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The Twilight Saga #1.5

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined

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For the first time in a stand-alone paperback comes Stephenie Meyer's Life and Death, a compelling reimagining of the iconic love story that will surprise and enthrall readers.
There are two sides to every story....
You know Bella and Edward, now get to know Beau and Edythe.

When Beaufort Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edythe Cullen, his life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With her porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edythe is both irresistible and enigmatic.

What Beau doesn't realize is the closer he gets to her, the more he is putting himself and those around him at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back....

With a foreword and afterword by Stephenie Meyer, this compelling reimagining of the iconic love story is a must-read for Twilight fans everywhere.

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 #1 USA 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.

389 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 2016

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About the author

Stephenie Meyer

127 books72.7k followers
Stephenie Meyer is the author of the bestselling Twilight series, The Host, and The Chemist. Twilight was one of 2005's most talked about novels and within weeks of its release the book debuted at #5 on The New York Times bestseller list. Among its many accolades, Twilight was named an "ALA Top Ten Books for Young Adults," an Amazon.com "Best Book of the Decade So Far," and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three sons.

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Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
December 10, 2020

Ohhh yeah, I went there (check out the video to see all my unpopular opinions...if you dare.)
Anyway, onwards to the review!

I thought about falling to my knees on purpose. This was the kind of beauty you worshiped. The kind you built temples for and offered sacrifices to...what would a goddess want from a mediocre mortal like me?
BWAHAHAHA....wait....she actually published this?

So, I reread the entirety of Twilight in preparation for this novel. I really shouldn't have. Twilight was not re-imagined... this was literally the same book.

For those not familiar, Stephenie published a gender-swapped Twilight.

This was a cool idea - instead of Edward, we have Edyth, instead of Bella, we have Beau, etc. Like before, Beau/Bella moves to town, and falls in love with a 100-year-old vampire (etc).
"It would be more...prudent for you not to be my friend," she explained. "But I'm tired of trying to stay away from you, Beau."
What changes is our perception of the story due to gender roles - for example Dr Cullen (now Dr Corrine Cullen) lives in Forks because her husband (Ernest/Esme) adores small-town life.

I didn't question that choice when Esme wanted to live in a small town but I paused a bit when Ernest voiced that opinion.

Girls forcing hubbies to live in small town is cute and normal. A guy constricting his wife to limit her career so he can live the small town life - completely different vibe.

So, that bit was interesting.

However, Stephenie just changed the characters' pronouns and not their personalities.

I can understand if their core traits were the same (i.e. Edyth/Edward is protective, Beau/Bella is clumsy) but this book went too far.

Beau becomes this ultra-feminine guy (i.e. he borrows and snuggles into Edyth's scarf cause he's cold). For context, Bella doing this with Edward's jacket made sense in the context. With Beau.... not so much.

Perhaps it's because scarves are not naturally warm enough to warrant the action... or perhaps it's just ingrained into society that men don't wear their girlfriend's clothing.
There was no humor in her face now. Her eyes were intense, narrowed, the long lines of her lashes stark black against her skin. Her voice had a strange heat to it. I couldn't remember how to breathe.

"Will you accept a ride with me to Seattle?" she demanded, voice still burning.
At any rate, that scene (like so many others) felt awkward and cringey to read.

Stephenie Meyer was supposed to swap the genders, not turn Beau into a girl.
Ctrl+F "She" replace with "He"description
In addition, I had a pretty big issue was the amount of reused material.

To put this into context, people have been rewriting fairy tales for decades.

When you read a retelling of Cinderella (even a gender-swapped one), the characters are all there (step-monster, step-monster's spawn, etc) but the order of events, their personalities and how things happen is drastically changed.

I might know where the plot is going, but I have no idea how it will get there.

Life and Death was identical to Twilight.

From the first look to the big reveal in the meadow - nothing original.

Even Rosalie/Royal still had that whole jealous petty cat fight relationship going on with Bella/Beau... complete with Beau constantly noticing Royal's hotness (and then getting all down because he'll never be so hot.)

Even the quotes were the same. I could totally understand re-using the big quotes - the ones that really defined the first novel (i.e. "uncontrollably and irrevocably in love") but so much of the ordinary dialogue was reused that it became boring.

This book had so much potential but it fell so, so short of that.

P.s. Technically, it's a 2.5 star book but honestly, so much of it was blatant self-plagiarism that I just knocked off a couple of stars out of annoyance.
Edit: because according to private messages I'm sexist a**hole and should be ashamed of my review.

Ok. So.

This may be a bad example but it's the best one I can think of to convey how it felt to read this book.

So, picture a book whose premise is that all dogs are cats and all cats are dogs. Flipping species.

And the first scene starts with:

Dog: sniffs scratching post before deciding to scratch couch. Kills a mouse.

Cat: chases tail, rolls in mud.

And while yes, I consciously know that the species are swapped... but the dog is doing VERY catlike things... so much that it's hard to think of the dog as a dog, instead the actions begin to associate within my mind as a cat.

And yet, everyone else in the book looks around and goes, "yup. That's a dog, you can tell by the meows."

It would have worked far better if the dog kept some core traits and adopted a few of his new species. Instead, because the dog acts so catlike that wherever he is in the scene, all I can think of is how the dog is a cat.

So... might not be the best example but that's how it felt reading this book.

Beau did SO many things that would make sense as a girl (aka as Bella), but since he was a man, those actions no longer made sense.

I could definitely have seen this book as a really great way to play on everyday bias present in society but it just wasn't handled with the finesse needed for such a wild and broad concept.
Instead, the book came off as clunky and heavy-handed.

Audiobook Comments
Well-read by Michael Crouch... though I could have used a bit more distinction between characters - with tone/inflection.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for ✨faith✨trust✨pixiedust✨.
396 reviews365 followers
January 11, 2019
I actually sort of liked this almost unironically. It's mostly the exact same plot as the original Twilight (with some major changes as well 👀) but the less dramatic narration made this a lot more legitimately enjoyable.

My personal favorite character was male Bella, here as Beau, who was honestly a total cinnamon roll! His quiet introversion was nice, especially for a boy character, and I appreciated that. There were times when the plot was going just a bit too fast near the end where I either 1) forgot he was a boy and/or 2) his general apathetic demeanor made what should have been more emotionally intense scenes feel awkward and almost as if he's...a bit of a sociopath...

Female Edward, aka Edythe (because it isn't a YA book if there isn't a name with an unnecessary Y), was nice. I liked her. She felt just like a slightly less horrible version of Edward, which she was by all means, a lot of the time.

The other characters were pretty much just as they were before, though I REALLY liked Archie, the male version of Alice. He was honestly pretty great.

Overall, I liked it! It was fun and simple. If you're already a fan of Twilight, I'd say try it out! If you're not, maybe try it out too? 🤷‍♀️ Who knows, maybe you'll like it?

"Go to your hell knowing this—that what you love will become all that you hate."

Read this review and more on my blog here!
Profile Image for Kevin (Irish Reader).
274 reviews3,933 followers
May 4, 2020
2.5 Stars

I don’t know what I expected from this but getting pretty much the exact same story again except switching pronouns and genders, was not it.

I will say that the ending of this book is completely different to Twilight and it’s the reason why I actually give this .5 stars more than I did to Twilight. I really enjoy this alternate ending to the book and am interested to see how the rest of the books would have panned out if the original story took this approach.

I also did a reading vlog review to this book on my YouTube channel and you can check it out here: https://youtu.be/k-f6xOty5H4
Profile Image for Sarah.
50 reviews25 followers
February 27, 2021
About 3 things I am absolutely positive.

First, this book sucks.

Second, there is a part of this book, and it is quite apparent how dominant that part may be, that was written (and failed) to satisfy some desire to fix a broken book.

And third, I am unconditionally and irrevocably embarrassed to have read it.

If I have to read one more time about Edythe's "perfect face" or Beau's inability to walk a straight line, my mood will match Stephanie Meyer's most frequently used word in this book: "frustrated." (Okay, maybe that wasn't literally the most frequently used word, but it was used A LOT.) And what kind of a name is Beau? This book had some of the ugliest character names I have ever seen.

I bought this book on a whim. As a teenager, I thought these books were the best thing ever; now, I watch them with my boyfriend as a funny tradition and we laugh all the way through them. When I saw this book at the store, I knew I had to have it. I read nearly all of it in two days, but the last 20% took me almost a month to read.

This book felt inauthentic because it wasn't Beau's story--it was Bella's. It felt like she was trying to capitalize on Twilight's success (whatever, I don't mind), but worse, Stephanie got the opportunity to fix the problems in her first book. She got the opportunity that a ton of writers wish they could have, and she still managed to write a mess of a book.

On the other hand, there were parts of this book that I liked. It was, until the last stretch, a pretty entertaining read--even though some scenes made me want to smack my forehead against a brick wall.

Here are some of my favorite (read: least favorite) lines of the book:

That was a lot of work. Whew!

If you've made it this far, my basic opinion of this book is that it isn't good, but that shouldn't stop anyone from reading it. I don't think it was written to be a literary masterpiece, and neither was Twilight. I like these books for what they are, and it's okay if you do, too.

I'm tired. Good night.
Profile Image for Shawna Finnigan.
474 reviews313 followers
May 17, 2022
Warning: this review will contain brief spoilers from the original Twilight book and Eclipse.

Life and Death is the gender-swapped version of Twilight, meaning that all boys are changed to girls and all girls are changed to boys. The only exceptions are Renee, Charlie, and a couple of side characters. The reasoning for why some characters don’t change genders is explained in the introduction to this book. I have to say that after seeing several people say that this book was better than the original, I had high expectations, but I was quickly disappointed. The majority of this story was word for word the same as Twilight. I was hoping for something more out of this book. It was overall enjoyable though. It just didn’t add anything to the Twilight universe for me.

Most of the gender-swapped characters were unrealistic to me. It felt like the author tried so hard to make the characters be like their counterparts in Twilight that she stopped trying to make these characters feel real. The only three characters that I could imagine as real people were McKayla (Mike), Jessamine (Jasper), and Julie (Jacob). I understand why the author wanted to do a gender-swapped Twilight, but I don’t think it had the intended effect.

The rest of my review will be comparing and contrasting this book and Twilight. Since this book is nearly word for word the same as Twilight, most of my thoughts are the same as what they were with Twilight. My enjoyment of this book was hindered though by the fact that I was essentially just rereading Twilight. This book is labeled as “Twilight Reimagined” and “Tenth Anniversary Edition,” but since it didn’t change much from the original source, it didn’t live up to those big labels on the cover.

The only two major changes in the book were the attempted rape scene was changed and the ending was drastically changed. The attempted rape scene being changed was a pleasant surprise. That scene in Twilight made me incredibly uncomfortable and it felt like the story brushed over the fact that Bella almost got raped, so I preferred the change of events in Life and Death. The ending being changed seemed good in theory, but it felt a little rushed and there was tons of info-dumping. The amount of information that you get from world-building in the entire Twilight series had to essentially be condensed into less than thirty pages at the end of this book. The epilogue was so painful and depressing. Poor Charlie. He’s one of the best characters in both Life and Death and the Twilight series yet somehow he always suffers as a result of the conclusion of the stories.

The gender-swapping created major issues for Jasper’s story and Rosalie’s story. Both of these two characters’ history was shaped by their gender. Jasper was a confederate soldier and that’s a huge part of how he ended up as a vampire. Jessamine on the other hand was just randomly stolen to be turned into a vampire. Jessamine couldn’t have been a soldier in the Civil War because she was female at the time she was turned so she wouldn’t have been allowed to fight. The confederate part of Jasper’s history made me uncomfortable, but the change to making Jessamine just be randomly turned into a vampire makes Jessamine’s story feel less impactful and it felt very shallow. Rosalie was raped before she was turned and she hates being a vampire because of her infertility. I don’t mind the rape part being cut out, but cutting out the major reason why Rosalie hated being a vampire made her counterpart Royal’s story lack depth. It felt like turning Rosalie into Royal ruined the story of this character.

A good change that happened as a result of the gender swap is that there’s no Renesmee/Jacob pedophilia crap!! That was one of my biggest issues for this series and it’s impossible for that to happen with the gender-swapped version of the characters.

I think gender-swapping can be done well, but it wasn’t that great in the case of Life and Death. This story needed more variation from Twilight (even if it were just a simple rewording of most sentences) and more thought needed to be put into developing the gender-swapped character’s backstories.
Profile Image for Rheanna.
58 reviews38 followers
August 13, 2020

Literally the most pointless book ever.

UPDATE: Just for fun I decided to skim the ending and the end just makes this book 10 times worse. (spoilers ahead) Most of it made no sense but from what I could tell, pretty much the only different thing about the plot was that Beau (the male version of Bella) ended up becoming a vampire at the end of the book while, in the original first book, Bella didn't become a vampire. In my opinion this is incredibly misogynistic and just super annoying. This due to the fact that Edythe couldn't successfully save Beau from becoming a vampire while her male counterpart, Edward could. As far as I can tell, the only differences these two have are gender so this is inherently sexist.
Also, this whole book was either a ploy for more money, or the author didn't have confidence in her original story and decided to write it again and either way, it makes this book completely and utterly unneeded.
Profile Image for Nash (all too unwell).
315 reviews842 followers
May 25, 2021
I DNF'ed this book
I read it a long time ago so I don't remember exactly what the hell happened.
But it was worse
Way worse than Twilight
And Twilight is hard to beat.
So lets clap fr this book


It was super weird to read this. I hated it.
I read 2 chapters....then skipped to the ending.
This is one of the worst things I've done to myself
It's like the author just replaced the pronouns ugh. Everything is the freaking same
Every dialogue
Every creepy thing

Can u imagine female Edward watching male bella sleep
*Intense barfing*

This may seem sexist but when the Beau does the things Bella does with Edward it's just plain weird
Extremely weird
He snuggles into her and wears her scarf
A. The scarf I wear ain't warm enough
B. No that is just weird

Maybe the author tried to defy gender roles, but the way it was handled
It's weird

0.01 stars ¯\_ಠ_ಠ_/¯
Profile Image for Stacie.
1,969 reviews191 followers
October 25, 2016
3 1/2 "Gender Bender" Stars!

Ok, ok... Don't judge, just let me explain! I kept seeing Twilight related stuff EVERYWHERE!! On Twitter on Instagram and on Goodreads (I'm not on Facebook). I seemed like so many people were rereading the series or binge watching the movies, I started to get the itch. Then last Saturday night after I finished the book I was reading, I turn on the TV and Eclipse is on! I could no longer resist. But I was thinking... I have so many unread books on my Kindle, I shouldn't be rereading TWILIGHT! I've only read it like 5 times already- the whole series. So then, I thought of this book. Confession: Yes, I purchased this bad boy the moment I first laid eyes on it in Wal-Mart. Bwahahaha!! No seriously, I did. Excuse to myself: "You already have all the other books in the series in hardback, may as well get this one too." I know... just call me SUCKER... all capital letters!

Anyway, so If you are still reading this ramble; gotta confess, I liked this gender bender edition of TWILIGHT. Not a big surprise. Not as well as the original of course. I am 10 years and hundreds of MUCH better written books removed from my initial obsession; but the TWILIGHT story/saga will always be on my favorites list. It kicked of my reading obsession and I couldn't be more grateful. Even though I'm still ticked this book wasn't MIDNIGHT SUN. And yes, I would still buy that one too. (Defensive much...)

...It took me a while to stop thinking of Beau as Bella and all the other gender swap characters, but eventually I started to enjoy the little changes and adaptations. Yes it is still pretty much the same exact story but there are a few little changes and holes filled in. You know, the writing cleaned up a bit. And accommodation for Bella/Beau being a boy and all.

Overall, I have no regrets! ;-) Happy reading!
Profile Image for Yankeecountess.
138 reviews19 followers
April 16, 2018
*sigh* where does one begin?

I am by no means a "twi-hard" but I also wouldn't call myself a "twi-hater" either. I read the series roughly ten years ago, around the time when the first movie hit the screens. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and while I was by no means "blown away" by the series, I couldn't deny that something about Meyer's writing compelled me to want to continue reading, to find out what happened next. Now all that being said, I also agree with many readers who find some of the themes/situations in the Twilight series to be "problematic". And I think Meyer understood this to a degree as well, which is why, from what I understand, she partially wanted to write a "gender-bent" version of Twilight for the story's 10th anniversary (that, and money of course). But apparently, according to some articles I came across, Meyer was bothered by how some readers saw the characterization of Bella, labeling her as "weak" or a "damsel in distress". Meyer wanted to prove that this had nothing to do with Bella's gender and thought by swapping the gender roles she would prove just that, as well as prove her point that whether regardless of those genders, these two characters would still have as compelling a love story as she had originally written.

Well...yes and no.

This should come as no surprise, but **spoilers ahead**

I will give Meyer this, she is right that Bella is not simply a damsel in distress because my goodness, the awkwardness/klutziness of Beau (Bella's male counterpart in Life and Death) is every bit as clumsy as Bella...if perhaps more so. Granted, I admit, it's been ten years since I read Twilight, however I can't help but feel that Meyer really went out of her way to "prove" her point about Bella/Beau being identical in terms of their "fragility" when next to Edward/Edythe. In other words, I found the emphasis on Beau's human frailness to be more pronounced, with Meyer hitting us over the head every other paragraph by reminding us how "awkwardly human" Beau is, compared to the "perfection" of Edythe. And speaking of that "perfection", the detail Meyer would go into to describing the "beauty" of the Edythe and the rest of the Cullens, in particular the female versions of Edward, Jasper, and Emmett, was a bit...over zealous. What was a few simple sentences in describing their inhuman beauty in Twilight becomes several paragraphs.

The truth is, Meyer's point to try and say that "these characters are exactly the same, regardless of gender" falls a little flat. In her attempts to make gender a non-issue in some cases...she makes it an issue in others, and to me, this is perhaps the most blaring issue with Life and Death.

First off, it should be noted that the gender swap is not limited to Bella and Edward (now Beau and Edythe) but to ALL of the characters from Twilight...*WITH THE EXCEPTION* of Charlie and Renee (Bella/Beau's parents). For whatever reason, Meyer keeps these two as their original genders. Now, I found myself going back and forth over this issue. I tried to see it from what I think was Meyer's POV--if Renee were say..."Roger", and "Roger" was every bit as childish/helpless as Renee is described in both books, then why would the courts think it a good idea to award custody to the father, when traditionally, custody of children is 9 times out of 10 awarded to the mother? Perhaps Meyer couldn't properly fathom the answer to this question, in keeping Renee's nature from the original story with a male version of herself, and therefore decided not to bother? However, I thought it *could* work, if she really wanted to. Charlie (as "Cheryl", perhaps) is still the sheriff of Forks, a very demanding job (even for a small town) and the court may have thought "this is not the proper environment for a child to be raised by a single parent" and thus award "Roger" with custody? And really, is it *that* hard to believe (stereotypically, speaking) that a man, even a single dad raising a child by himself, can at times be a "big baby" and have difficulties with caring for himself? Because if *that* is the issue to why Meyer chose not to have a male-version of Renee raise Beau, then that says more about the problems of the character than simple "gender roles". If Renee as a male version of herself is *that* irresponsible that it's impossible to imagine a court of law awarding said father with the custody of raising his child, then *WHY* on earth would the court allow Renee as her present self, to raise a baby? Was Renee really that much more suited for the job? How the heck did Bella/Beau survive all those years?

See, this is what I mean; Meyer claims gender is a non-issue with her book, but by this choice of *not* swapping Charlie and Renee's roles, despite the fact that EVERY. OTHER. CHARACTER. has swapped roles raises more than just an eyebrow; it slaps us in the face that her non-issue argument is a load of crap, because it is VERY MUCH an issue.

This is further proved by certain choices she made in describing the characters habits/lifestyles/hobbies. etc. Mainly, Beau. Again, it's been 10 years since I read Twilight but...was a medical reason ever given to why Bella tripped over her own feet practically all the time? I certainly don't remember one. She's just basically a klutz, and Edward always seems to be close by, ready to catch her. Beau suffers from this as well, but instead of him also being a "natural klutz" a medical condition is provided to why he can't be trusted on his own two feet (something to do with his balance being off). If I am correct that no medical condition was provided for Bella, but one is provided for Beau...WHY??? Why does he get one and she doesn't? Why can't he be every bit as "naturally clumsy" as his female counterpart? Again, did Meyer feel people would have a hard time believing that a boy could be uncoordinated on his feet more so than a girl? Or was it simply viewed as not being "masculine" or "heroic" enough? Will readers have a harder time accepting the love story between Edythe and Beau if she has to come to his rescue every other second and catch him from falling without providing a medical reason to why this is?

Another example of Meyer playing the game of "gender stereotypes" is when Beau reveals that the ballet studio that "Archie" (Alice's male counterpart) sees in his vision was where his mother once taught dance classes. In Twilight, Bella reveals that when she was a little girl, she took ballet lessons at this studio. Beau, however, met his mother at this studio after school, because apparently "boys taking ballet isn't *manly*" or that's certainly how it comes across. Beau can't be a klutz without a medical reason, and he can't at one time have taken dance lessons, unlike his female counterpart. If these things are seen as a punch to Beau's masculinity, then why on earth did Meyer choose to have Beau also bad at sports? To know nothing about cars and how to fix things, unlike "Jules" (the female counterpart to Jacob).

In some ways it's ironic that these details are what Meyer seems to fuss over, wanting to make Beau appear stereotypically masculine, despite his human frailty when compared to the vampire perfection of Edythe, while at the same time, making him whine and huff every bit as much as Bella did...which frankly makes him come across even more childish and annoying than his female counterpart. Again, what's problematic about all this are Meyer's choices to change some things but not everything, while at the same time saying that "nothing has changed"; you can't have it both ways, you either change everything or leave everything.

However, the biggest, most glaring issues in terms of gender treatment in Life and Death are the violent attacks placed upon Beau, and then in the story given by "Royal" (Rosalie's male counterpart). TRIGGER WARNING for talk on sexual assault and rape I'll put the following under the cut:

The other major overall issue with Life and Death is its ending. If you haven't already heard, the book ends *very* differently from Twilight. Meyer more or less compresses the entire series in this one book, although even saying that sounds false, because one might think she evenly distributes all four books across the pages of this one; nope, 90-95% of the book is Twilight retold, while the last 5-10% are the other books smooshed together, and even saying that sounds generous.

...unlike when Bella is bitten by James at the end of Twilight and Edward manages to save her by sucking the venom out of her wound, Edythe realizes she is too late, and asks Beau if he wants her to end his suffering or allow him to be turned. OF COURSE he chooses to be turned, and so instead of going through all the drama of New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn (which also means, instead of going through the mindless love triangle that is Edward/Bella/Jacob) everything is "cut short" and Beau becomes a vampire and joins the Cullens far earlier than Bella ever did.

In some ways it's interesting. It's interesting to explore this possibility: what if Bella had been turned then and there after James bit her? As we see, the dynamic is certainly different, but in other ways, it feels very...anti-climatic. Even to the point of being downright depressing.

Yes, in a sense these are not "new" characters, but at the same time, they don't feel like "familiar" characters either. Therefore, this choice to have Beau become a vampire so soon feels very "rushed", and unlike with Bella and Edward by the time the transformation takes place in Breaking Dawn, you don't really feel like Beau and Edythe know each other well enough to be making such a "huge leap" in their relationship. In fact, you even find yourself wondering, "is this relationship going to last? because they both seem a little uncertain, as if Edythe is having second thoughts of being stuck with this guy for all eternity and Beau is still second-guessing himself and his self-worth, despite the fact that he's now a vampire and therefore the "definition of perfection". I found myself thinking about various MTV specials in which teenagers from very strict, religious backgrounds, marry young as a means to avoid "sexual temptation", but then sigh and shake your head sadly, because they haven't thought about the weight of what their decision entails. I would never say that Bella and Edward are an example of a healthy relationship, however I do feel that they are more...prepared...for it, than Beau and Edythe.

And because there was no "preparation" given to this rash decision of Beau becoming a vampire, therefore the hard reality of what this means for everybody else comes crashing down. Charlie, Renee, and everybody else in Forks believes that Beau died in a car accident. Beau can never see or speak to his parents or school friend again, including Jules. What made this especially depressing for me is the understanding that the last words Beau said to Charlie were the words Bella said to him before she left Forks, hurtful words that were meant to stun him and keep him from following her. The fact that this will be the memory Charlie will forever keep of his final moments with his son makes it impossible for me to see any "happiness" of the situation for Beau and Edythe. And it angered me that Edythe seemed more upset by this than Beau did. Beau didn't even seem all that sad or bummed when he watched his own funeral from several miles away, and took in the sight of his mother and father, looking frail from their grieving; he says he's sad but I had hard time believing it. And what's to stop poor Charlie from slipping into a serious depressive state? Renee at least has Phil by her side, but who will help Charlie during these moments? And again, Charlie was the last person who spoke to Beau before his "death"; OF COURSE he's going to blame himself! I would expect Beau to be a little more cut up by all this, but I'm not buying it when he mentions (like it's a passing thought) that he's aware this was their final exchange. But oh well, who cares about his father's depression? HE'S A VAMPIRE WITH EDYTHE NOW!

Ugh, the combination of all of these things, from the gender issues to the ending, just left me feeling annoyed and unsatisfied. This is not a good book by any means. This is bad fanfiction, written by the author. I'm not saying the idea couldn't or shouldn't have been done, but it should have been handled in a much, much better manner. Either just change the genders of the title characters, or rewrite the story completely with all the changes you desire. And clean-up that ending. And for the love of everything holy, STOP using sexual violence as a dramatic afterthought.

The best thing I can say about Life and Death is that it's a great example to use when arguing/debating gender roles, stereotypes, and identity in YA Fiction; if I were in an academic setting, I would have it on my syllabus, but not for the reason I think Meyer and a majority of Twilight fans would like. 1 Star
Profile Image for Tessa.
86 reviews6 followers
May 3, 2019
Many people didn't find this book so great but I absolutely loved it. It felt like I was reading twilight again for the first time.
Profile Image for Jeffrey Caston.
Author 9 books135 followers
April 8, 2022
I found this entertaining. I saw it as an audio-CD book and decided that was going to be the way to go for me instead of reading it. As I am sure many think...

Yes, it's Meyer going back to that same well...

No, it's not particularly original considering the rest of the series she already put out.

Yes, it might have been a money grab. Who knows for sure.

But I personally found it entertaining. It is an interesting idea, and then having to work various nuances from the main story and adapting them to switching the genders of most characters. I also found it interesting in that

In short, if you are looking for something light but somewhat engaging this was pretty good as an audiobook.
Profile Image for Jessica {Litnoob}.
1,190 reviews88 followers
April 24, 2017
This was a super confusing but still really enjoyable read. For anyone like me who read twilight growing up you can see this story as a total rip of the original as that was the intent. But it's not in a bad way. Kinda trippy fan fiction way to be fair but it was still like "awe" the throw back to those original iconic scenes. Now I don't see how people are saying it's super sexist? Not really, she legit had oh boy do all the same things as Bella so if you see sexism in one but not the other that means your the issue and if you see this as more because he did things typically seen as feminine well again your the problem not the story. It was fun, weird as hell at first to not confuse the names as everyone but Charlie and Rene had new ones. Still that ending was totally sadder one then Bella got and I think Meyers accomplished what she set out to do.
July 27, 2020
I had no intention of writing a full review for Life and Death. I mean, it’s a gender-bent reimagining of Twilight – I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

But the thing is, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one and those said mixed feelings have been churning away inside my mind. So, here we are. Surprise!

As I said, Life and Death is basically Twilight only reimagined for it’s tenth anniversary. This time, it’s Beaufort Swan who moves to the gloomy little town of Forks, Washington and meets the mysterious Edythe Cullen [who may or may not be harboring a dangerous secret].

It look me a lot longer than usual to fully lose myself in Life and Death. This was actually the fourth time I’d attempted to read it – I’d never made it past the first three chapters. I think I’ve always been too close to Bella and Edward. It’s difficult to separate them from Beau and Edythe. It’s also impossible not to draw comparisons. Especially because Beau’s inner monologue is practically identical to Bella’s. Well, at least during the first few chapters.

But, in preparation for Midnight Sun [which I am VERY optimistic about], I was determined to put Life and Death to rest, finally knocking it off my TBR. And, in the end, I actually managed to tumble down the rabbit hole with Beau and Edythe. I think once you start to see them as individuals, Life and Death becomes a lot more interesting.

That’s not to say that Life and Death is perfect and it’s certainly not better than Twilight.

Let’s talk about Beaufort Swan. I think Beau’s the main reason I had trouble with the beginning. I’m not going to lie – I found it hard to get on-board with his character. Beau just came across as a Sad Boi™. But, as the story progressed I noticed that, unlike Bella, Beau’s a little more self-aware. He didn’t tolerate any crap from the cafeteria crowd, especially from Jeremy/Jessica. Actually, Jeremy/Jessica was a lot less civil in Life and Death and Logan/Lauren was a straight-up savage but we always hated her. I also appreciated that Beau was more aware of his obsessive infatuation with Edythe.

But despite Life and Death’s rocky start, I can pinpoint the exact moment I finally snapped into Beau and Edythe’s story. It was the “invitations” chapter – when the entire student body attempts to ask poor, unsuspecting Beau to the school dance. This was the moment Life and Death really found its footing. The dialogue and plot started to shift away from Twilight and I even laughed at some of Stephenie’s more witter lines. Actually, I think Beau and Edythe’s interactions flowed better than Bella and Edward’s did. Let it be known that bantering about weak vasovagal systems is freaking iconic.

That being said, there were parts of Life and Death that felt a little… on the nose. I mean, it’s blatantly obvious that Stephenie Meyer worked really hard to sell Beau’s story as pro-feminist. Twilight had always been subtle in the way it examined feminism and gender roles. Twilight showed us that Bella was this intelligent and mature young woman who refused to confirm to society’s expectations. Life and Death, on the other hand, was constantly trying to tell me.

BUT [hello positives!], by smoothing over Twilight’s anti-feminist claims, Life and Death prompted some very important conversations. Let’s be real – most of these conversations should have happened in Twilight. You know what they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, despite some obvious flaws, by the time Edythe was rescuing Beau from being shot in Port Angeles, I was fully invested and enjoying the shifting character dynamics. Life and Death was shaping up to be a four star read.

And then I got to “the hunt”. Basically it’s all downhill from there.

As we reach the climax, we’re almost bombarded with exposition and an ungodly amount of info dumping. I get it – Stephenie Meyer had the seemingly impossible task of summing up an entire saga’s worth of world building. But not only did she succeed in dragging out the plot, she also dramatically slowed down the action. Unfortunately, the info dumping begins to make sense as you creep closer to the ending. Let’s just say that I had a hunch and I wasn’t wrong…

There was only one way Beau and Edythe’s story could end – I don’t hate the choice Stephenie made. I just can’t help feeling the execution was seriously lacking. Like, could we get little more work please? Maybe another edit??? There was WAY too much exposition. Also… I’m still not sure how I feel about that twist. The final chapter felt so melancholy, almost deflated? I had to really push myself to skim those last fifty pages.

So was Life and Death necessary? Definitely not. Bella’s story had a happier conclusion – despite everything, she lived the best possible version of this story. But that’s not to say it wasn’t interesting to see what might have been. Ten years later, Life and Death gives readers the alternate timeline to Twilight, this humongous “what if?”. And while I’m not sure I’d ever re-read Life and Death, I did have a lot of fun with Beau and Edythe’s dynamic. I’d recommend Life and Death if you want to pass some time during self isolation and ponder the multiverse.
Profile Image for EmmaSkies.
139 reviews2,221 followers
January 11, 2021
I truly do not know where to start with this...book.

Let's start by saying that if you've read twilight, you've read 90% of this book. Much of it is simply text replacing names and pronouns with no other changes, and the changes that are made are...horrendous. My main thought the entire time, page after page, was that this was clearly published without one single person reading through it to edit; which is HILARIOUS given that in the Foreword, Stephenie Meyer specifically says that the best thing about "writing" this (*cough* replacing a handful of scenes *cough*) was that she got to go back ten years later and fix all the things she would have changed about Twilight. This is SO much worse. The writing is downright painful at times and the dialogue is...not good. If you ever thought Bella was overly dramatic, oh boy just you wait for Beaufort. (and can we talk about how the best male replacement she could come up with for Bella was BEAUFORT?) If you thought Bella was over the top about how she thought about how attractive the Cullens were, Beau is so much worse. Literally monologuing about how he should drop to his knees and worship this gorgeous creature in front of him and it just...keeps...going. I think my favorite quote from the entire book might be when he's looking at Edythe and describes "the fragile-looking twigs of her collarbones." I audibly cackled at that.

Based on Meyer's comments in the foreword, beyond the obvious attempt at a cash grab (which I would assume didn't work because I've never met another person who knows this exists), Life and Death seems to have come about largely due to her having a chip on her shoulder for people coming for the sexism in Twilight and the fact that Bella is often described as a classic, boring Damsel in Distress, to which Meyer replies that Bella is simply a Human in Distress and it would be no different were she a man. I guess this book is supposed to prove that? Anyway the years of being called anti-feminist must have really gotten under her skin, because Edythe (our new Edward) at one point says - and I quote - "Try not to get caught up in antiquated gender roles," when paying for dinner for Beau. This from the same author that felt the need to change the School NURSE to a School MEDIC now that they're male. The irony is...astounding.
Bella's near-sexual-assault becomes Beau's near-shooting (which, good god, don't even get me started on how asinine that entire scene is) because apparently sexual assault - or the implied danger thereof - is only for women.

There are really only a few areas where there's any meaningful change from the original, and they are nearly always for the worse. And don't even get me started on the NAMES! If I had to pick, I think Rosalie Hale becoming ROYAL Hale is my favorite. And by "favorite" I mean "who the hell decided that was okay." It bothered me so much that I actually had to look up the statistics of the name Royal. It was at peak popularity in 1922 - More than a decade before ROYAL was supposed to have been born - and even that year it was just 200 babies born and named that. All that has nothing to do with the story, but the names bothered me the entire time. Jessamine (Jasper's female name) wasn't a particularly popular name until the 1900s, when the character was supposed to have been born mid-1800s. It really just feels like all the cullens names were chosen by saying "sure that sounds vaguely old-timey" and are just another part of why this book feels so incredibly lazy.

It's not until the end that it seems like Meyer finally went "oh wait I can change things" and started to mess with the storyline, but it feels SO rushed. The last 50 or so pages are so chock full of useless information and it just really doesn't work. Nothing about this book works. It's so bad. There's nothing else to really even say, it's just SO BAD.
Profile Image for Acheron.
247 reviews85 followers
May 2, 2020
Can't believe I spend my money on this
Profile Image for Lizzie.
10 reviews2 followers
December 17, 2017
This review, and all my reviews and content, can also be found here.

Be advised that this review contains discussion of abuse. 

I saw this book on the shelves just after it was released in 2015, but at the time I wasn't able to buy it. I was finally able to read it this year, though, and as an ex-Twihard (sigh) I thought it would be an interesting experience.

It was. For the wrong reasons. 

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (spellcheck does not like "reimagined" by the way) has a pretty simple concept: to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the original book, Meyer flipped the genders of (almost) everyone and gave us ... almost exactly the same book. No, seriously, with a few exceptions it felt like a "find and replace" on the names situation. I kept wondering why I was rereading Twilight, when I knew that I didn't want to do that.

Perhaps the most interesting thing was why Meyer claims she wrote this. Take this from the introduction to the book:

"Bella has always gotten a lot of censure for getting rescued on multiple occasions, and people have complained about her being a typical damsel in distress. 


She's also criticized for being too consumed with her love interest, as if that's somehow just a girl thing. (That's NOT what we said, Meyer.) But I've always maintained that it would have made no difference if the human were male and the vampire female - it's still the same story. Gender and species aside, Twilight has always been a story about the magic and obsession and the frenzy of first love. So I thought to myself, Well, what if I put that to the test?"

Okay, is it just me, or does it sound like her priority was to prove her critics wrong? Mayer has a history of this sort of thing, too, even publishing cut chapters on her website like she can't accept that professional editors might know what they're on about. It doesn't sound like she wants to make any improvement. Which means, what? 

Well, it kind of means that this book has exactly the same problems as the original. The biggest ones being that no issues of gender roles are fixed, merely further highlighted, and the relationship between Beau and Edythe is just as unhealthy as Bella and Edward's. Meyer, by the way, failed to comment in her opening about the criticisms the book received because the relationship it portrays is downright abusive, but you can be damn sure that flipping the genders did nothing to fix that.

Edythe is controlling. She's manipulative. She's guilt-trippy. She creates impossible ultimatums. She tells Beau he's safer without her, then doesn't leave him alone. She still watches him sleep without his knowledge. Beau is constantly apologising for things which aren't his fault, and when he's being hunted by a vampire Edythe tells him it's "partially [his] fault." She also doesn't appear to care about the well-being of his loved ones. Her being a girl doesn't make this behaviour any less abusive. Having been in an abusive relationship myself, I was physically uncomfortable reading this book.

Look, writing an abusive relationship is fine if you acknowledge that it's abusive. This book ... this book hardly did that.

And yes, no fixed gender roles. Do you remember the scene in Twilight in which Bella is almost sexually assaulted? Changed to being held at gunpoint in this book because Beau is a boy. Oh, and you won't forget he is either, because the characters are constantly reminding us of the flipped genders. 

The other major problem with this book is that its changed ending appears tacked on. Up until the last couple of chapters, this really is basically Twilight, then suddenly it turns into a massive rush of exposition, explaining the Volturi and werewolves featured in the saga as quickly as possible, and it made me wonder where the time management was. 

And, while Meyer claimed to have fixed some issues with the original, I still heard an awful lot about what Beau had for breakfast. Which is fine, except when it's every morning and adds nothing. Oh, and in the ebook that I read there were several formatting errors. I counted at least five. 
Profile Image for Francesca.
2,066 reviews146 followers
October 18, 2015
Que ce fut laborieux! L'idée que Stephenie Meyer a cru lumineuse n'apporte finalement strictement rien de nouveau à l'histoire originelle. J'ai eu énormément de mal à me passionner pour un adolescent dégingandé, maladroit et rougissant. Désolée si c'est du sexisme primaire. Mais je préfère mes héros avec un peu plus de caractère!
Il y a certaines choses qui ont changé dans l'histoire, je ne comprends pas l'intérêt. Et ne parlons pas des prénoms ridicules!
Il y a juste la fin qui peut être intéressante car je me suis interrogée moi même sur cette alternative, et finalement ça me confirme que je préfère la saga initiale.
Dernier mot : DERECHEF.
Profile Image for Elena .
45 reviews63 followers
August 19, 2017
Μου άρεσε αρκετά αυτό το βιβλίο. Μου φάνηκε ενδιαφέρον το γεγονός ότι η συγγραφέας άλλαξε το φύλο των χαρακτήρων. Όμως οι τελευταίες περίπου 50 σελίδες δεν με άφησαν να του δώσω 5 αστεράκια. Προτιμώ σίγουρα το λυκόφως και είμαι πραγματικά ευγνώμων που το ζωή και θάνατος γράφτηκε μόνο για τα 10 χρόνια λυκόφωτος. Κάποια πράγματα απλά δεν κολλούσαν!!
Profile Image for Anushka Malik.
278 reviews14 followers
March 19, 2023
Not a perfect 5 because Edith cannot surpass Edward. Period. That's all.
Profile Image for krisy.
110 reviews28 followers
July 29, 2017
I, the person who couldn't properly fall out of love with Twilight for six years, give a negative rating to a Twilight book.

Hell freezes over.

My intuition told me that reading this book is the worst idea ever, but I tried to stay optimistic and read through all of it. It was the worst idea indeed.

I can't tell if I've just outgrown Twilight or this book was simply worse than expected (why not both?) but it was an absolute pain to read. Meyer somehow managed to turn the characters I love into annoying human beings I wanted to kick in the shin. The plot and the dialogues were the same, but it's like I was reading a totally different book in which the main character's narrative was so dumbed down it's offensive.

Still, the original Twilight is my weak spot. I'm not getting over it.

(+ дългичко неадекватно ревю на български тук)
Profile Image for Esam Ayyad.
173 reviews56 followers
September 20, 2016
a gender exchange role, that what i think when i start reading it, the girl became the vampire and the boy became the troubled boy who cant even walk without trepping with his own feets, i loved the romance, eventough its a strange romance, i didnt mid to read it mirrored, but only to discover how hard it is to exchange the gender of each one of the main charecters, its ended up with exchange almost each gender of each charecter, maybe except for Charlie and Renee.

but wait, there is more, its not the same story any more, it deffers, its kind off what if things changed for the original story.

i wont add more so i wont spoil it for any of the readers.

for myself i really enjoyed teading it, i hope you to enjoy
May 8, 2022
i liked the plot, i actually genuinely enjoyed reading this book. although, i didn’t love the writing. i felt that it was sort of dragged out and over explained, and that is why the book is so long.
Profile Image for Brittany (whatbritreads).
577 reviews1,055 followers
August 15, 2021
Of course I had to read this, it’s Twilight and unfortunately my nostalgia will never leave me.

To give this some credit, I think the writing was much better than the original Twilight novels but that’s really the best thing it has going for it. Unfortunately, I didn’t really enjoy this and Beau and Edith just… aren’t Edward and Bella. By that I mean I know they’re not supposed to be exactly them, but I just wasn’t in love with them or their relationship at all the way I adored the original. Whether that’s the book's fault or whether I’m just too old to enjoy this story now is a mystery, but it is what it is.

I both loved and hated that this wasn’t like the original story. Like, it makes it so it stands on its own as a piece of work to be critiqued, but some differences were so massive that it confused me. Like, come on, Jacob is a crucial part of the original story - why is his (her now, Jules) role in this so small? I mean I’m not complaining, because Jacob being 14/15 and Bella being 17 always grossed me out in the original books, but if this is a rework of the original, shouldn’t the main characters still be main characters? I don’t know, maybe I’m being too picky.

I didn’t like Beau and Edith much, I’m sorry. And believe me, I did separate them from Edward and Bella to give them the best chance in my mind but.. They just didn’t sit the same with me. I can’t put my finger on it. And for some reason the insta love felt too instant in here and it did my head in - but I suppose that’s the same in the original and I’m just too blinded by my old love for it to fairly criticise it. I like Beau’s character more than I liked Bellas and I do love the fact that they’re not just carbon copies of Edward and Bella, but I didn’t care.

Another that irked me is how Beau was described as ‘OCD’ several times both in the book and in the author’s preface. To be very clear, Beau does not at all exhibit any symptoms of OCD - he just tidies up the house after Charlie. I don’t know why this was chosen as a descriptor, but it annoyed me to no end. Jesus.

It wasn’t all bad, and I did in the end enjoy the fact that the plot went in different directions. In that way, it wasn't just Twilight with the names swapped, it became a different story altogether and I appreciated that. It made for an interesting read and an ending I didn’t predict, which was refreshing. Even little details and small plot points differed which was intriguing. I thought I was losing my mind remembering things wrong until I got to the end honestly. As a novel, this was fine - but I do think it’s the weakest out of the saga and doesn’t really add much to the world. It’s definitely my least favourite and something I’ll probably ever entered my world to be honest, I prefer the original and this was… something.
Profile Image for April.
186 reviews259 followers
August 10, 2019
Finally finished Life and Death and i was so happy with how it turned out. I picked this book up because I was craving Twilight and thought instead of reread the book for the 100th time to try something different, and I was not let down. I loved Beau’s and Edythe’s story from the very beginning. I found the first few chapters hard to read because I had to wrap my head around the gender swaps, but once I fully emerged into the story I couldn’t stop. I loved this book the way I love the originals. There were many changes. Things I did not expect and things that changed the book overall. I gave this book 5 starts. I know how people feel about twilight, but i was truly happy and entertaining while reading. That makes this book a five star read to me 🍏🧬
Profile Image for Antea.
43 reviews13 followers
June 5, 2020
Okay people... the ending. THE ENDING. If you tend to overthink, this is the book for you. Well done, Steph.
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