Moon because of the book's atmosphere. There was an element of mystery around the werewolves that really wasn't around the vampires. Even though Bella had to kind of figure out what they were, there was still this scene where Edward just offers up all this information with very little prodding. The werewolves didn't do that very quickly, and I think it made for a mysterious atmosphere. I already knew a lot about these particular werewolves even before I read the book, so I think the mystery in the atmosphere was due to the writing. It was also nice that this book spends more time discussing nature and the outdoors than its predecessor. I think that may be why I liked it - at least, until Alice showed up.
So, that's my summary. I found Twilight pleasant because of the characters, but that does not hold true for New Moon - I enjoyed that because of the atmosphere. Given how irrationally Bella acted in New Moon, I should have made that clear right at first. But better late than never, right?