I think by now most people have read Twilight, or at least seen the film. I mean, It’s been ten years since the book came out and it was so big that it was difficult to ignore.
Admittedly, I’ve never been a fan. I’m in the “Twilight is terrible” camp. But I’m also in the “let’s read it and make fun of it because it’s so bad” camp. So of course when Life and Death came out for the tenth anniversary I knew I’d get my hands on it just for the entertainment.
Life and Death is a genderswap of the original Twilight story. We get Beau (Beaufort) instead of Bella and Edythe instead of Edward. How many versions of Twilight is Stephanie Meyer going to write? I mean first she started Midnight Sun, the Twilight story from Edward’s POV, and now we have a genderswap? Dude, come up with some new material. For some reason Meyer is under the impression that writing Bella as a man will make the character less pathetic. Sorry to say it, it doesn’t work. But I’ll get into my issues with Beau a little later on.
First, let’s address our name changes. The names for the genderswapped MC’s are fine, if a bit ridiculous. I mean Beaufort? And why must Edythe’s name be spelled like some pompous rich brat? Edith would have suited just fine. But let’s look at the rest:
Alice becomes Archie- probably the worst name change of the entire book. Why not Arthur? Or Ambrose? Alexander? Nope, she chooses the goofiest name possible.
Emmett becomes Eleanor- despite my joking that we should all just start calling her Femmett, Meyer went with a pretty decent name here.
Carlisle becomes Carine- why? Carla would have worked just fine.
Billy Black become Bonnie- lame.
Esme becomes Earnest- *groan*
Jacob becomes Julie- not awful. A little boring but ok.
James becomes Joss- LOL, um try again.
Jasper becomes Jessamine- All I can think of here is Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices character, and it’s not an endearing comparison.
Laurent becomes Lauren- well, duh.
Rosalie becomes Royal- the other worst freaking name change in the story. Of all the names you could come up with, she chose Royal?
Victoria becomes Victor- Victor/Victoria, anyone?
Many are ridiculous to a fault and I can’t see why less ostentatiously bad names weren’t chosen instead. That being said, some of the ridiculous names (mostly the renamed Volturi) are kind of badass.
Now, I won’t spoil Life and Death for those who have not read it but there are some MAJOR differences in the story. This is likely because the story is intended to be an alternate universe and honestly if it were exactly the same I would see absolutely no point in its existence. Many of the minor changes are in regards to Beau and Edythe’s genders being switched. Apparently it was intended to show that Bella is not a damsel in distress but rather a “human in distress”.
In that regard, Beau is exactly as sad and pathetic a character as Bella was, only with added OCD. He almost seems more unlikable than Bella, and I’m not sure if it has to do with the gender swap or not. At many points I find myself forgetting that Beau is supposed to be a guy. He’s not written all that differently from Bella. Once and a while you can see Meyer trying too hard, like when he is thinking that “well, I guess the green is beautiful or something” it sounds like forced guy garbage straight from the brain of someone who doesn’t know how a guy thinks.
I don’t think anyone who didn’t like Twilight would like this book. It’s certainly entertaining for those of us who enjoy ragging on the franchise but I couldn’t call it good in any sense of the word. Just like I watch the films for “bad movie night parties” this is the kind of book you read even though you know it won’t be good. Does it need to exist? Not really.
What do you think of Life and Death or the Twilight Saga? Share in the comments.