“I do a good job of blocking painful, unnecessary things from my memory.”
– Stephanie Meyer
Must be nice, Stephanie.
At the start of lockdown, Stephanie Meyer announced the August release of a new Twilight novel, Midnight Sun. In response, I decided to preorder Midnight Sun and reread the subject of my pre-teen fascination, Twilight.
Then, Midnight Sun turned up on my doorstep and I’ve spent the last week reading it. What a thing to admit.
Midnight Sun (2020) is simply Twilight (2005) written from Edward’s perspective. I say simply – there’s nothing simple about this book. It’s 750 pages long, for god’s sake. It’s insane. Meyer takes us back through the first novel as Edward smells Bella for the first time, torn between wanting to literally murder her and also bang her. This is pretty much the whole saga in a nutshell.
If you were a Twilight fan back in the day, I feel like Midnight Sun‘s job is to give you a few little extra details that Twilight never did. Closure, maybe. Or, perhaps this is Stephanie Meyer’s attempt to rectify Twilight‘s image? If it is, it doesn’t really tell you anything you didn’t already know, but I know some people would find it interesting to read how the whole thing went down from Edward’s point of view. There were quite a lot of new interactions between the two that I didn’t remember from the first Twilight novel and this does go some way in making their relationship feel a little more realistic – if you can call a 108-year-old getting with a 17-year-old realistic. These additions made their relationship a little bit less of a Romeo and Juliet situation than it felt before – namely, how did they both fall in love after about twenty minutes and zero conversation?
“Though I hated her, I was absolutely aware that my hatred was unjust. I knew that what I really hated was myself. And I would hate us both so much more when she was dead”
I think the standout feature of the novel is finding out how weird Edward really is? Honestly, what a freak. He offers her a lift to Seattle before going ”’You really should stay away from me”. He then thinks to himself, ‘I warned her…Couldn’t I do anything to save her from me?’. Don’t offer her a lift then? I also struggle with Bella’s complacency and how it’s written to make her seem super chilled and cool. The girl genuinely doesn’t give a shit that this boy wants to kill her every minute of the day. Every time they hold hands all he can think about is her ‘pulsing veins’. They both need to get in the bin. The toxicity is too much.
“How old are you?” she asked.
My answer was automatic and ingrained. “Seventeen.”
“And how long have you been seventeen?”
I tried not to smile at the patronizing tone. “A while,” I admitted.
“Okay,” she said, abruptly enthusiastic. She smiled up at me.”what is this reaction pls
Obviously, the writing is bad, but that goes without saying. This is Twilight we’re talking about. The bar is on the floor. What I will say is that if Midnight Sun is Meyer’s attempt at a do-over, then this is the better novel. I honestly didn’t dislike it at all, but I used to love Twilight so maybe I’m still biased. Although Edward is gross and his perspective doesn’t really amplify the first Twilight novel in the way Meyer may have intended, his thoughts are definitely more coherent than Bella’s. We also now know that he does feel guilty about watching her sleep every night, which is reassuring.
I guess my biggest question is, why was it so long? Did we ask for this? Was any of this necessary? No, it was not.
Midnight Sun gets two stars – Stephanie lost 3 for going over the word count.
@StephanieMeyer, whatever you do, please don’t start rewriting the rest of the Twilight saga from Edward’s perspective. We don’t need any more Twilight. I’m exhausted.