I’m home sick today and feeling like I’ve been run over by all manner of heavy-load trucks, so pardon if my demeanor is a little saltier than usual, but I figure I should jump on this before the rest of the blogoshpere sinks its teeth into it (No pun intended)!
Let’s call a spade a spade here. The Twilight Saga was a poorly-executed, yet still wildly successful attempt on the part of Stephanie Meyer to jump in on the renewed interest and success in Young Adult literature that was spawned by J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series. It took the same track as Harry Potter in being adapted into movies and even using a similar cast (Hello? Robert Pattinson?). When Twilight came out, we all read it, myself included. That doesn’t make it good, or even passable literature, nor does it make it something worth reading. But, with all the hype, we all did it anyway. In comparing Potter to Twilight, I think Andre Futral said it best with this:
“Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing
what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it
is to have a boyfriend.”
This is not intended to be a knock on Stephanie Meyer. Honestly, it’s not. Let’s not forget, she did write The Host. To date, that book stands in a very shiny place among my favorites. Twilight also opened the door for and inspired A LOT of the YA and some adult (*cough* 50 Shades *cough cough*) lit we enjoy today. Many of the recently published paranormal novels, especially the ones featuring vampires (ie: Vampire Academy, Vampire Beach, etc) owe at least some of their success to Stephanie Meyer and Twilight paving the way. But, that’s a topic for another time. Anyway, in the 10 years since the publication of Twilight, we’ve been exposed to SO MUCH fabulously thought out and wonderfully written young adult literature, Ms. Meyer’s latest…attempt seems like a slap in the face to the progress the genre has made.
When I heard about Life and Death yesterday, I honestly thought it was a joke. I mean, seriously?! A reimagining of Twilight? It’s one thing to beat a dead horse, but another altogether to do it with the poor animal’s own leg. But alas, much to my surprise (with a bit of chagrin thrown in for fun), Life in Death is NOT a joke! Stephanie Meyer has actually rewritten Twilight with a gender-swap in an attempt to what? Prove Bella isn’t the whiny damsel in distress we all know her to be? Alrighty then.
I get that she wanted to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Twilight. I can even respect that. In addition to publishing Life and Death, Ms. Meyer also went back and did some fairly major and much needed edits to Twilight. She even outlines her edits in the preface to the book that was published yesterday. Shockingly enough, I agree with all of them and applaud her heartily. Honestly, I feel like she could have left it at that. I, as well as many ardent fans of The Host, have been waiting for the sequel for 7(?) years! And, instead, she gave us this. Alas, The Host (book and movie) wasn’t nearly as successful as Twilight, so I guess she is just trying to get whatever milk is left out of that cash cow. I really don’t know what’s up with all the farm animal references today…Just go with it.
Chances are, Ms. Meyers’ latest endeavor, while maybe not to the extent of the first, will rake it in. Even 10 years later, there is a very dedicated community of Twi-hards who will be stepping all over each other and screeching at an octave that can only be properly heard by dogs. And, there are others, like myself, who will read the book simply out of hilarity. The only reason I haven’t done so thus far is because I refuse to pay $13 for it. And I’ll admit, once and never again, that I will read the edited version of Twilight out of a nostalgia for my high school days when part of my most inner self thought it was worthwhile literature.
So, what say you readers? Will you be reading Life and Death, or will you be sitting on the sidelines and shaking your heads in laughter?