Saturday, December 26, 2015

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer - Expectations That Did Not Come To Fruition

I don't know how many of you know this about me, but I have absolutely nothing against Twilight. I first read the series in sixth grade and fell in love with it immediately. I re-read it again in ninth grade and guess what? I was still in love with it. After hearing that Meyer came out with a gender-bent version of her original novel, I couldn't help but want to read it. I was afraid that this version would ruin Twilight for me forever and stayed away for as long as I could, but I am only human, and soon enough, I picked up the book from my library out of sheer curiosity. Yes, I am disappointed as it didn't meet my expectations at all, but by the end, I didn't hate it as much, so yay. Here are the expectations I had regarding the anniversary edition, and here are the ways in which the "adaptation" disappointed me.

The romance would play out differently thanks to the gender-bending.
Long story short, it wasn't. The romance was literally the exact same as in the original novel, which was super disappointing, and also unrealistic, at least to me. I get Meyer's point that Twilight is a romance that does not depend on the human being a girl, specifically Bella, but she went about it all wrong. By keeping the romance exactly the same - I'm not kidding, literally every event was the same - all that effectively changed in the novel were the genders, and so all this book became was a really bad version of Twilight.

The storyline would change, just a little.
Sorry, but no. Just like the romance, the story was exactly the same. Let me make myself clear: Life and Death is nearly exactly the same text as Twilight, but with boys as girls, girls as boys, and different names (minus the ending, which I'll get to next). It's like when your professor tells you to revise your paper, but you're too lazy to do a proper revision and you just change a few words here and there that your peers marked up on your draft. It is a very sad attempt to make your original paper better, and it most definitely does not work.

The different ending would be worth the read.
Not only was the different ending a much shorter alteration than I had believed it would be, but it really wasn't worth reading this whole 300-some page adaptation. I wish it was, but no. I could have just read the major differences between this and Twilight like my friend did, and I would have been just as satisfied. The ending was a surprise, but not worth suffering through the not-so-great version of Twilight.

It would be a more interesting way of re-reading Twilight since I hadn't read it in so long.
I tried to go straight into Life and Death as a retelling, but all that occurred was that I kept longing for the original characters with their original genders, and eventually I had to take a break, flip the giant book over, and take the time to re-read the original Twilight. So basically this book sucks in terms of a Twilight re-read replacement.

This would be a new, more acceptable version of Twilight.
When I first heard that this book was gender-bent and the purpose behind it, I was hoping that the new adaptation would fix the problems many people had with the original novel, which is to say, the controversial relationship between Bella and Edward. It did no such thing, however. It isn't even a more feminist version, at least not in any way that counts. Making Bella the guy (aka Beau) in the relationship does not eliminate the perceived problems in Twilight, so I honestly fail to understand the need for the existence of this novel.

"400 pages of new content"
Hahahahahaha that one's a joke.

My expert advice:

Don't read this unless you are unconditionally and irrevocably in love with anything that comes from Meyer's pen.

Book Synopsis: 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.

Source: Borrowed a copy from the library.

Title: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genre: Paranormal Romance, YA
Pages: 389 pages