I Read The New Gender-Swapped “Twilight” Book So You Don’t Have To

The ballad of Beaufort and Edythe begins…and then Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gets involved.

1. Twilight, the instantaneously classic story of a boy vampire who vigorously sniffs, then falls in love with a human woman, turns 10 years old this year.

Little Brown & Co. / Via adventureswithbookdesign.blogspot.com

Feel old yet?

2. To celebrate the book’s anniversary, Stephenie Meyer re-released a special edition of Twilight, which comes with an even LONGER book entitled Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined.

Little Brown & Co. / Via abcnews.go.com

It was the Beyoncé album drop of the book world. Boom.

3. In Life and Death, all of the characters (with two unimportant exceptions) are gender-swapped. Bella is now Beaufort Swan. Edward is Edythe Cullen. Jacob is Julie, Carlisle is Carine…and the names don’t get any less elaborate as the book goes on.

4. Obviously I needed a copy of this book, so I cold-called every Barnes and Noble in New York City until I found a copy:

•The first store manager said she didn’t have it and was very sorry.

•The second one laughed at me, accused me of pranking him, and hung up the phone.

•The third asked me to spell “d-e-a-t-h,” then said nothing came up in the system.

•The fourth actually turned out to be Barnes and Noble corporate headquarters and I had a really confusing ten-minute conversation with their receptionist.

•The fifth store let me get as far as “I’m looking for the new Twi-” before wheezing “YES. WE HAVE IT” and put one on hold for me ASAP. She sounded like she was having a rough day.

5. Once it was in my hands…I started reading. And tweeting.

6. The changes start out pretty small. Beau wears a funny t-shirt while Bella wears a lacy top.

 

8. Bella can appreciate the wonders of nature while Beau has no interest in aesthetics.

 

Bella on the left, Beaufort on the right.

9. His tendency to shy away from florid description may have to do with his rather tortured sense of masculinity.

A 100+ year old vampire woman has to clarify that calling a teen boy "fragile" isn't an insult to his masculinity.

— alexis dreadd (@alexisthenedd)

10. Even though this book takes place in 2005, Rosalie’s character, now named “Royal Hale,” has a man-bun.

 

11. The whole point of the vampires is that they’re all really hot, but some of these descriptions are on the creepy side of complimentary.

You sliced up who? And did what with their parts?

12. My favorite description is probably of Eleanor, formerly Emmett. She is described as so hot The Rock wouldn’t whistle at her. The Rock. Dwayne The Rock Johnson is in Twilight now. I am blessed to live in this world.

oh my god, I can go on record saying that one difference between old and new twilight is @TheRock oh my god

— alexis dreadd (@alexisthenedd)

13. (For the record, The Rock fears no sexy gender-swapped vampire woman, but nice try.)

@alexisthenedd haha I would whistle at her...!!

— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock)

14. Beau is also much less of a pragmatist than Bella. If possible, his sense of self-preservation is even worse developed than hers.

When Bella thinks Edward might be a vampire, she goes home and googles "Vampire." Beau has a sexy dream instead:

— alexis dreadd (@alexisthenedd)

15. In the foreword of Life and Death, Meyer mentions that one of her reasons for writing this version was to respond to critiques that Twilight perpetuated gender roles. She makes his point by literally having Edythe snap at Beau about gender roles.

This version of Twilight is more feminist because Edythe, a woman from the 19th century, lectures Beau about gender.

— alexis dreadd (@alexisthenedd)

16. But Beau’s friends act like stereotypes of awful teen boys when they find out he’s dating Edythe.

17. For reference, here is how that passage goes in Twilight.

18. The rest of that conversation in Life and Death goes about as well as you can imagine.

In this scene, Beau’s friends suggest he blackmailed Edythe into having sex with him and are disappointed when he says he did not.

19. A lot of the side-by-side comparisons of the book show how subtle changes in phrase can completely change the tone of a scene, even from some of Twilight’s more iconic passages.

For example, here is the “three things” quote that was printed on the jacket of Twilight’s earlier editions.

20. Here is that same passage in the new book.

21. Edythe as a character is a lot like Edward. She has the same hangups over being a big scary monster, but she’s a lot more assertive than him in some ways.

Wow, this is the first recorded instance in literature where a woman tells a man to stop apologizing so much.

— alexis dreadd (@alexisthenedd)

22. She’s also a lot stronger than Edward was as a character. She can break a tree in half with another, smaller tree.

23. Jacob’s character, now Julie Black, is kind of a footnote in this edition, which should put a muzzle on the #TeamJacob supporters this time around.

JACOB IS JULIE AND BILLY IS BONNIE.

— alexis dreadd (@alexisthenedd)

Haha get it? Muzzle!

He’s a werewolf.

24. And some of the other specifically gender-related changes are dubiously intentioned. Here is Edward’s handwriting vs. Edythe’s

 

Very flowery.

25. But the biggest departure from the original story is the ending, which is COMPLETELY different from Twilight. Do you want to know what it is? Only click if you don’t want to be spoiled!

26. I know right? This actually answers some of the questions I had reading this book – namely, how Beaufort and Edythe were supposed to, at some point in their future, have a baby.

Temple Hill Entertainment / Via mtv.com

27. It’s probably for the best though. Going by the gender-swapping pattern it’s entirely likely that any child of their impossible union would be a boy called Charnest. Or Earnie.

Katrinaelena / Getty Images

(Edythe’s vampire dad is named Earnest in this book. Her mom is Carine. Beau’s dad is still Charlie.)

28. Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined is in stores now!

Little Brown & Co. / Via thats-normal.com

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