Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments of this series. You can read my reviews of these novels here:

Twilight | New Moon | Eclipse | Breaking Dawn | The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined was written by Stephenie Meyer and first published in 2015. It is a special edition of Twilight that was published for the 10th Anniversary of the original book, retelling the story while flipping the genders of a majority of the cast. While the novel stands alone, you would probably appreciate it more if you are already familiar with the main series – Twilight (2005), New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007), Breaking Dawn (2008) and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2009).

As Beaufort Swan’s mother sets off travelling with her new husband, he has no choice but to move to Forks to stay with his father. At first, Beau isn’t too impressed with this change of scenery. Forks is wet and gloomy, and everyone else at school has know each other their whole lives. Even though Beau proves to be very popular with the girls, he soon finds that he is not interested in any of them. But that is before he notices Edythe Cullen.

Edythe is beautiful, mysterious and clearly wants to have nothing to do with him. Unfortunately, Beau is unable to get Edythe out of his mind. However, when Edythe saves Beau from being crushed by a car, he begins to realise that there is something different about her. As Beau grows closer to Edythe, he soon learns the truth. There is a reason why Edythe cannot stand to be close to him, and why she is mysteriously absent from school whenever they have a particularly sunny day.

As Beau and Edythe come to realise that their feelings for each other are more than just friendship, a new danger descends on Forks. When Beau becomes the target of a dangerous woman, Edythe and her family draw together to protect him. But will their combined strength be enough to defend Beau from such a powerful – and determined – foe…

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Breaking Dawn

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier instalments of this series. You can read my reviews of these novels here:

Twilight | New Moon | Eclipse | The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Breaking Dawn was written by Stephenie Meyer and first published in 2008. It is the fourth and final part of The Twilight Saga, focusing on Bella and Edward’s early life as a married couple. The novel follows on directly from where Twilight (2005), New Moon (2006) and Eclipse (2007) left off, so I would recommend reading them in sequence to fully appreciate them. The series also includes a couple of spin-off stories – The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2009), which told the tragic tale of a minor character from Eclipse, and Life & Death (2015), a gender-flipped retelling of Twilight. A prequel novel titled Midnight Sun is due for release later this year.

Bella Swan has almost got everything that she ever dreamed of. She has graduated from High School and is engaged to be wed to her soul mate, the vampire Edward Cullen. A date has also been set for her transformation, meaning that soon she will also leave her humanity behind and truly become a member of the Cullen family. Bella could not be happier, but that is until the honeymoon.

After Bella and Edward final risk becoming intimate, she is shocked to find herself pregnant. This is not something that anyone ever imagined could be possible, as no human had ever survived mating with a vampire before. Worse still, her pregnancy is progressing rapidly and Carlisle fears that it could cost her life. Still, Bella is determined to see it through and bear their child. She strongly believes that her beloved’s venom could save her from death in childbirth.

Yet, Bella and Edward’s biggest problems arise after their daughter is born. When another vampire catches sight of her and assumes that she is an Immortal Child – an illegal child vampire – she is quick to inform the Volturi of the Cullens’ crimes. Knowing that the penalty for creating an Immortal Child is death, the Cullens gather their friends from around the world to prove Bella’s innocence. But will that be enough to convince the ancient vampire royalty if they are determined to start a war against the Cullen clan?

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The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier novels in the series. You can read my reviews of these books [here], [here] and [here].

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is a short spin-off novella which forms part of Stephenie Meyer’s massively successful Twilight Saga. The story was first published in 2010 and describes Bree’s experiences over the three months that she spent as a vampire. The book overlaps with the events of Eclipse (2007), therefore I would strongly advise that you read the first three novels in the series before picking up this one.

For Bree Tanner, every day is marked with uncertainty and terror. Ever since she was first created by the vampire that she knows only as Her, she has spent all of her time trying desperately to stay alive. The other Newborns in her coven are vicious and uncontrollable – prone to tearing off each other’s limbs or lighting each other on fire. She’s smart enough to know that she needs to keep to herself if she wants to live.

Things change when she meets Diego. He’s been a vampire far longer than she has and is rumoured to be Riley’s right-hand man. Although she’s reluctant to trust him at first, she soon discovers that he is genuinely nice and could become her first vampire friend. When disaster strikes and the two of them find themselves stranded at daybreak, it’s only Diego’s ingenuity that saves them both from facing the rising sun.

Yet in doing so, the two of them uncover Riley’s lie. He’s been keeping the Newborns in check by telling them that all the myths about vampires are true but now Bree and Diego know that sunlight can’t harm them. Believing that Riley might be unaware of this himself, the two of them head off to tell him of their discovery. However, they quickly discover that they are pawns in a larger game and that the vampire known as Her has sinister plans for them…

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Eclipse

Eclipse

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for earlier novels in the series. You can read my reviews of these books [here] and [here].

Eclipse is the third novel in Stephenie Meyer’s massively popular Twilight Saga. It was first published in 2007 and continues to document the love life of Bella Swan, a human who is forced to choose between an eternity with her vampire lover and her attraction to a handsome werewolf. The novel follows on directly from Twilight (2005) and New Moon (2006) and is followed by Breaking Dawn (2008). There has also been two further stories released since: a novella which focuses on a minor character from Eclipse titled The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2010) and a gender flipped version of the first book titled Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (2015) which was released for the 10th Anniversary.

Following on from their meeting with the Volturi, Bella and Edward have returned to Forks and resumed their lives as a couple. However, things have changed between them. Edward is now more protective than ever, refusing to let Bella do anything that he deems dangerous. He also still withholds immortality from her, something that annoys her no end, saying that he won’t make her into a vampire before she marries him.

The return of Edward also puts a strain on Bella’s relationship with Jacob. The two of them had been growing closer in the vampire’s absence but his return has driven a wedge between them. The distance pushes Jacob to confess his love, swearing that he can tell that Bella feels the same way. Bella is less sure. She knows that she wants to be with Edward yet Jacob can offer her so many things that the vampire can’t…

While Bella is forced to choose between her two suitors, she finds herself in danger once again. News of serial murders in Seattle lead the Cullens to believe that someone has created an army of newborn vampires and they have reason to believe that they will soon be heading to Forks. Edward fears that it’s the Volturi’s attempt to thin out their clan but Bella fears that it may be Victoria, finally coming for her revenge. One thing is certain, the vampires cannot handle the threat alone. In order to survive and protect the town, they will need to form a truce with the werewolves…

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New Moon

New Moon

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for its prequel, Twilight. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last nine years, I expect you’ve probably heard of the Twilight Saga. This series was written by Stephenie Meyer and focuses on the forbidden love between a vampire and a human. The first novel, Twilight (2005), was swiftly followed by New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007), Breaking Dawn (2008) and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2010). The immense popularity of the series sparked a trend of paranormal romance novels – an effect that can still be seen in the market today. For the purpose of today’s review, I’ll be looking at New Moon only.

A few months have passed since the events of Twilight and Bella Swan is finding herself constantly tested by her relationship with Edward. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she releases that she will continue to age while he remains forever seventeen and the thought of this horrifies her. After an accident at her birthday party almost leads to her death at the hands of Jasper, Edward comes to the decision that his world is just far too dangerous for a human. After painfully declaring that he no longer loves her, he and the rest of the Cullens leave in the night, never to return.

Bella is plunged into depression and finds it impossible to come to terms with his departure. Discovering that she has vivid hallucinations of Edward whenever her life is in danger, she begins to perform increasingly dangerous acts just to hear his voice again. Her daredevil lifestyle leads her to a new friendship with Jacob Black, beginning with a mutual desire to repair a motorcycle and gradually blossoming into something more.

However, all is not well in Forks. Bella is still haunted by nightmares about Edward and is plagued with confusion with regards to her growing feelings for Jacob. On top of this, Victoria has returned to town, harbouring a bitter resentment for the death of her partner at Edward’s hands. Driven by her desire to take Bella’s life – a mate for a mate – she begins to mercilessly hunt the teenager. With the Cullens long gone, who can protect her from a messy end at the vampire’s fangs?

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Twilight

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Twilight really is a novel that needs no further introduction. It was written by Stephenie Meyer and published in 2005. Rapidly gaining popularity worldwide, it caused a boom in popularity for “paranormal romance” novels – typically books that crux around the relationship between a human girl and a boy who is far less ordinary. Twilight was rapidly followed by three sequels: New Moon (2006), Eclipse (2007) and Breaking Dawn (2008). It also has one short spin-off novella based around a character introduced in Eclipse, titled The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (2010).

The story is told from the perspective of Isabella “Bella” Swan, a teenage girl who has chosen to move away from her beloved life in Phoenix to live with her father in Folks, Washington. Although she is initially depressed by the thought of living in such a remote area, she is quickly accepted by the locals and finds that she fits in well at her school.

Although she is approached by a succession of boys who are all interested in inviting her to the school dance, Bella finds that she only has eyes for one. Edward Cullen, mysterious and beautiful, quickly comes to occupy her thoughts. The only problem is that he seems to be utterly repulsed by her, going at great length to avoid any kind of contact.

However when Edward manages to impossibly save Bella from being crushed by a van, Bella begins to suspect that he is actually hiding some sinister secret. How is it that he can be so impossibly strong and fast? And why does he seem so intent on pushing her further away? As she investigates Edward and his strange family, she quickly comes to realise that the answer is far stranger – and more dangerous – than she ever could have imagined.

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