Midnight Sun: A Book Review

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for those who have not yet read the book and for those unfamiliar with the Twilight Saga.

A good chunk of the population has been – or still is – obsessed with the Twilight Saga. With the final book in the series being published in 2008, and the final movie being released in 2012, it seemed to many of us that the Twilight Saga, just like Harry Potter, had come to an end. But then 2020 (and Stephenie Meyer of course) gave us Midnight Sun. Midnight Sun is a companion novel to Twilight (2005) which tells the all too familiar story of awkward but pretty teenage girl meets drop dead gorgeous vegetarian vampire through the perspective of said vampire – Edward Cullen.

At first, I was taken aback by the fact that the book is over 650 pages long given that Twilight was just shy of 500 pages. I mean, how much extra content could there be? But almost as soon as I started reading I saw that the story told from Edward’s perspective was much more detailed than when it was told from Bella’s. After all, Edward is a thought-hearing vampire who has lived for more than a century – I guess he’s bound to have a lot on his mind. Though there were certain parts of the book that I found to be long winded, the extra detail provides a lot more depth to Edward’s character so helps readers understand him a lot more as well as providing a better understanding of certain moments that take place in Twilight. For instance, why the Cullen siblings (aside from Alice), and Edward himself, are hostile towards Bella in the early parts of the book and the film. Overall, I’d give the book a solid 4.5/5, with 0.5 being knocked off for occasionally being tedious.

The extra detail also provides us with a deeper understanding of many more characters and moments in the series. The next section of this article will be dedicated to some of the things I took away from Midnight Sun. So, if you have not yet read the book and want everything to remain a mystery, I’d probably wait to read this part after you have finished the book so skip the following section and read the ending.

Warning: Spoiler Section

Okay so thanks to Edward’s unique ability to read people’s thoughts we get to know the humans of Twilight a lot better. Firstly, I will discuss Bella’s friends then I will talk about her parents. So one of the main things I took away about Bella’s school friends is that Angela is a true friend and Jessica is pretty toxic. In both the books and the films Jessica has her bitchy moments but (to me anyway) she seemed alright if slightly annoying. But after reading Midnight Sun it turns out she’s the worst. From when we are first introduced to her through Edward’s eyes we can rely on her thoughts to be consistently malicious and self-centred. In contrast, Angela’s character is made all the more lovable seeing as her thoughts are full of nothing but kindness.

Turning to the males of Forks High School we only really learn that for them, Bella really is like a ‘shiny new toy’ to a group of toddlers. This is particularly the case for Mike Newton, who Edward clearly despises. Mike was never really portrayed as a threat to Edward in the films (that role was left to Jacob) and even in the books it seems as though his commentary on Mike is just a way of teasing Bella. But after reading Midnight Sun, it seems that before Jacob Black there was Mike Newton. Though the relationship between Mike and Bella is nothing in comparison to the relationship between Jacob and Bella, Edward seems just as jealous of Mike in the beginning as he is of Jacob when the series progresses. In fact, though Edward is aware of Jacob’s feelings of Bella he confesses that Jacob’s thoughts aren’t such a burden to read so is quite complimentary of him. This is of course before the whole werewolf thing kicks in and before Jacob tries to steal the love of Edward’s life.

Okay so that is pretty much all that I took away about the students at Forks High. Now let’s turn to Charlie and Renee. After reading Midnight Sun we learn that Bella really is like Charlie. Throughout the original four books we learn from Bella’s commentary that her personality is totally inherited from her father but it goes even further than that. Fans of Twilight will know that Bella is the only exception to Edward’s ability to read minds. But in Midnight Sun we learn that Charlie’s thoughts are pretty much unintelligible to Edward as he can’t really tell exactly what Charlie is thinking though, he can guess his thoughts from his state of mind. In stark contrast, Edward describes Renee’s thoughts as being extremely loud.

Thanks to hearing the familiar story through Edward’s perspective, we are given ‘inside access’ to our favourite vegetarian vampire family the Cullens. Midnight Sun reaffirms the fact that Carlisle and Esme are truly the parents in the Cullen family, that Emmett really is everyone’s ideal big brother, that Alice is the ideal little sister, that Jasper is mysterious in a frightening way and that Rosalie truly struggles the most with being a vampire. Though I warmed to Rosalie after the first time I read Eclipse, Midnight Sun made me realise that she is an excellent character as it is clear to see that under her vanity (well who can blame her there) and her resentment towards Bella, what really matters to her is her family.

Spoiler Section Ends Here

The best thing Midnight Sun did for me was the pure nostalgia. I started reading and watching the Twilight Saga when I was about 11 (a little on the young side I know but I can tell you people I knew were obsessed from like the age of 8 I was just late) and I probably moved on from re-reading the books and re-watching the films when I was about 13. But when I started reading Midnight Sun it was like I was 11 years old and absorbed in a world of fantasy romance again. In fact, after reading Midnight Sun I have started reading the books again (I’m currently on Breaking Dawn). I had already watched the movies for the first time in a long time earlier this year but will probably be watching them again once I’ve finished reading Breaking Dawn. For a few years I cringed at the fact that I was once obsessed with Twilight, I mean we can all probably agree that the movies aren’t the best. But this year I’ve realised that the Twilight Saga holds a lot of nostalgia for me so is actually quite relaxing. I could say that it is a guilty pleasure of mine? But, as I’m sure many other Twilight fans would agree, it’s a little bit more than that.

I recently read that Stephenie Meyer is planning on writing two more Twilight-related books. Though, unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be getting to hear the rest of the series from Edward’s perspective (sorry to disappoint those who want to know everything he did whilst he was away from Forks in New Moon). It is also very unlikely that there’ll be a film adaptation of Midnight Sun (if you listen hard enough you’ll hear Robert Pattinson’s sigh of relief).

I am aware that this is the first article I have written in sometime. Really, this was purely because I couldn’t quite figure out what I wanted to write about next. And, as you already know, I’ve been quite busy reading. I do have a few ideas for my next articles so it shouldn’t be too long before you hear from me again.

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