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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If I Stay

When I heard that Gayle Forman’s book, If I Stay, was being marketed as the next Twilight, of course I had to read it.  I enjoyed the book, but I have to say that I don’t think it has the power to generate the fan frenzy that Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga has.  (I’m a Twilighter myself, so I may be a bit biased on this one.)  I think most of the hype for If I Stay has come from the fact that Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke will be directing the novel’s movie adaptation.  Anyhoo, on to a quick look at If I Stay

It’s an atypical February morning in Mia’s life.  A bare dusting of snow has closed schools in her town in Oregon.  The whole family is together.  They decide to go for a drive, and tragedy strikes.   A car accident.  Mia is the only survivor.  She is airlifted to a hospital where the doctors do all they can for her.  Ultimately, though, it is Mia’s choice to stay or go.  She reflects back on her seventeen years, with her crazy, punk-rock family, her obsession with the cello and classical music, her best friend Kim, and her loving boyfriend Adam.  She looks at all of these things and makes her decision.  Will she choose to die and join her family?  Or will she stay?  What would you do?

I went into this book thinking that it couldn’t possibly live up to Twilight.  Well, it did, and it didn’t.  If I Stay was a moving book with a lot of emotional angst, but I can’t say that I was invested in the characters as much as I was with Bella and the Cullen clan.  Was this book well written?  Yes.  Will I recommend it to my students?  Absolutely.  Do I think it’s the next Twilight?  Not so much.  But that’s just my opinion.  I’ll leave you to decide for yourselves.

Twilight movie!!!!

So, the new Twilight movie has been out since midnight on Friday (and I was there for the midnight show), and I have already seen it twice.  Yes, it is that good.  I LOVED it!  Although some things were changed, and some stuff was left out, I thought the movie stayed true to the book’s message.  No, it’s not as good as the book, but movies rarely are.  I thought Robert Pattinson was the perfect Edward, Kristen Stewart was an awesome Bella, and the supporting characters were great (particularly Nikki Reed as Rosalie and Billy Burke as Charlie). 

As my friends could tell you, I have always had a thing for Emmett.  That is even more true now that I have seen Kellan Lutz in the role.  He was HOT!  I love his little smirk and the sideways cap.  Emmett is my man!

Anyhoo, I love this movie, and anyone who has read Twilight should definitely see it.  Check out the soundtrack too.  It’s great, and the music is perfect when you need to scream/unwind on the way home from work or school.  Also, check out the cool Twilight merchandise at Hot Topic!

New Twilight Trailer!!!!

Well, it’s almost four in the morning, and I can’t sleep, so I decided to watch the newly released Twilight trailer.  Let me just say…OH MY GOD!!!!!!  I cannot freakin’ wait until this movie comes out (and it’s coming to a theater near you on November 21st)!  I admit I was a little concerned about the casting for this film, but my worries have been put to rest.  This movie is going to rock! 

(Please bear with me as there will probably be a few more exclamation points in this post.) 

The chemistry between Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart is amazing!  I almost needed a fan after catching a glimpse of that kissing scene.  The fight scenes are going to be awesome!  I can’t wait to see my man Emmett in action.

If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, go to www.twilightthemovie.com, and click on the links provided.  It is well worth your time!  Now we beging the countdown to November 21st!

Twilight Movie Alert!

For those of you who are living under rocks, it was announced last week that the movie adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight will be released on November 21st, 2008. 

Twilight was previously scheduled for December 12th, but the powers that be at Summit Entertainment took advantage of the gap left when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince got pushed to the spring.

I plan to be at the midnight showing of Twilight at my local theater.  I then plan to go home and sleep a few hours before my alarm wakes me at 5:30 am so that I can go to work the next morning.  Yes, I am a dedicated Twilighter (or just crazy)!

Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga

Now that I have had some time to really process everything that happened in Breaking Dawn, I think I’m ready to really write something about the entire Twilight Saga.  I have to say that this series has eclipsed (no pun intended) Harry Potter for me.  The events of Breaking Dawn tied up nearly every loose end to my satisfaction.  Of course, I would like Stephenie Meyer to branch off and tell us more about some other characters, particularly Leah Clearwater and even Renesmee and Jacob’s story.  All in all, I am thrilled with how everything turned out. 

I know there are those out there who are dissatisfied with the storylines in Breaking Dawn, but I, for one, think Stephenie Meyer did a wonderful job, and there is not one thing I would change about this wonderful book or the entire series, for that matter.  I think I’ve become even more obsessed with these books since finishing Breaking Dawn (and that’s saying something).

I look forward to discussing the entire saga with my students and other adult readers as well.  I think it will be interesting to see who likes the way things turned out and who doesn’t.  From what I’ve seen so far, age seems to play a factor here.  Older readers appear to be happy with the series’ outcome while younger readers are disappointed.  This may be pure conjecture, but there could be something to it.  We’ll just have to see…

As for me, I plan to read the entire series over again soon.  I need something to tide me over until December 12th, when the Twilight movie is released.  I can’t wait!

Breaking Dawn – Initial response

I finished reading Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn at 5pm today (roughly 17 hours after it was released).  I am exhausted!  I must say, though, that this book was worth waiting for.  I’m still processing everything that happened in the book, so I’ll post something more detailed later, but, all in all, I’m fairly satisfied with how things turned out.  I’m hoping that Stephenie will clarify a few things in her Twilight Saga handbook (that is to be released in December–just in time for the release of the Twilight movie) or maybe even in future books. 

I don’t want to ruin the book for anyone who happens to read this, so I’m going to sign off now.  I’m in for some much needed sleep.