Even diehard fans of the Twilight Saga may wish to skip this one. Although Meyer adds some nice touches--the narrator is herself a vampire, for example--critics had few positive things to say about Bree's life story. "Intelligent and gifted, Bella, Jacob and Edward are intrinsically glamorous to readers," Salon
notes. "But Bree is PVT (poor vampire trash) and she knows it." While Bree could have been interesting, she's less than the "wild, amoral, bloodthirsty teen protagonist" (Guardian
) critics hoped to see; clunky prose and dialogue don't help. Still, the Washington Post
speaks for many readers: "The satisfaction of Twilight
novels cannot be measured by such terms as ‘good' and ‘bad.' ... [A]ll fans will read and all haters will skip [this novella] regardless of the reviews."
Bree Tanner, who first appeared briefly as a newborn vampire in Meyer’s Eclipse (2007), is the star of this slim partner to the megamillion-selling Twilight series. A self-described “vampire nerd,” Bree recounts her adventures as she roams Seattle fulfilling her thirst for blood (and Meyer fans’ thirst for more books). In a passionate introduction, Meyer reiterates what Eclipse readers already know: Bree has few nights left on Earth. As she joins her red-eyed coven in battle against yellow-eyed adversaries that, while foreign to Bree, will be instantly recognizable to millions of human readers, she finds her first (kissable) friend and discovers a truth about daylight. Formatted as one long, breathless chapter, this novella includes the same casual language and elements of suspense and romance found in the Twilight quartet, and interlocking characters and dialogue fit it easily into Bree and Bella’s scene in Eclipse. While Twilight fans will appreciate the story as an expansion of Bella’s world, this rapid read also stands satisfyingly alone. Grades 9-12. --Andrew Medlar