After a birthday party mishap leaves Bella Swan injured and nearly attacked by Jasper, Edward Cullen realizes that perhaps she's better off without him and his family placing her in mortal danger. After breaking up with Bella, he and his family disappear, an event that leaves Bella depressed and despairing. However, during a chance encounter with some strangers while out with a friend, Bella discovers that she can hear Edward's voice in her head while taking risks. When she finds a couple of old motorcycles, she takes them to her friend, Jacob Black, and asks for his help with repairing them. He gladly obliges, and as they spend time working on the bikes, their friendship deepens. But when Jacob declares his feelings, Bella knows she can't reciprocate. He doesn't seem deterred and tells her he'll always be there for her, but when he grows distant as well, Bella sets out on her own in search of the meadow and ends up finding trouble.
New Moon: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1, as the title implies, is the graphic novel adaptation of approximately the first half of Stephenie Meyer's novel, New Moon, the second volume of her bestselling Twilight Saga. In it, Bella reluctantly gathers with the Cullen family on her birthday, but an unfortunate mishap leaves her injured and causes Jasper to nearly attack her. In the aftermath, Edward realizes that it would be best for Bella if he and his family are no longer a part of her life. After their breakup and Edward's departure, Bella is left adrift and depressed, but she eventually discovers by chance that if she takes risks, she hallucinates Edward's voice. She asks Jacob to help her fix up a pair of old motorcycles and as they work on their project, their friendship deepens. But almost immediately after Jacob declares his feelings for Bella and assures her that she can always count on him, he, too, grows distant, leaving her wondering what's going on with him. This part of the story wraps up with Bella nearly being killed by Laurent in the meadow and the wolves coming to her rescue.
As with the second volume of the Twilight graphic novel, I thought this one was also very well done. It definitely hits all the major plot points from the first half or so of New Moon, while sticking pretty closely with the movie version. When I recently reread the Twilight Saga, I gained a new appreciation for Jacob, and this graphic novel adaptation helped to solidify that. I enjoyed Bella and Jacob's friendship, and although unrequited, I could feel the romantic love from Jacob's side of the relationship. However, even though I thought this version of the book was quite good, I still encourage readers to check out the novel first, since it has so much more detail to it. As with the other two graphic novels in this series, I thought the artwork was excellent and matches fairly well with the pictures I'd formed of the characters in my mind. Young Kim does a great job of expressing emotions through her art, which is probably why I felt that deep connection between Bella and Jacob. I thoroughly enjoyed reading New Moon: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 and seeing this story brought to life in a different medium. I'm a little disappointed that the second half of the New Moon graphic novel has never been published, nor have the other two novels been adapted to graphic novels either. I'm not entirely sure why that is, but it isn't looking very likely that it will happen anytime soon, if at all. Even if the first three graphic novel volumes are all that readers get, I'm still happy with what's contained in them and recommend them to fans of the novels and of the medium.
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