Midnight Sun: An Unfiltered Book Recap/Review (Part 1?)

By: Joanna Zhang

For those of you who are unaware, Stephanie Meyer recently dropped a new book called Midnight Sun. Who’s Stephanie Meyer, you ask? Well, only the author of the masterpiece that was the Twilight saga, detailing the intricate and compelling love story between a glittery vampire and a girl who has the emotional range of a rock. While Twilight was told from the perspective of Bella the rock, I will be reviewing Midnight Sun, which describes the events of Twilight from the perspective of Edward Cullen, the glittery vampire. In fact, not only will I be reviewing the book, I will also be providing short summaries of each chapter for those of you who can’t be bothered to read it (because honestly why would you), as well as my thoughts throughout the entire process.

(Side note: I recently learned that because of how well the book sold, Meyer will now be writing TWO MORE books for the series, an outcome that I am very ashamed I have contributed to.)

I have to say, I felt a slight tingle of excitement as I was clicking that “Buy Now” button on Amazon to get the ebook. After all, I’m not afraid to admit that I read the entire trilogy during my preteen years and was ~quite~ into it at the time. However, as an adult(?), this tingle of excitement was quickly masked by the fact that I am literally spending $15 of my hard-earned money on this dumpster fire. But of course, I’m always happy to shell out some money and emotional well-being for my readers. To prep myself, I did a quick Cliffsnotes overview of the plot to re-jog my memory, and read up on some classic Bella Swan quotes because let’s be real, her quotes are the true essence of Twilight. From hereon, I will be referring to Edward as Ed and Bella as B. (Also note: if you actually want to read the book, you might want to skip to the last two paragraphs because there will be a lot of spoilers).

Chapter one: Three lines in and I’m starting to realize that Ed talks like one of those boys in your discussion class who thinks they know everything and absolutely refuses to shut up. But maybe that’s what all people from the early 1900s sound like. Yeah no, three more lines in and he is exactly one of those people who thinks they’re smarter than everyone else. Anyways, Jessica is as annoying as Anna Kendrick portrayed her to be. Ed questions his whole life just because he couldn’t hear B’s thoughts (dramatic much?). And of course, Ed strongly considers gruesomely killing all 18 students in his biology class just to taste the forbidden juice that is B’s blood. B’s really out here re-defining what it means to be a snacc. Ultimately, Ed decides against killing her so as to not bring shame to the family (Ed are you Asian?)

Chapter two: Ed runs away to keep himself from killing B and anyone associated with her, which is like, good for him I guess. If I had an egg tart sitting in front of me I don’t think I would have the self-restraint to walk away from it. But also me eating an egg tart doesn’t include killing multiple people so it doesn’t really compare. Anyways, he meets up with Tanya, who may or may not have been a past booty call. Some uneventful conversation happened and he decided to go back and was immediately salty when he realized that B didn’t talk about him to anyone. Admit it Ed, you’re simping for the girl.

Chapter three: Ah yes, the classic truck scene, where Ed against his better judgement publicly lifted an entire van like it was a block of tofu to save B from getting crushed. We learn here that, being the only person who realized what really happened, B makes up for her lack of emotional range with above average observational skills. Although let’s be real, the bar isn’t exactly very high considering how oblivious everyone seems to be. How nobody in the entire crowded parking lot saw Ed in his superman moment is beyond me. And of course, instead of explaining himself to B like a normal person, he does the very mature move of gaslighting the hell out of her.

Chapter four: Ed continues on with his day like nothing happened, except to almost have a destructive rage stroke (in the middle of Spanish class, no less) when he was informed that Jasper was planning on killing B. Back at home, the Cullen clan debates about whether they should kill B to keep her silent (which they eventually decide against thanks to some actual compassionate words from Carlisle). Some bombshells were dropped here, where we learn that at this point, Alice already knew that Ed was going to fall in love with B and that B was going to become a vampire. Not gonna lie, I feel like Meyer didn’t think of this when she was writing Twilight, because nothing that Ed did in the original books showed that he had any clue what was going on.

Chapter five: Ed refuses to acknowledge that he will fall in love with B so he tries to ignore B but is still simping over her. We also see B going out of her way to be nice to people which was never mentioned in the og Twilight. Ed thinks he’s special because he had the observational skills to figure out B’s basic personality traits. He also considers backhanding Mike into a wall because he was being too annoying (who wouldn’t?) and is salty that B is ignoring him as well (sucks to suck). And then he decides to go look at B while she’s sleeping to make sure she’s safe (RED FLAGS!!! RED FLAGS EVERYWHERE). He had the good conscience to realize he was being a peeping tom but did he stop??? No!!! The rest of this chapter is just Ed simping after B as she sleeps, caving to the fact that he loves her (as if he tried to not) and deciding that he was just going to be careful around her. 

Chapter six: So the next day, he proceeds to stalk her both physically and mentally through the minds of everyone around her, as well as give her a bunch of mixed signals. They have their first cute little conversation in the cafeteria where we realize that Ed literally has no filter. 
After six chapters I can confirm that Ed is SUCH a drama queen. It’s blood typing day in Biology and instead of going to class Ed thinks about how great B’s skin is (pls help a girl out and drop that skin routine). This whole chapter is Ed tryna pretend to be a normal teenage boy but like A+ for effort, F for execution. It also doesn’t help that this man’s got wild mood swings. Also now he makes it a habit of smelling her??? But aside from all that, this part was kind of cute from Ed’s perspective if you ignore alllllll the red flags from before. I now remember why pre-teen me was so into it. 

Chapter seven: Boy this man sure thinks a lot. I swear 90% of this book is just Ed’s tortured (and super theatrical) monologues. This chapter begins with his torment from his attraction to B and how he so desperately wishes to be human. Also can we talk about how he’s already in love with her?? I feel like they’ve interacted for a total of maybe five hours. I guess watching someone sleep really speeds up the feelings. Anyways, we get another look into Cullen family interactions, and Ed spends four pages of content coming up with the famous B’s lullaby. Also we learn that Rosalie is jealous that Ed finds B pretty but not her (I really hate how one-dimensional her character is). We end the chapter with Ed discovering he has some kind of savior complex to keep B from any kind of harm, which now justifies his red flag actions such as watching her sleep??

Chapter eight: Ed proceeds to stalk B, like literally stalk her from the shadows since he can’t be in the sun, and contemplates murdering Mike for asking B out. I mean this jealousy level is a bit yikes but at the same time Mike’s so annoying I’m kind of all for it. But then he gets jealous that B dreamt of a book character instead of him and at this point it’s clear that this man has anger issues. Aside from the creepiness, we get a little snippet of other vampires aside from the Cullens and a bit of Jasper’s backstory.

Chapter nine to ten: Ed follows the girls to their shopping trip at Port Angeles. And of course, he failed at his one job of stalking her and B had to fend herself against some drunk men. Here we get some insight into the days when Ed played the role of some kind of vampire vigilante. At least he’s aware of his anger issues. He decides to not hunt down and brutally murder the men who harrassed B because that would make him a monster to date?? Buddy are you aware of how many lines you’ve already crossed to make you already undateable? This chapter’s the turning point in their relationship, where Ed spills all his secrets to B. It was pretty interesting to read it from his perspective to get a sense of why he acted the way he did during this conversation. For example, the reason he kept on pulling away was because he was scared B was going to be repulsed by how cold he is, not because he hates being touched like I originally assumed. At one point he questioned how functional B’s brain is (as we all have done while reading the saga) after she decided it didn’t matter to her if Ed’s a vampire.

Chapter eleven: Wow Ed starts this chapter by describing how appealing B’s body is. This boy’s so horny, my eyes are bleeding. I will have to say, though, that while Jessica’s really annoying, reading her thoughts is also quite entertaining. It’s also nice to learn more about Angela, B’s other much nicer friend, because B gave almost no information about her in Twilight (probably because she was so obsessed with Ed the whole time). They officially start dating this chapter, and Ed admits to himself that he’s now always watching B which, again, is SO creepy. 

Chapter twelve: Ed and B are horny for each other in Biology. But the funniest part of this chapter is Ed playing matchmaker for Angela and Ben with Emmett’s help. I’m really enjoying all the tidbits involving Emmett, he’s just a big soft teddy bear (that will happily suck all your blood). Moral of the story here is that you can be six inches shorter than your girl and she’ll still pick you over Edward Cullen so don’t give up my short boys!! 

Chapter thirteen and fourteen: These chapters are basically twenty questions featuring B, and we actually learn more about her interests here than we did in Twilight, I guess Meyer was really trying to fill in the hole with this book. Of course, Ed once again questions his relationship with B. Also Alice keeps on insisting that she loves B based on her visions of the future, why are vampires all so crazy?

Chapter fifteen: Ed and Alice discuss Ed’s plans to take B to the meadow (yes, that meadow, where Ed first reveals himself to be not only a vampire, but a glittery one). According to Alice, her visions of the future either involve B eventually found dead in the meadow, or turned into a vampire, no matter what Ed does. I guess this kind of excuses Ed’s insistence on staying with B instead of leaving, but also a future with only two extreme outcomes seems kind of unrealistic. Whatever works for the plot I guess. Oh, and Ed spends a whole two pages talking about what he decided to wear for the meadow occasion and then proceeded to psychoanalyze why B dried her hair while he stalked her (Yes, he’s still stalking her at night!!). We also get a little bit more backstory of life Ed’s life with Carlisle right after he became a vampire, it’s kind of cute how hard Carlisle tried to keep Ed happy.

So, we are now exactly halfway through the book and it has been a struggle trying to get through it. Most of the plot is predictable because it’s just a repeat of Twilight, which is expected, but I also just don’t really enjoy the way Edward talks in this book. It seems far too pretentious to me. I get that Meyer was trying to make him sound like he’s highly educated, but this is not the way to do it. Also the way that Edward constantly oscillates between self-loathing, disdain for his family (I really don’t like how one-dimensional he portrays them to be), disdain for humans, love for Bella and hatred at himself for loving Bella is so exhausting. Every chapter just feels like a a long ramble of his never-ending complaints. This boy is truly the biggest drama queen I know. Not to mention the sheer mountain of red flags from very clear warnings of murder to mind stalking to straight up looking-through-your-window-to-watch-you-sleep stalking. I feel like any normal girl would be peacing tf out of there but clearly not Bella. The book does redeem itself by going into more detail about each of the Cullen family members’ histories before the events of Twilight, which are much more exciting than the mess that is Bella and Edward. The interactions between the Cullen siblings and their dynamics with their “parents” are also pretty entertaining. Meyer also definitely tries to add in additional information from Edward’s point of view to justify his choices in Twilight, some of it felt a little forced, but some of it worked. But honestly, if Meyer wants to write two more(!!) books, I’d be much more inclined to read ones based on the other Cullens.  

Will I finish the book? It’s unclear. I’m not gonna lie that after a long day at lab, delving into Edward’s century of pent up angst is the last thing I want to do. I was planning on finishing the entire book within a week but it’s been three and I’ve only gone through half. But after all, I did spend $15 of my ramen money on this book, so perhaps I’ll finish it so my money doesn’t go to waste. Maybe stay tuned for part two?

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