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Book review: Life & Death by Stephenie Meyer

October 2015 welcomed the release of the tenth anniversary edition of Twilight. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it is about a female protagonist named Bella with the personality of a lego brick and all the boys fall in love with her, but she falls in love with Edward. But Edward happens to be a dangerous and sparkling vampire and shit goes down at the very end after we’ve heard a million times how beautiful Ed is and how unworthy Lego Brick Bella is of his affections.

Needless to say, the original Twilight book did not really entertain me that much. Bella annoyed me. Edward annoyed me. There were probably only about two characters who did not annoy me. But as the Twilight hype died down, all of us let it go and moved on with our lives. Until Stephenie wanted to cash in some more on the old books wanted to confront all the haterz who said Bells was a damsel in distress who needed Ed to save her all the time. She swapped the genders of all major characters in this reimagined version of the book, to prove that boys can be damsels in distress too! Oh wait…

Anyway, my friend had a copy of the book and he said he enjoyed reading it. I was skeptical, but I borrowed his copy and read it. And I want to share my experiences with you because I am such a good person. After this you can decide whether you would like to read it or not.

So, Life and Death follows the story of Beaufort Swan, Beau for everybody because who the hell calls their kid Beaufort? (Note how Beau and Bella both mean beautiful? I see what you did there, Steph!) who moves to Forks, hates his life and then falls in love with Edythe, who turns out to be a vampire (gasp!). The first 200 pages are about Beau being awkward and clumsy and falling in love with Edythe and not being worthy of her. And guess what, she is a goddess. Someone has read Fifty Shades…

It is not until page 200 that things get interesting. I am not going to spoil it for you, but the ending is very different from Twilight. Is that a good thing?

Well, first of all, Life and Death is a better love story than Twilight. Beau is not as emo as Bella and Edythe actually has a sense of humour instead of just being a creepy stalker. And who doesn’t love a funny creepy stalker? I know right.

The writing in some parts is not that good. Especially the character descriptions are very meh. I recall one character being described as being as strong as Schwarzenegger. I don’t know why, but I rolled my eyes at that one. Every time Steph emphasises how beautiful and out-of-this-world the vampires are, I feel like barfing. So that didn’t change from the original story.

Overall the writing has been improved. Which is a good thing. And I like the direction that she has taken with the ending. It won’t be possible to revamp (see what I did there?) the other books in the series, but naturally the ending is open enough for more books should Stephenie be out of ideas but need more money the fans demand it.

If you are a fan of Twilight, you will probably love this. If you are neutral about Twilight, you will find this mildly entertaining. If you strongly dislike Twilight, let this one go.

2,5/5 stars

 

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Ingrid is the twenty-something owner of The Sassologist, who loves everything that has to do with pop culture. While she is one of many who is in the process of writing a novel, she is also currently in denial over not being a witch. Her Hogwarts letter has yet to arrive. In the meantime she writes about pop culture and dreams about unicorns.

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