As most Twilight fans know, Stephenie Meyer was writing Midnight Sun years earlier when a “friend” of hers, in 2008, leaked the first few chapters online. The book was the story of Twilight, but from Edward Cullen’s view instead of Bella Swan’s.
Fans gobbled the chapters up, desperate to know what Edward’s thoughts were during the events of the first book, because, as Bella often noted, he would say “cryptic” things that left her (and readers) wondering what he was thinking.
The leaked chapters went as far as the Port Angeles scene, in which he finds Bella just as she’s about to be attacked by street thugs. We learn what was going through his mind when that happened and why it was important for Bella to distract him directly afterwards.
However, the leaked portion didn’t get as far as the all important meadow scene, during which everything between Edward and Bella changes. The reason why it took so long for the full novel to be released was because Meyer said she felt so betrayed that she decided not to finish the book.
Fans waited impatiently for years, and just when it seemed it would never happen, the full novel is finally here, 12 years later, and the meadow scene no longer has to remain a mystery.
For me, Edward’s thoughts were a revelation. He’s so much more complex than you could possibly know from reading Twilight. He has an internal war going on inside, and from reading Midnight Sun, we see how the events in the second Twilight book, New Moon, would have come to fruition so quickly.
We also get a deeper look at Edward’s relationship with his sister, Alice, and how she guides him through this confusing new time in his existence. After all, he was turned into a vampire as a teenager, when he was dying from Spanish Flu in 1918, before he had ever experienced love. Over the course of decades as a vampire, he still never felt any attraction to a female, whether vampire or human. When he finally experiences love, he’s tortured by the fact that it’s with a human — because Bella is so fragile.
A constant worry for him is that he could hurt her if he ever loses control — which makes him want to stay away from her. However, he finds that impossible. Alice’s visions bring him some comfort, especially when she sees Bella and herself becoming the best of friends.
Unfortunately, because it took 12 years for this book to be completed, it’s unlikely to be turned into a movie, especially not with the original cast, despite the fact that a movie based more closely on the plot of the first book, unlike the original film, would be a welcome treat for fans. But Midnight Sun is a fascinating read, and you’ll probably find yourself referring back to Twilight to remember what Bella was thinking as events unfold.
This is one of Stephenie Meyer’s best books to date and a great companion piece to Twilight. It’s also her second-best seller according to Amazon, after Twilight. If it continues to do well, hopefully she’ll give New Moon the same treatment, and we’ll get to know what Edward was doing and thinking for the majority of the book, while he was away from Bella. Other writers of popular romance series have been doing the same thing — writing companion books from the leading male figure’s point of view, with much success.
At 672 pages (Twilight was just under 500 pages), longtime fans are sure to savor this much-anticipated book.
Available from Hachette Book Group/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. $34.99
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