Twilight | Photo by Larkyn T | Flickr
Fans of the popular YA vampire series “Twilight” were happily surprised when Stephenie Meyer announced the release of “Midnight Sun,” the long-awaited retelling from Edward’s point of view, which was published on Aug. 4.
Twihards from back in the day will remember when the partial draft of “Midnight Sun” was leaked in 2008, which led to an “indefinite hold” on the project. After 13 years, Meyer finished the book and sent it directly to be published because, “Fans have waited long enough,” Meyer said.
Now that it is finally out, it clocks in at over 658 pages – almost 140 pages longer than “Twilight.” Fans, old and new, are now able to experience the intense, emotional, and surprisingly romantic mind of Edward Cullen.
It should go without saying that this is a book first and foremost meant for Twilight fans. If you’ve ever felt neutral about the series or even hated it, this book isn’t for you. Of course, anyone curious enough can pick this up, but “Midnight Sun” belongs to the fans.
“Midnight Sun” is still the same story – a human and a sparkly vampire meet and fall in love. However, from Edward’s perspective, we’re given an almost entirely new book. In this version, we’re given more insight into Edward’s anxiety and emotional turmoil of falling in love with a human he wants to kill. We’re also given a look into the powers members of the Cullen family possess, with the most interesting one being Edward’s ability to read minds.
You’re also almost re-introduced to the other Cullens and given better insight into the Cullen family than Bella ever could. Readers will also find that Edward was just as obsessed with Bella as she was with him. Sure, in the beginning he was obsessed with killing her (hey, none of us are perfect), but his intrigue of her immunity to Edward’s mind reading and “not being like other humans” quickly led from infatuation to love.
Compared to the short, choppy sentences in Bella’s passive narration, “Midnight Sun” is full of teen angst, flowery language, and, of course, yearning. And even though Bella is the literal definition of the meme “no thoughts, head empty,” Edward actually makes Bella interesting – admittedly way more interesting than she actually is in the original series.
Much of Edward’s anguish over falling for Bella is very reminiscent of classic literature like “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights”- works that inspired Meyer. Edward is every bit as broody and emo as he was in the original books, and you get a real sense of his anxiety over loving Bella. And not only that, but the overwhelming reality of what it’s like to be able to read minds – at all times.
Even though Edward is described as a perfect vampire, he’s written to be very human in “Midnight Sun”. You get a better understanding of his motivations, struggles, self-doubt and self-hatred. And so much of Twilight’s appeal is that balance of monstrosity versus humanity, and that turning Bella into a vampire wasn’t just a simple “solution”. The crux of the conflict of the “Twilight” saga was the reality of becoming a perfect monster – sacrificing your humanity and family in order to live forever for the sake of love. And I’d say that Meyer expanded on that way more in “Midnight Sun” than she ever did in “Twilight”.
Writing a book over the course of 13 years was a strange experience for Meyer. “I’m not the person I was then. But completing Midnight Sun has brought back to me those early days of Twilight when I first met many of you,” she wrote on her website the day the release was announced.
“Midnight Sun” sold one million copies during its first week of release, ranking #1 on the bestsellers list in several countries and #2 on Amazon. It’s available to read in hardback or on audio at bookstores and libraries near you.