Tag Archives: Twilight

Life and Death: Stephenie Meyer’s Fan Fiction Based on Her Own Novel, Twilight

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After the commercial success of Fifty Shades of Grey and other pulled-to-publish fan fiction, Stephenie Meyer would be forgiven for never publishing anything again. What would be the point, when other authors would publish fan fiction based on her characters/world, but only change the names and other incriminating details? Indeed, Ms. Meyer has turned to producing films in recent years: Austenland made it to the big screen, and Fickle Fish Films has optioned film rights for Lois Duncan’s Down a Dark Hall, Mindy McGinnis’s Not a Drop to Drink, and maybe more.

With the announcement of the tenth anniversary edition of Twilight came the promise of “bonus material”. I expected short stories starring side characters, or scenes with the point of view switched to Edward’s (like in Midnight Sun). But Nicole Sperling’s article for EW surprised with the news of Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined, a 442-page retelling of Ms. Meyer’s debut…with the two lead characters’ genders swapped.

Will the story seem less predatory with human boy Beau and immortal woman Edythe? Reportedly, Beau doesn’t have “the chip Bella carries around on her shoulder all the time”, so it could be like another story altogether. Other than gender, how else will Beau differ from Bella, and Edythe from Edward? Hopefully Life and Death will inspire critiques and think-pieces discussing the changes between the two novels, and why gender-swapping may provide a new view on the basic story itself. Will the gender-swap alter the basic character archetypes in other ways?

Usually I’d suspect that something like this is just a shameless cash-grab, but I’m surprised at how much I’m looking forward to reading Life and Death. Okay, I’m really just anticipating the commentary by trusted fellow readers.

Of course, my cynical part now expects copycat-authors to follow suit with stories of…Christina Grey and Andre Steele, for example. But those P2P fan fiction writers have given me more respect for Stephenie Meyer, and the grace with which she lives. Most importantly, I hope Ms. Meyer hasn’t given up on writing new fiction, with new characters in new worlds. I may have found the Twilight Saga books to be 3 stars each, but I’m sincerely intrigued with the concept of Life and Death.

NOTE: At the moment, Life and Death is exclusive to Twilight: Tenth Anniversary Edition. No word yet on if it’ll be sold separately.

REVIEWS
Breaking Dawn
The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Eclipse
New Moon
Twilight

#CaitlinMoranShouldRead – What It’s About

If you follow anyone in the UK & Irish YA community, you may have come across this today: #CaitlinMoranShouldRead

I don’t really know who Caitlin Moran is: comedian, journalist, “social commentator”, who knows? (I’m Australian; I don’t know UK celebrities.) Anyway, her YA novel (or an adult novel with a 16-year-old protagonist), How to Build a Girl, will be published soon, so The Bookseller interviewed her. The full interview is behind a paywall or something, so we’re stuck with this short piece. Possibly the quotes aren’t in context, so we misunderstand. Thus out of context, her words come across as…well, naive and ignorant towards the YA book community. One of the most commonly given writing advice is to READ a lot in your chosen genre, but the article’s quotes seem to suggest that Ms. Moran hasn’t done her research.

…she was moved to write about teenage sexuality…in response to the Fifty Shades of Grey…phenomenon, which she said had made her “angry and despairing”.

She’s not alone with that last point: that E. L. James’s series seems to portray psychological abuse as “romantic” is a major concern. But that trilogy is aimed at an adult audience, or maybe New Adult – NOT young adult. So linking Fifty Shades with teenage sexuality doesn’t really make sense.

…argued that writing about sexual adventures was important for that age group. “…I wanted to get in there before anyone else and talk about sex.”

That quote: derp. Judy Blume, Jacqueline Wilson, Cecily von Ziegesar. And that’s just the stuff I read – there’re probably many more authors that spring to mind for other readers. Ms. Moran is hardly the first author to think, “Hey, teen girls have sex – I should write about that.”

“It’s always about teenage boys going off and having amazing adventures. You don’t see teenage girls anywhere unless they’re being bitten by vampires so I wanted to write about a funny, weird teenage girl having adventures, particularly sex adventures.”

Apparently, Twilight is the only young adult novel ever published. Who knew. *headdesk* (Besides, Breaking Dawn is all about bed-breaking sexcapades that result in the scariest pregnancy since Alien, and the freakiest child who’s “imprinted” upon as a youngster by the mother’s best friend, and supposedly that’s not paedophiliac, though it kind of is… This book’s totally bonkers, which could be why I find it the most entertaining of the saga.)

And thus #CaitlinMoranShouldRead appeared on Twitter, to…well, recommend books that Caitlin Moran should read. Not sure who started it, and I don’t think Ms. Moran has responded to it yet.

(Kind of off-topic: There’s a car ad with a 1980s synth-pop song about “Space Invaders”. The tune is in my head, but the lyrics are now “sex adventures”, due to that article. Thank you, Ms. Moran.)

So, Caitlin Moran should read…which books about teen girls’ sex adventures?

Gabrielle Carey & Kathy Lette’s Puberty Blues: The voice is spot-on, the scenarios believable.

Judy Blume’s Forever: Don’t put aftershave on testicles!

Jacqueline Wilson’s Girls in Love (series): Don’t think I’d heard the term “slag” before reading this.

Mel Sparke’s Sugar Secrets (series): There’s a funny scene (don’t know in which book) about condom-shopping…

Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl (series) Avoid the spinoffs, and stick with the original series. It’s actually quite satirical and hilarious: Vanessa’s pretentious films, Dan’s pretentious writing, and Chuck Bass is all monogrammed scarves and a monkey on his shoulder. (Don’t know if the monkey was in the TV adaptation.)

But all these are no longer being published, and I read adult erotica (Tiffany Reisz, for the win!) so I don’t know about current teen-girl-sexcapades novels…

Huh. In that case, maybe Ms. Moran has a point.

[REVIEW] Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer
Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)
Hachette Atom (AU: July 2008; UK: 30th October 2008; US & CA: 1st November 2008)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Before you even lay hands on Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, you’ll know whether or not it’s for you. I knew it wasn’t for me, but decided to give it a chance anyway. After all, I did enjoy the author’s futuristic adult novel, The Host. So this week I began reading, sending my thoughts to Twitter and Facebook as I went along. Thanks to all my commenters – you made the reading experience a whole lot more fun πŸ™‚

This is clearly a character-driven novel, considering the external plot only kicks in with about 130 pages left. From here, the suspense builds and the story is more enjoyable. But all the relationship faff that makes up the bulk of Twilight…it pissed me off on so many levels.

I’ve already started the sequel, New Moon, but here’re organised lists of what you should know (or what I’d like to know) about Twilight:

LOGICFAIL
-Bella goes faint at the scent of 1 drop of blood in the room. How does she handle rolling out the red carpet every month? Maybe she has a Magical Uterus of Infinite Purity, so no red carpet.
-No particular reason why Edward can’t read Bella’s mind. She’s a Speshul Snowflake?
-If vampires can procreate, can they spread VD, too?

THIS ISN’T ROMANTIC; IT’S CREEPY!
-Edward follows/stalks Bella. She doesn’t mind; kind of likes it…but this understates the situation. She totally wants to roger him, y’all! πŸ˜‰ But on a more serious note, it’s an abusive relationship, only Bella won’t/can’t admit it to herself or anyone else. She mistakes stalking as being romantic, and since there are so many readers who go fangirly over Edward…This is just so depressing. Bella and these females must have low self-esteem, the poor lasses. You deserve better than stalkers, ladies! This concept of “wuv” confuses and infuriates us!
-Edward explains vampires as like alcoholics and heroin addicts. That would make Bella an enabler?
-Edward knows where Bella’s spare key is. He watches her sleep (and talk in her sleep) every night. She’s flattered. Not cool!

OTHER NOTES
-“Quileute” seems to be pronounced Kwil-leh-oot (thanks to Wikipedia).
-Kind of hilarious when Bella thinks Edward is a superhero. What would be his alias?
-The PE teacher’s surname is Clapp. Too many VD jokes…Giggity.
-“…my gratuitous drug use.” If Bella really was a druggie, that would explain a lot about her effed-up psyche.
-Other than books for school, Bella only reads classics. Up yours, Bella; why can’t you support authors who are actually alive?
-So many references of Edward being like stone and metal. He’s not a vampire – he’s Steampunk Eddie.
-Edward has worse PMS than mine.
-“So if you don’t want to sleep…” Of course she doesn’t want to sleep, Steampunk Eddie. She wants to get barrre rrroooooted!
Short snippet from film: Sparkle looks more like when arm hair is in direct sunlight. Not beautiful. Fugly.
-Edward: born in 1901. Book 1st published: 2005. A 104-year-old virgin. Would’ve thought he’d be shagging corpses come age 100.

November 2008 Releases

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, check October 2008 Releases. I’ve tried to be as accurate as I can with publishers, countries and dates, but a lot could happen between now and their release dates. Still, hopefully you’ll find some of this useful. US: USA. UK: United Kingdom. AU: Australia.

Heather Graham
Deadly Harvest (Flynn Brothers, Book 2)
Harlequin MIRA (US: 1st November 2008) – Mass Market Paperback
Buy

Jeremy Flynn finds he’s needed desperately when his old police diving partner winds up in serious trouble. While on a vacation to patch up their marriage, his wife disappears, and he’s suspected of murder. Rowenna believes that a man must keep an open mind, but even she is stunned by the ancient and diabolical rites being practiced beneath the history and modern day wiccan movement of her home town, where, suddenly, a trip into the cornfields is a trip into the psychotic mind of a killer with an agenda.

Suzanne McLeod
The Sweet Scent of Blood (Spellcrackers.com, Book 1)
Hachette Gollancz (AU: 1st November 2008) – Paperback)
Buy

Genevieve Taylor is a Sidhe, one of the noble fae and she’s unusual, even in present-day London where celebrity vampires, eccentric goblins and scheming lesser fae mix freely with the human population. Genny is a rising star at Spellcrackers.com, where she finds the M in magic – which invariably leads to mischief, malice and murder. Spellcrackers.com is affiliated to the Witch Council, whose ancient tenets prohibit any contact with vampires. Genny also works as a volunteer at a clinic which treats victims of vampire attacks. Then there’s her extra-curricular activity, extracting vulnerable fae lured by the local fang gangs. Genny certainly doesn’t want any closer involvement with the vampire community. But when Mr October, one of the hot calendar pin-up vamps, is accused of violently murdering his girlfriend, Genny’s called on to repay an old debt and prove his innocence. And that means consorting with some of the sexiest vamps in London!

A. J. Menden
Phenomenal Girl 5 (Elite Hands of Justice, Book 1)
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 1st November 2008) – Mass Market Paperback
Buy

Lainey Livingston has just been made a member of the Elite Hands of Justice, the world’s premiere cadre of superheroes. Her work with the Red Knights and the Power Squad was impressive; all her senses are extraordinary, and her great strength and ability to fly are equally remarkable. But no one gets a free pass to active duty, and Lainey’s next test is going to be her hardest. She’s to train with the Reincarnist. Robert Elliot, the Reincarnist. A magician who has lived multiple lifetimes, he’s the smartest man in the world – and Lainey’s last obstacle. He was personally responsible for seeing Pushstar wash out. But his eyes are the softest, kindest that Lainey has ever seen, and he’s just the sort to knock her for a loop. Lesson #1: Romantic entanglements among crime fighters are super exploitable, and falling in love with a man who “can’t die” is like waving a red flag at a bull. Especially when the most fiendish plot ever is about to break over Megolopolis like a wave of fire.

Stephenie Meyer
Twilight (Twilight Saga, Book 1)
Hachette (US, UK: 1st November 2008) – Paperback
Buy

Bella Swan’s move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Lilith Saintcrow
Hunter’s Prayer (Jill Kismet, Book 2)
Hachette Orbit (AU: 1st November 2008)
Buy

Jill Kismet, Dealer in Dark Things. Spiritual Exterminator. Demon Slayer – it’s not the type of work you can put on a business card. But every city has people like me. Usually the police have us on payroll as consultants, because what ordinary cop can face down a Were or an ordinary shapechanger, or an Assyrian demon? Not to mention the silvers or the Black Mist, the adepts of Sorrow House or of the Middle Way? What ordinary cop stands a chance against a Trader, even? People disappear all the time, it’s an epidemic; some of the disappearances are murder, some are fugitives, some are kidnapped by other human beings. Some of them are even found again. But a good proportion of them are taken by the things that go bump in the night. And then it becomes a hunter’s job to bump back. Hard.

Laurell K. Hamilton
Swallowing Darkness (Merry Gentry, Book 7)
Random House (US: 4th November 2008; UK: 6th November 2008; AU: 15th November 2008) – Hardcover
Buy

I am Meredith, princess of faerie, wielder of the hands of Flesh and Blood, and at long last, I am with child – twins, fathered by my royal guard. Though my uncle, Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, claims that he is the true father since he abducted me from my home, betrayed and defiled me. And now he has branded my guards as a threat to my unborn children. Bearing an heir has placed me halfway to my aunt’s throne, that much closer to my reign over the Unseelie Court – and well ahead of her son, my cousin Cel, in this race. Now I must stay alive to see my children born and claim my place as queen. But not all in faerie are pleased with the news, and conspirators from every court in the realm plot against me and mine. They seek to strip my guards, my lovers, from me by poisoned word or cold steel. But I still have supporters, and even friends, among the goblins and the sluagh, who will stand by me. I am Meredith Nic Essus, and those who would defy and destroy me are destined to pay a terrible price – for I am truly my father’s daughter. To protect what is mine, I will sacrifice anything – even if it means waging a great battle against my darkest enemies and making the most momentous decision ever made as princess of faerie.

Faith Hunter
Bloodring (Rogue Mage, Book 1)
Penguin Roc (US: 4th November 2008) – Mass Market Paperback
Buy

In a near-future world, seraphs and demons fight a never-ending battle. But a new species of mage has arisen. Thorn St Croix is no ordinary “neomage.” Nearly driven insane by her powers, she has escaped the confines of the Enclaves and now lives among humans. When her ex-husband is kidnapped, Thorn must risk revealing her true identity to save him.

Jordan Summers
Red (Dead World, Book 1)
Macmillan Tor (US: 4th November 2008) – Mass Market Paperback
Buy

Gina Santiago is a member of an elite tactical team in charge of protecting the world. She’s devoted her life to apprehending the most heinous criminals that prey on society – and now she’s after the worst one yet. On her own, with no backup, the trail takes her to a dusty, tight-knit town on the fringes of society, where everyone’s a suspect. Even the sexy sheriff, Morgan Hunter, isn’t telling her everything. Gina knows he’s trouble, but she’s inexorably drawn to him. The closer Gina comes to finding out the secret of this sleepy little town and its big bad sheriff; the closer she comes to catching the predator, the more scared she gets – because she’s beginning to realise that she has a secret too. A secret that will change Gina’s life…and make her the killer’s prey.

Kelley Armstrong
Living with the Dead (Otherworld, Book 9)
Hachette Orbit (UK: 6th November 2008) – Hardcover
Buy

Robyn Peltier has always lived a normal life. So when her boss is murdered and she is named prime suspect, she is way out of her depth. As the bodies pile up only her friend Hope, and Hope’s somewhat spooky boyfriend Karl, are on her side. Hope, meanwhile, has a few secrets of her own. Namely that she is half-demon, and her ‘spooky’ boyfriend is actually a werewolf. Hope also knows that Robyn has accidentally stumbled into a bloody supernatural turf war. And the only way she can keep her friend alive is by letting her enter a world she’s safer knowing nothing about…

Richelle Mead
Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, Book 3)
Penguin Razorbill (US: 13th November 2008) – Paperback
Buy

Is Rose’s fate to kill the person she loves most? It’s springtime at St Vladimir’s Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since Mason’s death, Rose hasn’t been feeling quite right. She has dark flashbacks in the middle of practice, can’t concentrate in class, and has terrifying dreams about Lissa. But Rose has an even bigger secret…She’s in love with Dimitri. And this time, it’s way more than a crush. Then Strigoi target the academy in the deadliest attack in Moroi history, and Dimitri is taken. Rose must protect Lissa at all costs, but keeping her best friend safe could mean losing Dimitri forever…

Kim Harrison
The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, Book 6)
HarperCollins Eos (US: 25th November 2008) – Mass Market Paperback
Buy

In the Hollows, where the natural and the supernatural co-exist – not always peacefully – desperate times often call for unorthodox measures. But bounty hunter-witch Rachel Morgan did the absolutely unthinkable to save the lives of her friends: she willingly trafficked in forbidden demon magic. And now her sins have come home to haunt her. As Rachel hunts for the truth behind a terrifying murder, the discovery of a shocking family secret is about to throw her entire life into question. And the long-lost ancient knowledge she seeks resides in the demonic ever-after. But there are some lines that should never be crossed – like the one Rachel Morgan’s stepping over…again!

What Someone Typed into Google to Get to My WordPress

twilight convention-melbourne

Haven’t heard of one, and even if there was, I’m not sure I’d attend.

I think some bookstores had launch parties for Breaking Dawn (the closest one to me may have been in Richmond). Release dates around the world were not totally in sync – in some parts it was released on August 2nd, other places August 4th. Australia fell into the latter.

Even though I’ve never read the Twilight series (though I have books 1 and 4 on my shelf in the To-Be-Read pile), I briefly considered attending one of these functions. Because Breaking Dawn was released earlier in the US, and thus I was reading Cleolinda‘s fabulous recaps/snark. (She’s currently recapping/snarking True Blood – who needs HBO when you can have snarkalicious hilarity?)

So, yeah – was thinking of crashing a party and shouting out a spoiler. (I’d even picked a particular one, though others were contenders.) I didn’t go, of course. But I thought about it. Contrary to popular belief, I actually do occasionally use my brain πŸ˜‰

I totally wouldn’t have fit in, though, because I’m so not a fangirly. Not just of this particular series. I just have a very sceptical brain: when lots of people really love something, I’m more inclined not to like it. Maybe I wouldn’t dislike things so much if others didn’t love them so much. I don’t know.

My reason? Well, the thing better blow my freaking mind if everyone loves it so much. And if it doesn’t? DISAPPOINTMENT. Harry Potter is so overrated. Just didn’t interest me, though I read some of them to at least give them a chance. THEY FAILED.

I still intend to try the Twilight series at some stage – as I said, I own books 1 and 4. As for the middle two, the library reservation lists are probably miles long, so I’ll have to go without.

But by all means, I’m not against Stephenie Meyer. I loved The Host. Generalisations around the Web seem to go that if you love Twilight, The Host won’t cut the mustard, and vice versa. They’re also different genres: one paranormal, one futuristic.

Is it possible to combine those two genres into one novel? Vampires in space…and Anya Bast has done it with The Chosen Sin, which I believe is released October 7th – that’s today. Haven’t read the book myself yet, but Anya’s a dear, and I do like the other books of hers I’ve read (Witch Fire and Witch Blood).

Smooth segue, Tez. And don’t you readers think I made up that Twilight convention thing just so I could sneak in an ad for vampires in space – I’m not clever enough to think up a lie like that πŸ˜‰

Cat with Books

(Images from here.) Manny with various books, including:

Gena Showalter’s Awaken Me Darkly, Enslave Me Sweetly & Savor Me Slowly
Liz Maverick’s The Shadow Runners & Wired
Eve Kenin’s Driven & Hidden
Kay Austin’s Time Transit
Michelle Maddox’s Countdown
Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight & The Host
Richelle Mead’s Succubus Blues, Vampire Academy & Succubus on Top