Book Review: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

midnight sun by Stephenie Meyer book cover

midnight sun by Stephenie Meyer book coverOver ten years ago, just days after Breaking Dawn was released, the draft of Midnight Sun leaked online. This was both a blessing and a curse for fans – they got to read the first twelve chapters well ahead of schedule, but Meyer also declared she would never finish the book. However, in March 2020, she announced she would finally be releasing the entire book. Guess that Twilight money finally ran out. Naturally, as a teen of the 2000s, I wanted a nostalgia trip to distract from current events – fully knowing that this would likely not be a good book.

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?

Good god, Meyer is obsessed with ending all of her chapters with tiny cliffhangers. Why does a chapter need a cliffhanger? The next chapter is right there – it’s the most useless writing device. She spent an incredible amount of time setting up these little cliffhangers instead of actually telling the story – it made the story feel jilted and was altogether obnoxious. It has been over ten years and Meyer’s writing has not improved in the slightest. In fact – it may have gotten worse since Breaking Dawn.

Outside of the ridiculous cliffhangers, the writing was a trash heap. Midnight Sun could have been told in a fraction of the time if Meyer didn’t spend whole pages to describe the sweater that Bella was wearing or the exact shade of blue that her cardigan was. Edward constantly went on insufferable tangents and would spend whole pages talking about something totally unrelated to the story. Also, I get that he was attracted to her smell, but at some point, Meyer should have stopped leaning on his olfactory attraction to Bella as a way to fill pages.

From a plot standpoint – there’s not a lot of new story to explore in this book. Plenty of pages are wasted as Edward creepily hangs out in Bella’s bedroom overnight – over and over and over again. About the only previously unexplored story was Edward going on hunting trips and talking to his family – nothing to write home about. Even when we got to hear what other characters thought through Edward’s mind reading, nothing new was revealed. It was plenty obvious that Tyler and Mike wanted to hook up with Bella and that Jessica was obnoxiously jealous of her from the original Twilight book. This lack of new content or new revelations really was a solid argument for why Meyer should have stuck with her guns and dumped this book. Twilight fans have been sold the same book three times over – isn’t it time they get some fresh content?

Even for the biggest Twilight diehards – this book will be a disappointment. After over a decade of waiting, fans are rewarded with trash writing, no substantial new story, and an underwhelming retelling of a book they’ve been sold three times. It’s honestly pretty disappointing that Meyer took what could have been a love letter to her fans and turned it into a clear cash cow. 1/5

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  1. I enjoyed Twilight the first time around – YEARs ago but I have no interest in revisiting it now – I think your review sums up what I had expected the book to be like.

  2. Really enjoyed reading your review! I was kinda surprised by all those raving Midnight Sun reviews (even if they were out of nostalgia) in the bookish community. Like many others, I also read the Twilight series years ago and I have no interest in going back there. XD But I do enjoy an honest and good review. So, thank you for sharing!

    1. I was surprised by all the positive reviews too – it was astoundingly low quality writing. Sounds like you have the right idea – I wish I hadn’t spent all the time I did reading this one

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