Quarantine Find: “Midnight Sun” Book Review

Kae Kelly, News Editor

In Stephanie Meyer’s “Midnight Sun”, the latest addition to the “Twilight” saga, the audience returns to a familiar story from a new perspective. The timeline in “Midnight Sun” is the same as the first book in the Twilight series, but we are able to see the events that shaped our middle school lives from Edward’s perspective, rather than Bella’s. This long-awaited installment is… interesting. Not in a bad way, but it’s much different than what I expected. 

First off, we need to talk about Edward Cullen, the narrator of “Midnight Sun”. He’s depressed, angsty, and sees himself as a monster damned to live a life of eternal sin. Edgy, right? So right off the bat, I knew this book wasn’t going to be as romantic or flowery as the original “Twilight” novel, told from Bella’s rose-tinted point of view on young love. I braced myself for Edward’s complete apathy towards pretty much everything except Bella and his family (more on them later. I love them). I prepared for Edward’s emo, nihilistic point of view. While I did get those things, I also got so much more. I got to see his emotions as well as the depth of his nuanced character. I got to see him in different settings- with Bella, without Bella, with his family, and alone. “Midnight Sun” also offers answers to questions that were never addressed in the first book. For example: after smelling Bella’s sweet, sweet blood and having murderous thoughts, he disappears for a few days. In the original book, he never tells Bella where he went. But in “Midnight Sun”, we learn that he went to the Alaskan wilderness where he used to live.

 Were there problems with the book? Yes, of course. No book is perfect. There was some racism directed at Jacob and the Quileute tribe he’s part of, as well as Edward’s whole sneaking-into-my-girlfriends-room-to-watch-her-sleep thing. However, these problems are just part of the saga. An unfortunate fact, but plot points nonetheless. The book is really long too. That doesn’t make it inherently bad, but for someone like me who has a short attention span, it’s hard to sit through pages of Edward’s brooding thoughts with no interruption. And those murderous thoughts I mentioned? Edward has a lot of them. There was a lot of darkness that I expected from this book, but Eddy mentally mapping out how he would violently kill his junior chemistry class was not one of them. 

Turns out there’s a bit of truth to that pessimistic emo facade he shows the world. I was so glad that Meyer made this book as dark and serious as it was. She wrote a dark and brooding character, and she stuck with him. She didn’t try to write off his personality as teenage angst and make him as bright and romantic as Bella. She delved deep into Edward’s psyche, giving us explanations as to why he was the way he was, why he acted the way he did, and how he perceived the world. We also see how big of an impact his family had on him. His sister, Alice, helped him feel understood. His dad, Carlisle Cullen, saw the best in him and encouraged him to be the best version of himself. 

Speaking of Edward’s family, they’re my favorite characters, and I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see more of them in the original book. But then the clouds parted and Jesus gave me “Midnight Sun”, which contains so much more Cullen family content and lore than “Twilight”. As the only places Edward ever goes are school, Bella’s house, and home, we get to see a lot of his home life and the people in it. His family started with Dr. Hottie himself (Carlisle Cullen). He then bit and “turned” his wife, Esme, into a vampire and then bit some of his ragtag band of adopted children: Edward, Rosalie, Emmett, Jasper, and Alice. They’re all siblings, but they’re dating each other, and that’s okay because they aren’t biologically related, so it’s weird, but whatever. I could go so much deeper into their complex lore, relationships, and personalities, but for the purpose of this review, I’m just focusing on Edward. 

Overall, Stephanie Meyer’s “Midnight Sun” was okay. Not great, but it was alright. It was less of Meyer’s prolific prose (or lack thereof) and more about nostalgia. I know I’ll be burned at the stake for saying a book in the “Twilight” saga isn’t horrible, but the book had well-written characters, a good concept (a repeat of the first book, but a different perspective), and more depth than the original “Twilight”. A solid 7.5/10. I would recommend that fans of Twilight read this novel.