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The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner – An Eclipse Novella Review

Last night I read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, the new Eclipse Novella written by Stephenie Meyer. It was a really quick read – I got through it within one evening – because once again that addictive quality in her writing is right there from the first page. At first I was skeptical to even buy and read the book, but once I settled in to read the first few pages, it was really hard to put down.

If you love the writing style from The Twilight Saga, then the Eclipse Novella won’t disappoint. The story feels (surprisingly) separate from Eclipse as a novel (or any of the Twilight books for that matter), and I think that’s because Meyer has done a really good job of stepping into a new character’s shoes. We’re so used to reading the The Twilight Saga through Bella‘s first person point of view, and this time, Bella’s world is shown to us from Bree‘s perspective. While Bella is so certain all the time of what she wants, we see that for Bree everything is a struggle to figure out in her new existence as vampire.

Until the last quarter of Bree Tanner, the story is largely unrelated to what’s going on in the actual Eclipse storyline, particularly the love traingle between Jacob, Bella, and Edward. We get inside Bree’s head instead and experience all of these conflicting feelings and impulses that come with being a newborn vampire. It’s a very sensory experience because her apprehensions and drives are described so vividly that you imagine just what she is going through – the same way that we do with Bella throughout the Twilight books.

The characters in Bree Tanner are developed decently enough, and the story progresses at a good speed. We meet Bree’s companion and best friend in the newborn clan – Diego – and he’s a really likable guy throughout the story. He kind of reminds me of Jacob and that kind of relationship that exists between him and Bella. There’s also this newborn vampire, Fred, who is capable of repelling everyone around him – kind fo a cool power to read about. He forges a kind fo silent bond with Bree, who isn’t interested in a fight or a battle – although she’s made to join.

The main Bree Tanner storyline follows Bree and Diego as they tried to uncover the reasons for the building of a newborn vampire army of which she is now a part of. All we know, according to Bree, is that an un-named “she” (Victoria) is the creator, and Riley is her right-hand man. The story deals with Bree’s developing friendships and insecurities about who to trust and who to be wary of. The emotions are portrayed very honestly, and Bree does become a more dynamic character by the end of the Eclipse Novella.

I think the most interesting part of this Eclipse Novella is arriving at the ending battle scene that we read about in the original Eclipse, and seeing it from the opposite side. It’s so interesting to read about Bella, The Cullens, and the wolves through Bree’s perception. I love that the point of view is flipped upside down. Even though we know the sad outcome and Bree’s fate, it feels like a brand new story being told. She doesn’t even know who the Volturi are until they arrive in the field, and we see the betrayal of Riley dawn on her in a shocking and emotional twist we all knew was coming. Bree simply thinks the fight is to defend the newborn clan’s hunting ground, Seattle, while she has really just been used as pawn in Victoria‘s plan of revenge against the Cullens and Bella from the start.

I think Twilight fans will really like this story and appreciate how it lends itself to the story of Eclipse specifically. I love that The Twilight Saga is given to us through Bella, but sometimes it’s nice to step back and consider things from another person’s point of view. It was cool to get to know Bree as a character during her short second life.

Reasons to read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner:

  • Same addictive Stephenie Meyer writing style
  • Character relationships and development that we love from Twilight
  • It relates closely to Eclipse and contains some of our beloved Twilight characters
  • It’s an emotional ride that you can delve right into
  • Bree is a cool character who is really a lot more complex that Eclipse suggests

June 13, 2010 Posted by | Eclipse | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Review

Just picked up the Eclipse soundtrack deluxe edition today and I love it! Whether you’re a Twilight fan or not is kind of irrelevant when it comes to this soundtrack as it’s jam-packed with so many good artists such as Bat for Lashes, Metric, and Sia just to name a few. The entire Eclipse soundtrack list reads just like a playlist from Kristen Stewart‘s own iPod (or so we can imagine). I’ve put an asterisk* next to the songs by bands or artists that Kristen is a fan of. I’m tempted to read through the thank yous and credits on the cd fold-out pages – KStew‘s name’s got to be on there somewhere (:

Here’s my take on The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Official Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition) and all of the amazing songs that have been written for the forthcoming Eclipse movie!

1. Metric – Eclipse (All Yours)*

This is the perfect opener for the Eclipse soundtrack. “Eclipse (All Yours)” is supposed to¬† represent Bella‘s point of view throughout the course of the film. Emily Haines smooth voice is the perfect accompaniment to Bella’s thoughts. This song is so Bella, it just feels and sounds like the character without any further explanation needed. I bet Kristen Stewart loves this song – after all, it is her character’s musical representation for the movie, and we know she’s a Metric fan. This is definitely a KStew song as well as a Bella song.

2. Muse – Neutron Star Collision

We’ve all pretty much heard this song a billion times since its release as a single a few weeks ago, but it’s still great to hear it again as part of an entire compilation for the Eclipse soundtrack. This song pretty much sums up the whole feel of Eclipse for me: a story about everlasting love that must first overcome difficulty and the trials and tribulations that life throws in the way. Muse has infused this song with a power-ballad feel that is made even more evocative with the piano chords and electric guitar keeping pace with the lyrics. For me, this song mostly resonates with the latter half of Eclipse – everything to do with the battle.

3. The Bravery – Ours

So far this is my favourite song on the Eclipse soundtrack. I’m a big fan of The Bravery, mostly their older stuff, but this song proves they are back. They have such an original sound that you don’t even know what to do with it in terms of categorizing. Indie/pop/rock I guess? This song is so Edward and Bella. It’s all about what they would do for one another, how time is theirs and theirs alone when they’re together. “Ours” captures that magical relationship between them that is so hard to define otherwise.

4. Florence & The Machine – Heavy In Your Arms

This is a bit of a darker song on the Eclipse soundtrack. The storyline of Eclipse definitely takes some darker turns. This song to me captures the relationship between Jacob and Bella. The love between them is a heavy weight that neither of them can ignore. It’s a heavily emotional song that resonates with the characters and their complex situation in Eclipse. “Heavy In Your Arms” kind of reminds me of the New Moon soundtrack and the angst that came with many of those songs as an almost tangible feeling.

5. Sia – My Love*

Sia’s voice is so emotionally loaded, that the simple strings and piano in the background are all that’s needed to accompany her lyrics on this song. “My Love” is so sad and beautiful at the same time. It makes me think of a dream sequence or something ethereal and almost unreal. Once again, I think this is another song that fits in well with the emotional tone of Eclipse in terms of love and just how much strength comes attached to that concept in this story.

6. Fanfarlo – Atlas

This is the first song on the Eclipse soundtrack to offer a more folk rock sound. It’s lighter, a littler less emotionally loaded, and an easy song to listen to. This song should definitely accompany some of the lighter moments in the Eclipse movie. It seems to fit the light and carefree feel of those moments when all seems right in the world of vampires and werewolves, even if just for a moment.

7. The Black Keys – Chop And Change

This song by The Black Keys offers a really different, unexpected sound for the Eclipse soundtrack. The song doesn’t immediately make me think of Eclipse or any of the characters, so I’m interested to see where it fits in within Eclipse the movie.

8. The Dead Weather – Rolling In On A Burning Tire

The lyrics of this song by The Dead Weather definitely connect with the storyline and theme of Eclipse. The opening lyrics say it all – with subtle references made to the conflict between the werewolves and the vampires. It’s a territorial song, about history, and about the impact that one group has on the other. It really grasps the complicated dynamics between the vamps and wolves that Stephenie Meyer worked hard to develop in The Twilight Saga. This really resonates with Eclipse as a story because Bella finds herself in the middle of these two groups while struggling to identify and bond with both.

9. Beck & Bat For Lashes – Let’s Get Lost*

Love love love this song – my second favourite on the Eclipse soundtrack so far aside from The Bravery. The bass in this song combined with the echoing, haunting lyrics make it so irresistable. I think this is an Edward and Bella song for sure. It’s such a good song to escape into, and I think that fits well with the two of them. Amidst the chaos that surrounds them, they can find moments of peace and escape by getting lost together. Listening to the lyrics more closely though, I’m thinking this could be a song for the epic tent scene, hmmmm. Definitely a big fan of this song!

10. Vampire Weekend – Jonathan Low

I’m not the biggest fan of Vampire Weekend. I like their music but am not really blown away by it. Some songs I like, others are a bit hit and miss. I think that sometimes you just love the sound that a band creates and constantly infuses their music with, and for me they aren’t really one of those bands. “Jonathan Low” is an okay song, once again not sure where this will fit in on the Eclipse soundtrack so will have to wait and see. I’m sure that guy in the band that likes Kristen is stoked to be on the soundtrack though!

11. U.N.K.L.E – With You In My Head (ft The Black Angels)

This song immediately hits you with an eerie sound that is very “Twilight” if that makes any sense. I like this song because just when you think it’s all going to be dark and edgy, it transitions into a lighter and more energetic sound, and then back again. This is a cool song – I can’t really define it, or keep up with it. I like that it sounds like nothing else. The pace and sound of this song makes me think of the Volturi, or Victoria, or maybe the wolves and the vamps preparing for battle towards the end of Eclipse.

12. Eastern Conference Champions – A Million Miles An Hour

This is another darker addition to the Eclipse soundtrack. It feels like a song that is leading up to something – maybe the battle at the end of Eclipse. My next best guess would be Victoria – this song feels like something that would accompany her. The title also evoked her character traits (super speedy), so that’s kind of a clue there.

13. Band Of Horses – Life On Earth*

I’m obsessed with Band of Horses right now. I got into them a few years ago, but their newer music (especially every song off ‘Infinite Arms’) is blowing me away. This new song for Eclipse is no exception. It’s got their hauntingly beautiful sound as usual, but once again offers up something different to listen to. This is another song to parallel the themes of Eclipse – the darker ones that is. Because of the danger that Victoria poses, and her imminent return, I think this is a Bella song. It expresses what we’re told she feels and it just sounds like a Bella song. Her character is so quiet but strong at the same time and this song feels like that.

14. Cee Lo Green – What Part Of Forever

My third favourite song on the Eclipse soundtrack after The Bravery and Beck & Bat For Lashes. This song just makes me smile. The harmonies and the lyrics are undeniably catchy. “What Part Of Forever” feels like a happy love song. This song just makes me smile. It’s also another one of those songs that just “feels” like a Twilight song. I wonder if anyone is understanding what I’m rambling on about. Anyway, this is a cool song. I love it.

15. Howard Shore – Jacob’s Theme

Beautiful melody that carries the weight of Jacob‘s pain in Eclipse. The poor guy has so much to deal with. I love that Jacob always tries to do the right thing while still staying true to his heart. This song really captures that essence of Jacob – this good and honest guy who has so much to give.

16. Battles – The Line

This song has a really unconventional melody, it’s eerie and unexpected. I don’t know if I’m a huge fan of this sound but it could definitely fit in well with the darker moments of Eclipse. I would say this song belongs with some action sequences for sure.

17. Bombay Bicycle Club – How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep

The first thing I think of when I think of the title is Jacob and how he sleeps for ages after running patrols. This song reminds me of the wolf pack and how they back each other up. They take turns making sure everyone is safe, and they’re there for each other. This song also just feels like a Jacob song. I think it fits well with the wolf pack.

* * *

My overall verdict on the Eclipse soundtrack? It’s amazing. There’s a little bit of everything, and much more. We’ve got Kristen favourites on there such as Band of Horses and Bat for Lashes, and some awesome unexpected new songs from artists that are lesser known. It’s a great soundtrack and I cannot wait to see where these songs will fit in the Eclipse movie. Thanks for reading!

June 9, 2010 Posted by | Eclipse | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment