The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

It should come as no surprise that I am a fan of the Twilight saga.  I’ve done the midnight release parties (for the books and the movies), I’ve traveled hundreds of miles to meet Stephenie Meyer (and it was totally worth it), I’ve made vampire cupcakes for a Twilight-themed party at school (white cupcakes with cherry pie filling in the center), and I have a Cullen baseball jersey with the name “Emmett” on the back.  So, yeah, I’m a fan.  Well, the fandom is getting even bigger now because Eclipse will hit theaters on June 30th, and, before you ask, yes, I already have my ticket for the midnight premiere.  I’ve had it for a couple of months now, and I will be seeing the movie on an IMAX screen.  (I can only imagine how awesome Jacob’s abs will look on a screen that big.)  Anyhoo, I’ve listened to the soundtrack, which is awesome, and I’ve just finished reading Stephenie Meyer’s Eclipse novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.  This novella was a great lead-in to the movie madness, and I can’t wait to see how Bree is portrayed in Eclipse.

In Eclipse, we only caught a glimpse of Bree Tanner.  She wasn’t in the story for very long, and only at the end, but she was the only newborn vampire to come into contact with Bella.  Bree surrendered to the Cullens, but she couldn’t escape the rules and punishments meted out by the Volturi.  Even though Bree’s presence in Eclipse was short, Stephenie Meyer wanted to explore this character’s “second life.”  As mentioned in the author’s note, Bree is a seemingly insignificant character, but Bella’s encounter with Bree is the only time she comes face-to-face with what being a newborn vampire could actually be like.  What’s going through Bree’s head?  Is the thirst as bad as Bella’s been told?  How did Bree even come to this point, and is there any hope of redeeming her?

Meyer explores what the life of a newborn vampire might be like, but Bree is not a typical newborn, in my opinion.  She retains her humanity.  She knows it is wrong to kill, but she cannot help herself.  She questions herself and the vampires making decisions for her.  She fears.  She loves.  In reading this novella, I felt sympathy for Bree because I knew there would be no happy ending for her.  She wanted to be good, but she couldn’t escape the path that had been chosen for her.

If you’ve read the other books in the Twilight saga, I strongly encourage you to read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.  It offers a perspective we don’t see in the series, and I think this story will shed new light on what was going on behind the scenes in Eclipse.  At any rate, it will be interesting to see how the audience reacts to the character of Bree Tanner in the upcoming movie.  (If you haven’t read this novella, but still plan to see the movie, what are you waiting for?  You call yourself a Twilighter?  Pick up this book and read it!)

For more information on the Twilight saga, including how you can read this novella for free, visit http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/.  If you plan to buy the book, remember that one dollar of each book sold will be donated to the American Red Cross.

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