Book Reviews

Book Review: Midnight Sun

About three things I was absolutely positive: First, there is a new Twilight Saga book. Second, I loved it. Third, if you haven’t read it yet this review might make you want to.

Midnight Sun is Twilight from Edward’s perspective. This dark and brooding story follows the first of the saga. It adds color and allows readers to watch the love story of Edward and Bella unfold from a completely different viewpoint. Edward’s struggle was not left out of the original books, but Midnight Sun heightens and defines that struggle and experience. We get to see what Edward does (and thinks about) when he is not with Bella. We get to see into the minds of supporting characters. And perhaps most importantly, it allows readers to see into the mind of the mind reader.

Why I Picked This Book:

I lived and breathed the Twilight Saga in my youth. I read the manuscript for Midnight Sun on my ratty, slow, blood red, 10 lb Dell laptop back in the day. Did I have Team Edward pins and posters covering my bedroom? Absolutely. Hell, I HIGHLIGHTED THE BOOKS to capture my favorite moments. Of course I pre-ordered a copy. I remain Team Edward until the day I die. Catch me dying on that hill.

Honest Review: SPOILERS AHEAD!

This review is not going to be for everyone.

Okay. I know this series was written over a decade ago. And I know the problems that people take with this series, especially in the present day. I’ve read enough articles about the Quileute tribe (who should absolutely be supported!) and how Edward’s actions can be viewed as controlling/borderline abusive (and to those who feel that way I do not wish to take away from your personal experiences) and how Meyer was not representative of LGBTQ+ and POC characters (let’s face it, it’s the truth) to know that there are people who just won’t read Midnight Sun in this day and age. That’s fine! This review is not for you then.

For me, I could not have been happier that this book came out when I personally felt like I needed to escape. This quarantine has been FINE, but I’ve found myself diving into books more than I have since high school. Midnight Sun was not the best book I’ve ever read. But, we lovers of Twilight got SO MUCH INFORMATION from this book. Like so much.

Redemption? Maybe a little.

I do think that Stephenie Meyer tried to fix some things from the original story. I have no doubts that she was scrolling through Tumblr getting inspiration. Edward caught flack for being overbearing and stalker-y and abusive, so Stephenie wrote his perspective (IMO) to try and explain WHY he was acting this way. I know- IRL there’s no excuse, but this is a fictional character.

I think Stephenie also tried to redeem Bella’s awkwardness by making her seem overly polite in Edward’s mind, and I’m totally okay with that. As a woman, I do not find myself upset or annoyed by the “helpless woman saved by a god” narrative in this saga. I grew up with this story (and it probably influenced me a lot in my youth) and I just think this book was a fantastic dive into the mind of a complicated character. Personally, I found this book redeeming for Edward. We were allowed to peek into his mind and recognize that he was learning how to love, how to be human, all over again.

(Sadly) Vampires and werewolves are not real. It feels important to me to separate that aspect from the real world connotations people are absolutely in their right to draw about these characters, and I know that view point is a privileged one and not necessarily for everyone!

Positive thoughts:

I also loved following Edward’s thoughts about Mike Newton. We could tell from the original books that he got on Edward’s nerves, but I found myself giggling at Edward’s reactions to him sometimes!

Another really well done aspect of the book was the way we got to see more of Rosalie, Alice, Jasper, and Emmett. In the books, it felt like the only one who had real development was Alice (and maybe Jasper in Eclipse) and I think that was only because she was more involved with Bella than the rest of them. I LOVED reading Rosalie’s thoughts and how complicated her and Edward’s relationship is. I also truly loved how pure Emmett was portrayed and how protective he felt of Bella. And Alice. The visions. The future storylines that were looped in so perfectly. It was everything I wanted.

The whole not being able to fully hear Charlie thing was so interesting and I wish we would have gotten more information about that. I was also pleasantly surprised by Edward’s involved with Angela and Ben- I found that to be meddlesome but sweet.

Finally, James. I figured this part of the story would be the most different from Twilight because we only ever saw Bella’s POV. While I think the car chases were a bit over the top, I enjoyed reading about the whole family’s teamwork and commitment to save Bella. I think Stephenie did a great job closing plot holes like how Alice used her visions to save Bella/set up the hotel cover story. And having Edward watch the video to see what else happened during the James encounter in the dance studio was something I did not expect!

Things I did not like:

The COVER ART?! What is up with the pomegranate theme in this book? Why why why.

Tanya. Just no.

Edward’s interactions with Renee in the hospital were probably my least favorite part of the book. I think it put Renee in a bad light.

And I think Billy Black is still annoying, but loved to see baby Jacob’s pure thoughts. I get that Billy’s long thought section and memory of Carlisle calling to return was “important.” But it felt like fluff to me.

Esme’s concern for her family (and her floors) is pure and lovely. I could have done with a little more time from her.

Final thoughts:

While I don’t think this is the best book I have ever read, it satisfied my interests as a fan. The dialogue is the same as the original book. The writing style isn’t any more or less impressive than before. But, Stephenie dug into Edward’s character and gave him some development and I appreciate that more than anything. Overall, I am really glad that she finished Midnight Sun and gave us the chance to re-live this fantasy.

I saw Stephenie Meyer’s interview where she said she would never try to write New Moon from Edward’s perspective. TBH, it might break my heart too much. Especially now that I know how many times Edward thought of leaving Bella in Midnight Sun for her own good. Hell, Alice predicted New Moon from the start! But, I would be lying if I said that I wouldn’t read the other books from his perspective. Where’s that Tumblr fanfic again? If you’ve got a good link, hit ya girl up.

The Bookish Bronde Rating of Midnight Sun:

Have you read Midnight Sun yet? What did you think? Drop a comment below and let me know!