June 08, 2010

BREE TANNER: a review (SPOILER-FREE!)

THE SHORT SECOND LIFE OF BREE TANNER by Stephenie Meyer is available online (legally) until July 5 at breetanner.com.

Gorgeous cover, no? Have you noticed the spate of reissued classics with Twilight-esque covers?

BREE TANNER is only about 170 pages, so I finished in one sitting yesterday evening. Reading via the website proved frustrating at first because the viewer used to protect the novella from being downloaded/printed has very small text. It may have been my computer, but I had to change the resolution to 800x600 to make it readable (unless you don't mind scrolling halfway down each page, but I found that annoying). Then again, maybe the publisher hoped the online version's annoying setup would push those on the fence to just go buy it.

As always (with the exception of the end of BREAKING DAWN, imo), Meyer's storytelling grabs hold and won't let go until the final page. Bree is an engaging character, one I don't mind spending those 170-odd pages with. To my delight, one of the other newborn vampires is an extremely likeable character whom I wouldn't mind reading another novella (or even whole novel) about. I wouldn't be surprised if another work detailing his/her account doesn't come out eventually (though I really wish Meyer'd finish MIDNIGHT SUN instead).

To my disappointment, the writing seemed to lack professional editing. Obviously, it was edited, because, hello, Little Brown is no vanity press. But it read like a very neat first draft. It wasn't that there were typos or grammatical errors. It resembled a manuscript before you take out all the to me's and just's and that's. Before you make every word count. And that lack of economy took me 10 or 20 pages to get used to.

I was concerned Bree would be a clumsily veiled Bella, but Bree's voice was distinct. Seeing the ECLIPSE players from Bree's perspective, which differs drastically from Bella's, was extremely interesting. (And watch for a reference about Jasper's appearance that would have been nice for the filmmakers to have known from the beginning.)

If you are considering rereading ECLIPSE before BREE TANNER, wait. Being a little fuzzy made BREE's end more satisfying.

Finally, while we are on the subject of TWILIGHT, check out Blue Lipstick Samurai's review of NIGHTLIGHT by The Harvard Lampoon. After reading Blue's review, I am definitely going to pick up this book.

And while you're around, go enter to win Sandy Shin's giveaway! The prize is a preorder of Ally Condie's much-anticipated MATCHED!

7 comments:

Jamie said...

Great post! I just picked this up over the weekend and am looking forward to reading it. I think the "to mes" and "justs" and such that you mentioned probably squeezed through because I bet Ms. Meyer's editing is done much the same way Stephen King's and Tom Clancy's are: writing is pretty much put to the side and only grammar is edited. Just my opinion, though!

Abby Stevens said...

Thanks, Jamie! That definitely sounds feasible, but I'm always surprised that an author would not want vigorous editing by a professional. It certainly can't hurt.

JEM said...

This is a great review! I grew increasingly frustrated with the Twilight series, but I may need to check this one out! And thanks for the link to the contest!

Abby Stevens said...

JEM - Most of BD frustrated me, but I am invested enough in the series that I definitely wanted to read BREE (especially for free). I don't think it will be a waste of time for anyone who even remotely likes the series.

Abby Stevens said...

Oh, and thank you, and you're welcome! :)

Sandy Shin said...

I might need to read the series before reading this, and I probably do need to hurry before the online offer ends. :)

Thank you so much for linking to my contest! Best of luck. :)

salarsenッ said...

Hopped over here from Corrine Jackson's blog. Nice review. So, you read it online. Hmmm...not sure if I could do that. I'm such a touchy paper person. I know, ebooks and all. Phoowy...

I'm glad you felt Bree had a strong voice. I still want to read it. ";-)

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