Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

Release Date: October , 2015
Publisher: Little Brown
Source: Purchased
Author Links: Goodreads | Website


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 #1 USA Todaybestseller, 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.

*rubs hands together with glee*
Sparkle for me, bitch!

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Annnnd that was how I felt before I read it.
Yep. I was one of those 5 people who didn't automatically 1 star this sucker.
Not that there's anything wrong with that...
Because it certainly looks like Meyer is milking the cash cow pretty hard when you look at the price tag. $13 for the Kindle edition?!
But in all fairness, you are not only getting this (admittedly weird) re-imagining of Twilight, but the real book, as well. For those of you with a copy of the original, that isn't much of a selling point, but since I didn't have Twilight in my personal library... *shrugs*
Not a bad deal for me.
And sometime in the future, I plan on going back and rereading the bestselling romance that made abstinence seem like the way to go.
Because death by vampire penis is kinda scary.
Girls, wait till marriage. Otherwise, the boy is likely to eat you...and not in the good way!

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So, yes, I liked Twilight.
Loved it, in fact. Do I think it's the best book ever written?
*snorts, falls out of chair laughing*
Of course not. But I did have a blast reading these books with my BFF. We got all caught up in the sparkly vampire wuv story, and spend hours on the phone discussing the plot. It was like we were teenagers again! And the entire time we were in the thrall of our Twitard mania, we would giggle about what a couple of idiots we were to get so wrapped up in such a cheestastic story.
Because...ridiculous teenage angst is ridiculous.

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But those were priceless memories with my best buddy, and I just simply refuse to apologize for them.
Alrighty, I said all that to say this: I'm not a hater. I do realize that these books aren't exactly perfect, but they certainly aren't the worst things ever written. If you think that, then you obviously haven't read some of the true garbage that's out there. There are so many romances out there that actively promote rape as some kind of a forgivable OOPS-MY BAD-MOMMY DIDN'T HUG ME ENOUGH! scenario, that there's no way I can lump this book in with them. And there are so many bloated, boring, unedited crap novels floating around, that I honestly can't understand all the hate this book gets. Is it simply because a lot of people liked it, and it pisses off those who didn't?
For those of you who feel that way, I bring a peace offering.

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Moving on to the main event!
So, in my humble opinion, how did Life and Death stack up to the original?
Um...

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Yeah. No.
Sorry, switching the genders just didn't work out very well for me. Scenes that may have been only slightly awkward in the original, suddenly became glaringly awkward in the re-imagining.
Because that monkey-piggyback thing was stupid to start with...

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And now you've got a super tall dude with his gangly arms & legs flopping all over the place. There was no way I could get past the mental image of how absurd it would look. Sorry. Just...weird.
And there were lots of things like that I couldn't get past.
Like the part where Edythe gives Beau her scarf (stolen from Archie, so it's not a lady-scarf!) to keep him warm at the restaurant. He gratefully wraps his blotchy neck up like a mummy, sips his coke, and stares adoringly at Edythe. It was just about the least manly thing I've ever read.
Or this little gem from Beau:
"Outside, I threw the quilt into the middle of the sunniest spot in Charlie's small square yard, then threw myself on top of it."
Was that seriously a sentence from a guy's point of view!?
Are you for fucking real, Meyers?!
The deal was, you were supposed to switch genders. Not make Beau into the most feminine character I've ever read about. I guess I'm not a progressive as I thought I was, because by the end of the book, I wanted to punch him in his vagina!

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Let's not forget Edythe, though.
Although, that's pretty much what I did. She was nowhere near interesting, and I couldn't have possibly cared less what happened to her character. Other than the unbelievably pretentious spelling of her name, she didn't have much going for her. I expected her to be...something other than whatever was on those pages.
How can I explain this?
Ok, if Movie Bella were Book Edward, that would be Edythe. Ugh.

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It took me longer than I thought it would to slog through this, and I want to apologize to the lovely ladies I was supposed to be buddy-reading with. In my defense, life was a little hectic this past week, so I'm hoping you guys forgive me.

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I think I probably would have given this 1 star, but I actually enjoyed the alternate ending. Especially the parts that poked at Twilight's ending. If Meyer had written the rest of the book as well as she did the last bit, I would have enjoyed it quite a bit more, I think.
For those of you who are curious about the ending, but aren't planning to read this book, go ahead and click THIS LINK, and you can read the spoilers in my review on Goodreads.

To me, this ending was a fun What If story. If she could have re-imagined the whole thing, instead of just (mostly) changing pronouns, I would have been happy.
As it is, I don't think this is worth the price tag, simply because it isn't (for the most part) a quality story. I actually had more fun on this review's thread than I did reading this painful rendition of Meyer's 'classic' novel.
It was, on the whole, an Epic Fail.

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If you need a good laugh, Honest Trailers Rocks This Movie!


3 comments:

Melanie Simmons (mlsimmons) said...

I read all four Twilight books. I enjoyed them. I didn't love them. I saw the first two movies (Twilight in theaters and New Moon via Redbox). I'm not a huge fan of YA books, but I read a few. I read more back when I read these. I had no intention of reading this book. It seems like a sellout BS thing to do, IMO. If you want me to buy another book, write a new book, don't rewrite a book that is already written. Great review.

Anne Hannah said...

LOL! Yep. That kinda sums it up.

fishgirl182 said...

I loved the original Twilight and had fun memories of reading the series with my friends. I have heard very mixed reviews for this new version though. The names alone are hard for me to get over. She's just so literal sometimes. I have a feeling I won't like it at all so I am staying away so I don't taint my memories of the original.

fishgirl182 @ nite lite book reviews

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