Where do I start... I guess it would be that it took me over 7 months to finish this one. It was one of those books that I started reading, then put it down and didn't pick up till sometime late 2007, early 2008. But I flew through it like a race horse. Reasons being was that I could at that point in my life put myself in Bella's shoes, having to deal with my own horrible heart break that resembled her's as well. He may have not been a vampire, but none the less it was a pretty big deal.
I think being able to connect to her more in this book, than in 'Twilight' was crucial. The 1st book in a series always is a make or break, but the sophomore year (ie - the 2nd book) can lift the book higher into the stratosphere or send it into a black hole of shame. New Moon didn't, but it didn't do the same as the first book either. This can happen, but I think it had to do more so with how well a reader could relate to the story and the characters.
Overall, it was a great read. I wouldn't call it my favorite, but I wouldn't shove it away in a box just yet. It does look pretty on my book shelf :)