There are two book series that totally changed my life. Three, really, but I will come to the third one later.
J.K.Rowling was, is and will always remain my favourite author. I can never get over the magic of Harry Potter. She literally had us, her readers, under her spell. So much so that even today, I reread all the books. I keep up with all the news that is happening in the Wizarding World. More than anything, the ‘Harry Potter’ book series reminds me of a happy childhood, of hours spent all together discussing every plot twist and turn, of staying up late to finish another chapter, of learning life lessons, waiting desperately for the next book to arrive, queuing up in a long line to get my hands on the book (sadly, I don’t own a single Harry Potter book. I always relied on the local library and my generous friends who actually purchased the books to read them.)
As I grew up, I got completely caught up in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. The fact that she intended it to be a standalone novel really threw me off later. I am just really glad that she stuck to her idea. Everyone needs to believe in their ideas. Unlike me, who ends up discarding all the ideas of various stories running amok in my head as frivolous.
If she wouldn’t have stuck to her guns, I would have never met the dazzling Edward Cullen who was the first fictional character I fell in love with and am still in love with. I was blown away by his character. Who was this guy or should I say; vampire? I can write an entire month’s worth of articles on Edward Cullen. I had, in fact, written a song about him titled ‘Oh Edward’. It began this way:
I am so in love with you
You are the perfect soul
I connect to’
It went on praising him and belittling Bella who I thought was unworthy of him. I had considered it to be so good that I was contemplating mailing it to Stephenie Meyer. But like I mentioned before, I chickened out. I always belittle my own work which is why my debut novel is yet unwritten. That’s a problem I will deal with later.
The third book series which I finished reading in three days flat and turned my world upside down was the mind blowing ‘The Hunger Games’ series written by the brilliant Suzanne Collins. It introduced me to the scary dystopian world and left me scarred.
If any of these authors decided to go back to their best selling books to spin a new tale, I would be among those readers who would be waiting with bated breath for the fresh arrival of their favourite characters; something new in familiar lands.
That’s what I thought would happen when I came upon an entire new section filled with the special ‘Tenth Anniversary Editions of Twilight’ in a local bookstore. I picked up a copy and perused the summary excitedly. What had Meyer dished out for us? Disappointment slammed through me. It was just a rehashed version of Twilight wherein Bella and Edward swapped places with Beau and Edythe respectively. The girl was the vampire and the guy was a human. I was baffled. But what cinched my horror was that there was NO EDWARD CULLEN!
Why do you think I was looking forward to more material from Meyer? BEACAUSE: EDWARD CULLEN.
I kept the book back on the shelf as if it had physically hurt me. I decided not to read it.
What changed my mind? Only that it was freely available in the local library.
I gave it a try. But….it finished badly. I couldn’t even read entire pages. I skipped a lot of them and reached the end quickly. The end was the disaster that I hadn’t been expecting at all. Of course, I knew that Meyer had written or rather rewritten ‘Life and Death’ (that’s what the dastardly book is called) with a specific end but I had thought that it would be just like ‘Twilight’, leaving it open to sequels.
Though I am infinitely grateful that Meyer sealed it with ‘Life and Death’, leaving no scope for horrendous sequels, I disliked the ending tremendously. Beau just readily turns into a vampire? What about his choice of becoming a father? Doesn’t that matter? What about Julie Black, the Jacob she-wolf? She didn’t get her say.
And don’t even get me started on the unspeakable names. ROYAL?? Noooo.
One may argue, the original names were awkward as well- Jasper, Emmet, or even Carlisle. But it was the ORIGINAL.
How could Stephenie Meyer do this? To herself, to her countless fans, to Edward Cullen?
If she really wanted to present us fans with new content and a worthy gift, why not finish writing the beautiful ‘Midnight Sun’, a retelling of Twilight from Edward’s point of view. It made me like Bella a little.
Stephenie herself mentioned considering completing ‘Midnight Sun’ but she’s still upset over the unauthorized leak of the first draft of the book which led to the decision of leaving the book incomplete, to the dismay of her fans!
Meyer got excited about ‘Life and Death’ and did that, rather than complete Edward Cullen’s story.
If next time Stephenie Meyer wants to write new content in the world of vampires, Edward Cullen has to be there. He’s still out there, right, somewhere. He’s going to be existing till the end of time. He better be existing. If Meyer goes on and kills him….AARGH! I don’t think I could take it.
It is safe to say that I shouldn’t have attempted the Tenth Anniversary Edition. I knew I may get upset, I wasn’t very upbeat about it when it was out, so what was I thinking?
More to the point, what was Meyer thinking? To create a perfect world, only to destroy it? Well, okay, not to destroy it but turn it upside down. LITERALLY. The Anniversary Edition has Twilight on one side and Life and Death on the other-upside-down-side. Maybe this was Meyer’s way of giving a warning?
Anyway, I am not the only fan upset after reading….or skimming through ‘Life and Death’. It is good to know that I am not alone in my feelings.
They bothered me, these troublesome feelings. That’s why I had to put it on paper. I am not feeling any better now, (okay, slightly) but the fact remains.
I DID NOT LIKE ‘LIFE AND DEATH’. I would gladly take death in this case.