The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Book review by
Debra Bogart, Common Sense Media
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Twilight series offshoot has heavier doses of horror.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 41 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value
Positive Messages

This is the story of some young, unfortunate street kids who are turned and then exploited by evil vampires, as disposable in this supernatural world as a cheeseburger. While you can draw parallels to what it's like for street kids in the non-fantasy world, it's a bit of a stretch.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All characters are vampires, some more evil than others, with a brief appearance of the well-mannered Cullen family at the end. The new vampires can usually blame their bad behavior on instinct. Bree meets a boy vampire and he suddenly becomes her reason for living.


These "new" vampires are still focused on feeding and have unvampirelike remorse. There are frequent murders and feeding on humans, but also violence among the coven. Their leader dismembers or burns the "newborn" vampires when they break his rules.  There are many deaths in the ultimate battle of the vampire covens.


Hand holding and kissing.


Minor instances of "damn," "hell," and "pissed."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A reference to drunk transients.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Twilight Saga spinoff is more horror than romance. There is darker, bloodier violence here than in the rest of the saga, rightfully so, as readers are experiencing life as a vampire. The completely sociopathic bloodlust of even the newest vampires sets up a dramatic counterpoint to the Cullen's coven, even though the family doesn't appear until the very end. Bree is a simple character, and in typical Twilight fashion, as soon as she meets a very handsome boy, he becomes her reason for living. Unfortunately we never learn what makes him so special.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMadi1001 January 16, 2011

Great for Twilight Lovers

If you are a fan of the Twilight Saga you will not be disappointed with this book.
Parent of a 5, 8, and 13-year-old Written bypanamamama July 15, 2010
It wasn't as good as the other Twilight books, but interesting. Sad and pretty violent. My 13 yr old hasn't read any of them yet, but I think I migh... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymoonkissed July 13, 2010
Teen, 13 years old Written byshadowprincess January 7, 2019

Scary, romantic vampire romance

Scary? I guess. Not overly.
Some of the subplot lines such as what Bree would have done for Riley in exchange for a burger are a little dark but nothing descri... Continue reading

What's the story?

The title says it all: 16-year-old Bree Tanner was introduced briefly in Eclipse, and this explores her experiences as she learns how to be a vampire, under the direction of Riley, also introduced in Eclipse. Riley's Seattle coven is made up of turned teen street kids, still learning to control their blood lust; they hunt without remorse. When Bree meets Diego, a supernaturally beautiful vampire (surprise!), they spend a day together and find an intense romantic connection. Diego shares his own discoveries about being a vampire. But then Riley's plans for this army of newborn vampires to attack the "yellow-toothed" vampire coven (the Cullens) sends Bree and Diego in different directions and soon it's all over. The book was made available for free online at through July 5, 2010.

Is it any good?

It's tragic, it's short, it seems like a good idea for a story, but Bree's life before she is turned is never explored. Her intense but innocent romantic interlude (gotten over with right at the beginning) mimics all the other romance in the saga, and the vampire violence is heavier and darker with none of the redeeming sympathy we came to feel for the Cullens. An interesting new vampire, Fred the freak, is introduced, but like Diego, we never learn where his supernatural power came from or who he is.

Fans looking for more Cullens will get a glimpse of them near the book's end. The rare fan who's in it for the horror and battle scenes will get a big build-up to the final battle.


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this novella compares to the rest of the saga. Is it an important chapter in the story or just a fun add-on? Were you expecting more romance?

  • What about the timing of this release -- weeks before the release of the Eclipse movie? Do you think it effectively builds up the hype for fans? What other big books-to-movies franchises can you think of? Are they as successful at making you want to both read the books and see the films?

  • This book was made available for free online for a limited time. Does it make you want to read it more? Do you think more publishers should do this? What's in it for them? Would you rather read the book online or read a real copy?

  • Who was the mysterious Diego? Was he a newbie? How did he know so much? Did he remind you of Edward at all?

  • What did you learn about Bree? Would the ending have been harder to read if you had known more about her? Bree and the other newbies don't seem to miss their old lives. Is that different from other vampire stories you have read?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love vamps

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