The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: Another Vampire Sensation

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series has taken a narrative detour with the publication of “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.” The new novella focuses on Bree Tanner, a character introduced briefly in “Eclipse,” the third installment of the best-selling vampire series. Fans of the “Twilight” books know that Tanner has already died, so here Meyer gives us the teen runaway’s backstory, along with a few details that shed light on other characters from the series.

Reading Bree’s story enriches our reading of the Twilight saga and will enhance enjoyment of the “Eclipse” movie. Parts of the novella are woven into the film; Jodelle Ferland portrays Bree. Bree Tanner is a brilliant reminder that “Twilight’s” vampires, despite physical beauty and passion, are tragic creatures. Meyer strips them of romanticism through a teenage girl who never had a chance for happiness in her first, or second, life.

The story told feels complete, unrushed, and is oddly satisfying despite its tragic end. The writing style is a little different but no less readable than the full novels; Bree is more straightforward than Bella, less guilt-ridden and emo, and she tells her story unflinchingly. An easy read with only 192 pages as to we see all the characters we already knew through new, and perhaps less sympathetic eyes, changing your perspective on a few things in the Twilight universe.

Most interestingly, the story provides a supple, unexpected ripple in the events of Eclipse that pieces together some unnoticed dangling ends and makes the story that much more solid. Heartbreaking, exciting, and so invigorating, the story of Bree Tanner is a must read for any Twilight fan as it reminds readers why they’ve become a fan of Meyer's in the first place.



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