The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: Steph II’s review

Is it just me, or is the world a happier place now that we have something new from Stephenie Meyer?

I know there are tons of critics of Meyer’s writing and she has writing quirks that drive me a bit batty (“grimace” and “hiss” anyone?), but honestly, opening up The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner was like taking a big gulp of fresh air after sucking in smog for months and months.

When the novella opens, Bree has only been a vampire for about three months. We get some of her backstory, plus the viewpoint of a newborn — almost point, counterpoint against the Cullens’ existence. Riley’s treatment of the newborns provides a stark contrast to the way our beloved vegetarians conduct themselves.

There’s also plenty, and I mean plenty of food for thought — fanfic writers are going to go wild armed with all this new perspective and insight. We see Riley’s manipulation of the newborns, but we also see Victoria’s manipulation of Riley, and it’s hard to sort out exactly who knows what and when.

The really meaty stuff happens when the novella collides with the script we know from Eclipse during and after the actual battle. Let’s just say that Bree and Edward have a very interesting “conversation” that helps explain some things in Breaking Dawn

And finally, some fans (myself included) have been concerned about added scenes that appear in promos for the upcoming film version of Eclipse. After reading The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, these fall into place with a satisfying, “Ah-hah.”

I won’t lie, the novella isn’t the most compelling read, but it is what Meyer has said from the beginning: An exercise in character development. I think both readers and writers will appreciate the depth given to Bree Tanner and recognize the value of this addition to The Twilight Saga.


7 Responses

  1. Okay, your last paragraph totally makes sense to me. I definitely loved those “aha” moments, just felt like the rest dragged. But you’re right — it *is* a character study.

  2. I enjoyed your review and completely enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the different perspective and relish anything new that I can learn about the Twilight world. While I agree there are ‘quirks’ in her writing, Stephenie creates such amazing characters..and that becomes all that matters.

  3. I’m not a lit scholar, by any means, but I found the story to be incredibly compelling. I found myself happy when Meyer would use Bree as a logic portal to intermittently ask questions about what was going on. . . . There was one section particularly when a *ton* of information had been thrown our way, and she stops and recounts what we’ve learned, the questions that Bree and the reader have about that information, and what the potential solutions and implications are. For me, when I’m sitting down to a light read, I’d rather something like this than to be stuck in a whirlwind of unending dialogue and insinuation without any self-reflection (cough Lord of the Flies).

    Otherwise, I totally appreciated your words here! Great review! I agree with you and SGundell here . . . the “aha” moment was a definite WIN.

  4. for some reason …I just don’t have any desire to read this.

  5. Can’t wait to read it!!!

  6. […] millions who has already purchased and read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner? (Read our review here.) If not, you’re in the minority as it gracefully whisked aside John Grisham’s […]

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