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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

My Twilight Bookshelf: Shiver By Maggie Stiefvater & Shiver The Movie

I just finished reading a book called Shiver written by Maggie Stiefvater and couldn’t wait to share it with fellow Twilight fans! This is the second post for My Twilight Bookshelf which will be a series of posts containing book recs for Twilight fans looking for something new to read.

Shiver tells the story of Grace, a teenage girl struggling with her identity, family, and love. She lives in a wooded area of Minnesota and feels an unexplainable connection to the wolves that populate the surrounding forests and woodlands in her town. Grace connects with one wolf in particular and the story of Shiver unwinds from that point onwards. Grace meets Sam and the two quickly connect and form a bond that is unshakable. They embark on a difficult relationship due to his double existence as both a human boy and a wolf who belongs in the woods. The story of Shiver is told from altering perspectives as the narration swaps between Grace and Sam throughout the novel’s chapters. We see what it’s like for each of them to love the other.

Twilight fans will love Shiver because it is written with the same ease and conversational tone that Stephenie Meyer wrote with in The Twilight Saga. You don’t feel like the story is being told to you, you feel like you are right there with Grace in the snow-covered backyard of her family’s home – watching the wolves and wondering about her connection to them. The language is simply beautiful and resonates with the honesty of the story being told. I can’t think of another way to describe this book other than – beautiful.

Still looking for a reason to read Shiver? Grace, the female heroine of the book, is a lot like Bella. I always try to picture the characters when I’m reading (as most of us tend to do) and I kept coming back to a visual of Kristen Stewart as Bella. This isn’t to say that I think the characters are drastically similar, but there are similarities there. On a physical level, Grace is a petite blonde, but she also exudes this casual style – like she isn’t bothered with how she looks or dressing girly. As lead female characters, Grace and Bella both fight for what they believe in, especially for their loved ones. Bella and Grace both possess a striking bravery and fearlessness in the face of consequence. Many Twilight fans like or identify with the Bella character, and I think they can do the same with Grace in Shiver.

On a final note, the movie rights to Shiver have been bought, and the book will in fact be making its way to the big screen in 2011. Fan favourites for the role of Grace so far are Selena Gomez, Emma Roberts, Evan Rachel Wood, and none other than Kristen Stewart. Here is an excerpt from that talks about the Shiver movie:

Unique Features has acquired screen rights to “Shiver,” a bestselling supernatural romance novel by Maggie Stiefvater that is the first of a three-book series.
Pic will be produced by Unique Features partners Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne.

Book covers a bittersweet paranormal romance between a teen who becomes a wolf each winter and his girlfriend, who helps him find the secret to staying human. The first installment was published by Scholastic Press in August and has been on the bestseller lists for six weeks. The sequel novel, “Linger,” will be published next August. Unique acquired all three books in the series.

[Quote via | Video via LilyPokerFace]

April 28, 2010 Posted by | KStew, Twilight | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments