Twilight is and has been a romantic fantasy sensation, spanning four books and five film adaptations. Following a human girl who falls in love with a male vampire, it has famously received a ton of backlash from literary critics and the film critics weren't much nicer. They'll likely be less than pleased with the rabid fanfare rising once again from the news that author Stephenie Meyer has released a new Twilight book that swaps its main characters' genders.
Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined is available now as part of the 10th anniversary edition of Twilight and is a rewrite of the original story that replaces Edward and Bella with Edythe and Beau, such that it becomes the tale of a female vampire and the human boy she falls in love with. Meyer explained the decision on Good Morning America as a response to readers who see Bella as a classic damsel in distress.
"It's always bothered me a little bit, because anyone surrounded by superheroes is going to be in a bit of distress," she said. "And so I thought if I switched it around a little bit to see how a boy does and you know, it's about the same."
It's an interesting thought, and definitely a challenge toward readers to reconsider the ageless idea that female characters are always in need of saving. "It's just a love story, it doesn't matter who's the boy and who's the girl," Meyer said.
In fairness, Meyer is the one who originally wrote her characters as they were, resulting in the near-universal perception that she felt a need to respond to. As for whether this new version of the story will continue or be depicted on film, it seems unlikely. "This is just one version of Beau," she quipped when asked about further books. On a movie, she said, "I don't really see that happening."
Fair enough. Let's all welcome Beau, the lad in distress, for however long he plans to stick around.
Cover image: /colorinchi via Flickr