I realize today’s post is more than a bit late, but I’ve only just finished The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer. I have to admit, I took advantage of the free version at breetanner.com, though that made finishing the story a bit difficult when you had to reflip to the page you’d ended on whenever you went back to the webpage. Considering I had no idea if I’d enjoy the book at all, though, I was more than grateful for the chance to check it out before buying the book. (It’s free online through July 5th, by the way, and only 178 pages, if you want to read it online!)
So. I only vaguely remembered Bree from the end of Eclipse. She was our one look at a “newborn” vampire, and one that Bella looks at with a “I could turn into that” point of view. We didn’t know much more about her, though, except that she wanted to suck Bella dry—not that that was exactly a new thing for non-Cullen vamps in the Twilight world. Probably like a lot of people, my first reaction to hearing about The Short Second Life was… why do I care about her perspective? Why should I care about Bree Tanner at all?
I have to admit, though, when I read the intro by Stephenie Meyer, and I read the tagline from the inside flap of the book of it being another story full of “danger, mystery, and romance,” I kind of got my hopes up. Maybe Bree really was going to captivate me and hold me by the throat the way Twilight first did. I was starting to look forward to it, even though vampire books really aren’t my cup of tea, and this is the most vampirish of any of the Twilight stories.
Now that I’ve read the story, though… do I feel differently? Honestly, I don’t know that I do, much. I have to admit, I enjoyed Bree’s perspective. She wasn’t whiny like Bella, even though she was still kind of a scaredy, and kept out of all the real action. Her interaction with Diego was fun to watch, but so short-lived that I felt the “romance” tagline was forced at best. In fact, the romance itself seemed a bit overrated, even by Bree. She didn’t have time to fall in love with Diego properly, so her agony at the end of the story doesn’t truly hit home the way it would if the two had more of a real relationship. That said, I did enjoy their interaction, as I said. Once Diego was out of the picture, though, we get caught up in the one big stumbling point Twilight—or any first-person perspective—can’t help but have… we were stuck with Bree’s point of view, even when it may not have been the most interesting one.
But learn insight into what happens in Eclipse, we certainly did. I don’t know that it’s as essential to understanding the novel as it claims to be—Eclipse would be a failure of a novel if it needed outside help after all, which it’s not—but it was interesting. And it was refreshing to stumble back into familiar territory at the end of the novella, too. I think Bree ended up a lot more human than Meyer ever implied newborn vamps could be, though, and a lot more rational, too, no matter how many times she’d derail her logical thinking by saying she couldn’t concentrate—I didn’t buy that, half the time.
So I guess I could say that I’m glad I read this. But unlike the rest of the Twilight novels, I don’t honestly know that I’ll ever read it again. It was nice to step back into that world for a minute, though, and I have to admit, I really, really loved Fred. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of him, in the future.
I give you a B, Bree Tanner. Maybe a B+, since a dollar of every book is donated to the Red Cross. Is that cheating? Yes, but hey, it’s for a good cause. If you do read the book online, there’s a chance to donate there, too. Don’t miss it.