Book Review: “Midnight Sun”

If you didn’t read the Twilight Saga move on from this post. It won’t make sense to you anyway.

If you are a fan of Twilight and haven’t read Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer you should. I’ll preface this review by saying that even though I enjoyed reading this flipped perspective novel, I probably wouldn’t read it again. I just began listening to the series on audiobook, but I won’t include Midnight Sun.

If you don’t already know, the fifth installment in the saga is essentially a retelling of the first book but from Edward’s perspective rather than Bella’s. There are moments of new content because both Twilight and Midnight Sun are in first-person so while Bella and Edward aren’t interacting, there are new scenes with Edward. So for anyone who thinks it’s going to be the same story, it follows the same timeline and has overlapping scenes, but it is its own story. I think Stephenie Meyer did a good job of making the narrative its own while not losing the overall story and plot of Twilight.

With that being said, I enjoyed a lot of the book but didn’t love it. I did like being able to come back to a series that I read when I was in middle school as it brought back a lot of great memories and some personal nostalgia of discussing the books with forgotten friends. And I think it would be safe to say that many readers felt the same way and perhaps because we were all so excited about the new novel, that our expectations were too high to thoroughly enjoy it. But nevertheless, I did enjoy reading it.

From the original series, there was always the unanswered question of how Edward was really feeling about meeting Bella Swan, falling in love, and ultimately living happily ever after albeit with a few bumps in the road. Since the original is first-person from Bella’s perspective, we only really got to experience Edward through her, with the exception of Jacob’s perspective in Break Dawn. As an individual who never sleeps and is over a hundred years old, there was much to be desired by peeking into Edward’s mind. And I think Meyer did a great job at giving us that in Midnight Sun. The caveat to that is the extensive detail needed to encompass the complex character’s conscience. This is an element of the writing that I wasn’t really in love with. I love details and I love painting a clear picture in my head, but it felt a bit overdone. I understand the validity behind all the detail but it made it harder to read and disrupted some of the flow.

On the other side, it was great to see the story through Edward’s eyes and understand why he acted the way he did and his reasoning behind those actions. We also got to read about some of his past and the comparisons between those moments and his moments at present. It was really engaging for me most of the time because I knew what was coming but didn’t know how it was going to play out from a different character’s point of view and then of course the scenes we didn’t know about that were new and helped fill some gaps and finally answer unanswered questions from the first novel.

I will also say, I loved being able to read more about Alice and her interactions with Edward. She’s one of the best characters in the series and I was happy to see more of her in this book. However, I would have liked to have read even more about the vampire world we only really get a glimpse of in the original saga. The inhuman parts of Edward are obviously more prominent in the retelling but I think there was a missed opportunity to really dive into the unknown and create more separation from Twilight.

So overall, if you enjoyed the Twilight sage the first time around, I think you should read Midnight Sun. There’s more to learn and absorb and you might enjoy the extra bits that expand the Twilight world.

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