Upon reading the news of Stephenie Meyer’s gender-swapped Twilight Tuesday morning, I screamed “WTF” like everyone else. But the more I think about it, the more I like it.
The 10th anniversary edition of Twilight is actually two books in one. On one side of the book you’ll find the original version of Twilight. Flip the book over and you get Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined.
Many are chastising Stephenie for not only gender-swapping the characters (every character has been switched except for Charlie and Renee) but for also publishing the darn thing. Most of the negative remarks stem from the fact that this type of gender-swapping is what fan-fiction writers do.
But I think this decision should be welcomed, not put down. Here’s why:
It’s the coolest Anniversary Edition ever.
Would you have cared or paid any attention to an anniversary edition of Twilight if it only included a couple pieces of “bonus material” like a new foreward from the author reflecting on the past decade? That idea is boring and isn’t any sort of gift to long-time fans.
This anniversary edition is for fans, and the fans were just given a book that turns the original story on its head. It’s not Midnight Sun, as Stephenie notes in her foreward, but it’s a surprise no one was expecting.
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They managed to keep it a secret until release day.
How cool is it that this project stayed under wraps until its release? No one in the book industry leaked any word about Life and Death until Stephenie decided to announce it herself. That’s an impressive feat considering this book had to be sent to retailers across the country in time for launch day.
Stephenie pulled a Beyoncé. Well done!
I think we can safely speak for the entire fandom when we say we didn't see a gender swapped Twilight novel coming http://t.co/q1CwosklVo
— TwilightLexicon (@TwilightLexicon) October 6, 2015
Stephenie had the opportunity to fix mistakes that bothered her.
In her foreward, Stephenie says, “70% of the changes I made were because I was allowed to do a new editing run ten years later. I got to fix almost every word that has bothered me since the book was printed, and it was glorious.” (Emphasis hers)
Quite often we hear how authors, actors, etc. look back at their early work and wish they had made certain changes. Stephenie had the opportunity to do that with Life and Death. You can look at this gender-swapped book as Stephenie’s second shot at authoring Twilight — that’s a pretty intriguing idea for readers.
Twilight has always been considered a fun, easy, light read. I still remember how much I enjoyed reading the original four books. They were quick to get through and the fandom was obsessed. Life and Death is just another fun read. Don’t take it so seriously!
It’s part of a really interesting day for book releases.
The first-ever Harry Potter Illustrated Edition and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl spinoff Carry On were also published today, making it a very interesting day in fandom. Rainbow reached out to Stephenie on Twitter to celebrate the release — and asked to hang out:
And HAPPY BOOKDAY to STEPHENIE MEYER. Stephenie, I’m in New York, you’re in New York. We could hang out, talk abt how pretty your hair is.
— Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell) October 6, 2015
Divergent author Veronica Roth celebrated today’s releases as well:
Twilight is genderswapped, Harry Potter is illustrated, @rainbowrowell has a new book, IT'S SO EXCITING *breathes into paper bag*
— Veronica Roth (@VeronicaRoth) October 6, 2015
I purchased the book bright and early at Barnes & Noble this morning and I’m looking forward to reading it. It’ll be a fun, refreshing way to relive Twilight. Sorry not sorry!