Stephenie Meyer's The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
By Karen Ballum on June 26, 2010
BlogHer Original Post
When Stephenie Meyer announced that she was publishing a novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, I rolled my eyes and swore I wasn’t going to read it. Nope. Nuh-uh. Not doing it. I should have known better. I said the same thing about Breaking Dawn, and that only lasted two days. I’ve read it, and darn it all, I liked Bree.
I was uncertain about The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Why should I care about one of Victoria’s newborns? I didn’t even remember who Bree was. Eclipse was my least favorite of Meyer’s novels. Mostly I wondered if I would miss out on something major if I didn’t read it. That was really what broke me. I knew I had waited too long to even begin thinking about getting it from the library. If I got on the request list, I might get lucky and get it this year (unlikely but possible). I didn’t want to buy it, because all my books are currently in boxes, and I don’t want to have to start packing yet another box of books. Thankfully, Stephenie Meyer gave me an out and has made The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner available for free online until July 5, 2010. Unfortunately you can only read it on your computer, no phones or ebook readers.
Once I got over my disappointment that I couldn’t read it on my iPhone, I settled down with my laptop, ready for my sparkly vampire fix. Stephenie Meyer has a peculiar talent for making me like her stories. I don’t particularly like her writing, and for the first few pages of any of her books, I tend to moan and complain about the language she uses and the phrases that she likes to repeat. But then something happens, and I stop noticing. I get into the characters and what is happening to them, and the language and repetition fall away. I get lost in the story.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner started off slowly for me. I wasn’t sure that I’d get lost in it. I found Bree kind of annoying, and as for the others, Bree could barely keep them straight so I had no chance. Little by little though, Bree chipped away at me, and then I was there. I was in the story and anxiously noticing how few pages I had until the end. I knew what was going to happen. I had read Eclipse, and while I didn’t remember it very well, Meyer’s introduction jogged my memory enough that I figured out who Bree was ... and what her fate would be. I wanted Bree to have a different ending. I liked her, darn it!
Meyer states in her introduction that Bella was never going to have a normal newborn vampire experience. It’s part of what attracted to her Bree and caused Bree’s story to come forward. On one hand, as Nadia says, it was nice to get the perspective of a vampire who wasn’t part of the Cullen coven. However, I don’t think Bree was a “normal” newborn either. She was often too controlled and always distancing herself from the meaner and rowdier vamps that were part of her coven. She wasn’t like them. We only get a little taste of what normal, that is mean and nasty, vampires are like, and as Tez says, they need to get over themselves.
[...] these vamps have a sense of entitlement: It was the same way he chose us. Meals and gods, both coming from the dregs. Keep a lid on it, kids – you’re just vamps; not gods. And not ninjas, either, however you may wish.
Would I have missed out on anything if I hadn’t read it? I’ll let Alison take that question.
As a Twilight fan, did we find out anything new from Bree Tanner? I won't spoil anything for you, but I think we gain one key piece of information that we were hidden from before. I wish we knew even more about this tidbit, but it definitely adds another layer to the Volturi.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner isn’t an important book in the series, but it’s not a bad one. It’s a fun diversion, and I’m not sorry I read it. Now if only Stephenie Meyer would finish writing and publish Midnight Sun ... I can at least hope, right?
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