Life and Death
by Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little, Brown
Page Amount: 389, US Hardback
I am a huge Twilight fan, which you probably already know if you have been following me for awhile. The Twilight Saga is the series which originally got me into reading, so it will always hold a special spot in my heart. Therefore, I was super excited once I heard that Stephenie Meyer stated that she was releasing a gender swapped version of Twilight. Of course, I had my reservations about this strange, albeit interesting, concept. Nevertheless, I gave this book a shot. I'm truly glad I did. This book has almost an identical plot to Twilight, seeing as though just the genders are swapped around. However, I did not feel like I was reading the same story, which was both good and bad.
The characters were the driving force of this novel. The gender swap affected all of the characters of Twilight except Charlie and Renee. The swaps for Bella, Edward, and Bella's friends did not bother me. They were really fun. However, I did not really like the Cullens all being gender swapped. I found those swaps very confusing and really ridiculous, because unlike the other swaps, the Cullens kept their original personalities despite having a different gender. I believe that Meyer's main problem with this novel is inconsistencies with gender. For example, Beau, who is the narrator, seemed like a guy for the first hundred or so pages of this novel, which was good because, ya know, Beau is a guy. But for the following 300 pages, he became more feminine and weak, which was disappointing. At points, Meyer just kept the identical narrations of Bella, which did not fit with Beau being male. I just don't understand why she didn't just change all of narrations because she was so good at it at the start of the novel. It had far more potential than this end result.
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the characters of Beau and Edythe. They were different from Bella and Edward yet were still lovable. To be honest, I loved Beau from the beginning of this novel. He seemed like a nerdy, likable guy, and if you know me at all, you know I like me some nerdy boys. On the other hand, Edythe was a kick butt, strong, independent, sassy female. I loved Edythe. She snide remarks were hilarious and perfect. However, I was sad that Meyer did not carry through with her tough attitude. As soon as Edythe starts falling for Beau, she becomes soft and not in a good way. A 150 pages in, Edythe began to be indecisive, which was really annoying. For example, as soon as Beau and Edythe start getting closer, Edythe keeps changing her mind concerning whether he is worth it or not. If this only happened once, it would have been fine, but this happened at least six times. By the end of this novel, I just wanted to scream "Make up your mind already!!!" But they didn't. Even in one of the last scenes of this novel, Beau was still in disbelief that Edythe would love him. I cannot say much about that scene because I do not want to spoil it, but if you are curious, I'll be posting a spoiler review on YouTube on Wednesday!
That being said, the ending was different from Twilight. I really enjoyed this change, and it gave me greater insight into a certain component of vampirism. I'm really glad that Meyer changed the ending because Beau and Edythe's story was different from Bella and Edward's. Although I did not enjoy this books as much as Twilight, I believe it was a fun book for dedicated Twilight fans. If you are still leery to read this book, then just read the beginning and the ending because, let's be real, those were the only good parts of this book. Nevertheless, I did enjoy this book. I did not love it, but it still was an amazing story to include as bonus content to the 10th Anniversary edition of Twilight. Readers should be thankful that instead of getting a short interview, random short story, or some other bland bonus content, Meyer included a nearly 400 page novel for her readers. That shows that she really cares about her readers, which is awesome.