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I Unironically Love “Midnight Sun”

Like many, I was obsessed with the Twilight Saga when I was a teenager. I watched the first movie with my dad after he insisted we buy the DVD when it was released in 2009. At first, I didn’t understand the hype surrounding it. I mean, sparkly vampires? Really? I was pretty obsessed with the macabre so having the awesome Creature of the Night reimagined as an angsty walking disco ball was very annoying. Forget Team Edward or Team Jacob; I was Team Bella from the start. However, I really loved the series when I read the books before watching the movies. I became a superfan — but without the foaming-at-the-mouth reaction when someone criticized me for my interests. Of course, I recognized that parts of the stories were problematic, but I still enjoyed reading it.

It was a few years after the last movie that I heard about Meyer writing Twilight from Edward’s point of view. Someone had leaked the chapters she had already written, so, of course, I read them just to see what it was like. I can’t remember if I enjoyed the incomplete work. I only vaguely remember a dissatisfied feeling but nothing more.

There was talk of a new Twilight book being released last year, reigniting my interest in the series. At first, it seemed too good to be true since Meyer has gone on and published other novels. Plus, it sounded even more fake when I heard it was going to be from Edward’s point of view. I don’t know why I didn’t trust the media, but I was surprised I was wrong. The book was indeed going to be released and would be written from Edward’s point of view.

I had intended on pre-ordering Midnight Sun so I could just pick it up and read the day it was released, but I dropped the ball and missed the cut-off. Luckily, one of my friends and co-workers managed to snag the last copy from one of our local bookstores. She read it first (as she should have) and then loaned it to me. When I say I consumed that book, I almost literally mean I devoured every single word like it was my first meal after a long fast. And I loved every bit of the novel.

First of all, I firmly believe that the whole series should have been from Edward’s point of view, or at least alternated between his POV and Bella’s. By including Edward’s thoughts, it explained a lot of his weirdly cold reactions. He went from being cold, rude and flippant to being angsty, contemplative and actually pretty worried about protecting humans, Bella specifically. 

We were also able to get more characterization of the rest of the characters, mainly of the Cullen family and Bella’s friends. Sure, we were able to get to know Alice and Jasper from the original series and a little bit of Rosalie and Emmett, but Midnight Sun gave us a lot of information that fans craved. We know that Edward’s siblings were unique because they’re vampires, but to hear their inner thoughts and see them act like normal siblings was everything. Edward and Alice were definitely BFF goals, but Twilight neglected to give us the ultimate Bromance that Edward and Emmett had. If you want to talk about two guys just being bros, their friendship is it. They have the perfect mix of brothers being polar opposites but still being so close despite that. Emmett was always characterized as being goofy and down for a good fight, but we get to see how much it annoyed Edward — and made him feel better. In terms of the characterization of Bella’s friends, Edward’s mind-reading ability let us hear their inner thoughts about Bella and his relationship with her. Jessica was entirely the salty friend that we knew her to be, and so was Mike — which is, but also isn’t, surprising.

The novel from Edward’s POV also gave us a better understanding of why certain scenes went down the way they did. Bella focused on different things and didn’t have the knowledge Edward did, so we only got one version of the story. Midnight Sun gave us insight into why James was such a fearful adversary and how powerful Jasper really is. I’d go into more depth as to how revolutionary Edward’s POV in that scene was, but I really think people should read it for themselves.

I can talk for pages on end about why this was such a great book but we don’t have the time for that. This is my declaration that I fully and unironically love Midnight Sun. Meyer gave us a fresh take on the Twilight Saga and did not disappoint. Writing from Edward’s POV gave us more than we could ever ask for and then some. The most we can hope for now is the rest of the original saga from Edward’s perspective. I know I would love to read about Bella’s pregnancy from his point of view. For now, Midnight Sun will fuel my desire for nostalgic yet new books while I work through my TBR list.

Paige Pennebaker

Chapel Hill '21

Paige Pennebaker is an aspiring writer who attends UNC-Chapel Hill as a Senior during the day. She enjoys writing fiction and has been published on shortfictionbreak.com. While fiction is where her heart is, Paige also has a lot to say about the real world and how to get by.