Review: Midnight Sun
When I tell you, I feel like I’m 13 again, I mean it. When Stephanie Meyer announced that she was finally releasing Midnight Sun (Twilight from Edward’s perspective,) ten years after she announced she would never release it (due to that draft being leaked online) I screamed. Literally. I forced my entire flat to watch all the movies with me, I re-read all the books, I even forced my partner to read Twilight. I felt like I was a teen again, wearing my team Edward shirt, it was all I could talk about. It’s taken me a few months to finally get around to reading it (due to re-reading the entire series again) but here I am to give you my honest opinion on the book.
Something my partner asked me when the release date got announced was “what exactly will this book bring that Twilight didn’t? I mean it’s the same story essentially.” How wrong he was (so uncultured,) the fact it was from Edward’s perspective added so much more to the plot. Think about it, we got to learn what Edward did when he ran away to Atlanta when he first smelt Bella’s blood. We learnt what happened all those nights he watched Bella sleep. We learnt what he did while trying to trick the tracker James. However, my favourite part was learning more about the Cullen’s and their family dynamic. Something that surprised me (but that I loved the most) was learning more about Japer, or ‘Jazz’ as his family call him. The entire Twilight series, to me, didn’t give enough personality/depth to Jasper. I was delighted to learn just how much he cared for his family and to learn more about the extent of his powers. He seemed like an integral character to the story, not just there out of convenience. However, on the flip side of this, the opposite is to be said about Rosalie. We learnt nothing knew about her, there was no added depth. She was just as vain, self-absorbed and resentful as she was in the original series. This bothered me slightly. Throughout the original Twilight series, she is rude to Bella and Edward and I was excited to see Rose’s relationship with Edward before Bella, but she was just the same.
Something I enjoyed about the book was Edward’s mind-reading ability. Firstly, I would like to state, I am officially starting a ‘We Hate Mike Newton and Jessica Stanley Club.’ In the original series, Mike seems like a nice(ish) guy who can’t seem to catch a break, and Jessica is just a typical teen. Thanks to Edward’s mind-reading ability I learnt that Mike is a disgusting creep that I would not touch with a barge pole, and Jessica is rude and self-absorbed for no apparent reason. However, I would also like to state on the flip side of this, I am also staring a ‘We Love Angela Webber, and Angela Webber Only Club.’ She is just as wonderful in Midnight Sun as she is in Twilight which I was very happy about. Talking about Angela, I loved that Edward played a part in helping her and Ben get together, due to just being her lovely self.
It’s clear to see that over ten years, Meyer’s writing has slightly improved, but she still has some faults in her prose. Something I noticed while reading Midnight Sun, is that Meyer doesn’t do a very good job of having a distinct character voice. I read an entire paragraph pretending it was written from Bella’s perspective and I believed it. She throws a few fancy words in here and there to try and make Edward’s voice distinguishable from Bella’s but it just wasn’t enough. Another fault I had with the book was, Edward falls in love with Bella waaayy too fast. Arguably, Bella does too in Twilight but at least Meyer makes her have a crush first, Edward just jumps straight to love after one awkward conversation with her just because Alice tells him in the future he loves her. Perhaps if Meyer had given Edward an internal battle for a while, made them have a few more conversations before deciding he loved her, it would’ve been better. To me, it seemed like Meyer didn’t know when/how Edward falls in love with Bella so just threw it in as soon as she could.
However, despite all of this, I loved Midnight Sun. I loved it with my whole heart, I finished it in a week. I feel like a teenager again filled with life and a new sense of purpose. If you loved the Twilight series as a teen, definitely read Midnight Sun to relive those times. Alternatively, if you’ve never read Twilight before, give it a shot. My boyfriend read Twilight for the first time at 24, and although he found the bad prose funny, he also said ‘I enjoyed it, it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before.’ So, give it a try, it’ll be a new experience. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and buy a new Team Edward shirt because the one I wore at thirteen doesn’t fit 22 year old me.
Review by Megan.