In anticipation for the release, I re-read the series (skipping Jacob’s chapters in Breaking Dawn, as no one cares) and was drawn back into the world of Forks. For a month, I lost myself in the guilty pleasure that was Twilight, remembering the comfort they gave me in my younger years and fell in love with the story all over again.
Twilight became a modern classic, redefining genre within young-adult literature and inspiring a phenomenon that has had readers yearning for more. Like many after reading Twilight, I was thrust into the world of paranormal romance and preteen vampire obsessions, devouring series such as The Vampire Diaries, The Vampire Chronicles, and Vampire Academy. While vampires had always been in mainstream pop-culture, it was Twilight that gave a resurgence to YA as a genre and opened the world of paranormal romance to teens that had once, never given it a second thought.
In Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer transports us back to a world that has captivated millions of readers and brings us an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love. The series has sold nearly 160 million copies worldwide, with over 4.1 million copies sold in Australia and fans, myself included, unabashedly shouted their excitement for Midnight Sun and absolutely relished the idea of revisiting the nostalgia of Forks in the final chapter of the Twilight saga.
This unforgettable tale as told through Edward's eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist of the original novel. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event Edward 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?
I was one of those fans that held my decrepit copy of Twilight while reading Midnight Sun so I could compare, and Midnight Sun reads like a completely different book. It gives more detail and development than we see in Twilight and Stephenie took the opportunity in this book to expand and on develop a lot of things that were left vague before.
There are conversations between Edward and Bella that are only alluded to in Twilight, that are fully fleshed out in this book. Bella's personality, her likes, and dislikes, get explored here in a way that wasn't in Twilight and you begin understanding why Edward is so drawn to her. While seeing Edward through Bella's POV made him seem distant, otherworldly, and entirely perfect, we learn in Midnight Sun is that Edward is shockingly self-aware and not nearly as flawless as Bella thinks. He is complex, self-deprecating and there are dark moments in Midnight Sun where Alice has multiple visions of Edward accepting his true nature and murdering Bella. It is a startling contrast from the angsty and distant Edward we saw in Twilight and you grasp a deeper understanding of why he believes their love is so dangerous for him, and his family.
Another bonus of Midnight Sun is the light shined on the Cullen’s as due to Edward being able to read their minds, we are shown glimpses of their true selves. Rosalie’s hatred of Bella, Esme’s kindness, Emmett’s teasing, the love between Carlisle and Edward, were all things we only could guess in Twilight but see firsthand in Midnight Sun. You see why they are such a strong family unit; how much they have gone through together and why they love each other so much.
For the mega Twihard fans, Stephenie expertly places ‘Easter Eggs’ throughout the book. Quotes that were made iconic are given another layer of depth to them and lines that were not in the original book but said in the first movie are weaved throughout as well. It is a lovely touch for all those true fans that waited over a decade and are obsessed enough with the franchise to notice.
It was a small painting, no more than fifteen inches square… The artist was clearly untrained, his style amateurish. And yet, there was something in that simple, poorly wrought image that managed to convey an emotion. There was a warm vulnerability to the animals depicted, an aching kind of tenderness. I was strangely moved by this kinder universe the artists had envisioned… The sort of world where this present moment could exist, I thought now, and felt that aching tenderness again.
“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…” I whispered.
With over 33k copies sold in its first week of release in Australia, Midnight Sun has had the strongest sales week for a Young Adult title in nine years. While it is the same story as Twilight, I promise you, this perspective will not disappoint.
Still not convinced? Here are some reviews from Hachette staff members on why they love the book:
“Over a decade after the phenomenon that was #TeamEdward, it was nice to do a 180 and delve into Edward’s mind for a change. He’s not nearly as perfect as we all originally thought, but his flawed, complex outlook is fascinating, and you’ll fall in love with him and Bella all over again.” – Emily Lighezzolo, Publicist
“The Twilight Saga was such a huge part of my YA life. Midnight Sun helped reignite that Twilight obsession for me and highlight a vampire hole I didn’t realise existed in my reading world. Edward and Bella’s dialogue was so familiar and comforting, but the reactions from Edward and the other Cullens made everything feel new and exciting again. I was hooked from the very first page and didn’t want Edward’s story to end.” – Kimberley Steele, Product Executive
“Midnight Sun has been a bright spot of joy for me this year. It reminded me what I love about these series and how I fell in love with these characters at 17. It was the perfect nostalgia trip!” – Sarah Holmes, Marketing Executive
I hope you enjoy returning to Forks as much as I did!
Publicist at Hachette Australia and mother of two miniature dachshunds. My love can be bought with a glass of wine or a good romance.
In honour of Edward Cullen's birthday (20th June!) we've put together our 10 favourite quotes from our fave vampire
You haven't read Laini Taylor's newest Duology? TREAT YASELF.