Life and Death: Stephenie Meyer

Rightfully so, Life and Death is Twilight re-imagined with a gender swap: Bella as Beau and Edward as Edyth. Except a couple of characters like Charlie and Renee, every character has experienced a gender swap here.

The story remains the same except a few adjustments like intended molesters are replaced with gangsters and swooning teen boys over Bella were replaced by frantic teen girls. All in all, it feels weird to compare each lead with both Bella and Edward because Beau and Edyth are basically Bella and Edward but also Edward and Bella. So, damn confusing!

With this swap comes a few more inevitable changes in the story. For one, I notice that Beau is a little more dramatic than Bella was in imagination and thoughts. He has had a history of bullying for he never fit in with any usual crowds like popular or nerd. The boy is a man of his own making and a little older than his age, in maturity and observation, which is a typical characteristic for a Twilight protagonist. He also stands out in height like Edward would have in comparison to Edyth who is in every way a female Edward except for her height which is like Bella’s – short.

Another main character – Jacob Black is now Julie Black! She could or could not possibly keep pinning over Beau forever as it was never proved that female wolves could imprint, i.e, if she ever turns into one.

The story is fascinating to read as their perspectives when switched have a different impact. We also see that the damsel in distress role Bella played is now falling on Beau. I also come to realize that being a human among vampires must be so frustratingly helpless feeling. But things are balanced as Edyth is quite self deprecating and self analyzing which is further heightened by the ability to read thoughts. Additionally, Edyth is a little more sensitive than Edward was and that is saying a lot for the latter was too in-tune with his own emotions. As scenarios play out, small changes will come to notice but the major story remains the same, except…

The end

The end is the biggest surprise in this book. Why?

Because while Bella was saved Beau couldn’t be. Him turning into vampire serves three good purposes from my perspective. First, there might not be continuation to this. Second, if there is a continuation, the story will totally defer as it will explore a possibility which Archie (make version of Alice) keeps seeing, Edyth’s lover being a vampire (I am directly referring to the fact that Bella could possibly could have been a vampire at the end of Twilight book when Alice saw the possibility). Third and last, while Bella was pregnant with Renesmee expanding the Twilight Saga and it’s possibilities, Beau or Edyth couldn’t explore this possibility and this ending is quite suited.

For me this book is Bella and Edward’s alternate reality, the multiple stories Alice sees in her head and the paths that hence follow

P.S – Many of my perspectives of Bella were shattered when I read this. You should too give this one a try!

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