Genre: Young Adult Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 4, 2020
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?
Warning, this will be a LONG review. You’ve been warned.
As with everyone else around my age, I was both excited and apprehensive about Midnight Sun. I read the leaked version way back when and got all into my feelings when Meyer said she postposed it indefinitely. Twelve years later, here we are with the finished version. From the teasers, I thought Edward would read as juvenile, but I was wrong. Thankfully. However, he’s unnecessarily verbose and long winded making Midnight Sun slow and a chore to read.
To be transparent, I haven’t read the Twilight since 2009 and that was by design. I know and understand all the criticism levied at the Twilight series are valid, so I wanted to keep my rose coloured memories of the series intact. For that reason, I allowed myself to read Midnight Sun, but not reread Twilight but maybe I should have.
As mentioned previously, Edward is unnecessarily verbose. There are pages upon pages of descriptions and musings on his own thoughts and feelings that feel as if they’re never ending. At times, it feels like Meyer is going out of her way to make Edward read as older, which is then immediately undercut by his utter lack of knowledge when it comes to attraction and lust.
My biggest issue with Midnight Sun is how creepy Edward is. This is another instance where the question “what did you expect?” would be valid. I did expect a little creepiness from him, but not this much. Being inside his head is disturbing. He’s a stalker, plain and simple. There is no other way to describe him. What surprised me the most was how similar Edward and Joe from You by Caroline Kepnes are. After making this connection I wondered whether Meyer was just trolling her readers. She’s now written three versions of this novel with one of them fully exposing Edward for the stalker he is and, apparently, some people can’t get enough of him. Midnight Sun lays bare the full extent of Edward’s creepiness without Bella covering for him.
Once I passed the baseball game scene, I started skimming through the chapters. What I realized while skimming through is that it reads like Meyer took Twilight, removed Bella’s perspective, and inserted Edward’s so instead of the story flowing quickly and naturally like it does in Twilight (or so I remember it being), Midnight Sun reads as disjointed and slow.
Overall, Midnight Sun was a disappointment. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. I knew I wasn’t going to love it since this is probably the worst case of instalove I’ve read, but I was at least expecting it to make me feel nostalgic and giddy.
“’Later,’ he finally said. He was on his feet in one lithe movement. ‘We’re going to be late.’”
“’Later,’ I snapped, and I rose to my feet. ‘We’re going to be late.’”
I’ve highlighted this passage from both Twilight and Midnight Sun to demonstrate the difference between how Bella sees Edward and how Edward actually is. I guess it’s no surprise that Bella views Edward through rose coloured glasses. There are too many instances of Edward snapping or snarling at her. It’s little moments like these that frustrated and annoyed me.