For longtime fans of Twilight, Midnight Sun has been on their radar for years. The book is a retelling of the first novel, but from Edward Cullen’s perspective, as opposed to Bella Swan’s. This gives fans a long look inside his little brooding brain.
Midnight Sun was leaked in 2008, causing this long wait. And even though it does rehash a lot, readers learn something new with each chapter. Here’s what the new book brings to Twilight fans. [Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for Midnight Sun].
1. Edward’s experience after Bella’s first biology class
After the book was leaked in 2008, Stephenie Meyer published the first several chapters on her website, including the infamous biology class scene. But for those that haven’t read it yet, it gives such an interesting look not only into what Edward was thinking but how he thinks.
As you might notice, Midnight Sun is quite bigger than Twilight, and that’s because Edward thinks and overthinks a lot. Also, with his big vampire brain, he can have more thoughts per second. So he has a whole meltdown and soliloquy before Bella even leaves the front of the room.
It also goes into where Edward goes afterward, which is Alaska. You get to hear how Tanya lusts after him, although it sounds like it’s pretty cooled down from her past self. It also shows just how thrown Edward is by Bella. He knows he should stay away if he doesn’t want to kill her, but from the very beginning, he is drawn to her for other reasons. He doesn’t know what “love” and “jealousy” are yet, but it’s clear that he feels a lot of that while in Alaska. Hence, why he comes back.
2. Edward’s newborn days
Across four books Bella and the reader find out more about Edward’s early days. How he was dying from the Spanish Influenza in the 1910s, and then stayed with Carlisle until he got rebellious. He went off and hunted after humans he thought deserved to die, thanks to his mind-reading.
But Midnight Sun gives several more anecdotes, diving deeper into his vigilante past. There’s also one instance where Edward remembers meeting other vampires outside of Carlisle for the first time. He comes across Siobhan and Maggie, who fans know from Breaking Dawn.
What we didn’t know before Midnight Sun is that Edward had a bit of a crush on Siobhan; he is a little entranced by her “feminity” and how he hadn’t noticed any woman like this in a long time. While it doesn’t go further — it seemed pretty surface-level and based on appearance — it is rather interesting to read that Edward’s eye was turned by someone other than Bella.
3. Bella and Edward’s conversations were way more interesting
Ok, maybe this one is subjective. And maybe it’s due to Edward’s thoughts and him being in a different position than Bella was, but a ton of their conversations are more interesting.
It’s also probably because there’s more detail in Midnight Sun. For instance, there’s a conversation where Edward asks Bella, all day long, about her favorite things. From movies to books to places she’s been, fans get more insight into Bella’s tastes.
4. On that note, Bella seemed more interesting as well
This is another one; Bella seems to have more of a personality from Edward’s point of view. It might also be because Bella really doesn’t think highly of herself, while Edward thinks the world of her. But she just seems to take on a new life from his perspective. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder it seems.
On this note, there’s also more chemistry between the two. Things seem more interesting from Edward’s eyes, and so their attraction got a bit of a bump.
From their banter to their serious talks, there seems to be more love and less awkwardness or stiffness to their interactions. Readers can actually see them falling in love a bit more than in Twilight, too. This is probably because Edward is so verbose and digs into his feelings. Meyer just gave him a lot more room to marinate on it all. But also, it’s probably all subjective to what the reader interprets, anyway.
5. Charlie and Renée’s weird thoughts
Edward tells Bella about her father’s thoughts, that they’re like a bad car radio that goes in and out. So with Midnight Sun, fans are able to actually read what that sounds like for Edward; it’s almost like Edward can get the tone of Charlie’s thoughts, but he can’t actually read them like everyone else’s. Edward suspects that this is why Bella is completely closed off to him.
Edward wants to hear Renée’s mind to see what combination created Bella’s unique head, and it’s the exact opposite. Renée’s thoughts are nearly projected to everyone she meets. If she’s in distress or is sad, like at the end of the novel, others want to comfort her. They want to take care of her; she just attracts people and her internal thoughts are super loud for Edward. He describes them as if she were yelling them in real life, much louder than everyone else’s.
It’s very interesting because it’s as if Renée’s traits skipped a generation and went to Renesmee, who can literally project her thoughts through touch. And instead of Bella getting that ability, she just amplifies Charlie’s.
Plus, with this new look at Charlie, and how he is constantly just so consumed by his need to protect Bella, it’s further proof that Charlie Swan deserved the world. Although, we knew that already.
6. Bella and Alice’s friendship is even more genuine
Readers don’t get to really see Alice and Bella interact from Bella’s point of view, even though it’s often said that they’re best friends. There’s clearly a comradery between them, but again, Twilight and the rest of the books are all about Bella’s thoughts about Edward (and then Jacob).
Hearing Alice’s early love for Bella is so endearing and Edward touches on more of their friendship. After what happens in Arizona, Alice takes care of Bella a lot when Edward can’t (like with bathing, dressing, and other needs). Readers get to hear more about their inside jokes and close bonding.
7. It makes Edward’s departure in ‘New Moon’ more frustrating
One personality trait fans already know about Edward thanks to the other books is his tendency to self-hate and brood. He doesn’t think he has a soul and hates that he can’t be everything Bella needs. He doesn’t want her to become a vampire and be “cursed” with the existence he hates so much. Valid, for sure, but he hardly ever takes into account Bella’s feelings. Which is why he leaves in New Moon.
With Midnight Sun, readers get a front-row look at his thought process. Even though it’s hinted at in the book, fans can see that his decision to leave Bella was already in motion after the incident in Arizona. Again, readers knew this, but to see how set Edward is already, so early on, it’s more frustrating.
For one, it really invalidates Bella’s feelings. She is very much in love with him and for her, all those things she’d be losing if she became a vampire are inconsequential to her love for him. Having kids wasn’t a goal for her and she was never really set on having this elaborate human life. Especially if it all means losing Edward eventually. And she wants him forever.
Edward deciding for her was always annoying. But seeing how decided he is, even though he has reasons, makes you want to give Edward a good shake. Relationships are about compromises and equality, Edward!
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