The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

Hey friends! This is a relatively short story, so this will probably be a relatively short review, so buckle in and get ready.

In the novel Eclipse from the Twilight Saga, there is a young vampire named Bree who was part of Victoria’s “coven”. In this novella, we follow the vampiric life of Bree leading up to the giant battle. We start the novel as the vampires hunt in Seattle, and we watch as Bree begins to get to know Diego. Her entire time as a vampire was filled with lies so that their “coven” could be manipulated into fighting in a battle that they had no purpose fighting in. As we continue through the story, we watch as Bree and Diego start to figure things out, and how Riley choses to handle this new information.

Personally, I really liked this story. It does seem weird to me that a 19-year-old was making out with a 16-year-old, but that really is my only issue with the story. I really liked the overall novella, although I would not say that you needed to read this book to understand the series as a whole. I don’t think it contributed enough that I encourage you to read it, but I do like Bree’s character. With all that in mind, I think I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

An update: I read the majority of Life and Death, and I am so incredibly tired of rereading the Twilight story. I have spent almost a month on just reading these books, and I am more than ready to take a step away from them. For my personal opinion, keeping in mind that I never finished the book, I liked Beau’s personality better than Bella’s, but I wish that the only gender swap was Beau. I would love the Twilight story if the characters were both male, and I think that would have been a better “reimagining” than the one that she wrote. Also, I think that the overall purpose was just to make more money off the series, which fair play, but the story is literally just Twilight but the genders are different, and it just didn’t make the story different enough for me to enjoy this book. Let me know what you think, but I don’t think I will be making a full post on this book.

Is the relationship between Bella and Edward abusive?

If you are in a relationship and someone is trying to convince you that they will kill themselves if you weren’t with them, that is emotional abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone and you have to check with them whether or not you can hang out with someone else, that is emotional abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone and they follow you when you go out with friends or come into your room at night and watch you sleep, that is stalking. These are all signs of an abusive relationship. And these are all things that Edward did to Bella.

Let’s talk about how Meyer tried to justify this, shall we? Bella is supposed to be Edward’s “personal brand of heroin”. She is compared to being a drug because he can’t seem to shake his dependence on her, but she causes him to experience indescribable thirst. Meyer’s justification for Edward’s abusive nature is to say, “well Bella started it”. Let me be clear to the people who are in these situations, you are not the reason that your abuser abuses you. This is a problem with him, not her.

But let’s also flip this post on its head. Bella is an abuser too. She participated in extreme sports and put herself in dangerous situations so that she could hear Edward’s voice after he left her. She created ultimatums so that Edward would do something that he has clearly not supported. And she used her friends and their families to get her way.

(Side note: I’m not going to be talking about the grooming stuff in this post. I have another post where I went into more details about my thoughts on that there, but this post is for essentially everything else).

There are so many examples of abuse throughout these books, so I want to be very clear. THESE ARE NOT HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS. Please, do not treat any of the relationships as something to look up to. Also for the record, here are other instances of emotional abuse throughout the books that I particularly took note of:

  • Bella used the words that Renee said when she left Charlie so that she could go to Phoenix in Twilight
  • Jacob telling Charlie that he is a werewolf in order for Renesmee to stay in his life in Breaking Dawn
  • Jacob makes Bella say that she wants him to kiss her in order for him to still be her friend after her engagement in Eclipse
  • Bella using Rosalie to be able to force Edward to let her keep the baby (and Edward pushing for an abortion)

If you or someone you know is being sexually exploited or assaulted, call 800.656.HOPE to contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Or you can text 741741 to get in contact with a crisis counselor.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Premise of New Moon is Dumb

Okay, so this is the biggest thing that grinds my gears. Now, when I was researching this topic, the only major publication that I saw that mentioned this was Seventeen. But let me tell you, I got opinions, so buckle up folks, it’s about to get real.

Like, this whole thing was months after Edward and Bella started dating. And also like a year after she moved to Forks. So you’re going to tell me that homeboy could handle months of periods but one tiny paper cut and he loses his mind? No, no, not today. And even then, he was surrounded by other students, which means he handled years of periods, years of scrapes, and years of paper cuts.

And also, as I have reread the books, HOMEBOY HANDLED BELLA IN A PUDDLE OF HER OWN BLOOD. Like really, are you kidding me? Yes, he was attacking another vampire at the time, but he sat in a car with her as she was covered in blood and didn’t do anything. Read that again, he was in A FREAKING CAR with her covered in blood and he DID NOTHING! And suddenly a paper cut and she loses his mind? Dumb. Pure dumb.

I have nothing else to say. It’s dumb.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember the dates or any of the set up things I normally do in a post, so I’m just going to jump into the story. Also unlike my other posts, I am not going to give you a synopsis, simply because I gave a synopsis for Twilight in this post, so check that out if you want to know what happens. But, this is the story of Twilight from Edward’s perspective, so the overall purpose of this novel is to provide an unique viewpoint of the original series.

The beginning of this novel is a little rough mainly because Edward is trying to battle the “monster” inside of him. There is a lot of aggressive and crude descriptions of violent attacks. We had some idea of how bad these thoughts were from Twilight, but it is a completely different thing reading his plans from his head. But above all of that, I think the way that he portrays Bella in his head gave me a completely different perspective on her personality than the original Twilight books. I always looked at her as selfish, mainly because she described her feelings of Edward as simply not being able to live without him, so I never took the things she said as an act of thinking beyond herself. Having Edward piece together things I never did opened up my eyes to a completely different way of looking at the books, even if I still think there are aspects that are weird.

When it comes to their relationship, I didn’t think that his point of view enhanced the original story at all. In fact, I prefered only knowing Bella’s point of view at this part. The only part that I think really was enhanced by Edward’s thoughts was when James began his tracking in order to kill Bella. I don’t want to give a whole lot of details about this part, mainly because it is so incredibly unique to what we knew from Bella, but it completely changes how I look at New Moon in relation to the series.

So is it worth it? I think that the overall answer is yes, but that there are a lot of sections that I don’t think add anything to the series. I will also say that I truly do not think that we need Edward’s perspective on any of the other books, and that I hope she doesn’t do this to any of the other books. I even thought about whether or not we need a Jacob book for New Moon, and it boils down to no. There is nothing else that I really think Meyer will be able to add to the overall series the way that this particular book did. I realize that I never rated the series, but as an addition to the series, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. If you just picked up this book and had no idea what was going on, probably 2.5 out of 5 stars.

But as always, if you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Is Twilight an example of grooming?

This has been one of the bigger issues I have had with the series as a whole. For people confused about what grooming is, let me explain. Grooming in this case means that someone who is over the age of consent (usually much older, though it could be as young as 18 depending on the situation) takes time to prepare someone under the age of consent for a sexual relationship. Giving gifts, spending extra time and attention, or using manipulation and threats in order to eventually have a sexual relationship are all examples of grooming.

There is a thought piece by Dr. Leslie Kay Jones (https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/twilight-vampire-diaries-are-actually-about-very-old-men-grooming-ncna1206376) that was posted on NBC that is extremely interesting about this topic in relation to vampire fiction specifically that I hope you will read, but I will share my thoughts on the whole is this grooming thing now:

At 12 years old, I didn’t know what grooming meant. I don’t think it was at the top of anyone’s mind back before the Me-Too movement. Now that we are in a situation where we as a general public have a better understanding of what right and wrong look like, I can’t get over this situation. As an adult, I can never encourage a child to think that this type of relationship is okay.

At the start of their relationship in the books, Edward has been in his body for over 100 years (there is an argument of “alive”, at least from his point of view, so I will be avoiding that word), while Bella has only been in her body for 17 years. The concept of the book is that Edward, whose body was frozen in time at the age of 17 years old, develops a relationship with 17 year old Bella, and from that relationship, they marry and eventually have a child.

Now, we let’s have the conversation of “is this still grooming if he appeared to be 17?” Yes. It was very clear from the beginning of the novel that he has maintained the mentality of his years on the Earth. He has learned, retained his knowledge, and experienced plenty of years, many more than Bella ever had the chance to yet. With all of that being said, he also constantly pushed for her to be older before they took things to the next step (changing her and sex).

And listen, there are always going to be people who are going to say that a relationship with someone older could also be considered grooming because he had the body of a 17 year old. I’m just saying, maybe the whole “turning vampires into sexual objects” thing for young adults isn’t the best idea.

But in case all of that is not creepy enough for you all, let’s talk about Jacob and Renesmee. Now, I already know that Meyer explained it and that it isn’t a sexual thing, but like, I’ll say it, imprinting is 100% a sexual thing. Maybe not right away, because she is a BABY, but at some point, she is going to reach adulthood, and guess what Jacob is planning on doing one day. I’ll say the statement that is controversial, yet brave, imprinting is an excuse for grooming.  To anyone who is considering reading the Twilight series, and especially anyone who is reading this who is considering letting the younger generation read this series, please teach them that lesson. These men (who are in their late teens. I believe Jacob was 17 when he imprinted on Renesmee who was born less than 30 minutes prior. I believe Quil was 16/17 when he imprinted on a 2-year-old) have given gifts, spent extra time and attention, and have used the excuses of “it’s a wolf thing” and “it’s not like that” to manipulate the adults involved and justify their relationship. Sound familiar?

I am not an expert, I’m just a concerned reader. And I don’t know everything about grooming, but there are certain things about these books that I just can’t get past. If you want to see other people’s opinions about this topic, you can check out these links as well (please note: there are a lot of links I did not add. There is a lot of information on this topic, so please do your own research if you want to know more):

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psychologist-the-movies/201111/relationship-violence-in-twilight

https://www.buzzfeed.com/kellymartinez/its-time-to-admit-how-ridiculous-that-jacob-and-renesmee

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1132861-pedophilia-in-the-twilight-saga

If you or someone you know is being sexually exploited or assaulted, call 800.656.HOPE to contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Or you can text 741741 to get in contact with a crisis counselor.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

Well, well, well. So here’s a way to tell how old I am, the book Breaking Dawn came out while I was in middle school (my best guess is 7th or 8th grade based on memory, based on released date, I am going to guess that it was probably 7th grade), and I remember this because it was a banned book at my school. But to give you guys an idea of how long I have had these books, my Twilight book (which had to be from middle school since I distinctly remember reading it on the bus) still has the Borders barcode on the back. Yep, ladies, gents, and nonbinary folks, I’m that old.

My plan for this month is to read the original 4 novels (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn), The Life and Death of Bree Tanner, Life and Death, and Midnight Sun. There are works that have come out of these novels (including the Fifty Shades of Grey series), but I will not be focusing on these this month (or really ever).

I have read the original 4, and I have seen the movies, but I have not read any of the other books. Very recently (August of 2020), Stephenie Meyer recently released Midnight Sun, which is the book Twilight, but from Edward’s perspective. It has definitely been awhile, so hopefully these are as good as I remember from when I was a young’un.

Twilight

Isabella (Bella) Swan is forced to move to Forks, WA to live with her father after her mother’s new husband is working on finding a new job.  Having moved from always sunny Pheonix, AZ, Forks is an incredibly depressing landscape. Since this is such a small town, Bella becomes the talk of every conversation, leading to teenage drama galore.

And look, this town has some weird characters. There is this family called the Cullens, and they are incredibly beautiful, they talk to no one, and there is this dude named Edward who is the sulkiest and attractive-est of them all. So, when Bella and Edward meet, obviously things take an interesting turn.

Turns out, Edward has a secret. He survives off the blood of animals. Yes, dear reader, he is a vampire. Dun, dun, dun. Now, to normal people, this probably would be a red flag. But for our dear Bella, this leads to a really toxic and uncomfortable relationship. But when a group of vampires come into town and catch Bella’s scent, we go on a wild ride trying to hide from the tracker.

New Moon

 So after the vampire adventures of the last book, Edward starts to believe that maybe he is putting Bella in too much danger. To make matters worse, Bella got a paper cut at her birthday party and ended up in stitches. Edward goes “oh that’s crazy, maybe I should leave” and he tells her in the middle of the woods and then abandoned her.

Bella went bat-poop. She became catatonic (because that’s a normal reaction), and for months, she essentially becomes unable to function. Her dad gives her an ultimatum, get yourself together, or I’m shipping you back to your mom in Florida.

At this point, Bella starts trying to get her life back in order. She begins to realize that when her life is in danger, she hears Edward’s voice, which is a totally normal thing and not a sign of overdependence. Bella ends up finding a couple of motorcycles, and goes to her childhood friend, Jacob, to rebuild them.

A lot happens and also not a lot happens, but when we break down to the exciting parts, we learn that Jacob turns into a werewolf, and that this is a part of his heritage. Also, Jacob helps pull Bella out of her depression, but their friendship leads to a weird extreme sports competition.

Anyway, Bella jumps off a cliff. Yea, it’s a thing. Anyway, Edward thinks that she died, and now he is headed to Italy to do the only type of suicide that vampires know. And of course, Bella has to save him, because this is a romance saga after all.

Eclipse

There are a lot of deaths in nearby Seattle, and that has Bella’s father, Charlie, on edge. And with Edward back and Bella on essentially house arrest, there is a lot of tension going on. Charlie decides to take Bella off her house arrest as long as she spends time with more people than just Edward and the Cullens. Due to the whole werewolves vs vampires thing, Edward doesn’t want her anywhere near Jacob.

So this becomes a whole thing, and Bella starts sneaking around so that she can get her sweet sweet Jacob fix. Anyway, so we figure out that the stuff that is going on in Seattle is caused by newborn vampires. Someone is trying to form an army in order to hurt the Cullens, the werewolves, but most importantly, Bella.

Now, on top of all of this, we spend the entire book grasping with Bella’s future change, and her upcoming graduation. Add on that a dash of potential werewolf love, and we got ourselves a book about dilemmas and the choices we make during them.

Breaking Dawn

 Okay, so Bella and Edward get married. And after people get married, they tend to go on a honeymoon, and that honeymoon includes some adult times. No one thought that a vampire could get a human pregnant, but surprise! Bella gets pregnant.

We spend the first half of the book getting to the point where Bella gives birth to her daughter, Renesmee. We then spend the second half of the book preparing the Cullens and friends for the unfortunate arrival of the Volturi when they find out that there is a child in the mix.

The series as a whole

Okay, I have a lot of opinions on this one. I was 12 when I first read these books, and I was in high school when most of the movies came out. Genuinely, the fandom related to these books is a lot of my childhood. HOWEVER, now that I am looking at these books as an adult, they aren’t as good as I used to remember. I have a lot of problems with these books, which I plan to talk about this month, but I just can’t look past those things in my head.

With all of that being said, let’s talk about what these books do right. Firstly, these are a really good baby step into the YA world. Keep in mind, these books do not have explicit language or sexual content (although there are some scenes in Breaking Dawn that imply sexual situations, Meyer doesn’t describe the actual sex like some other YA books), so they are okay for the younger end of the YA spectrum. There are some things I picked up that have slightly sexual connotations, specifically a scene in Twilight where Edward swipes a tear from Bella’s face and then sucks it off his finger, but I can guarantee that younger young adults probably wouldn’t have picked that up. Secondly, we all need a Charlie. Write this down parents, be the person who your child can’t imagine losing, even if it means that they can’t tell you everything about their choice (or lack thereof). Support your child through their sexuality, their gender identity, and/or their partner choices.

I’m going to be spending the rest of the month trashing these books, so I’m going to leave this here. But, uh…. If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

December is Twilight Month!

Hear ye, hear ye! I am here to announce that the month of December, I will be reading and giving my thoughts on the books pertaining to the Twilight Saga.

Before this month begins, I would like to start with a warning. I had all of the intentions in the world to go into this month with positive thoughts. I had planned to write happy reviews, especially because these books and subsequent movies have been a part of my life since I was pre-pubescent. HOWEVER, I went in. I went so far in that I feel like I need to write an apology letter to Stephenie Meyer.

This month, I talk about a lot of really rough topics. Many of them involve abusive situations. I will always give you a warning before going into such heavy topics.

It is my intention that the week of Christmas 12/21-12/25, I will be posting reviews associated to the holiday (at this moment, I am unsure how many novels that will be). I am not sure when I will be receiving my Advent Calendar from Once Upon a Book Club, but I will be posting those gifts as a lead up to the day. I also have order the Christmas and New Year’s Eve boxes, and I am hoping to be posting those around the time of those holidays as well.

I have received invitations from many independent authors to read and highlight their novels. If you or someone you know would like their works reviewed, please feel free to email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. Or, if you have a book that you are hoping I will read, also feel free to reach out. I am always looking for new books to read!

I have been incredibly humbled by the amount of support I have been receiving this year. I am grateful to each and every one of you, and I hope you have enjoyed being a part of this adventure with me. 2020 has been rough for all of us, but I am so happy with we are heading. Thank you all, and I will see you again Friday!