Midnight Sun is a re-write…. kind of… of the original Twilight book. But written from Edward, (the vampire’s) point of view, whereas it was Bella’s (the human’s ) POV in the original.
I found it an interesting concept to write a complete second book, from the opposing main characters point of view. But it also seemed more like a writing exercise for the author.
I admit, it’s been a very long time since I read the original Twilight book. If I had re-read it, before reading Midnight Sun, I think I could have felt clearer to the differences, and nuances within. Enjoyed – or hated it – more.
However. Because it’s been a movie, it’s hard to think about Twilight as a ‘book’; and strictly from Bella’s point of view – so reading Midnight Sun was not so ‘new’ in that sense – as a lot of Edward’s point of view, is relayed through the Movies. Or at least it seems like it was, in my mind… ( It’s also been a very long time since I watched the movies.)
In some ways, I wondered if the author wrote the book, to better understand the Twilight book. As backstory? Or, as a companion piece for building the movie script? So the actor could better be the Edward she envisioned?
In any case, it is an interesting writing and reading exercise. I Believe I would have preferred to re-read Twilight first. But I didn’t so that… soooo…..
As a reader (and noob writer), I often struggle with reading fiction written in the first person. As it’s often clunky and distracting as a reader. Very hard to do well. I Found this book to distract me in that manner for the first few hours – it was annoying reading. But, eventually I got drawn into the voice of it, and was more interested to read what came next. Even though I knew…. Edward drove me crazy. He’s neurotic, and obsessive. And focuses intently on Bella, without regard to much else… But, it portrays his character as it should be. So, gold star for getting that across, as boring and annoying as it can be to read, as a reader.
Other pet peeves include: the over use of frilly dialog tags. Too much: Bella breathed, Bella sighed, Bells mumbled, Bella shouted…. It’s distracting. We all know how she said it. We watched the movie. Yes, you did. Another thing that annoyed me was the repeated mentioning of pomegranate seeds. Once or twice, okay, to make your point, but it was too much.
Another big issue I have with this book is premise… stick with me here. Bella is what, 17? And Edward is nearly a century old. I’m not young anymore; and I can tell you this: when I was 20, I could not understand why 30 year old X was not into me like I was to them. I was so worldly! Mature! Amazing! Then I turned 30, and could clearly see why no 30 year old would think a 20 year old was all that. So then at 30 I was into perhaps 40 year old X. And was again mystified at why I didn’t stack up. .. Until I hit 40 myself, and saw much clearer, how things are. Age… gives you perspective. I’m older now. I know that while we change and grow in many ways; it’s also true that in many ways we stay the same. (in my brain I’m not so different than at 24 – in some ways. This thing called ‘growing up’, when all the sudden you pass go, and are all Adult? It’s an Urban Myth. You’re still that same person.. but with more wisdom. Some things do not change. Possibly still wildly immature. Possibly not…) Anyway, here’s my point – having gone though these realizations more than a couple times now in my own experiences – I can in no way jump into a place of removing my worldly knowledge and accept that 90 year old (*or whatever) Edward is obsessively fascinated with 17 year old Bella. Yes, he mentions more than once how little of life she’s lived. How could she possibly know what she’s giving up?!? It will go bad when she figured it out, etc. But it’s all focused on how she’ll resent him when she realizes what she gave up to become a vampire, so young. Not how immature and infantile she is, in comparison to him. But at the same time Edward is clearly demonstrated to be [and you’re told point blank] – how worldly he is. How learned, how traveled, how experienced. How old. But he’s single mindedly into 17 year old Bella. I can’t Suspend my judgment for this; for the purpose of the story. Sorry, nope. So this is a huge fail of the story premise, for me.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the book. It easily drew to mind an ongoing accompaniment of visuals from the movies, as my mind built them because how could it not? Was the book necessary? Not really. Still I read it front to back over the course of a few short evenings, until I finished it, like I do with books I’m 100% into and can’t put down. So I guess that’s something! Would I recommend it? If you were really into the series, then yes, I would. It’s a fun companion. If you were feeling Meh about it, Then I’d say pass.