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The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer Yes, I bought it. Yes, I am doomed. I'm just gonna stop fighting it and embrace my inner 14-year-old Twilight nerd.


Book finished circa 5 am this morning during a fit of insomnia. I may keel over from exhaustion at any moment, so my thoughts may be a little incoherent and less-than-insightful.

Bree Tanner is (I think) a 15-year-old street girl who is made a vampire to serve as cannon fodder for Victoria's great battle with the Cullens in Eclipse. She's on the naive side. Early on in the book, she throws her lot in with another young vampire, Diego, and starts swooning over him almost immediately. This swooning is what ultimately leads Bree to her death.

I'm having a hard time finding anything passionate to say about this book. I neither loved it nor hated it. Meyer's writing remains repetitive (perhaps she thinks this is how you write for a YA audience?), and she misses some real potential in writing from the point of view of a vampire. Unfortunately, Meyer doesn't do conflict or tension very well, unless it's romantic. She once again glosses over the big battle, I suppose because she doesn't know how to write one. But to set it up and then have it happen more or less offstage (twice!) is a disservice to the reader. I also think Meyer missed some opportunity for conflict with Bree herself by having Bree so blithely accept her own vampire nature. She kills because she thirsts, but she has no thoughts or feelings about this. Bree is more or less an animal, following instincts to feed and to mate and for self-preservation. She questions the motivations and intentions of Riley, Victoria's stand-in as leader of the army, but none of this seems especially organic to Bree as a character. I was all too aware as I read that Meyer was putting words in Bree's mouth and head because the vampire teen never really had a life of her own. If Meyer were a smarter writer, that could be an interesting, ironic layer to the story, but I doubt it was intentional.

At any rate, I don't feel any more illuminated about the story in Eclipse by having read this. I didn't learn anything about the newborns that I didn't learn from Jasper's backstory in the larger novel, and Meyer didn't really give me enough to care about these characters. I had no emotional stake in their participation in the battle, and that's another wasted opportunity. It would have been cool to arrive at that battle with loyalties torn between the Cullens and this new set of characters, but Meyer just can't bring herself to write that kind of conflict, which makes this novella kind of a pointless curiosity. I enjoyed it well enough for a quick, but ultimately vapid, summer read, but I think my time for Twilight has passed. The first two books spoke to me because I read them at times in my life when those kinds of stories would tug at my emotions. That period of my life is over, and so this world of teen romance and sparkly vampires is leaving me cold.

Rating is more like 2 1/2 stars.