Book Rant: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer Book Review

Title: Midnight Sun
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books
Genre:
Young Adult
Pages: 662
Buy: Indigo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Rating: Borrow It
Disclaimer: Spoilers? It’s Twilight, people.

summary book review

It’s here! #1 bestselling author Stephenie Meyer makes a triumphant return to the world of Twilight with this highly anticipated companion: the iconic love story of Bella and Edward told from the vampire’s point of view.

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

In Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer transports us back to a world that has captivated millions of readers and brings us an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love. (Little, Brown and Company)

Thoughts book review

Welcome back to high school, folks. 

Before I even dive into this blast from the past, I will admit that I was a Twihard back in the day. I still remember how I came across the books, actually. I was in Grade 10 and getting really into stories with vampires (like everyone else) when my friend told me about a book she had borrowed from another friend. What intrigued me was the spin on the classic vampire tale. These ones could go out in the sun and have powers?! OK! 

Fast forward to present day — here we are jumping back into the Twilight universe with a retelling of the first book from Edward’s point of view. 

Side note: For those of you wondering what team I am on — Edward’s or Jacobs’s — I never committed. They both drove me nuts to different degrees. However, if I had to pick, it would be Jacob. Who wants to cuddle a stone cold non-human? Not me. 

Before I get into my full rant, I thought I would point out a couple things that can easily be summed up in a bullet point list. Here we go: 

  • Edward is 161 pages more interesting than Bella. 
  • I awarded this book a whole extra star just for mentioning my favourite book, Gone With the Wind.
  • Bella = wet blanket. 
  • Admit it, we all read these books for the vampires and werewolves, not the annoying human. 
  • I never realized how many holes there were in the story until this came out. 
  • Remember when everyone was heated about the relationship between Edward and Bella being abusive — not getting that as much in this retelling. (More on this later.)
  • Edward thinks Bella is more interesting than she actually is. Let’s forgive him — I’m sure she smells as good as I would consider a fresh, out of the oven pizza. Droooool. 
  • I’m sorry, but if I were in Bella’s position (a 17-year-old teenager), there is no way my parents would let me get away with half this shizzzz. Whirlwind romance — ya, at the end of my parents’ boot.

Don’t quote me on this because I don’t remember where I heard it (I want to say it was in a writing course through Masterclass, but I’m not certain) — it was a writing tip along the lines of “it’s OK to restart your story from another point of view”. The point was, sometimes the character you choose to tell your story through isn’t the most interesting character. However, it isn’t in vain. Sometimes it is through that “uninteresting” character that you find your more “interesting” character. 

Did I lose you?

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that this was running through my head when I was reading Midnight Sun. Of course, none of this crossed my 15-year-old mind when I first read Twilight, and to be honest, I haven’t picked up the book since. Once was enough. 

Edward is obviously the more interesting character when it comes to him and Bella. Heck, even Jacob is more interesting. Thankfully, we did get a bit of him in the original series. (Breaking Dawn, I believe? Please let me know in the comments if you know the answer.) So, I have to sit here and ask myself why Meyer never switched perspectives? What does Bella have that makes her interesting? Sure, teenage girls everywhere would be putting themselves in her shoes. But, that’s it. 

On the other hand, Edward is a 104 year old vampire with mind reading capabilities, part of a coven made up of other vampires with built-in party tricks, they are vegetarian vampires, all members have a cool backstory because they are old af, and they are part of a bigger group with laws (cue the Volturi). Boom — already more interesting than a clumsy teen who is the new kid in town. She barely makes friends, even. There is nothing to her other than her relationship with a vampire and a werewolf. 

Now, I will say this: I do think Meyer had a really good idea at a really good time. To this day, I like her spin on the classic vampire. Stakes and frying in the sun — get out of here! These guys shine like a perfectly glazed donut in a bakery window. Throwing in a little “magic” never hurt a story with supernatural elements either.  

So, what’s my problem?

The love story. 

Here is a love story that oozes cheese, which is an affront to cheeses everywhere. I happen to love cheese. Though, I prefer to eat it rather than read it. To be fair, this may not be a problem for a lot of people. After all, this series was a success. For me, I always have a hard time imagining people falling in love this deeply this quickly. (Yes, I have a cold, dead heart.)

When it comes to Edward, it is a lot easier to suspend my belief. He is a mythical creature, so his feelings for Bella are a little easier to wrap my mind around. Nevertheless, I still have a hard time with the “love” thing. It’s bloodlust, bruh. 

Bella, on the other hand, is a horny teenager. End of discussion.

Regardless of the oozey cheese, I know a lot of people (myself included) found Bella and Edward’s relationship problematic. Though, after reading it from his point of view, it lessened that for me. Yes, it still moves too quickly (so many ‘I love yous’ and promises of forever from the very start), they never want to be without the other one, they only think of themselves (for the most part), and Edward always wants to control/keep tabs on Bella. Gah — not a great example for teenage readers EVERYWHERE. Sigh.

If you are planning to read this novel, I will say this: there were parts that were easier to read than others. What I mean by that is there were moments where I was flying through the book and actually enjoying myself. While, at other times, I felt like I was trying to walk through a brick wall.

Honestly, I am going to stop here because I could go on forever and a day. I do not hate the Twilight series. Instead, I will stick to my original opinion from way back when: there was potential here. Lots and lots of potential. The execution, however, fell short.

Have you read the Twilight series and have you or plan to read Midnight Sun?

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