Monday, June 21, 2010

Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, by Stephenie Meyer

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, by Stephenie Meyer

Published: June 5, 2010

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 178

Overall Rating: 

Bree Tanner can barely remember life before she had uncannily powerful senses, superhuman reflexes and unstoppable physical strength. Life before she had a relentless thirst for blood... life before she became a vampire. 

All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don't draw attention to yourself and, above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doesn't know: her time as an immortal is quickly running out. 

Then Bree finds an unexpected friend in Diego, a newborn just as curious as Bree about their mysterious creator, whom they know only as "her". As they come to realize that the newborns are pawns in a game larger than anything they could have imagines, Bree and Diego must choose sides and decide whom to trus. But when everything you know about vampires is based on a lie, how do you find the truth?

*Possible mild spoilers*
I'm glad I didn't go into this one too psyched. As you may remember from my latest IMM, I wasn't too excited to read this. Mostly because I didn't care about Bree as a character. She's there in Eclipse for one scene, and we all know how that ends for her. So ultimately, we knew how this one would end too. Not much to look forward too....

For starters, Bree felt a little too much like Bella. Actually, a lot too much like Bella. I honestly didn't feel like she was a different character. Especially considering she also didn't act like a typical newborn vamp. She had extra self-control too, but why? I thought the entire point of this book was so that we could see it from the other side? Shouldn't we have experienced Bree as a ravenous newborn, unable to control her urges?

There was a very very small romance. I can't really stress how small it was any other way than saying, it was nearly non-existent. Still yet, the friendship there was probably the best part of the entire book.

Meyer writes an introduction, that tells us why she wrote this book. She couldn't forget about Bree (or Diego, or Fred) and felt the need to write this side of the story. She wanted all of us to think about Bree as a character, rather than just another of Victoria's pawns. She was successful, to an extent.

The newborn vampires didn't have the greatest background, as they were all troubled kids to begin with. That kind of takes away any sympathy I may have had for Bree having her human life taken from her.
However, I will say that in reading Eclipse, I did feel a pang of sympathy for her. They described such a young girl, who clearly didn't want to be a part of the battle, and ultimately she's shown no mercy. How could you not feel a bit sorry for her? The thing is, there's a certain event in this book (I won't say what, but I believe it was meant to be the that really makes me think Bree's demise was probably best for her. Otherwise, she may have become Victoria someday.

So, my final thoughts. If there had been any unanswered questions about this vampire world, this book failed to deliver any answers. I only care about Bree a slight amount, so not much improvement there. I walked away feeling as though her death was for the best. I'll miss both Diego and Fred, but I don't feel they're really part of the Twilight world. I kind of feel like I just wasted two and half hours of my life for no reason at all.

Please, please STOP! Leave the Twilight Saga at what it is(was)! The first four books are great, no need to keep adding to that. (Unless it's Midnight Sun. Who cares about Bree?! I think all of us are in agreement on the fact that we'd much rather have Midnight Sun!) Clearly, someone's trying to bank on the success, and it's not going so well. (though from their point of view, it's probably going great.) Leave. It. Alone. Before everyone feels like I do, like they're just DONE with it all.

Writing Style:


  1. I haven't been overly excited about this book either and now I am sure it won't make it very high on my tbr list. Thanks for a good review. Shari

  2. i should say straight away that i am not a twilight fan. i did enjoy the first movie, which prompted me to read all 4 books (well, skim them) - but thought the characters were overly simplistic, the writing juvenile, and bella in particular was way too fragile for my taste.

    however, like you, i was interested in the idea of the violent raging newborn, so i picked up bree tanner at the grocery store a couple weeks ago and flipped through the beginning and end chapters. i didn't read the whole thing but i read enough to say that i completely agree with you. first of all, i wish we could have seen the changing process for bree. bella's change was so safe - there was never any fear that she'd lash out and kill someone as a newborn. she knew exactly what she was getting into, and was more or less the exact same person as soon as the change was finished.

    bree, on the other hand, was changed against her will, probably before she had any idea vampires even existed. what was she like before? what were her first thoughts after? did she regret the loss of her human life, or could she only think about blood? the concept of the blood thirsty newborn was very intriguing to me, and it's basically the only reason i bothered to even look at the book. but, stephanie meyer apparently wasn't too interested in exploring that darkness in any depth.

    oh well.


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