Thank you!

Thank You on wooden blocks

Before we dive into talking about Midnight Sun, I want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone reading this post! A company is only as good as its customers and the support they are given. I have felt so much support from each of you with every interaction on Facebook, contact form sent, and subscriber to the email list. Thank you for making my dream to read and write a reality, and thank you for making this month the best one yet at The Book Nanny.

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. If you click on a link and decide to buy something, I will get pennies for referring you. This in no way changes the price for you. It just helps me make a bit for doing what I love.

The Beginning

people laughing and talking outside during daytime

I just started middle school when the Twilight craze took off. Many of my friends at school and at church were reading the books. Discussions about whether I was for Jacob or Edward were all anyone could speak of. Within my social circles, it felt like the only thing people talked about was Twilight. 

At that point, I had already realized that a lot of the popular books weren’t my favorite to read because they didn’t suck me in. So in my attempt to be different and stand out from the crowd, I kept to myself and decided not to read the Twilight books. Instead of participating in the conversation weighing the merits of Edward Cullen versus Jacob Black, I, the resident bookworm, was left out of the conversation because I hadn’t read a book. 

Becoming Enthralled in Twilight

woman in red shirt reading book

After a year of this, I decided to wait my turn in the library hold queue and find out what was so spectacular about a series of books by Stephenie Meyer. If I could ever learn how to spell Stephenie’s name with an e instead of an a. Needless to say, I got hooked and gained an opinion in the debate.

Waiting for Eclipse and Breaking Dawn to come out was torture, especially when I didn’t want any spoilers from my friends reading the books. I also plumbed the recesses of the internet and discovered what would eventually turn into Midnight Sun. Granted, the portion I read in 2008 was nothing compared to the one released in 2020.

“Though I hated her, I was absolutely aware that my hatred was unjust. I knew that what I really hated was myself. And I would hate us both so much more when she was dead.”

― Stephenie Meyer, Midnight Sun

Forever a Fan

clap board roadside Jakob and Ryan

To this day, I’m still a fan of these books. I feel like there is a cultural stigma or push back against liking the Twilight books. It feels like it was something childish that everyone now has to sweep under the rug and disavow to be an adult. This might be because of the movie or because of Stephenie’s early writing style. Truthfully it’s probably Kristen Stewart’s portrayal of Bella. 😉

Whatever the reason for the stigma, I’m still a fan of the Twilight books. I really liked seeing the growth of Stephenie as a writer. Midnight Sun is much better written and has stronger characters than the original Twilight book. That sounds weird since they have the same exact plot and dialogue. However, the thoughts and actions of the characters are delved into at a deeper level. Midnight Sun brings the original characters to life like none of her previous books or incarnations of this story.

“Perhaps romance always seemed a slightly foolish thing to everyone until one actually fell into it.”

― Stephenie Meyer, Midnight Sun

Claps for Stephenie for Midnight Sun Magic

blue lemon sliced into two halves

Meyer has earned some well-earned praise. It is incredibly challenging to build up and create something new within the constraints of a pre-existing story. Every line of dialogue and how the scene played out had to be identical. The plot was already locked into place by the original Twilight book written 15 years previously, and she couldn’t change that. To create something engaging and unique Stephenie Meyer had to crack open Edward’s mind unveiling his perspective of events.

Midnight Sun is 150 pages longer than Twilight; that means 30% more story and character development! That 30% gives us more insight into Edward’s thought process and his relationships with his family. I really liked seeing firsthand how Edward’s mind-reading abilities worked and how his communication with Alice and Carlisle worked.  Midnight Sun did a great job of setting up the beginning of New Moon when Edward leaves.

“For just a second, I saw Persephone, pomegranate in hand. Dooming herself to the underworld. Is that who I was? Hades himself, coveting springtime, stealing it, condemning it to endless night.”

― Stephenie Meyer, Midnight Sun

Cliques and Insights

red sliced fruit on white surface

This book has its flaws. Throughout the book, there are references to the story of Persephone and Hates. In the tale, Hates traps Persephone in the underworld with pomegranate seeds. Hence, the cover art is a picture of a semi-heart-shaped pomegranate. It’s a unique story, and if it was referenced a couple of times, it would have been fine. I thought the story was overused. Instead, I wish a few other ways of thinking about the situation were introduced. They could have drawn the reader in even deeper into Edward’s psyche.

Another surprising part about this book is we get insight into Bella’s parents. From hearing the story from Edward’s perspective, we learn that Charlie’s thoughts feel really muffled to him. Whereas Bella’s mom, Renee, through her child-like innocence, draws others in to protect her. Their unique blend of talents and their minds give a little insight into the mystery of Bella’s unique gifts. Bella gets her brain quietness from Charlie but her innate self-protectiveness from Renee. It was nice to have a few questions answered and see a little more world-building in this book.

The Breakdown of Midnight Sun for Parents

Language: 22 biblical swear words ~3% of the pages have coarse language
Adult Content: PG-13 a couple of heated kisses and a discussion of whether vampires can feel lust
Violence: PG-13 Edward thinks of different ways to kill her, and then there is the boss fight at the end, but there is more time spent on the car chase scene.

Parent Guide Explained

silhouette of man and woman facing each other during golden hour

Now let’s dive into how appropriate Midnight Sun is for teens and adults. Midnight Sun has 22 instances of biblical swearing. This is the most out of all the Twilight series. I didn’t find it too distracting, but I know language is a big thing for other readers. As for the adult content, there are a couple of heated kisses. Also, a conversation between Bella and Edward takes place about whether vampires feel lust. Bella wonders if, in the future, those feelings could be acted upon. Violence wise it would be a PG-13 movie.

Midnight Sun does start out pretty dark as Edward tries to keep from killing Bella. In the first chapter, he contemplates multiple different scenarios he could kill her and minimize the number of other witnesses he would have to kill too. After that initial struggle, there isn’t any violence until the very end of the book. There is a great car chase followed by the boss fight. Granted, Edward doesn’t participate very much in the clash and is more concerned with helping Bella, so we don’t see a lot of what goes down.

Recommendations

woman reading book and lying forward on sheet on grass beside body of water during day

If you weren’t a fan of the original Twilight books, you probably wouldn’t like Midnight Sun. It has a more mature or grown-up perspective of the situation, so you might enjoy it if you appreciate some of her other books. This is definitely a book for 16-17+ because of the lust discussion. That is a pretty good marker for the entire series, especially when you get to Breaking Dawn. I personally enjoyed this new take on the original story. However, I think Stephenie Meyer needs to branch out and try writing a different story instead of another version of Twilight. 

What to Read After Midnight Sun

person holding pile of books

Other books to read if you enjoyed this book for teens are The Host, City of Bones, Vampire Academy, My Soul to Take, Goddess of the Night, and Firelight. Books for adults and older teens include A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Discovery of Witches, and Moon Called. The majority of these books are contemporary paranormal books where the everyday meets the supernatural. Keep an eye out for more posts about the Twilight series and Stephenie Meyer coming out soon!

Happy Reading!
Emily