Title: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little, Brown
Check this book out on Goodreads.
Celebrate the tenth anniversary of Twilight! This special double-feature book includes the classic novel, Twilight, and a bold and surprising reimagining, Life and Death, by Stephenie Meyer. (Source: Goodreads)
In the 10th anniversary editions of Twilight Stephenie Meyer retells her story by doing a full gender swap of (almost) all of the characters. Now we follow the story of Beau and Edythe as they find first love and face life and death together.
I had to read this book, I was too curious not too. I was a Twilight fan when the series first came out, though my affection for it has certainly waned over the years. This reimagining for Twilight was both an entertaining journey and a total mess that only made issues in the original novel more obvious and frustrating. I didn’t find this a particularly enjoyable read, but it was a trip down memory lane and an interesting experiment that I think ultimately failed to accomplish its goal.
This book is a word for word repeat for the original novel until about the last 30 pages where it completely changes directions and goes off the rails. Was it boring to re-read the novel but gender swapped? A little, yeah. I think it called attention to how much drag there was in the original novel, and really made me kind of regret being so in love with Twilight as a teen. Towards the end everything changes, there’s a whole new ending (I won’t spoil) and then Meyer tries to fit all the information from the other three novels into just 30 pages, meaning it becomes quite a bit of listing and shoving and cramming and it’s so dull and frustrating and just…awful. Just too much crammed onto the end.
There were a lot of characterization issues in the book. Ones that obviously existed in the original but only became more obvious in this version because Beau was a boy, which only made even more issues come up for me. Bella was a weak character, a Mary Sue, she was good at nothing but somehow everyone’s ideal, and on Bella is sort of worked – maybe we’re just used to these flimsy female leads – but on Beau it didn’t, he seemed pathetic. That only made me more frustrated with the flimsy female lead of the original book. This remains true about all the characters who are equally poorly developed.
I think this book is an interesting read for fans of the original story, it was a trip down memory lane as I said. It wasn’t good, but it was an interesting experiment. Definitely gave me a good laugh and a lot to think about.