Friday, October 23, 2015

Book Review: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Published By: Little, Brown
Publication Date:6th October
Page Count: 442
Buy it at: Amazon.com
Source:  Purchased by reviewer
Audience: YA Paranormal Romance

We Larks loved Twilight, in fact it's how most of us met, so we were both excited and nervous when we heard there would be a tenth anniversary edition with new content. Would it be Midnight Sun? Deleted chapters? Content already available on the website? 

None of us expected what it actually was - a gender-flipped version of Twilight where almost all characters became the opposite gender. So rather than Bella and Edward, we have Beau and Edythe. Charlie and Renee remain the same, for reasons explained in the Foreword, but there are only a couple of other exceptions, which I won't spoil.  

As it starts the story is almost identical to Twilight. Beau, like Bella, is a klutz and accident prone. He leaves Phoenix to give his mum time with her new husband, and moves in with his father, Charlie. Things progress along the same lines as Twilight with much of the action and dialogue identical, until the fateful trip to Port Angeles where things start to differ slightly, and then greatly, as Meyer addresses a "What if?" further on in the story.

I'm glad I read it, it was an interesting exercise, and it was nice to revisit the world created in Twilight. That said, I didn't enjoy this anywhere near as much as I'd hoped I would. Beau didn't convince me as a seventeen year old boy. Twilight worked because we as readers identified with Bella and fell in love with Edward. That's lacking here because Edythe is largely unknowable and Beau is not strongly identified.

I think my largest problem with this story was that I was constantly having to think, "Who's that again?" about all of the characters. Alice has become Archie, Jasper is Jessamine, and so on, but in my head I was trying to switch them back again because I knew the dialogue and it didn't fit (in my head) with the gender-reversed characters. It kept pulling me out of the story, and as immersion in the story was one of the strengths of the original, this was disappointing.

If I didn't know Twilight so well, and was coming at this with fresh eyes I might have enjoyed this more, but I don't think so. The characters just weren't convincing and the story didn't draw me in sufficiently.

It can't be denied that in a lot of ways Twilight put YA literature on the map and paved the way for other crossover hits, but perhaps in the last ten years we've moved on.

If you've read it, I'd love to hear your opinion.


Summary:


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.
Twilight has enraptured millions of readers since its first publication in 2005 and has become a modern classic, redefining genres within young adult literature and inspiring a phenomenon that has had readers yearning for more. The novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller, a #1USA Today bestseller, a Time magazine Best Young Adult Book of All Time, an NPR Best-Ever Teen Novel, and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. The Twilight Saga, which also includes New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella, and The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide, has sold nearly 155 million copies worldwide.

2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the Twilight series though I am no where near a die-hard fan. I was thinking of picking this one up just because the premise of the gender-flip sounds intriguing - it sounds less intriguing with this review. There are so many good books to take up my time. Thanks for the helpful review!

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