Friday, July 30, 2010

Book Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Title: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Release Date: 06/05/2010
ISBN: 031612558X

I'll admit that while I didn't really like Twilight all that much, I was vaguely curious about this book. After all, it was the one thing my older sister really wanted as a late birthday present. (I've yet to hear her reaction to the book.) Since it was so short (only about 180 pages) I ended up reading it during my register shift at the bookstore. I ended up getting more drawn into it than I did Twilight, but somehow the book just seemed to be lacking in some areas.

TSLoBT follows the titular character as she struggles to survive in a flock of ruthless fledgling vampires that were turned by a creator they've never really met for a purpose none of them are even aware of. Bree knows that there's something not quite right about the entire situation, but she's determined to make the best of it. She manages to escape most of the in-group fighting by hiding behind Freaky Fred, then hunting with her friend Diego. It's during one of their nightly hunts that she & Diego have a close run-in with the sun (they've been told to expect to burn up if the sun hits them), only to discover that almost everything they've been told is a lie.

I'm not that overly familiar with the series, but I am aware of the storylines for the books. With that in mind, I have to say that I didn't really feel like I missed much as far as the Twilight story stuff goes. It's just that there's so many things earlier on in the book that were glossed over, stuff that I wish I had been able to read about. We're given only passing reasons for why Bree left home & while I can understand why the book focuses more on the current situation at hand, I really feel like it would have benefited the story if the characters had been more expanded on. I got the impression that Bree had been turned relatively soon before the story had started (about a few weeks beforehand), so I wish that the story had started with her being turned- it'd have build a little more suspense that way.

As it was, some of the more serious stuff felt sort of flat & while I did enjoy it enough to give it a B- (hey, it was short & to the point), this book feels like it will really only be truly enjoyed by die-hard Meyers fans. On a positive note, you don't have to have read the Twilight series multiple times in order to follow along with the story, but I get the impression that it helps. What I can say about this book is that it is making me think that I need to take another look at the series to see if my appreciation for this book can translate into my liking the Twilight series more.

Grade: B-

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