4 of 5 Stars - (Read July 2010)
(This review assumes one has read Eclipse)
I actually liked this a lot more than I thought I would! It certainly kept me engaged and was a quick read.
I am most definitely a fan of the Twilight series and the books will always be special to me. I have to say, though, that I wasn't super excited to read this novella by Stephenie Meyer on The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner, when I first heard about it. One, because I know how it ends…and well, it’s not a happy ending, which is what I’m all about. Two, I wasn't sure I really wanted to read about the burning thirst and struggle of a newborn vampire.
I admit to being a moody reader and I think this is a book you have to be in the “right” mood for. Having recently watched Eclipse, and enjoying the additions of the scenes of Riley and the newborns in the movie (which we don’t get a perspective of in the book, Eclipse), I was definitely in the right frame of mind to read this.
I appreciated getting this viewpoint of events that were behind-the-scenes in Eclipse, and I note some of the things in this book were included in the movie. It gave me a view into the creation and life of the newborn army, some insights into the Volturi, and a view of the Cullens and Bella from an outsider’s POV. Not only that, I got to see through red eyes! ... which was actually rather violent, at times, as you would expect. One scene, in particular (of a mass feeding) was quite upsetting, reading it through my human eyes - for obvious reasons! *shudders*
I really liked Bree, and Diego, and was intrigued by Fred (I definitely would have liked more Diego and Fred!). And there is really nothing more I can say without going into spoilers.
I will say, though, that I felt sad at the end, even knowing what would happen. But I also felt okay with it. Not only because it wasn’t unexpected, but because of how Bree approached the end. I will remember you, Bree, and I really wish things could have been different for you. Your life was not insignificant.
I know I sound nuts talking as if fictional characters are real! *LOL* But that’s what Stephenie Meyer’s writing/stories, while not brilliant literature, does for me. Her characters feel like real people and she makes me care about them (even one that seemed so inconsequential, like Bree, who we saw for but a brief moment in Bella’s life). And that’s the experience I look for in my reading.
“I hope you end up caring about Bree as much as I do, though that’s kind of a cruel wish. You know this: it doesn’t end well for her. But at least you will know the whole story. And that no perspective is ever really trivial.”
- Introduction by Stephenie Meyer, The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner.
I recommend this for fans of the series. And if you are a moody reader, like me, do yourself a favour and wait for the right “mood”. Though that's not to say that you will necessarily have a similar experience to me. After all, we all look through different eyes.
P.S. I wish the book had been divided up into chapters.
P.P.S. I’m still holding out for more of my beloved Edward’s perspective in Midnight Sun! ^_^