Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Book Review: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

Title: Midnight Sun (Twilight #5)
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 662
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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 Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years 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 justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

When Midnight Sun was first announced, I most definitely made fun of it. I posted about how Stephenie Meyer has now written the same book three times and laughed at how anyone would choose to buy and read it. But then... the publication date drew nearer. The nostalgia took over. I caved.

Truthfully, I didn't read Twilight until 2009. Somehow I hadn't even heard of it before then. When I read it I was in the midsts of a really bad relationship and, truthfully, buddy reading Twilight with a coworker was a bright spot, so I assume that's where the nostalgia came from. In any case, near the end of July I definitely preordered a copy. Sue me.

Diving into Midnight Sun felt like jumping back into Twilight but more interesting and much more well written. I have to say, Edward's point of view was infinitely better. At first, I thought I was going to hate his whining and self-loathing, but that tapered off after a few chapters. For better or worse, his POV explained several of the weird and creepy things he did in the original series in a way that made them more palatable.

I loved all the extra information about Edward's backstory and time apart from Bella. I really enjoyed not having to be inside her head and hear her moping. Somehow, Edward's moping was a lot easier to read and sympathize with and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Stephenie Meyer is just a better writer now than she was in the early 2000s (thank goodness).

Of course, this is still the same angsty story about sparkling vampires that Twilight was and the more interesting POV can't take that away. I was still irritated by Bella and still found myself being angry with Edward for deciding what was best for her without asking for her input. The issues are still there, they're just more fun to read.

I definitely don't think you could read this without having read Twilight first, although I've seen others do it. I'm actually not sure why you'd want to read this book if you don't have any nostalgia for the original series. If you are feeling nostalgic, you should definitely pick this one up!