Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers! Apologies for this post being a bit briefer and less thorough than usual. These chapters really dragged on, and were just full of exposition! Actually, maybe a ‘your welcome’ is in order for keeping this shorter than normal!
Life and Death Chapter 13: Confessions
Beau watches Edythe sparkle in the sun, and he talks about how gorgeous she is.
This chapter is just the Es re-telling all the events of the book from their perspective. Given how boring it is, I’m terrified of what an entire book from Edward or Edythe’s perspective would be like.
In summary: They couldn’t stay away despite the danger.
Nothing too much gets changed between the books, but one thing that struck me as very odd was that in Twilight, Edward runs his hand down Bella’s neck. This makes sense given how fixated on her neck he is. However, in Life and Death it’s Beau that does this to Edythe…which makes no sense. I guess boys have to romantically stroke the neck of their beloved.
Finally, after so much exposition, the Es want to show the Bs how they move though the forest. Bella has no qualms getting on Edward’s back, but Beau and Edythe fight about this. Despite the fact that he has already seen that she has superhuman strength, he has to act like he can’t imagine how she’s going to give him a piggyback ride. Meyer really backed herself into a corner with this one; you could tell she really didn’t want Edythe to carry Beau in any way whatsoever.
An actual boulder. One that she must have ripped out of the ground, because the bottom half was covered in clinging dirt and spidery roots. It would be as high as her waist if she set it down. She tilted her head to one side.
“That’s not what I meant. I’m not saying you’re not strong enough—”
She flipped the boulder lightly over her shoulder, and it sailed well past the edge of the forest and then crashed down to earth with the sound of shattering wood and stone.
“Obviously,” I went on. “But I… How would I fit?” I looked at my too-long legs and then back to her delicate frame.
This is actually a legitimate concern. It really got me thinking, if I had super strength, would I still be able to give my husband a piggyback ride? He’s 6’4, and I’m 4’11…his legs would basically reach the ground on my shoulders. These are the complicated logistics one gets to pondering when gender-swapped fiction is involved.
Life and Death Chapter 14: Mind Over Matter
It’s just an endless parade of boring discussions about vampire facts and how Beau and Edythe are in love and have feelings and these feelings are relentlessly uninteresting.
Edythe explains how each person in her family wound up together. The ones that were turned by Carine were dying, and Archie and Jessamine found their way to the family. Archie can predict the future, and Jessamine can control people’s emotions. Apparently Eleanor is strong and Royal is pigheaded, so it seems like someone got the short end of the stick there.
Edythe comes over to Beau’s house and hides from Charlie. One difference that made me laugh here is that Beau’s manly appetite causes him to eat all the leftover lasagne, while Bella leaves enough for Charlie. I bet Charlie from Beau’s universe would be very wistful if he knew that out there, in a parallel universe, he could have had some delicious leftovers.
Most importantly, this is the chapter where Edythe reveals she watches Beau when he sleeps. Those of you who are familiar with Twilight will know this is one of the infamously creepy things Edward did.
Every other sentence out of Edward and Edythe’s mouths is how dangerous they are, but they trusted themselves to watch over Beau/Bella while they slept? At least it’s equally creepy when you swap the genders. SEXISM IS OVER AGAIN!
They cuddle in bed and discuss emotions like jealousy and how hard it is to not be able to read each other’s minds. Then they discuss sex.
“You have no idea,” she said darkly, then sighed. “And now in the specific sense… Sex and Vampires One-Oh-Two, Beau and Edythe.” She sighed again, more slowly this time. “I don’t think… that would be possible for us.”
“Because I would have to get too… close?” I guessed.
“That would be a problem, but that’s not the main problem. Beau, you don’t know how… well, fragile you are. I don’t mean that as an insult to your manliness, anyone human is fragile to me. I have to mind my actions every moment that we’re together so that I don’t hurt you. I could kill you quite easily, simply by accident.”
Beau’s manliness is still intact; he accepts this answer. Given Edythe carried a boulder around in the last chapter to prove a point about her strength, I’m glad Beau just trusted her on this one.
Everyone is a virgin, and love is in the air. Edythe assures Beau that she, and basically everyone else at school thinks he’s hot. So now I can sleep easy knowing their abrupt love story is built on a solid foundation.
Shockingly, Edward is just like, “I am a man, Bella” to prove to her he finds her attractive. Edythe lists all of Beau’s body parts that she likes! And that everyone else likes! Are we supposed to be like, “See? Beau isn’t the only one in the gender-swapped world who obsesses about physical features even more than Bella. Edythe also thinks Beau is one hunk of man meat! Humans in distress!”