Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined
by Stephenie Meyer
Series: Twilight #5
Published: October 6, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover (442 pages)
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.
Packaged as an oversize, jacketed hardcover “flip book,” this edition features nearly 400 pages of new content as well as exquisite new back cover art. Readers will relish experiencing the deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful love story of Bella and Edward through fresh eyes.
Short and Sweet Version
No, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart do not just switch lines. But, I’m not going to lie – a lot of the book is copied and pasted. Little details are different like Beau opening the door for Edythe and Edythe smiling all the time. Seriously, why is she smiling all the time? You got something stuck in your teeth, Edythe? A dead boyfriend maybe? Kidding. She doesn’t eat Beau.
Beau makes a few moves on Edythe that Freaks. Her. Out. And totally made me laugh. Edythe doesn’t come across as dangerous making it lose a lot of the tension that Twilight is known for. Still, I got sucked in enough to finish it then promptly flip it over and read Twilight again. Life and Death is like sugary, waxy American chocolate and Twilight is like fine, Belgian chocolate that melts as soon as you eat it. I mean, it’s all chocolate and I’ll eat it all, thank you. But Twilight is just better.
There are 40 extra pages of content that Twilight fans will want to read at least once. If you want to know all the changes but don’t want to read the whole thing, check out the Jessica Thinks Too Much Version!
Jessica Thinks Too Much Version
Mild spoilers ahead! This spoiler warning is for those very sensitive to any spoilers. Major spoilers about the end look like this > View Spoiler »And then everyone dies!!! Why did you click this link if you haven’t read the book?! Just kidding. Anything about the ending will be hidden in links like this. « Hide Spoiler
What’s different in Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined?
Want to know all the juicy details of what’s the same and what’s different? Did Beau (male version of Bella) take ballet as a kid? Does he go dress shopping before he gets attacked by a gang?? If you’re curious about that and more then you’ve come to the right place.
First things first. They go corsage shopping in Port Angeles instead of dress shopping. After that, they go to the movies. Beau is late for the movie, of course, because he’s being attacked by a gang. The gang seems to be doing illegal drugs when he walks by and they think he’s a cop. This new element of thinking he is a cop is so briefly foreshadowed that I totally missed it and found it confusing. The gang thinks Beau is a cop because they have a brief encounter at the airport and they see him with his dad, Charlie, who’s in uniform (I had to go back a few chapters to read that again and wondered why it had to be in there at all). The gang pulls a gun on him until a sexy girl vampire shows up in a silver Volvo to save the day. Beau jumps in the car. Edythe (female version of Edward) steps out of the car and I was like, “Oh! Oh! They are going down!!” I wanted bullets flying everywhere and body throwing…I’m not sure where that came from. I’m not a violent person. But sadly she doesn’t kick their butt. She just gets back in the car. *cue anti-climatic trumpet*
As for the ballet studio, the “huntress” still lures Beau there. The ballet studio is where his mom would teach lessons and he would go with her so it still has a personal connection to him.
LET’S DISCUSS THE END SHALL WE
You’ll have to click this spoiler link, of course. View Spoiler »Beau gets beat up much worse at the ballet studio. He’s trying not to scream, but he ends up vomiting from the pain. He gets more broken bones and has a hard time breathing. It was kind of intense to read.
I can’t believe she changed the ending! It was a total surprise. Basically, Edythe gets there too late to save Beau. Edythe will either kill him trying to suck out the vampire venom or he’ll survive as a vampire. Edythe asks him to choose and he chooses vampire. As he’s changing into a vampire, we get a huge info dump of all the background stories and vampire rules that we learn in the other 3 books of the series. The big difference is the background stories we all known are still gender swapped – even the Volturi. And it was pretty cool.
I liked the way the opening quote from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea tied into the end. Beau is kind of forced into a destiny as a vampire. He doesn’t mind after a while because it’s everything he ever wanted. That’s the same thing that happens in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The main character is a prisoner and can’t leave but after a while he wouldn’t leave even if he could because seeing the ocean in a secret submarine is like a dream come true.
The best moment in the new ending is when Beau and Edythe discuss how things could have been different. Beau talks about how he wishes he could have had a better goodbye with his parents. Unlike Bella, he has to live with the last thing he told Charlie which was cruel. Beau fantasizes how they could have graduated high school together and had a big wedding before he left his parents for good. Edythe jokes about how that just wasn’t possible. I enjoyed the irony of that. It also made me realize that as much criticism as Bella gets for being “passive,” she worked hard to get everything she wanted despite Edward telling her it wouldn’t work. Maybe Bella fought for what she wanted in a passive, introverted way, but she still fought. And won.
And ohmygosh if you’ve read this book you have to tell me what you thought of the end!! I’m dying to hear other opinions! It was so interesting to read. Different. Unexpected. AH! « Hide Spoiler
Call Me Beaufort
Beau’s full name is actually Beaufort. Beaufort is the only name I can think of that is worse than Beau. Beau didn’t change a lot from Bella. He faints at blood but justifies it medically to reduce his embarrassment.
“I have a weak vasovagal system,” I muttered. “It’s just a neurally medicated syncope.”
– pg 77
He royally sucks at sports. My reaction to that surprised me. I read this book to see how it challenges my gender bias. Do I have a gender bias? Turns out, a little bit. Girls wouldn’t stage a snowball fight! Beau shouldn’t suck so bad at sports! Honestly, his crappy sports skills came across as pathetic. Like all guys should be good at sports? It’s definitely not true and I was surprised that I assumed that. Bella gets a lot of judgement for cooking for her dad. But when Beau does it? It’s kind of endearing. Beau also cleans a lot, but it’s kind of an OCD thing because he puts all the cleaning supplies in alphabetical order.
Little details changed and it made more of a difference than I thought it would. Beau is a gentleman. He opens the door for Edythe and carries her books. He doesn’t let it bother him that she’s stronger. I kind of liked Beau. Beau is more of a physical being than Bella, if you know what I mean ;). He flat out asks about sex instead of skirting around it. He tries to kiss Edythe a few times and she cringes and puts her hand up. I know she was reacting to trying not to eat him, but it came across as him having deathly bad breath or something. It made me laugh a little.
That’s How You Spell Edythe?
Edythe felt like she changed the most. Edythe responds a little more to people’s thoughts than Edward did. Edythe never came across as dangerous to me. Even when she stops the van, I only saw her as interesting and mysterious – not dangerous. Removing the feeling of constant danger reduced the sexual tension that Twilight is known for. But that’s partly my fault, too. Apparently I’m biased that women aren’t dangerous. Another reason I didn’t think of Edythe as dangerous was because she seemed to smile a lot. Seriously, why is she smiling all the time? You got something stuck in your teeth, Edythe? A dead boyfriend maybe? Kidding. She doesn’t eat Beau. While Edward does smile, it came across as condescending while Edythe smiling came across as sweet. The one change that did make Edythe seem scary was the description of her during the dream Beau has right after he finds out she’s a vampire. She has pointed teeth, sharp nails and a menacing vibe.
Edythe by far has the best line in the book. She buys Beau dinner and when he protests she says:
“Try not to get caught up in antiquated gender roles.”
– pg 135
I know not everyone sucks at keeping characters straight like I do, but just in case, here’s the gender swapped names for reference.
- Alice – Archie
- Jasper – Jessamine
- Rosalie – Royal
- Carlisle – Carine
- Esme – Earnest
- Emmett – Eleanor
- Edward – Edythe
- Bella – Beaufort
Jessica is Dying to Talk About It
Twilight and Obsessive Love
In the forward to Life and Death, Stephenie Meyer describes Twilight like this:
“Twilight has always been a story about the magic and obsession and frenzy of first love.”
– Forward to Life and Death
I love that simple explanation! Twilight is not realistic. Teens in real life don’t stalk their girlfriend and watch them sleep. Usually. But Twilight beautifully captures that feeling of first love. It takes me back to when I was 14 and I had to talk to him every second, write him notes when he wasn’t there, and then talk to him on the phone all night after school. Like Bella, I could tell that it was troubling and unhealthy. But I couldn’t help it. Eventually, I outgrew it and I’m so glad I did. No one wants to live in the constant frenzy of first love. Sometimes, it’s nice to remember the magic of it which is why I still like re-reading Twilight. What are your thoughts on obsessive love? Did you ever feel obsessed with your first love? Do you think that experiencing that kind of obsessive love then moving on is part of growing up? Or do you think it’s unhealthy?
Content Rating: Medium, for a very brief discussion of sex.
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