In all honesty, this book was awful.
For the first thirteen pages, I complained after every other sentence. I think that Stephenie Meyer literally went through her Word document that was Twilight and changed Bella to Beau and Edward to Edythe. I felt like I was reading her own version of fanfiction–for her own work! It seemed like such a money grab that I felt dirty reading it at points. And the title? Boring. There was no imagination whatsoever that went into naming Life and Death.
When I forgot what I was reading, though, it felt a lot more natural for the genders to be switched. Now, I haven’t read Twilight in about four or five years, so I don’t know if that impacts how I read this book. But I am a much bigger fan of Edythe and Beau than Bella and Edward.
The storyline felt sloppy, and maybe if I reread Twilight now I would say the same thing. There was hardly a story until the last half of the book, only two people unhealthily obsessed with each other. When Beau finally discovers what Edythe is, that’s when the storyline starts to pick up. And when the antagonists of the story appear (for about the last fifty or so pages) that’s when the action starts to happen. It seems that Meyer missed the first day of her creative writing class: in order to have a story, there has to be something happening…
The end at least was exciting. I don’t want to include any spoilers, but the way the story ended felt natural and not too forced. I wish Twilight had ended that way. If Meyer had continued “rewriting” and had the same ending, it would have begged for more books about Edythe and Beau, which do not need to be written. The wrap-up was well concluded and doesn’t seem to leave anything out.
I think the biggest reason why I’m most frustrated with Life and Death is because Meyer had the incredible opportunity to expand the universe she created and she ignored it. She could have done something similar to J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts. She could have moved the entire story to Maine or Europe and developed different (yet similar) characters and expanded this world and her franchise. And she blew it! I just don’t understand why she wasted this opportunity.
All in all, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Life and Death.