I’m simultaneously outing and embarrassing myself here, but yes, I indulged myself and read Stephenie Meyer’s “re imaged” Twilight. Life and Death. Was I undoubtedly ashamed as I hit “buy” on Amazon and had the thing instantly delivered to my Kindle? Yes. Was I unable to take myself seriously when I told my sister I was halfway thru with it within 48 hours? Yes. And was I dumbfounded when I was able to finish the so-called novel less than a week after it was released? Hell yes.
To understand my motives behind actually paying money for this (which, in my delusional defense, came with a digital copy of the original Twilight, so you’re sort of getting two books for one), we have to travel back to a simpler time, when Wendi was 16 and in high school and, retrospectively, embarrassingly addicted to all things Twilight Saga. Books, midnight premiers, early release trailers, overpriced merchandise from Hot Topic- you name it, I loved it. Ashamedly so. And as much as I try and hide the degree to which I loved Edward and Bella, when TNT runs their all-day Twilight Saga marathons and I have nothing else to do on a Sunday, yes I will watch. Let’s leave it at that.
So when the infamously not Midnight Sun (ahem… Life and Death) was announced, I of course took a second to laugh, took a minute to be confused, and then hit “buy.” Perhaps what made the read easy was that I hadn’t read the original Twilight in a while (side note: I can reread books again and again, so the familiarity isn’t so much an issue); the story was 80% exactly the same. Literally. Aside from a couple of dialogue changes, Stephenie probably took a whole five minutes having more fun with “Control F” on her Microsoft Word than anyone I know. Edward became Edythe, Bella became Beau, and everything in Forks pretty much stayed exactly the same.
Oh, except the Cullens’ names took a turn for the way worse. Royal, Jessamine, Carine, Earnest, Archie, and Eleanor. Yeah.
As embarrassed as I am that I read it, I’m not going to lie and say I absolutely hated it. Will I recommend it to my friends? No. Will it be recognized as being anything more than a publicity stunt? No. But did it bring back a hint of familiar nostalgia that, while a tad humiliating was also somewhat enjoyable? Yes. It’s exactly how I felt with the launch of Girl Meets World. The dialogue was a tad worse, and the show was nowhere near as good as its preceding original. But seeing Cory, Shawn, and Topanga back onscreen together hit you right in the feels- despite the eye roll worthy 2014 Disney dialogue it came with.
Then came the last two chapters of the novel (if you’re planning on reading this book, skip two paragraphs), when Stephenie Meyer decided to finally get some original, creative juices flowing and turn off the “Control F” and start typing. And that’s when the monotony and déjà vu that was the preceding 300 or so pages became worth it- because the alternate ending was actually pretty interesting, albeit short. Essentially, imagine what would have happened had Bella turned into a vampire the night James bit her. No New Moon, no Eclipse, and no vampire babies that was Breaking Dawn. No love triangle. No Team Edward or Jacob.
It’s actually kind of cool. Don’t hit me. There’s a fake funeral and everything.
Don’t go out and buy this book. The whole point of me sitting down, admitting I read it, and writing this was so you don’t have to. If you’re a Twihard (in the closet or out), it’s something light and easy to read that doesn’t require too much energy or attention. If you’re a cynic and one of the many Twilight haters that will probably question why we are friends now that you know I spent time and money on this- I’ll leave you with my favorite quote of the novel.
“You couldn’t just go around touching people because the lights were off.”