With “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner,” we’ve reached new ground in “The Twilight Saga.” Unlike the as yet unfinished “Midnight Sun,” this is our first published look into exploring Stephenie Meyer’s world of vampires, werewolves and romance beyond Bella’s perspective, and also a good sign that there will be more spin-offs to come.
But, after four novels and more than 2500 pages, it’s a little bit jarring to be reading a female narrator’s perspective that isn’t Bella’s. Sure, fans who read 2008’s “The Host” have had some experience with reading through the eyes of other characters Stephenie created, but it was a little, well, weird to be watching events unfold through Bree’s eyes.
BOTH ARE BOOK WORMS
One thing’s for sure, though: Stephenie likes her main characters to have specific certain characteristics. We all know Bella was a big reader, and each of the novels in “The Twilight Saga” borrows themes from those she reads in the books. Well, Bree is no different, it seems. Since she can somewhat control the bloodthirsty desires that drives the other newborns to violence, Bree spends most of her days inside reading books. And it doesn’t matter which book, either, because by the time we meet her she has already made her way up to the “H” section in the fiction section of the local Seattle bookstore.
BOTH ARE LONE RANGERS
Also like Bella, Bree is a something of an awkward loner, though this is more because she is trying to remain unnoticed to survive than because she is socially uncomfortable. It’s not a big surprise that these are two characteristics that Stephenie passes on to her narrators, because we know that they are two traits that Stephenie had herself when she was that age.
BOTH ARE EVENTUALLY TURNED INTO VAMPS — ONLY BREE IS A FEISTY ONE
However, Bree is the little, violent newborn vampire that Bella never got to be. Bree doesn’t have a special gift as a vampire, just a lot of lies and manipulation surrounding her and a good head on her shoulders. Because she doesn’t have the Cullens to guide her, Bree never thought of doing anything other than attacking and killing humans because why should a super sexy, strong vampire ever need to do that? Stephenie has admitted in interviews that she liked writing Bree’s story because it does give her readers a chance to see a side of the vampire world that they never saw before.
BOTH HAVE ROMANTIC FEELINGS FOR A COLD ONE
While Bree is more independent and, arguably, a stronger female lead than Bella, it was a little bit of a letdown that she was somewhat reliant on her romantic interest, Diego. It wasn’t until she started talking with him that they began to realize the lies Riley and Victoria had woven (vampires don’t burn in the sunlight, for one; they sparkle) and the real reason that they were created. However, unlike Bella’s relationship with Edward, Bree looked to Diego for guidance not only because he was an older vampire than she was, but also because two heads were better than one.
We’re never going to see another story from Bree’s perspective, but it gave us an interesting tease at how exciting other “Twilight Saga” spinoffs could end up being.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or on Twitter: Did you like Bree as a narrator, and how did you think she stacked up in comparison to Bella?