Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined

With no Jane the Virgin this week, I've decided to review/fangirl over something that's been itching at me for weeks to talk about: Stephenie Meyer and the reawakening of the Twilight world.
It's kind of old news by now, but if you didn't know, Stephenie Meyer rewrote Twilight with the genders of all the characters switched. It's called Life and Death, which I think could have been named better considering it sounds like one of the cheesy romance novels in the back of Barnes and Noble. But I digress. If you've read my past Twilight post, then you are probably familiar with my former obsession. In the name of thirteen year old Twihard Giselle, I bought that book. I read that book. I enjoyed that book, if only for the memories. I have some grievances, but that's a given, considering I've aged quite a few years since last reading and am bound to have a different perspective. There are going to be some spoilers in this post, so if you have not read it and were planning on it, I would not continue any further.
The Characters
Okay, so let's get the main point out of the way. Every character is different this time around. Royal (Rosalie) has a man bun. The werewolves are like a sisterly clan thing. Beau (Bella) wears Monty Python t-shirts. For the most part, I think Stephenie Meyer succeeds in making me believe these are different people.
Though, it was a bit odd that when reading I realized how essential the genders were in the first place. Like, obviously Beau (boy Bella) wouldn't get stalked by predators in the middle of the night. It's, sadly, a fact of life. And historically, Carine (girl Carlisle) wouldn't have had the opportunities Carlisle did to become a doctor. But Stephenie Meyer creatively veers her way around this with Beau running into some thugs passing out drugs instead and Carine studying and working underground to become a doctor. 
Different, but I learned to accept it.
The Experience
I tried to push Twilight out my head while I read this so I wouldn't keep mixing up the characters, and in doing so I had a completely different experience. I got a very Paper Towns-y vibe off of this book. The average boy falling in love with the super hot girl, knowing he could never have her.
Though, this time around, I had a tough time understanding why Edythe (weird spelling by the way) would fall in love with Beau the same way Edward fell in love with Bella. Judge the Twilight romance if you will, I still feel like I understood why Edward loved Bella. For her maturity, her generosity, her selflessness. Not that Beau didn't have those traits, I just didn't feel like it showed through as well, and I kept wondering why Edythe, in all her glory, would bother. Which is not how I felt reading Twilight.
The End
So, my major grievance with this book was the end. The plot of Twilight is basically the same as Life and Death, except for one huge difference. Edythe doesn't come in time to save Beau from James, like Edward did for Bella. It comes down to a choice: watch him die or let him become a vampire. He becomes a vampire, and in his transition, they speedily explain everything we were supposed to have found out in the coming books. The Volturi, the existence of the werewolves, Royal's (boy Rosalie) backstory. Everything. When he becomes a vampire, he must leave his old life behind him and they host a fake funeral.
Stephenie Meyer explains herself later, and I understand her author-ly rights to do what she wants, but I felt like there was so much needed character growth that was just skipped over. By the end of Twilight, I felt like Bella wasn't ready for the kind of commitment it took to be with with Edward and she needed to be separated from him to understand what she was really going to do. I felt the same with Beau, but then they rush into it, and I didn't buy it. He wasn't even slightly angry or upset he was changed, just a bit overwhelmed. Uh...what?
I understand Stephenie Meyer wasn't going to rewrite the entire series, but I would have liked to know the story played out in the same way. Edythe is always going to feel guilty and underestimate Beau's feelings towards her. Beau left all his family and friends heartbroken. Obviously by the time Breaking Dawn came around there wouldn't be a Renesmee, but that would a blip in an otherwise great story of character growth and romance. Now it's happily ever after with some major conditions.
I think Life and Death is a good read for any former or current Twihard looking to relive memories. I know I did. But deciding which book was better? Twilight, hands down. I'm glad Stephenie Meyer came out with this new book, if only for the added bonus material, because she's stated that's what it is. Bonus material. Even with its flaws, I still enjoyed myself.

What did you think of the re-imagined Twilight? Feel free to discuss in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Hm, I haven't read this, but I am still interested to check it out and decide for myself! Soon...