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Literature / Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined

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"Try not to get caught up in antiquated gender roles."
Edythe to Beau, page 174

It's Twilight, but everyone except Bella's parents have switched genders. Written by the same author as The Twilight Saga, but this one is not part of that saga's Canon.

High school student Beaufort Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with his father. There he meets and almost instantly falls in love with Edythe Cullen, a beautiful, mysterious girl in his science class, soon revealed to be a vampire. Their relationship has a rocky start, but eventually, they win each other over... just when a disastrous visitor arrives in Forks.

This was Stephenie Meyer's response to the many complaints that Twilight's main character Bella was considered too much of a Damsel in Distress, while Meyer thought of her more to be the only normal person in a world of superhumans and wanted to show how the story would still be the same if the vampire was a girl and the human was a boy. It was released on the 10 year anniversary of Twilight in 2015.

This page mostly contains tropes unique to the retelling — many other tropes can be found on the main Twilight page.

This book contains examples of:

  • Afraid of Blood: Beau. He almost fainted at the mere sight of blood, not even his own. He even memorized a few big words to explain these situations.
  • The Alleged Car: Taylor's van which almost crushes Beau. All the readers know is that's a 1980s Chevy Astro and that it was sold for parts after Edythe lifted it off Beau during the accident.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Unbeknownst to Beau, a lot of girls take interest in him from day 1 of his stay at Forks. Edythe at one point claims he has ten admirers.
  • Almost Kiss: Several. Every time Beau describes Edythe as a magnet and himself as a helpless piece of metal, he unthinkingly leans in to kiss her. Every time she backs away until she finally makes the move herself.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Eleanor.
  • Amicably Divorced: Charlie and Renée. They mainly split up because Renée couldn't stand Forks, and Charlie didn't want to leave. They're shown to be in communication regarding Beau, and when they see each other again on Beau's funeral, they are quite nice to each other...
  • Ancestral Name: Beaumont is named for his grandfather.
  • Anticlimax: Lauren describes Joss as unstoppable and absolutely lethal, she even refuses to face her with seven other vampires at her side. But we only see bits of the fight between her and Edythe since Beau is half-unconscious and transforming at that moment, and Joss appears to get taken down way too easily for her reputation.
  • The Big Guy: Royal.
  • Bookworm: Beau has to be this, being Bella, but instead of Jane Austen he reads Jules Verne.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Beau. When he first enters high school at Forks, he doesn't notice his immediate popularity with the girls, not even when other boys start hanging out with him just to get part of the girls' attention. Edythe later tells Beau he has ten admirers, not all of them being so forward as Taylor and McKayla.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Beau's immediate success with the girls has resulted in a few of these.
    • McKayla, to the point where other characters believe she is actually Beau's girlfriend.
      Edythe: You might not think of her that way, but it's how she thinks of you.
    • Taylor also becomes this after almost killing Beau in a car accident. She proceeds to tell everyone she's taking him to prom, and it's up to Beau to uninvite Taylor.
  • Cool Car: Royal's BMW M3. Edythe says all Cullens like to drive fast, but also try to not stand out too much, which is why Edythe drives a Volvo S60R.
  • Cop Killer: Beau is almost murdered in Port Angeles after being seen with his father, Police Chief Swan. Edythe rescues him, though.
  • Downer Ending: Beau gets turned into a vampire and has to break contact with his parents forever, faking his own death so his family has to bury him beside Grandma and Grandpa Swan.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Beau doesn't like it when he's called by his birth name Beaufort.
    Beau: Thank you so much, Grandpa, for dying just months before I was born and making my mom feel obligated to honor you.
    • Logan even starts calling him Beaufort on purpose, hoping to trigger a Berserk Button in him. It doesn't work.
  • Faking the Dead: Beau and the Cullens fake his death after becoming a vampire, finding this scenario the easiest way to keep Charlie and the others uninvolved.
  • Gender Flip:
    • The entire book is this to the first novel of Twilight (even the cover is flipped, with a man holding out a green apple) starring Edythe Cullen and Beau (Beaufort) Swan (full list of flipped names here). Ostensibly written to show that Bella is not just a Distressed Damsel, only a powerless human surrounded by super-beings and a male character would've acted the same way.
    • The most prominent characters who aren't flipped are Bella/Beau's parents, which Meyer reasoned would have caused too many narrative problems:
      "Beau was born in 1987. It was a rare thing for a father to get primary custody of a child in those days — even more so when the child was just a baby," wrote Meyer in the foreword. "Most likely, the mother would have had to be proven unfit in some way."
    • Also the leadership of the Volturi (Aro, Marcus, Caius, and their wives Sulpecia, the late Didyme, and Athenodora) all remain the same genders.
  • Jerkass: Beau comes across like this after being turned into a vampire. Instead of trying to explain the way Bella did in Breaking Dawn, he goes along with the Cullens' plan of faking his death in a car accident.
  • Love Triangle: Several girls at Forks are crushing on Beau, but he's only looking at Edythe. It gets worse when a number of boys start hanging out with Beau because they're interested in the girls he's attracting.
    • Jeremy, one of Beau's earliest friends, has a thing for McKayla, one of Beau's admirers.
    • Logan wants to date Taylor, who again only has eyes for Beau since the accident. Beau fixes this by accusing Taylor of flirting with him to get Logan's attention.
    • Ultimately though, all of Beau's admirers (ten according to Edythe) lose him when he fakes his death and starts dating Edythe.
  • Meaningful Name: While Bella and Beau both mean beautiful, there is also a bit of a swap there. "Edward" means "guardian", but "Edythe" means something like "spoils of war", and while a "fort" is a sort of guardian, "Bella" is Latin for "war".
  • Never Heard That One Before: As in Twilight, Beau and Edythe have almost the same conversation after Edythe shows off her sparkling, with Beau asking if Edythe will turn into a bat and Edythe laughing it off with "Like I haven't heard that one before!"
  • One Head Taller: Beau doesn't consider Edythe to be dangerous, mainly because she's a full head shorter than him.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Invoked by Beau. After seeing that Logan is being a Jerkass to him because Taylor is only interested in Beau, he blames Taylor of having used him to make Logan jealous.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Edythe. She is so tiny Beau finds it hard to believe she can actually be dangerous, but at the same time, he knows too well that she is.
  • Sadistic Choice: After being bitten by Joss, Beau is forced to choose between turning into a vampire or dying on the spot. He chooses to live forever with his girlfriend.
  • Scary Science Words: Beau deals with the embarrassment of fainting at the sight of blood by memorising medical terms to frighten people with. However, he discovers that Edythe is more amused than impressed with terms like "weak vasovagal system."
  • Shipper with an Agenda: Beau manages to pair Taylor, who has been admiring him since the accident, with his classmate Logan. Although the main reason he did it was to get both of them off his back.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Subverted. After Joss bites Beau and he starts turning into a vampire, Edythe tries to suck out the venom, but it's gotten too far into Beau's system and his transformation has already begun.
  • Team Mom: Carine is this to Edythe and the rest of the Cullens.
  • Touch Telepathy: A female vampire named Mele transferred the ability from Aro to his wife Sulpecia, who had he and Caius destroyed for their murder of Aro's own sister Didyme, and then used it to help her rule the vampire world.