When 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.
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.