Title – Life & Death
Author – Stephenie Meyer
Publication Date – October 6th 2015 by Atom
ISBN – 9780349002484
My Rating – ★★★★/5
I think everyone knows by now that Life & Death is Twilight re-imagined, that Edward is now Edythe and Bella is now Beau. It’s pretty much the same story as Twilight with some of the genders changed. Some parts of the story have changed too.
Last year I was re-reading Twilight because of the 10th anniversary and Hachette New Zealand commented on the photo I shared on my Instagram account saying they were sending me a surprise because I was re-reading Twilight. I thought they would send me a bookmark or stickers, something small, but a few days later my copy of the 10th Anniversary Edition was delivered. I thought it was about time that I read it.
Edythe and Beau’s story is similar to Bella and Edward’s a lot at the beginning and I found myself comparing Life & Death to Twilight a lot which didn’t help me at all. I also kept trying to figure out who the characters were in both books and looking for differences. Once I stopped myself doing that, I found myself enjoying this story.
I did find some things a bit weird in Life & Death. Like Beau being all domestic. I guess growing up with Renee as a mother meant he had no choice and I think both Beau and Bella said “someone had to be the adult.” Then there were the teachers at Forks High School. I didn’t realise they were all men in Twilight until now. All the teachers in Life & Death were women so I assume they were men in Twilight, I can’t really remember. The only women were in the ‘typical female jobs’ of receptionist and school nurse. How did I not notice this before??
I really liked Edythe. She was a lot funnier than Edward, he came across more serious than Edythe to me. Edythe had a playfulness to her. It took me longer to get used to the other Cullens, especially Archie because I love Alice. But once I did I found myself liking them.
One of the most interesting changes for me was the history of the Volturi. I’ve read the Official Illustrated Guide to Twilight and I remembered what Aro did to Marcus to keep him in line. Life & Death’s Volturi was perfect because I never liked Aro and Caius. I’m glad Marcus was still in there though. He was one of only three characters Stephenie kept the same. That I noticed anyway.
I had come up with a vampire ability like Mele’s when I first read The Twilight Saga. I think I came up with it during Breaking Dawn and was waiting for someone with that ability to show up at the Cullen’s house and when they didn’t I was kind of disappointed. But now I got to see it, even if only for a little bit through a story.
I know Stephenie wrote Life & Death to show that Bella was never a ‘damsel in distress’ but a fragile human caught up in the supernatural and I agree that any human would be in trouble if they were caught between these two worlds. With the Cullens being the exception. I never saw Bella as the damsel in distress. Yes, she’s clumsy but so am I and so is Beau.
I also liked that Edythe and Beau’s story became their own. That it wasn’t just a copy of Bella and Edward’s. I think, for me, that was the best part. When I stopped seeing them as a copy of Bella and Edward and started seeing them as their own characters.
Have you read Life & Death? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments.