Yesterday Twilight author Stephenie Meyer released a brand new version of her first book. Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined commemorates the 10th anniversary of Twilight and offers a complete reimagining of Bella Swan’s first encounters with vampire, Edward Cullen.
First of all, we are no longer dealing with Bella and Edward. At least not in quite the same way. Meyer makes a bold statement in this new version of the story by swapping the genders of the two main characters, as well as most of the other major characters.
Edward becomes Edythe, a female vampire and Bella becomes Beau, an ordinary teenage boy. Meyer’s reimagining has been written as a full 442-page book and will be sold alongside the original version to mark 10 years since its first release.
Meyer has justified her reasons for taking this particular approach to her reimagining. She wants to prove that Bella isn’t a “damsel in distress,” that the story is exactly the same when the human character is a boy. Bella’s weakness and passive nature has often become a point of criticism for the book. This new reimagining is an effort to quell this argument.
Meyer takes a very brave and risky move in making this decision, but I think it is also kind of genius. I mean one thing is clear, no one saw it coming. And another thing, everyone is dying to read it. We all want to see exactly how her reimagining will play out in each detail of the story.
An article from The Guardian online describes Bella in the original books as a “remarkably droopy, drippy character.” However, by looking at the impact the books have had and the fact that they have about a bajillion fans, people obviously found a way to relate to her.
“…a haplessness that means her vampire boyfriend has to rescue her regularly” – The Guardian online
The article also points out that Bella “…has a weird clumsiness, a haplessness that means her vampire boyfriend has to rescue her regularly.” Meyer’s new book should either show any flaws in the original or show that the characters are exactly the same even when their genders are switched.
Despite these various criticism’s I have never disliked the Twilight series. And Meyer’s most recent move has awed me. I think it could have backfired horribly, but she took a chance and it seemed to have aroused curiosity over anything else. I think this book makes such a strong statement about character stereotypes and the narratives of modern literature. I will certainly be reading this soon and reviewing it!
Let me know your thoughts on Meyer’s reimagining of Twilight in the comments below.