Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

A discussion of the novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

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Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

Postby Pel » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:58 am

Not everybody likes everything. Here's where you can post your review if you didn't like Bree Tanner and meet other fans who felt the same.
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Re: Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

Postby aleisha » Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:20 pm

I feel really guilty for admitting that I didn't like this book very much. I'll start with what I DID like: it's something new and was fun to have new material (hello -- I've read Midnight Sun about 453 times); I like how Bree & Edward "communicated" -- I never gave much thought to him being able to read her thoughts-- also Edward seemed very powerful in these scenes; liked how we got a bit more insight into the Volturi; I liked that converting a human to a vampire didn't come to Victoria easily and she killed a bunch on accident -- shows us how strong Edward and Carlisle are; liked Fred's freaky talent; & I really liked how Victoria told the newborns the lie about the sun -- very clever way to try to control them and keep them out of sight.

Here's what I didn't like (I have only read it one time, so a few of these are questions that maybe someone/a re-reading can help me with):
1. I found the Diego romance progressed WAY too soon and was unnecessary; there was no need for a love story here. Especially unrealistic for a new vampire to go from total survival instinct to risking (and then losing) her life for Diego. It felt very YA to me whereas the Twilight romance didn't.
2. Bree didn't seemed crazed enough. I know she needs some rational thought so we can see her POV but I wish we could've seen her really screw up and kill a good, decent person just out of bloodlust. Between Bree and Bella, I still wonder if being a newborn is all that bad. Also, I wanted more description about how she sank her teeth into someone and what it felt like/tasted like -- felt it was very generalized.
3. What was up with the description of the house Victoria and Riley were in -- that seemed weird and out-of-place to me. Maybe it was supposed to be ironic that it was painted in girlie, cute colors and occupied by Victoria??
4. How did the Volturi not hear Bree and Diego in the trees? We know they could hear Riley and Victoria b/c they found them in the house. Demetri was along and he's supposed to be a great tracker... wouldn't he have smelled them there?
5. I get why Bella was held up as "dessert" but why did the newborns have to think her blood smelled any better than any other human? For everyone to think her blood smells so tempting (more so than the other humans) seems to take something away from how it (her blood) appeals to Edward so much.
6. Not enough battle description. I know Stephanie's thing really isn't writing the fight scenes (hello, Breaking Dawn anyone?) but this was the place to get more into the details. Felt like Bree just sorta waltzed up at the end and was outside the fray.
7. Question: How could Bree stand to be close enough to Fred to get into his safety zone? Did he do that b/c he liked her?
8. Another question: Did Riley definitely kill Diego (I read that somewhere)? He seemed sincere when he was telling Bree the stuff about how Diego likes her and giving Bree Diego's message. Maybe Victoria killed him without Riley knowing??
9. For some reason, the writing seemed more thrown together and simplistic than the other books.

Interested to see the responses here. Maybe I was just expecting too much and nothing could compare with how much I love the other books. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading.
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Re: Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

Postby gamb1t » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:05 am

Well, while I agree with a few of your statements I believe I can shed some light on some others. Its been a while since I read the series, but one of the books talks about how Demetri's tracking abilities work, and I thought it had something to do with meeting a person or something like that (not 100% sure on that one). Also, if I'm not mistaken, multiple vampires talk about how good Bella smells. Even though she smells the best to Edward, every human has the same "kind" of scent to every vampire I thought, like if it resembles Cinnamon then it will for everyone else too. As far as Fred's ability, I think he could project his ability to affect anyone he wanted it to. Through some of Bree's descriptions in the novella, it seemed like Fred could block Bree from the effects of his ability (and it works the other way since he said he could make them invisible). As for battle scenes, while I hated how BD's battle scene played out, I felt that this one was much more of a personal account from Bree. For Bree, the battle just probably seemed like a lot of chaos that all happened too fast. Also, she didn't want to fight, so she was attempting to run, which means she wasn't taking in everything else that was happening (first person account). As for the Riley situation, Bree seemed to notice a change in Riley, and while she attributed it to Riley killing Diego, it never was specifically stated. Finally, for the writing, I thought the writing was appropriate for a 15/16 year old girl. The twilight series was written from Bella's point of view, and since Bella was so mature, it came out through the writing. However, even though Bree seemed to be mature, I wouldn't put her anywhere near the level of maturity as Bella. So in that aspect, I found the writing appropriate. Hopefully some of this helped, and I'm sorry for not being able to cite specific examples at the moment.
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Re: Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

Postby ffon2458 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:09 am

Overall, I enjoyed the story, I liked how it gave a dirtier, rougher, more violent angle to the vampire world that was in total opposition to the Cullens' world. However I did find some parts weird - the Diego-Bree relationship was like u said way too fast and sudden, the two of them escaping from the Volturi so easily from the trees and the character of Bree herself. To me, she seemed to echo Bella as a newborn, and didn't seem to have any instincts inherit of newborns.. her thirst didn't rule her, she always retains some degree of rationality when stalking her prey.
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Re: Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

Postby MiVidaLoca » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:32 am

aleisha wrote:2. Bree didn't seemed crazed enough. I know she needs some rational thought so we can see her POV but I wish we could've seen her really screw up and kill a good, decent person just out of bloodlust. Between Bree and Bella, I still wonder if being a newborn is all that bad. Also, I wanted more description about how she sank her teeth into someone and what it felt like/tasted like -- felt it was very generalized.

She does mention how they are supposed to go after the "dregs" but that they slip up a lot. She also said in passing during a run how it was good the nightwatchman were not closer because her self control would not have been able to stand that. She also didn't have a problem killing the people on the ferry and said how she killed 3x easily the amount she normally does and how most of them had pure blood and how great that was. So I think she did have it, but I think her self control was more about saving herself, which even with Bella when she is on the first hunt, they said only one Vampire instinct is stronger than thirst, and that is self preservation. I think people like Bree are for sure the exception and not the norm.

aleisha wrote:3. What was up with the description of the house Victoria and Riley were in -- that seemed weird and out-of-place to me. Maybe it was supposed to be ironic that it was painted in girlie, cute colors and occupied by Victoria??


I did not get that at all myself. LOL

aleisha wrote:4. How did the Volturi not hear Bree and Diego in the trees? We know they could hear Riley and Victoria b/c they found them in the house. Demetri was along and he's supposed to be a great tracker... wouldn't he have smelled them there?

I was wondering this too, well about them now knowing they were there, but they were being really still and quiet to listen to Riley and Victoria and they were really high up in the trees, the Volturi was there to speak to Victoria and Riley and I know that Demetri's tracking skills go beyond smell, which is why no one is ever safe with him tracking (except bella), but all I can assume, is they were focused on their mission and they move so fast and quiet that if Bree and Diego had been quiet way up in the trees for a period of time already and stayed that way, than the volturi wouldn't have heard them. They also came in on the opposite direction so they shouldn't have run in to their scent, but even if they did smell them, they could have thought it was one of these newborns running lose and not have raised flags. That is what I came to the conclusion of anyway.

aleisha wrote:5. I get why Bella was held up as "dessert" but why did the newborns have to think her blood smelled any better than any other human? For everyone to think her blood smells so tempting (more so than the other humans) seems to take something away from how it (her blood) appeals to Edward so much.

This was another one I thought about. I mean, I know Alice said to her that wow she does smell good. I don't recall anyone else mentioning it in the Sagas though, like that extra appeal. Just aro from reading it from Edward. But here every single one of them was going crazy about her. Seemed for sure to downplay the hold it has on Edward than. Makes it seem like maybe it isn't as "super strong" as he likes to think. I dunno.

aleisha wrote:7. Question: How could Bree stand to be close enough to Fred to get into his safety zone? Did he do that b/c he liked her?

I got the impression that he downplayed it for her in the beginning and then took it off her all together by the end. He was being able to learn the skill and develop it better. Before he got to know her better, when he turned it up, it crippled her to because she was so close, she also said she could stand it because it basically kept her safe, so back to the self preservation thing.
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Re: Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

Postby December » Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:27 am

MiVidaLoca wrote:
aleisha wrote:2. Bree didn't seemed crazed enough. I know she needs some rational thought so we can see her POV but I wish we could've seen her really screw up and kill a good, decent person just out of bloodlust. Between Bree and Bella, I still wonder if being a newborn is all that bad. Also, I wanted more description about how she sank her teeth into someone and what it felt like/tasted like -- felt it was very generalized.

She does mention how they are supposed to go after the "dregs" but that they slip up a lot. She also said in passing during a run how it was good the nightwatchman were not closer because her self control would not have been able to stand that. She also didn't have a problem killing the people on the ferry and said how she killed 3x easily the amount she normally does and how most of them had pure blood and how great that was. So I think she did have it, but I think her self control was more about saving herself, which even with Bella when she is on the first hunt, they said only one Vampire instinct is stronger than thirst, and that is self preservation. I think people like Bree are for sure the exception and not the norm.

Yes, and I think there's an issue of POV here. Those people on the ferry almost certainly were decent normal people, but we're not going to focus on that because Bree doesn't. We're following her story and seeing the vampire's diet from her point of view. At times she's in control enough to have scruples -- and we can see her thinking "I'm going to try to kill the dregs of society" (though a lot of the motive there was concealment, not deservingness). But when she's really in a haze of newborn bloodlust, she can't even pause to consider whom she is killing -- and neither do we. Presumably it's only once the acute newborn thirst starts to subside that a vampire can make reasoned decisions about whom they choose to kill -- and then screw up. In Bree's current condition, "screwing up" almost isn't a possible concept.

But you're quite right that Stephenie is still soft-pedalling the grisly side of this. But not entirely. Clearly, she's more comfortable keeping the blood and gore tactfully offstage -- but there is that one shocking description, to make sure we don't forget (as the Saga itself made it easy for us to do) just how gory and unpleasant a business this is:

I heard him and Kevin snarling at each other and then a wet tearing sound, as the woman’s screams were cut off. Probably them ripping her in half.

For all of us who ever fretted about the way Stephenie kept the grisly realities of a vampire's life from striking the reader too vividly (just as Edward kept them from Bella), well, there's her answer. Yes, it's more of a moment than a prevailing mood -- most of the book's violence still has the muffled generality we're used to from the Saga -- but it's enough. At least, it certainly stopped me in dead in my tracks.

Shudder now.
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Re: Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

Postby elizabella » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:39 pm

aleisha wrote:1. I found the Diego romance progressed WAY too soon and was unnecessary; there was no need for a love story here. Especially unrealistic for a new vampire to go from total survival instinct to risking (and then losing) her life for Diego. It felt very YA to me whereas the Twilight romance didn't.

I kind of got the impression that vampires as well as wolves sort of imprint on each other. I mean you didn't read about a courtship between Carlisle and Esme, Jasper and Alice, Emmett and Rosalie. They all seem to be love at first sight so I suppose that didn't really bother me. There also had to be a reason for Bree to go to the battle and not run away with Fred. Contrived? Maybe. But Bree had to get to that battle and what better reason than for love?

aleisha wrote:2. Bree didn't seemed crazed enough. I know she needs some rational thought so we can see her POV but I wish we could've seen her really screw up and kill a good, decent person just out of bloodlust. Between Bree and Bella, I still wonder if being a newborn is all that bad. Also, I wanted more description about how she sank her teeth into someone and what it felt like/tasted like -- felt it was very generalized.

Well here I'm completely on the opposite side of you. I thought that seeing all the destruction on the ferry was heartbreaking. I could see old people, young people, children, recent graduates all killed.She said that she was good at following the rules like not going out in the sun and not killing people to make themselves noticeable. SHe was also 3 months old. I think that if we had seen her as a real newborn or given descriptions of what killing a human was really like then it would have disturbed me greatly and it wouldn't seem like a Stephenie Meyer book. After all, if she's not going to write a sex scene out in detail do you really think she'd write a murder?
aleisha wrote:3. What was up with the description of the house Victoria and Riley were in -- that seemed weird and out-of-place to me. Maybe it was supposed to be ironic that it was painted in girlie, cute colors and occupied by Victoria??

Remember how in Eclipse Victoria talks to Riley like a little boy and she is often described as having a very childlike voice, well I think the house is just another example of that. It is probably also used to set up a clear contrast between the newborns in their dumpy dark houses and Victoria in a bright house.
aleisha wrote:4. How did the Volturi not hear Bree and Diego in the trees? We know they could hear Riley and Victoria b/c they found them in the house. Demetri was along and he's supposed to be a great tracker... wouldn't he have smelled them there?

No idea here but I think it's what somebody else said. Demetri has to get the "flavor" or somebody before he can track them. Also the wind probably had a lot to do with it. James didn't smell Bella until the wind blew and Bree didn't smell Bella until the wind changed.

aleisha wrote:5. I get why Bella was held up as "dessert" but why did the newborns have to think her blood smelled any better than any other human? For everyone to think her blood smells so tempting (more so than the other humans) seems to take something away from how it (her blood) appeals to Edward so much.

I think it's like hotness to most people. I personally don't find George Clooney hot or sexy, but I can understand how somebody else does and I can see the appeal. When somebody's attractive, you can tell, so when somebody's blood smells really good I guess everybody can tell, but it's just not their personal brand of heroin ;)
aleisha wrote:6. Not enough battle description. I know Stephanie's thing really isn't writing the fight scenes (hello, Breaking Dawn anyone?) but this was the place to get more into the details. Felt like Bree just sorta waltzed up at the end and was outside the fray.
Bree didn't have the bloodlust that everybody else had because she was intelligent and she was more focused on finding Diego because she knew Riley was a liar. We as readers have to be able to believe that she could have learned to live with the Cullens and if she had been a wild newborn trying to tear off the Cullens' arms then I don't think we would have been as willing to believe that.
aleisha wrote:7. Question: How could Bree stand to be close enough to Fred to get into his safety zone? Did he do that b/c he liked her?

Just like Bella learned how to put people under her shield in BD I think that Fred was able to put Bella "inside" the repulsive area since they couldn't see her either.
aleisha wrote:8. Another question: Did Riley definitely kill Diego (I read that somewhere)? He seemed sincere when he was telling Bree the stuff about how Diego likes her and giving Bree Diego's message. Maybe Victoria killed him without Riley knowing??
[/quote][/quote]I think Riley definitely witnessed Victoria kill Diego. Even Bree says that when he described how vampires kill he was cold and methodical like he'd changed. I think he knew that most of his newborns were crazy rule breakers like Raoul and Kristen(?) and that while they could do a lot of damage in the battle, they'd never stay focused enough to kill Bella. He knew that Bree and Fred were different from the others and he had to make sure they'd get to the battle so he probably lied to Diego that he believed him and then wham...you've been betrayed.

I think you should read it again and remember to put yourself in Bree's position, a 15 year old girl who had been abused so she probably was used to being bullied and keeping under the radar. But hey, if you don't like it, at least it will look good when a certain book that must not be mentioned hopefully comes out.
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Re: Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

Postby aleisha » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:41 pm

December wrote:But when she's really in a haze of newborn bloodlust, she can't even pause to consider whom she is killing -- and neither do we. Presumably it's only once the acute newborn thirst starts to subside that a vampire can make reasoned decisions about whom they choose to kill -- and then screw up. In Bree's current condition, "screwing up" almost isn't a possible concept.

Good point. Never thought of it that way -- that there is no screwing up to a newborn. Even though the book is clearly saturated with violence, I just didn't get that feel from it and I think that's what was missing for me.

GAMB1T: The Demetri thing... all I can find on him is from New Moon pg. 532: Edward says, "So I saw how Demetri's talent works. He's a tracker-a tracker a thousand times more gifted than James was. (condensing here)He catches the... flavor? I don't know how to describe it... the tenor...of someone's mind, and then he follows that. It works over immense distances." So, do you think he has to meet the person and know their mind before he can track them?

Thanks for the responses. I will definitely read the book again before the movie comes out and you all are giving me food for thought.
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Re: Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

Postby MiVidaLoca » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:06 pm

aleisha wrote:
December wrote:But when she's really in a haze of newborn bloodlust, she can't even pause to consider whom she is killing -- and neither do we. Presumably it's only once the acute newborn thirst starts to subside that a vampire can make reasoned decisions about whom they choose to kill -- and then screw up. In Bree's current condition, "screwing up" almost isn't a possible concept.


Good point. Never thought of it that way -- that there is no screwing up to a newborn. Even though the book is clearly saturated with violence, I just didn't get that feel from it and I think that's what was missing for me.

GAMB1T: The Demetri thing... all I can find on him is from New Moon pg. 532: Edward says, "So I saw how Demetri's talent works. He's a tracker-a tracker a thousand times more gifted than James was. (condensing here)He catches the... flavor? I don't know how to describe it... the tenor...of someone's mind, and then he follows that. It works over immense distances." So, do you think he has to meet the person and know their mind before he can track them?

Thanks for the responses. I will definitely read the book again before the movie comes out and you all are giving me food for thought.


Reading the book a second time helped for me. The first time I was so eager and excited I sort of rushed through it. The second time I picked up on a lot more. It was like that for the Twilight Saga too, especially New Moon. I was glad when I saw SM write that everyone should read that one twice and I completely understood after reading it twice, I was so focused on wondering if Edward was coming back that I missed a lot. LOL
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Re: Review Time: The I Didn't Like Bree Tanner Thread

Postby MiVidaLoca » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:10 pm

elizabella wrote:Well here I'm completely on the opposite side of you. I thought that seeing all the destruction on the ferry was heartbreaking. I could see old people, young people, children, recent graduates all killed.She said that she was good at following the rules like not going out in the sun and not killing people to make themselves noticeable. SHe was also 3 months old. I think that if we had seen her as a real newborn or given descriptions of what killing a human was really like then it would have disturbed me greatly and it wouldn't seem like a Stephenie Meyer book. After all, if she's not going to write a sex scene out in detail do you really think she'd write a murder?


The ferry scene was very hard to read, very heartbreaking. I lived in WA for 10 years and have ridden on the Ferries hundreds of times to go to Seattle. I pictured children in the scene and that was probably the hardest. I don't know why, but I just assumed they didn't feed on children. I mean I know they changed them when they wanted babies. But seeing just the Cullens, and then how Aro wanted to wait to change Jane and Alec until they got older, I just didn't ever picture the Vamps feeding on children and babies until reading that Ferry Scene.
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