Review: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

53287484When 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 beautiful, mysterious Bella is both the most intriguing and unnerving event he has experienced in his long life 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 let himself fall in love with Bella when he knows that he is endangering her life?

In Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer transports us back to a world that has captivated millions of readers and, drawing on the classic myth of Hades and Persephone, brings us an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love.

4.5 Stars

So I’m feeling all kinds of emotions right now and I am not okay. This book basically DESTROYED me. I mean, where I do even begin? How can I possibly find the words to express Midnight Sun’s complexity? The emotional intensity???

I’m literally SOBBING.

When I reluctantly embarked on my Twilight journey I was a child. A moony-eyed twelve-year-old suffering under the oppressive thumb of her abusive father. Twilight became my refuge. I spent my childhood folded between the pages of Forks, Washington. Returning to this world twelve years later with Midnight Sun was such a gift and an emotional experience I’ll never forget. It was the closure I never knew I needed.

Midnight Sun is basically Twilight reimagined from Edward’s perspective. But, while the main plot hasn’t changed, Midnight Sun is a decidedly darker, more complex novel. Drawing on the myth of Hades and Persephone, the entire tone of the novel shifts. Twilight was a romance but it’s quickly apparent that Midnight Sun is a tragedy.

Speaking of Hades and Persephone, I want to take a moment to touch on Midnight Sun’s striking cover design. The pomegranate has divided opinions but it’s actually my favorite cover of the series. [Let’s just ignore the fact that the font doesn’t match]. The pomegranate is a direct reference to the Hades and Persephone myth which plays a significant role in the book. It was also distorted to resemble the chambers of a human heart – it’s intentionally disturbing and it perfectly encapsulates Midnight Sun’s darker tone.

It actually took me a couple of chapters to snap into Edward’s perspective. When I first read Twilight I fell in love with Edward’s aloof, self-assured attitude. From Bella’s perspective, Edward Cullen was the brooding romantic hero. If Midnight Sun has taught me anything it’s that Edward Cullen is actually very emo and VERY dramatic. His inner monologue is full of self-loathing and doubt – he questions EVERYTHING in his pursuit of Bella.

I also wasn’t prepared for just how ANXIOUS he is???

Let’s just say that Midnight Sun is pretty heavy and VERY intense. I mean, Edward’s a vampire – he feels things deeply. He also knows the romance is doomed from the beginning which only feeds into his chronic worry. Stephenie Meyer’s prose perfectly captures his constant state of anxiety. Midnight Sun is DENSE. Edward’s thoughts are intentionally repetitive and obsessive – living in his head was… a lot. I constantly had to keep reminding myself that everything was going to work out. Eventually.

But what I love about Midnight Sun was how Stephenie Meyer juxtaposed Edward’s pain and despair with comedy. Like I said, Edward Cullen is dramatic AF and its freaking iconic. Especially when Edward, a one-hundred-and-four-year-old vampire, was moping in the school parking lot, listening to “violent music”. Like, the level of emo is unreal. [But I guess that comes from reading minds?].

I also loved that we got to see a lot more of the Cullen’s. Edward’s gift offers an intimate look into the inner workings and politics of his family. I don’t think any of us had grasped just how unique and fragile their relationship is. There’s a LOT that Bella misses. Speaking of, I also loved how quickly and fiercely they fell in love with Bella. It adds a new complexity to Bella’s dynamic with Alice and Emmett [who was actually the MVP of Midnight Sun].

The last thing I want to point out is how inevitable the rest of the series feels having read Edward’s darker perspective. Specifically New Moon. Midnight Sun completely altered my perception of Twilight AND Edward as a character. His incessant self-loathing, his obsession with painting himself the monster only foreshadows and validates his fundamental growth. Bella changes physically but Edward shifts his complete and utter existence. I’m not sure we really appreciated the full extent of his character arch from Bella’s perspective.

Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll ever recover emotionally from reading this book. After twelve years, five movies and a leaked draft, Stephenie Meyer finally gave us more context into Edward’s character. Not to mention a deeper understanding of the series as a whole. Bottom line: Midnight Sun is a gift to the Twihards and it was well worth the wait.

22 thoughts on “Review: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

    • Awwwww thank you – that means so much! 😭😭😭 This review was actually super heart to write. I think it took about four-five rewrites! I honestly couldn’t find the language to coherently express the Midnight Sun experience. Hahaha glad I finally got there in the end! 😅💙

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  1. I’m glad you liked this so much! I read the leaked draft years ago and since then I’ve kind of stopped caring about twilight and moved on, but your thoughts on it are making me consider falling back into my middle school twilight obsessed self. It’s nice that the book shows more about the Cullens and gives more insight and backstory that Bella’s kinda limited perspective haha. Haha I love how Edward is kinda emo and anxious and self loathing so he can have character growth and be more interesting than the generic Sparkly BoiTM we see on the outside.

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    • I read that leaked draft too [lol once Stephenie uploaded it to her website because twelve-year-old Alexandra was seriously PISSED about the leak – we don’t stan stealing writer’s intellectual property! 😅] but I forgot just how ANXIOUS Edward was??? Like I honestly don’t remember that level of anxiety in the draft??? Maybe it’s been too long!

      I would 110% recommend Midnight Sun for some quarantine reading – honestly the reading experience was so nostalgic. And who knew there was more to Edward Cullen than just a Sparkly Sad Boi??? I feel like the whole series would have been a LOT more interesting told from his perspective – or even dual perspective.

      And, if that doesn’t convince you: VAMPIRE FREAKING BASE BALL – FROM THE VAMPIRE”S PERSPECTIVE!!! 💙💙💙

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  2. Brilliant review, it brought tears to my eyes to hear how Edward struggles, I just want to read the book now, without any “encouragement” from you!!! We (Dean and l) are so proud of you “Princess”,
    Lots of Love,
    M & D Xxxxxxx
    PS We miss you sooooo much, I’m sending you a big Mum Hug 🤗 😘♥️♥️♥️

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    • Oh no, now you’ve done it – I’m going to personally hold you to that statement now! [I’m NEVER going to shut up about Midnight Sun until you read it! Just you know, preferably without having to make you this time]. 😂😂😂

      Honestly, Midnight Sun was such a JOURNEY. Edward’s inner conflict was written beautifully [he’s still 100% swoon-worthy and there’s still plenty of romance!]. His struggle will make you cry but in the BEST way – especially because you know that in the end he becomes a father living happily ever after with Bella and his family. All I’m saying is that A. you really SHOULD read this book and B. come December, Midnight Sun will be smack bang among my “Favorite Books of 2020” list. 😉

      Sending you an even BIGGER hug [xoxoxo] – I miss you always. Lots of love, Alexandra 💙💙💙

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  3. ALEXANDRAAAA!!!!! This is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL REVIEWWW EVERRRR!! I love it so soo muchh!!! 🥺🥺😭😭😭😍😍😍😍

    “Twilight was a romance but it’s quickly apparent that Midnight Sun is a tragedy.” THIS! I AM IN LOVEEEEE!!! ❤️❤️❤️

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    • AWWWWWWW YOU JUST MADE ME CRY – THANK YOU SO, SO, SOOOOOOOO MUCH!!! 💙💙💙

      It literally took five drafts to write this review – I couldn’t find the language to coherently express the sheer journey of it all! This book will definitely be sitting on my favorites shelf at the end of the year!

      Sending you a BIG hug! 🌸🌸🌸

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  4. This is simply beautiful and even saying that I think is putting it lightly! I can tell your emotion connection and I’m so happy you could find refuge in Twilight!
    I also embarked on reading the twilight saga when I was twelve and it will always hold a place in my heart. I can’t wait to read Midnight Sun and to get to know and feel what Edward does! I have been wanting to read this book since it came out being the Twilight fan that I am but, this review has just made hunger for this book even more ( which I didn’t think actually possible).
    Thank you for sharing something as personal as this to you and just wow, kinda speechless over here 💖🥺❤️

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    • AWWWWWW – thank you so, SO much for your comment. If I wasn’t already emotional enough writing this review I am now! 😭😭😭

      Honestly, I cannot WAIT for you to read this book. When [like us!] you have that emotional connection to the series, Midnight Sun hits so much deeper. I mean, it’s basically a love letter to the fans and it’s well worth the wait. Time and distance made Midnight Sun a much stronger novel. You are going to LOVE it!

      Also, feel free to hit me up if you want to discuss because I cannot shut up about this book. 😂

      Thank you again, Lucy – sending you a BIG hug! 💙💙💙

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  5. I love this review! You somehow managed to put my feelings into words – I also adored how Midnight Sun managed to be both dark and wonderfully comedic at the same time 😂 To be honest, Edward’s character didn’t really surprise me much – I always got that emo vibe from him while reading the other books… But I still loved seeing things from his perspective and comparing them with Bella’s version of the story! The way he overanalyzes absolutely everything 😊 – I just loved it, even though, rationally speaking, all the stalking is pretty problematic 😅❤

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    • AWWWWWW – THANK YOU SO MUCH! 😭😭😭

      I think the comedy was a perfect balance to Edward’s darker perspective. Just when things started getting ~tense~ Edward would do something dramatic and make me spit my tea. Actually I laughed so hard when he took the lemonade cap. 😂

      I feel like I got that emo vibe once we got to Eclipse but honestly, I think I was too moony-eyed to see it. Teenaged-Alexandra found Edward to be seriously hard to pin down. That’s probably because I was too busy swooning over him! Midnight Sun was a bit of a shock to the system haha! 😅

      And yes – I’m choosing not to focus on those problematic elements… I’m still shocked that once upon a time I thought that was romantic???

      Thanks for stopping by! 💙

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      • Oh my gosh, the lemonade cap was hilarious! Though the part where he brought along oil for Bella’s creaky window might have been even better… You gotta make sure you have optimal stalking conditions! 😂😂😂

        And luckily, teenage me already thought Edward was plenty problematic, so I wasn’t too shocked now lol 😉 Though part of me still thought that parts of the story were extremely romantic 😅🙈 Not that I’d want Edward for myself, but I honestly still ship him and Bella!

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        • OH MAN – I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THE OIL! 🙈🙈🙈 Ahhhhhh the cringe! Haha optimal stalking conditions indeed. 😂😂😂

          Clearly teenaged-Alexandra needed some help… I would have fought Bella for Edward Cullen once upon a time… Man were those the days. 🙈

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