God Lord, why am I doing this to myself? This excuse for a book was released in 2015 as part of the bonus anniversary material for the tenth anniversary of Twilight. I saw this thing while shopping in Sainsbury’s and thought “what in Gods’ name is that! “ I read the blurb and my eyes boggled because why on earth did Meyer think was a good idea. Why do a gender flip of Twilight, hasn’t the world suffered enough!
Anyway I bought this thing second hand as per usual and started reading. Then I stopped. I tried again a few months later and only got to chapter three. This thing is so tedious and the WTF element has gone as it’s basically copy and pasted so I knew what to expect. So why bother with this? Well there are changes to fit with the new genders and it is mostly stupid. Shocking, I know!
This review is going to be different from my others. Just one review of this would not be good enough as there is no point reviewing the plot as we know the plot. It’s Twilight after all, but I can’t even do it as a straight character analysis as the fail is scattered all over so the review will just be messy and full of: Well Edythe said this at this bit but in the original it was like that. That just doesn’t work. So this will be a multi part recap/review and will be split up by chapters as that just makes logical sense. I have decided to do it this way from now on with future reviews as the books I’m tackling are such balls of fail with a new horror unleashed in every page but small reviews and recaps miss the often overlooked horrors just waiting to disgust but sadly lay dormant. I’m not saying short reviews are bad as thanks to them I find my next project but for me personally, I need to go into depth otherwise I’m not happy with the final product. I felt that with my The Fault in Our Stars review, my Hazel Lancaster section was massive! Yet there were things that I couldn’t fit but added to the overall vile. I wish I had done a chapter by chapter analysis to unleash the horror within. Too late for that but I will do things differently now. Time to get started!
The first part of this multi review will be the foreword, it may only be a few hundred words but there is so much wrong with it that it needs to be fully discussed.
Hello, lovely reader!
Again, happy anniversary and welcome to the new tenth-anniversary bonus material!
First things first:
I’M SO SORRY.
I know there is going to be a lot of wailing and teeth gnashing because this new bonus material is (A) not entirely new, but mostly (B) not Midnight Sun. (If you are worried that I don’t understand your pain quite enough, let me assure you that my mother has made it abundantly clear.) I will explain how this came about, and hopefully that will make things, if not better, at least understandable.
No! It seems like a total slap in the face to your fans to start off with that. Meyer has essentially written Rule 63 of fan fiction which to those who don’t know is flipping the genders. Also wailing and teeth gnashing? Really? I know Twihards could be bonkers but wow! I think this is Meyer thinking that the majority of her fans are still fanatical about her after the Breaking Dawn fiasco. Many still loved most of the books but the reception to the Illustrated Guide and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner received luke-warm to downright negative reception and reviews. Also she does not understand the pain as she had, if I’m being generous seven years to have completed Midnight Sun. She had the time.
A very short time ago, my agent approached me and asked if there was anything I could do for the tenth-anniversary rerelease of Twilight. The publisher was looking for a foreword of some kind, a “happy anniversary” letter thing. It seemed… well, to be honest, really boring. What could I say that would be fun and exciting? Nothing. So I thought about other things I could do, and if it makes you feel better, Midnight Sun did come up. The problem was time—as in, there wasn’t any. Certainly not enough to write a novel, or even half of one.
So Midnight Sun did come up? This is just stupid as she had the time, the novel was half written and most of it was copy and pasted with interrogatives at the end of every sentence or wanking over how unique, special and awesome Bella Swan was compared to those human pond scum. Also, she has stated time and time again how Twilight only took her three months to write and that was a completely original plot at the time. She had the time then! Also during the time between now and when Breaking Dawn was released she has only published the novella, the guide which was essentially 80% copy and pasting and useless nonsense (I know as I read the stupid thing), producing and writing The Chemist. Also her role as a mother is not an excuse as she wrote the saga when they were very young and has outright said many times what a distraction they were and heavily implies she resented her time with them when she could be frolicking as Bella. They were older when the saga was completed so did not need as much attention so how on earth has she not had the time?!
I personally think it is much more than that. I think that is still a form of punishment to her fans. So many dropped her after Breaking Dawn when she showed herself to be what she truly is: a Suethor. She ticked every negative Suethor stereotype. She attacked her fans for not liking the book while basically saying they were too stupid to understand it and if they were true fans then they would like it. Then the infamous petition response in which her brother sent a fan who had legitimate criticism to the book but just wanted those who felt the same to be acknowledged sent back a truly disgusting response.
I posted the link so you can see it in all its glory, this also proved that Meyer doesn’t sort through her own emails. Even fans of Breaking Dawn thought Seth’s response was vile. She truly destroyed her fan base. One month after this debacle came the infamous Midnight Sun leak, Meyer gave out copies so they could praise her but had not learnt from when this happened to Eclipse. She flounced and took Midnight Sun from her fans. There is speculation that she used the leak to punish her fans for not liking Breaking Dawn and took away what they most wanted which was Midnight Sun. The fans wanted that book so badly and many thought it was her best writing when she posted a sneak peek of the first chapter. They wanted pure Edward wanking over Bella which is of course the fan’s self-insert.
So how does this link to Life and Death? It is more than obvious that Twilight is the ultimate Mary Sue fest. The ordinary brunette snares the hottest guy in school, lords it over everyone else while they all adore her and then gets to be the richest and most beautiful girl around. Well Meyer has the money but she doesn’t have adoration anymore after so many turned on her. She wants that back, I personally think she released this to bring back the glory days of Twilight popularity and if her fans praise enough then maybe she will give them Midnight Sun but only if they prove themselves by licking her boots once again.
Well that failed. This was not received well. I scrolled through the biggest Twilight forum and there are literally only two topics with twenty-four comments combined. No-where near the amount of comments and excitement before the other books were released. The majority of the comments were that they thought this was stupid, lazy and unnecessary. Not even Twihards wanted this.
I don’t believe this is a case of fans being entitled and demanding Midnight Sun, but imagine how they felt when they couldn’t wait for Midnight Sun, then after the leak it was taken from them, then after seven years they hear that Meyer is publishing something for the tenth anniversary and what she gives them is this crap. If I was a fan then I would be pretty miffed too and have no incentive to become a big fan again.
So after my long discussion all I can say is:
As I was musing on Twilight after being away from it for so long, and discussing the anniversary problem with friends, I started thinking about something I’d said before signings and in interviews. You know, Bella has always gotten a lot of censure for getting rescued on multiple occasions, and people have complained about her being a typical damsel in distress. My answer to that has always been that Bella is a human in distress, a normal human being surrounded on all sides by people who are basically superheroes and supervillains. She’s also been criticized for being too consumed with her love interest, as if that’s somehow just a girl thing. But I’ve always maintained that it would have made no difference if the human were male and the vampire female—it’s still the same story. Gender and species aside, Twilight has always been a story about the magic and obsession and frenzy of first love.
So it seems that this nonsense is to prove a point. *Head desk*. No Meyer, it has nothing to do with her being a human. I need my bullet lists again.
- Let’s start with the human surrounded by the supernatural so therefore weak and useless. Erm, no. That has been celebrated throughout literature, movies and television. How many times do we see the human deemed as weak but saves the day and humanity triumphs? The example I want to give is The Lord of the Ring. Hobbits are the weakest species in Middle Earth, they like to stick to Hobbiton to tend to their garden, drink beer, blow smoke rings and eat second breakfasts. They are small and dislike adventures; it is just not in their nature. They are easily the weakest yet Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee journey to Mount Doom on their own and destroy the ring. They suffer but they succeed where man, elf and wizard would fail as they would likely succumb to the rings powers. The Race of Man therefore prove themselves to be capable of ruling Middle Earth through their support and the elves leave to the Grey Havens knowing that Middle Earth is safe and man have earned this privilege. Those weak little hobbits do what man and wizard cannot and save Middle Earth.
- Pahaha! Just a human thing rather than a female thing. BULLSHIT!!!! When Bella is a vampire Edward doesn’t want her learning how to fight and deems it unnecessary when actually she needs to learn in order to survive if the Volturi do attack especially as she is immune to mental gifts but not physical ones. No, it’s not a sign of how much he loves her as if she can’t do anything then she will have her head ripped off as her shield can’t stop that.
- As much as Meyer wants to say Bella saved the day in Breaking Dawn, well cannon shows she didn’t. Alice did with her hybrid and no I won’t accept that Aro was so terrified of Bella as he can just rip her head off. The true players on that field were Zafrina who could create illusions and Benjamin who could control the elements even though he conveniently forgot that he could control fire which destroys vampires just to make Bella more awesome. Bella was useless as a vampire and she just moaned that they had no hope and had to stand at the back and not fight to keep her shield up.
- Now let’s look at Jasper and Alice who Meyer has deemed as an amazing couple as they stare at each and other such nonsense compared to Emmett and Rosalie , they are more physical in love so are less special, more special than human love, mind you. In the fight with the newborns in Eclipse, Jasper was bitten multiple times because he couldn’t bear that his little woman was doing manly things like fighting even though she was more than capable. This was not a sign of love as she was eager to fight and was not concerned at all. He put himself at risk so she didn’t have to do manly things like fight. She should just go weave in the corner and fire out a child on the floor. Whereas Emmett and Rosalie worked as a team, lesser love my arse.
- The rampant misogyny and sexism full stop in these books. It’s a boy thing to like fighting, action movies and car engineering. The one girl who does like cars in the mechanical sense is Rosalie and she is vilified throughout until she bows down to worship Bella’s fertile womb. Leah who was the only female werewolf who fought and did not lick Bella’s boots was vilified for being different. Then Tanya who *GASP* has sex with men outside of marriage and dared to flirt with Edward was punished by being denied a man *whispers* she is blonde too. These women are punished by being spayed to make Bella more special and two out of three of them have no man. Nice and good women like things like fashion, classical romance literature and are all maternal. Then there is the reverse, men can’t cook in the case of Charlie which is still ridiculous as he has lived alone for seventeen years. Yes, Edward can but that is because is a vampire and better than the human scum. All men love cars and action movies, plus are always looking forward to fight in the case of the werewolves and Emmett. So yeah, your books are so not sexist *rolls eyes*
- Saying that you want to prove it isn’t just a girl thing that Bella drops everything for Edward. Well, that is such an overused trope in so many forms of entertainment that yes it is sexist as it always applies to women. Bella has no hopes, dreams or hobbies before Edward and then she just becomes so beyond obsessive that she cuts out everyone in her life. Maybe you want to prove it’s not just a girl thing but what you get is sick. Anyone cutting out everything and everyone out your life for a love interest is a dangerous message. Yes, Bella moans and pisses about leaving Charlie and gets to see him but she never cared if she never saw him again and when she could she seemed exasperated because he wouldn’t leave and she wanted to bone Edward all night long. Just changing a few pronouns around doesn’t mean you have proven a point as the same awful message is still there.
I hope you can all see and understand why I wanted to split this up into multiple posts as there is just so much fail to go around and this could have been overlooked.
So I thought to myself, Well, what if I put that theory to the test? That might be fun. As per my usual, I started out believing that I would do one or two chapters. (It’s funny/sad how I still don’t seem to know myself very well.) Remember how I said there was no time? Fortunately, this project was not only fun, but also really fast and easy. It turns out that there isn’t much difference at all between a female human in love with a male vampire and a male human in love with a female vampire. And that’s how Beau and Edythe were born
A Couple of notes on the conversion:
First off, I so get the vibe of teehee I’m so crazy! I hate it when people do that as it just seems to me that they are saying teehee I’m so unique and special. Fast and easy. Well this brings up the point in the earlier paragraph how nothing is different. *Throws chair* You are the fucking author! Of course it is going to fit and be exactly the same because you are the author who has the ultimate control of plot and characterisation! I don’t want to hear any of this bullshit about how teehee the characters speak to you, how real they are and how you argued with them about plot points such as you saying you begged Edward not to leave even though that was so out of character as Edward is a massive stalker and won’t leave Bella alone. I’m sorry but Meyer has not proven a point as she will damn well make sure that it is a humanity is shit message as she is the author and has control. Funny how she always says these characters are so real and she argues with them in her head (New Moon: Edward Leaving) yet constantly said how Bella and everyone else is just fiction when people complained about Breaking Dawn. Double standards much?
- I’ve done a pretty straight-across-the-board gender swap with all the Twilight characters, but there are two exceptions.
- The biggest exception is Charlie and Renée, who have stayed Charlie and Renée. Here’s the reason for that: Beau was born in 1987. It was a rare thing for a father to get primary custody of a child in those days—even more so when the child was just a baby. Most likely, the mother would have had to be proven unfit in some way. I have a really hard time believing that any judge at that time (or even now) would give a child to a transient, unemployed father over a mother with a steady job and strong ties to her community. Of course, these days if Charlie had fought for Bella, he probably could have taken her from Renée. Thus, the more unlikely scenario is the one that plays out in Twilight. Only the fact that a few decades ago a mother’s rights were considered more important than a father’s rights, as well as the fact that Charlie’s not the vindictive type, made it possible for Renée to raise Bella—and, in this case, now Beau.
Yes, she does have a point but SPOILER ALERT, Renee is far worse in this version. Meyer has almost made her neglectful and mentally insufficient. How on earth did she get full custody! Especially as she stole Bella/Beau in the night and seemed to be suffering from post-natal depression and then considering how she is depicted in this drivel. Also vindictive? The way Renee is depicted would give Charlie plenty of evidence to fight for at least joint custody but does that mean that it’s vindictive for men to try and take a baby from its mother even though it is very clear that she is barely capable of raising that child. I wonder if this is the same crap in the saga that all women must go on the journey to become the mother goddesses and fire a child out of their fertile wombs so therefore meant that Beau had to be raised by Renee. I have so many more issues with Charlie and Renee but that will be explored later, as my God! Then by judging by the attitude seen later with typically feminine jobs being flipped then I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t want a lady police officer as they do man things like Taser people.
- The second exception is very small—just a few background characters mentioned only twice. The reason for this exception is my misplaced sense of justice for fictional people. There were two characters in the wider Twilight universe who really got the shaft in an ongoing sense.
Why even add this and sit and explain it? Chances are no one would even notice. The stupidity is burning me. Also she is once again doing the teehee I’m so crazy nonsense again when it comes to her characters. Also characters being shafted? PAHAHA! That is a pretty long list: Lauren who was punished for being blonde and not bowing to Bella or Leah who Meyer completely shafted by having being the outcast for bringing her girl cooties to the boy’s club and daring to be heartbroken. Leah is one of the worst cases of literary sadism I have seen. *throws wardrobe* I could name so many more.
- 5% of the changes I made were because Beau is a boy.
Really? So basically he will be just as flat and whiny as Bella? She has no characterisation so girls could step into her shoes and imagine themselves as the love interest of the mighty Edward Cullen but now Beau has the same flat character. I can see why this was easy for Meyer, characterization is like, totally hard! That doesn’t work as most of the readers are young women so why do they want to step in the shoes of Beau? I’m not saying it as a sexist thing as this becomes relevant in the discussion of Edythe but Beau needs more personality and so far as shocking as it seems he has less personality than Bella. Young girls don’t want to step in the shoes of a teenage boy for their High School fantasy.
- 5% of the changes were because Beau’s personality developed just slightly differently than Bella’s. The biggest variations are that he’s more OCD, he’s not nearly so flowery with his words and thoughts, and he’s not as angry – he’s totally missing the chip Bella carries around on her shoulder all the time.
Far more OCD, spoiler for the future he says this a lot. This outright pisses me off as OCD isn’t some oh teehee I’m so quirky and organised which means I’m special thing. It is a genuine disorder and can ruin lives. It is a mental illness and shit like this lessens the importance of awareness. I suffer from depression (funnily enough writing about this shit is helpful to me in terms of my depression and anxiety, go figure!) I hate it when people say that they are like so depressed that it’s Monday, gawd! Stuff like that trivialises true mental illness and it’s wrong. I’m scarily organised and twitch seeing my Mum’s bookcase which I will organise but that doesn’t make me OCD. It almost feels like Meyer learnt a new word and wants to use it as much as possible. Also it sounds like an attempt to make Beau a special snowflake like Bella. Also he is missing the chip on his shoulder, this may shock no one but Beau is even whinier and more passive aggressive than Bella, especially when it comes to his mother so that means:
- 70% of the changes I made were because I was allowed to do a new editing run ten years later. I got to fix almost every word that has bothered me since the book was printed, and it was glorious.
Maybe if you had edited better rather than imagining/wanking about yourself frolicking with Edward in meadow. Mean? Maybe, but her work is some of the worst prose I have ever seen. Also saying that 70% was changing what bothered her well I’m sorry but I can barely see the difference. There are things that are different but the transitioning is still terrible and the poetic prose is still rampant. Also it’s another case of retcon. 5% goes to gender changes but 70% on fixing mistakes? Priorities! Beau sounds like a whiny teenage girl so you didn’t bother molding his character. Also no, that does not prove her point that the story stays the same as they would likely think and speak differently so therefore proves that this is just lazy. Think about it, she has said that vampires are stuck in the mentality that they were changed in which her explanation of Edward being oh so protective and old fashioned as he is stuck in his Edwardian mentality. Edythe would have most likely had the mindset of the Earl’s daughters in Downton Abbey. Most likely Mary as she was the eldest and Edythe was an only child to stupidly indulgent parents but would also be similar to Edith who was a woman of her time. She wouldn’t have even experienced the freedom women had in that time during World War One that women would have experienced in Europe such as farm work as America was isolated so she would have stayed in her high class sexist bubble. She would have been far more prim and proper and understood where a women’s place was in high society compared to men’s in the Edwardian period. She would have been inclined to want to find a match that was befitting her status and would not have the same personality as Edward. She would be far more demure then Edward but Meyer wants to prove a stupid point so historical research be damned!
Also fixing bad prose. I have two words for that:
That is one of the worst phrases to add on to a sentence when I am not brain dead so I could clearly see that it was sarcasm or just a simple “I said with heavy sarcasm.” That phrase as a sentence by itself is terrible and it was NOT fixed!
- 10% were things were things that I wished I had done the first time round but that hadn’t occurred to me at the time. That might sound like the same thing as the preceding catergory, but it’s slightly different. This isn’t a case of a word that sounds clunky or awkward. This is an idea that I wish had been explored earlier, or conversations that should have happened but didn’t.
No, this is to prove some stupid point about how Bella is not useless because she is a woman but because she is a human. Don’t use this piece as a new and improved Twilight as this could have been used in Midnight Sun. It could have happened but Bella didn’t tell us and I think would fit better there. This thing is not the time and place to fix and add things like that as this is meant to prove a point. Sadly, I think I know what this is. Time for another discussion.
We all know Bella is Meyers self-insert? That is painfully obvious but an interesting tidbit is that during the writing of Midnight Sun she openly stated that she identifies with Edward’s point of view more. That disturbs me greatly as Edward is a genocidal and creepy monster in that thing. So what do we have here? Edward is now Edythe and is constantly described as perfect. Bella never did that with Edward in Twilight. I personally think those new things she wanted to add was Beau wanking over Edythe which is basically Meyer in awesome vampire mode. She identified more with him and now he is a woman it makes more sense that Edythe is her new self-insert.
- 5% were mythology issues – mistakes, actually – mostly related to visions. As I continued into the sequels to Twilight – and even Midnight Sun, where I got to look inside Alice’s head with Edward – the way Alice’s visions worked was refined. It’s mystical in Twilight, and looking at it now, there are ways she should have been involved and wasn’t. Whoops!
I haven’t got to Alice/Archie’s visions yet but my god! They were so inconsistent in the saga that it was stupid. Take Breaking Dawn, she should never have seen the Volturi arriving because it centred around Hellspawn and also the werewolves were there which stops her visions. Then we have the bullshit that if Bella holds demon baby and not move then Alice will try to see around her even though Jacob the werewolf is there! It made no sense so no I can’t really see how it will be more refined as it seemed like the rules to her visions were constantly being made up as Meyer went along and then changed again. Also love how that is the only mythology issue to be fixed. Not any other bullshit that was stated. I don’t have an issue with sparkling as burning in the sun is a new one and also that is the beauty of fantasy that things can be tweaked. My issue will always be the feeding as animal blood seems fine so no real sacrifice.
- Which leaves a 5% catchall, for the many miscelleanous changes that I made, each for a different, and no doubt selfish reason.
Ergh, we will so go into those changes and discuss why on earth they were there.
I hope you have fun with Beau and Edythe’s story, even though it’s not something you were waiting for. I truly had the best time ever creating this new version. I love Beau and Edythe with a passion I did not see coming, and their story has made the fictional world of Forks fresh and happy for me again. I hope it does the same for you. If you get one tenth of the pleasure out of this that I did, it will be worth it.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for being a part of this world, and thank you for being such an amazing and unexpected sourse of joy in my life for the last decade.
No I will not gain any pleasure from this! Also this paragraph seems to feed into what I said before about how she wants her fans to adore her again but with the added “I liked it so you should too if you’re real fans”. Also she should be aware that Forks is real, seems Suethor again. She made that town what is was, dammit! Also this made it fresh and happy again? I wonder how she felt about the reviews and ratings this nonsense got. I wonder if it became a miserable place again as her fans did not lap this crap up. If she wanted them back then she should have completed Midnight Sun as that would have fit in perfectly with the tenth anniversary. Clearly she loves Beau and Edythe as it includes a special snowflake and a self-insert who everyone adores.
Jesus, I need some wine after that. That was such a ball of FAIL! Next time will be the first six chapters as that seemed like a good amount for discussion.