Beau Meets The Parents: Life and Death Chapters 15 and 16

Happy Black Friday! Somebody make sure I don’t buy myself a pair of headphones I don’t need. Ok? I read Twilight for you guys. You can do this one for me.

Life and Death Chapter 15: The Cullens

After their hiking/sparkling date, the Es have just secretly slept over with the Bs. (In a totes-non-sexual way. This isn’t Fifty Shades.) In the original Twilight, the morning after went a little something like this:

“Your hair looks like a haystack…   but I like it.” His unruffled voice came from the rocking chair in the corner.
“Edward! You stayed!” I rejoiced, and thoughtlessly threw myself across the room and into his lap.

But in the MANLY MAN version of Life and Death:

“Your hair also has the ability to defy gravity.” Her amused voice came from the rocking chair in the corner. “It’s like your own superpower.”
Automatically, I reached up to pat my hair down. […] “You stayed.” It was like I hadn’t woken up after all.

NO FEELINGS FOR MAN-BEAU. That is strictly lady-Bella shit.

I'm really not sure how it took me until chapter 15 to use this gif.
I’m really not sure how it took me until chapter 15 to use this gif.

At least in terms of open displays of affection, anyway. Edythe straight up tells Beau that he talks in his sleep and said that he loved her, which he immediately confirms. This happens exactly the same way in the original Twilight, but interestingly there’s a sleeptalked “I love you” in Fifty Shades of Grey too (of course). But there, Christian holds “haha you said something totes embarrassing in your sleep! NOT TELLING” over Ana for… honestly, I want to say like a book and a half? It’s fun how even when Life and Death isn’t awful, it isn’t the only adaptation of Twilight we have to talk about.

With Beau’s dad gone all day to go fishing (or something – look, do you care?), Beau and Edythe realize they have the whole day to themselves without anywhere to be. Edythe immediately decides that this is the perfect time for Beau to meet her entire family. Stephanie Meyer decides that Beau is worse than Bella at eating food.

She pursed her lips. “Are you open to meeting my family?”
I choked on my cereal.
She jumped up, one hand stretched toward me helplessly, probably thinking about how she could crush my lungs if she tried to give me the Heimlich.

This might seem like a silly thing for me to nitpick about, but do consider that Stephanie Meyer was doing a complete rewrite of Twilight, hit this point where Beau/Bella is eating cereal, and thought, “wait, what if this character’s clumsiness has been too subtle?”

And then I gotta have CEREAL THREATEN MY LIFE

Edythe pauses the conversation until Beau finishes eating and they can safely discuss the matter. I wish I were making this up. Beau agrees because it’s “the respectful thing to do” and doesn’t want to seem “shady”. Edythe points out that they should really introduce her to his dad then. Edythe kisses Beau and even this is cause for great concern when Beau immediately has trouble breathing. Jesus, Beau. You need help.

Beau goes into this whole “meet the parents” thing with a good attitude:

“Look, I’m trying not to think about what we’re going to do now, so it would help if we could get going.”

This is one of the past decade’s most influential love stories.

When they arrive at the Cullens’ house, the introductions go… really boringly. There’s basically nothing of note here, except how Meyer felt the need to take Alice’s charming greeting of Bella:

“Hi, Bella!” Alice said, and she bounced forward to kiss my cheek.

And bro it the fuck up:

“Beau!” he greeted me, enthusiastic like we were old friends. He held out his hand, and when I want to shake it, he pulled me into one of those one-armed bro-hugs, thumping me lightly on the back.

Could have been worse.
Could have been worse.

Archie immediately comments that, “You do smell good”. Archie is my new favorite character, because this was his actual, honest-to-god dialogue.

The only other part of the scene of note is how Stephanie Meyer uses the power of language to describe Jessamine:

Edythe had compared herself to a hunting lion […] I could easily picture Jessamine that way. There was something like a lion about her

And there you go.

“[My parents] think you’re wonderful,” [Edythe] told me.
“Huh. I really didn’t do anything very exciting.”

I love when you read a book and there are two sentences in the middle of it that unintentionally sum the whole thing up.

Edythe tells Beau that Archie had a vision that some other vampires will be coming through the area soon, and these are the ones that do hunt humans, but they’ll likely avoid Beau’s town if the Cullens ask them. I bet that absolutely nothing will ever go wrong here.

Chapter 16: Carine

Edythe fills Beau in on her family history, and given that the first 15 chapters of this story are “a boy and a girl immediately have the hots for each other and that’s about it”, it’s actually fairly interesting:

  • Carine was born in 17th century London as the only daughter of a pastor, who devoted his life to hunting evil
  • Unfortunately, he wound up burning many innocent people, since vampires are hard to catch due to their superhuman sparkling speed
  • This is irony
  • Unlikely though it was, he eventually came across actual vampires and do some harm to them, which pissed one of them off enough to exact revenge by slowly murdering him as he turned his daughter into a vampire, or, in other words, “Go to your hell knowing this – that what you love will become all that you hate”
  • This is also irony. Rough times for Mr. Carine’s Dad.
  • Carine didn’t react great to all of this, and repeatedly tried to kill herself, but not in any of the ways that vampires can actually be killed. Carine didn’t react great to any of this either.
  • She refused to hunt humans, but her hunger for blood grew stronger, so she went away from human civilization. As it got worse, one night she couldn’t restrain herself from killing a deer. Then she realized she ate venison when she was a human, so maybe this could all work out.
  • Then she went to study abroad in France, as all young people finding themselves must do.
  • Eventually Carine discovered her passion for practicing medicine and developed complete self-control around human blood. Which sounds like a good combination.
  • She finally met more vampires living in Italy, and discovered that they were civilized and didn’t live in sewers. #notallvampires
  • Except they thought she was nuts for refusing to eat “her natural food source”. Which makes it sound like the vampire paleo diet or some bullshit.
  • So Carine traveled to America, arriving in Chicago, where she worked as a nurse during the 1918 flu pandemic. This was where she encountered Edythe – whose parents had just died and was a hopeless case herself. Between that and her own centuries of solitude she decided to turn Edythe into a vampire.
  • And then Edythe says “And now we’ve come full circle”, as though it’s totally cool that this doesn’t cover how the other five vampires in this story came into being, but whatever. It’s cool.

Then Archie and Jessamine ask Edythe if she wants to play baseball. So, yeah, this story is back to going absolutely nowhere once again.



  1. wordswithhannah

    I’m really disappointed that Meyer didn’t go full-out and have Archie kiss Beau on the cheek. Missed opportunity, especially since she keeps going on about how “old-fashioned” the vampires are, while never seeming to realize that “old-fashioned” would, out of necessity, include some major values dissonance.

    • matthewjulius

      RIGHT? RIGHT? (unable to come up with any other words because of how great it would have been in so many different ways if Meyer left the action as-is when swapping the genders) RIGHT?

  2. Pingback: The Lazy Reader’s Guide: November | Bad Books, Good Times

  3. Kate Hellman

    I’m curious as to how much of the Cullen & Hale backstories Meyer changed for this. Like, in the books, Alice is cheerful and friendly, sure, but it’s because she’s… sort of unhinged. She had premonitions in her human life, and her father and stepmother (who apparently conspired to murder Alice’s mother? I’m finding really weird things out about this series from google) had her committed to an asylum. This was back in the days when people being treated for mental health problems were basically treated like lab rats, so Alice went through electroconvulsive therapy that essentially fried all of her memories right out of her. In the original series, I always got the impression that she was someone we were supposed to read as somewhat mentally unbalanced, but Meyer seems to have completely dropped that in this version.
    Also, Rosalie’s backstory was essentially that her evil, drunk fiance and a group of his evil, drunk friends gang-raped her in the street one night, and she was bleeding to death from the injuries when Carlisle smelled the blood, found her, and bit her to save her life. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Royal (???) has a different backstory here, considering how Meyer replaced the attempted assault on Beau with a… gang-related murder plot?

  4. Cara

    So, I read Twilight in middle school, and more recently I’ve read a recap/deconstruction of Twilight, 2 snarky recaps of Fifty Shades, and now I’m reading a snarky recap of Life and Death. At this point, some of the excerpts (such as Alice/Archie/Mia’s greeting of Bella/Beau/Ana) give me a strong sense of déjà vu. I think I know this story better than stories I actually love.

  5. jmfausti

    Breathing and swallowing are actually involuntary, so I’m not really sure how Meyer could use them to describe clumsiness. It’s bad enough that she made these characters not just clumsy, but pathologically so. Now, if he poked himself in the eye with his spoon while he ate, that would be something.

    • matthewjulius

      I was about to say “man, this book would have been so much better if someone got jabbed in the eye with standard table cutlery in the middle of the book out of nowhere” but then I remembered that actually happened in Divergent

      • bookbaron

        Or bit his tongue. Or hit himself in the face with his spoon. Or knocked over his bowl. That would show actual clumsiness. Choking is just like… He was surprised. That could really happen to anyone.

        • matthewjulius

          Fair enough, thinking about it. I guess the point here was that meeting the parents was a surprising suggestion, not like “here’s Beau being a total mess again!”. Although it’s definitely more than a little bit of the latter, because really?


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