[Note from STY: JJ is cranky tonight! You've been warned...]
A note to all you Eclipse virgins before I get a started. I do not think that reading and/or discussing this novella is in any way a spoiler for the movie. So I think your virginity is safe with me tonight. Until I get you sloshingly drunk and take advantage of you, anyway.
Snarkier Than You was going to discuss this a few days ago but I got all petulant and bitchy because 1) I hadn't read it yet and 2) I'm an idiot and actually bought it because I totally forgot you could get it free online and since I shelled out the whopping seven bucks I was going to write about it, dammit.
Overall, I thought the novella was...okay. I'll give ya' the bad before I give you the good, though.
I'm not going to bother getting into all of the technical fails of this story--mainly because I probably overlooked a majority of them--but one of the things that I found irritating was the whole "teenage voice" style of writing that Stephenie Meyer attempted to do with TSSLoBT [and yes, I'm THAT lazy]. I've always been honest in my viewpoint of SM's writing, which is somewhere along the lines of "not that great but love the stories anyway," but it was pretty bad in this novella.
I'm also beginning to suspect that Stephenie Meyer was never actually a teenager herself, which would explain why she writes a bunch a books about teens who are teenagers forever.
It's also clear that she knows nothing about the "dregs" of society because I highly doubt any fifteen-year-old runaway would actually suck a dick for a hamburger, which is apparently what Bree was willing to do with Riley. Crack or heroin, yes. A Big Mac from McDonald's... um, highly unlikely. I mean, seriously dude, aren't hamburgers on the dollar menu? Handjob, maybe...blowjob definitely not.
Basically, this little novella was entirely about Bree acknowledging--to varying degrees--and then dismissing every red flag, gut feeling, and blatantly obvious sign that she was marching right into her impending doom, and that made it kind of difficult for me to like her. Because she's a fucking dumbass.
I wanted to like her and I kind of did a little but after Riley came back to the basement without Diego and she stuck around I knew she deserved the ending she got.
I mean, seriously, Diego was all "I'm going to talk to Riley and show him we can go out to the sun but you can't go because it's super dangerous and I might die" and then he not-so-but-kinda-obviously does and she still doesn't splitsville. All because they shared a super-special two-second stony-lipped kiss (more of a peck, really) and it was important and, like I already said, really super special.
And this coming from a girl who was possibly going to give a blowie (or more?) for a burger. Uh huh.
I realize that this was a novella and SM wanted to cram all she could into 178 pages but this little tale basically plowed through the plot like a fucking wrecking ball. Let's face it -- SM doesn't exactly do plot very well. You ever suddenly really have to poop and you sit down and it's all BAM! over and done with and you feel a little better but now you have to clean up?
That's kinda how this story is. It's like an explosive and vaguely satisfying dump.
There was so much more she could have done with this story, but instead she seemed intent on focusing on the fact that the newborns were unstable and violent and bloodthirsty.
Dude, we know. We read the saga, remember? Focus on Fred and his history, or give us a little more insight into Kristie or Raoul or someone because the only thing you really did get into was something we already fucking knew.
That being said, I did like reading the "other" side of the story, even if I did take issue with a lot of it. I wish she had taken a slightly different approach and maybe examined the relationships between the newborns a little more than she did.
There were some surprising aspects to it that left me feeling a little pleasant inside. Despite the fact that I thought the whole scene was kind of cheesy, I really liked the little twist of the Volturi showing up at Victoria's gingerbread house [gag]. I also thought Diego and Bree's discovery that they could venture out into the sun pretty neat-o, too. Although any vampire who believed the whole "oh you can go into the sun four days a year" thing deserved to be consumed by their own sparkly-ness.
At the end of the day (literally), I think this novella was redeemed by its, well, ending. It never occurred to me that Bree would try to "send" a message to Edward about the Volturi, and if that was implied in Eclipse, I totally fucking missed it. But her last act of courage, if you will, made me like Bree as a character a little more.
So, despite all my poo-pooing and nay-saying: would I recommend reading this?
Surprisingly, considering the rip-and-shred treatment above, yes. It's a really quick read and if you're a Twilight fan you'll enjoy it, even if you're rolling your eyes at some points. It's a juvenile tale... but then again, so is the entire saga. I think I forget that sometimes.
Regardless, I am eternally grateful for SM for writing the saga because if she never had, I would never be able to have such a wonderful love/hate/love relationship with it and whatever stems from it.
Now hurry up and finish Midnight Sun.
What did you guys think of it? Tear it up in the comments. The novella or me - I can take it.