Wow. Just wow.
Everything about this book takes me back to where I was when I first starting reading Twilight. I was obsessed then and I can confidently say I never grew out of it (side-note: anyone else stuck back in their middle school days during this quarantine? Music, books, movies… almost like growing up was a fever dream and we’re all back to square one). While I didn’t think I needed this book (tbh I forgot it was even on the table), when Stephenie Meyer announced the release date for Midnight Sun, I immediately preordered it. Then I counted down the days. Then I freaked out when I saw the SIZE of the book compared to Twilight.
Edward was the ultimate book boyfriend while I was growing up in middle school, and I very much wanted to be in Bella’s place. I never thought it was a contest between Edward and Jacob… I thoroughly enjoyed both characters, but Edward always came first in my heart. I was a little bummed that we even got to experience Jacob’s perspective during Breaking Dawn, constantly wondering why we were never privy to Edward’s thoughts. Well, Edward has A LOT of thoughts… and I am HERE for it. I can see why it took 12 years to finish this book, and I’m grateful for the amount of detail that Stephanie has put into his character.
Like the true book nerd I am, I decided to read Midnight Sun and Twilight side by side to see the comparisons. Honestly, I recommend reading it this way, though initially it is a little shocking. Since Edward is an incredibly deep character, this gives you insight into every single move that Bella happens to pick up on, and it also provides incredible background knowledge into other minor characters. Not only do we get to understand each of the Cullens on a more personal level, but we also get even more details on Bella’s classmates and family members due to Edward’s mind-reading talent.
The most obvious difference between Twilight and Midnight Sun is the size of the books… and one of the more funny explanations for this difference that I came across is that Bella simply has no thoughts. My sense of humor can appreciate that joke (ESPECIALLY if you think the books are better than the movies), but this is where I can also praise Stephanie Meyer’s writing a little bit. We have to remember that Edward is a creature from a completely different time period, and this is evident within his internal thoughts. She put a lot of effort into keeping him true to his era, and I have to give her kudos for this degree of detail. He also has had over 100 years to be wrapped up not only within his own thoughts 24/7, but to also be wrapped up in the thoughts of everyone else around him. So to me, this makes perfect sense to explain the difference between his internal monologue and Bella’s, and even Jacob’s. Both Bella and Jacob are products of this modern day, so I’d naturally expect them to think as they do. It once again makes me appreciate how differently Stephenie Meyer wrote this book from Twilight.
I loved the extra insight into each of the minor characters. We already knew some of Bella’s classmates were annoying (i.e. Jessica and Mike) but we never got to see just how annoying they were because Bella was never too concerned about the opinion of her peers. I also enjoyed reading scenes we never got the chance to see before, like when the Cullens confront Edward about whether Bella should be dealt with after he saves her from the van.
The only part of the book that irked me was the fact that Edward blamed himself for everything that happened to Bella and how he decided he was going to eventually leave her for her “well-being”… but we already knew this so I can’t be too mad. It was just annoying how he didn’t listen to Alice or any one of his other family members who seemed to know from the start that Bella was going to eventually join them as a vampire. Like come on guy… stop being a martyr and stop thinking of yourself as a monster and just embrace the future… as we all know, Bella excels at being a vampire, almost as if that was her destiny to be a better vampire than she ever was as a human.
All in all, Midnight Sun was a delight. While the details and intensity of Edward’s perspective was quite the change at first, I came to enjoy it much more than Bella’s point of view. I wish she would write all of the books from Edward’s viewpoint just because there was so much more detail and insight to every major plot point. We can only dream, right?