Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner


Another book by Stephenie Meyer. You would think that crowds of Twihards would be rushing to the store to pick up the latest from the reigning queen of vampires, but sadly this is not the case. Now, while I don’t want to classify myself as a Twihard (way too obsessive for me) I am a fan of the Twilight saga, have sat through the two disappointing films, and am one of the few who has actually purchased this new Eclipse-based novella. Why aren’t these books selling? Well, it could be that it is a mere 192 pages, and anyone who has read the series knows the ending. Actually, even if you haven’t read the series you know the ending, gasp… Bree dies. Don’t get mad at me if you haven’t figured that out yet, I mean hello, it’s in the title. Really, it’s most likely because the author has posted the book for free at http://breetannerbook.libredigital.com. Now don’t get too excited, the book is only available online until July 5th, you can’t download it, and you cannot print it. That’s nice, but not exactly what I as a Twilight saga fan want to hear and certainly not what I want to hear as a representative of an independent bookstore. No, I want a copy for my library. You know, to complete my shelf of Stephenie Meyer. You can’t do that with a digital version that you can’t even save to disk. So why aren’t fans picking up on this?

For starters The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is such a small piece of the Twilight puzzle that setting it up on it’s own doesn’t really work. It would have been much better to include in some compendium or a large and extravagant Twilight encyclopedia. This would give it more meat and put the story within context of the series. Instead, this story seems to have arrived from nowhere and is quickly floating off into the distant world of “who cares” and “why bother”.

This is unfortunate because the story is interesting, providing a whole new way to see the characters of Twilight. While it’s a quick and easy read, it provided a little bit of new insight to what was actually my least favorite books of the series and it got me a bit more excited for the movie (yes, even though the first two films were abysmal, I will go see Eclipse, let’s hope the third time is the charm). I thought I was done with the series, but Bree Tanner reminded me (just a little) why I enjoyed it in the first place. Now, whenever it is that I decide to reread the series (and I will) I am happy to have this little nugget on the shelf adding to my reading enjoyment. And if you just read it for free online you miss that.

So, will sales pick-up? Yes, I think so. I think fans are reading it online right now, but after July 5th (just a few days past the film release) these fans are going to remember that The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is a book, not just a web-post, and then they will come-and they will buy.

Just a note, one dollar from each book purchased goes to The Red Cross, so not only are you expanded your Twilight palette, but also contributing to a worthy organization.