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The short second life of Bree Tanner

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It’s a testament to just how addictive Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga is for fans that a short novella about a fleeting character in one of the books instantly goes to the top of the bestseller list.

Just as the title says, this is about the short second life Bree Tanner, a fifteen-year-old girl “turned” by villain Victoria as part of the newborn vampire army she creates to attack the Cullens and Bella.

Told in the first person, Bree is struggling to understand what her role is in the vampire group she’s found herself in. She doesn’t know her maker’s name (readers of course know it’s Victoria), and her world is one of aggression and violence as the undisciplined newborns regularly tear each other apart.

In this brutal environment, she befriends Diego, and together they try to separate the lies from the facts about what it means to be a vampire – and what their “leaders” have in store for them.

For me, just as interesting as the story, is the exercise by Stephenie Meyer of exploring the back story of a peripheral character.

Meyer openly admits she began to care for Bree once she started on the back story (which she started during the editing phase of Eclipse at the suggestion of her editor), and wished she’d given Bree a different ending.

It’s one of the reasons I think Meyer’s stories are held so closely to the hearts of readers: she loves her characters (especially narrative characters) and it comes through on every page. It’s just as much the case for Bree as it is for Bella.

It certainly works as an addition to the Twilight canon (and prompts a re-read of the corresponding chapters in Eclipse).

An interesting exercise would be to have someone who hasn’t read the Twilight books read it, and judge it on its merits … but anyone who hasn’t read the other four (or even the first three) is unlikely to be curious enough to pick it up.

I’m interested to hear from fans who’ve read the new release, and see what they think.

(By the way I love the cover.)

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About paulaweston

I'm a writer. And a reader.

3 responses »

  1. I was pretty shocked at how much I loved this story, I wasnt too sure about it at first because of the whole seeing through the eyes of a newborn, but I was pleasantly suprised to see from that viewpoint. The book was rather addicting and I have to say that I enjoyed every minute of it.

    Reply
    • im currantly reeding it im up to the bit were bree, diego , kevin and the blonde haired boy are out hunting . i havent read much but hopefully when im one it will be my most favored book .

      Reply
  2. Having followed the Twilight series, I was always going to have to read this novella, but to be honest I wasn’t sure how much of a story Meyer could get out of this side character, especially given that it starts from the time Bree is ‘turned’ and, as the title clearly states, it is a short life.

    I was pleasantly surprised and found Bree Tanner an engaging narrator. I enjoyed getting a view into the world of the newborns, and meeting some new characters in this motley coven (or army).

    When I think about it, one of the things that I found frustrating at times with the Twilight series, was only ever seeing Bella’s viewpoint – I think this is part of the reason I enjoy the films so much, as we get to see more of the story than Bella is able to in the books. I also found the never published and incomplete book “Midnight Sun” great reading – Meyer’s writing of Twilight from Edward’s perspective.

    Reply

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