Series: The Twilight Saga, Book 5
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampire, Romance, Supernatural
Publication date: August 4, 2020
Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing thing that’s happened in Edward’s long second life. As the reader learns more about Edward’s past and his inner thoughts as he struggles with being around her, it’s apparent just how hard he fights to keep Bella safe. Even if it’s from himself.
“And yet, though her thoughts had been so clear in her odd eyes—odd because of the depth to them—I could hear only silence from the place she was sitting. Just… silence.”Midnight Sun, Chapter 1
Twilight has gotten a lot of flack over the years, some warranted and others not. I’ll be among the first to admit that when the books were first coming out I really did enjoy reading them. However, even then I enjoyed them because they were fun reads but not necessarily well written.
I remember the plot droning on at times and didn’t really feel myself connecting to most of the characters. I certainly never connected with Bella – I found her whiny even when I was a middle schooler. But it was the presence of characters like Alice that got me to continue to read the story. I was fascinated by the powers in this story and the way they interacted with each other. Heck, I’ve always loved reading about supernatural races such as vampires. (Yes, my love for the supernatural far outdates Twilight. It means I greatly appreciate what Twilight did for the publishing world and the surplus of supernatural books that came out in its aftermath.)
That being said, it was my nostalgia for what Twilight did for the Young Adult Fantasy genre that made it possible for me to get through Midnight Sun. And even then if I hadn’t made this read through a “Bad Book Club” read with a couple of my friends, I never would have finished this book. The things that I liked about the supernatural powers in the original series were water down from Edward’s perspective. He made it seem as if these powers were more of a burden than an asset to their way of life.
I hated being in Edward’s head. For someone who’s been play acting at being a teenager for quite a long time, he has no idea what it takes to actually play the part. He might spend every day surrounded by humans, but he’s never paid enough attention to even understand what they need to survive. It’s almost like he was never human himself.
Yet even more than that, Edward was pure angst. Sure Twilight was released in 2006 when teenagers were thought to be at peak angst levels at all times, but this story was just too over the top. Every thought in Edward’s head made me groan and wish he would just think about anything else. Honestly, he sounded like a whiny baby. Part of me wants to reread Twilight to see if that’s what it was like being in Bella’s head as well and I’d just let it fall through the cracks.
Sadly, that’s not even the part that I hated the most. I’d have to reread Twilight to see if my biggest issue is with Midnight Sun specifically or with Meyer’s writing as a whole. This issue? At times it seemed as if Meyer forgot how to formulate sentences.
Multiple times I’d have to pause and reread sections of the story in order to piece together what Meyer was trying to say. Sentence structure doesn’t seem to be something that Meyer focused too heavily on in this story, and it often felt as if she wrote the story in pieces out of order, shoving them together after the fact and not checking for cohesion.
As if this wasn’t enough to put me off the story, I have to question what the editors of this story were doing at times. There were even a couple of things that just didn’t make sense at all – such as Bella walking downwind of Edward in that fateful Biology class. If someone is downwind of you, you’re not going to be able to scent them. For such a pivotal point of the story, I’m flabbergasted to see that no one caught this.
I didn’t go into this book hoping to hate it, I just couldn’t find anything about the story that I actually enjoyed reading. I certainly applaud Meyer for the success she’s found in this series. However, I don’t see myself reading any other books from Edward’s perspective. Nostalgia be damned.