Blurb: “When Beaufort Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, thrilling and terrifying turn. With her porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerising voice, and supernatural gifts, Edythe is both irresistible and enigmatic. What Beau doesn’t realise is that the closer he gets to her, the more he is putting himself and those around him at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back.”
When it was first announced that the tenth anniversary edition of Twilight was to include some bonus content I – along with a lot of other Twilight fans – thought it was going to be Midnight Sun. Sadly, it wasn’t. Instead we were given Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined which is basically a gender swapped version of the original Twilight story. Stephenie Meyer went into detail about why she did this, among other things, during an interview with Sasha from aBookutopia which you can watch at your leisure. Here, I’m just going to lay out the basics.
As I said, this is a gender-swapped version so Edward Cullen is now a female vampire called Eydthe Cullen and Bella Swan is now the vulnerable human boy Beaufort Swan. The only characters that remain the same gender from the original are Charlie and Rene. This – Stephenie states in the foreword – is because during the time when Bella/Beaufort was born, it wouldn’t have been likely for an unemployed man to get full custody of a baby. Which makes a lot more sense than…well… this entire book.
The story pans out exactly the same as the original: Beau moves to a new town, to live with an estranged parent. At his new school, he sets his sights on Edythe Cullen and her rather attractive family. As the story progresses, he spends more time with her, she tries to scare him away and so on and so forth.
One bit that really infuriated me was that when Beau knows Eydthe is a vampire and she has admitted it, he asks how old she is. She says that she was born in 1901. The internal monologue from Beau reads “my face was carefully arranged, unsurprised, patient for the rest.” Now, I’m sure that even if you knew someone had probably been around a while if they’re a vampire, and even I your year estimations were right, you would have some form of a reaction. Whether it’s a “wow that’s old” or “oh, that’s not as bad as I thought it would be.” I cannot, for the life of me, think of a time when my face was “carefully arranged” let alone would I be aware of it in an interaction I had with someone else.
It just read odd. Like a good 90% of the writing. Stephenie claims that one of the good things about having the opportunity to essentially “redo” the story was that she could change some of the lines/words that really bugged her and didn’t sit right in the original. I cannot think what parts she was referring to because the writing in this book was just horrendous. From a writer point of view, there were a lot and I mean A LOT of lines that I would have scrapped completely. I don’t know how these things slipped by an actual writer.
I will give Stephenie Meyer some credit: Life And Death is not exactly the same as Twilight. For a start, the event in Port Angles that causes Edythe to come to the rescue is a misunderstanding about Beau being an undercover cop which lands him in a tricky situation with a gun. The ending is different too. But again, didn’t add much to the stop except that it just made Beau even more unbearable.
I’ve seen a few other reviewers who have actually enjoyed this but personally, I have no idea why.
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