Book Review – Twilight and Midnight Sun

Book Reviews

It’s been a long time coming but Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer has finally arrived in the world of literacy.

It’s been 12 years in the making but the Twilight author has finally given us a story from the point of view of Edward Cullen, the 109-year-old vampire in the body of a 17-year-old boy.

When Twilight first came out in the cinema, I was an immature 12-year-old, dealing with hormones and trying to think about what I really wanted in life. I read the first book (simply because everyone was!), and I will admit, I found it a little dubious. Whether it was the characters or the writing, I wasn’t sure. But then again, I was young, and I had a thing for vampires at the time so I thought I would give it another chance.

So I got New Moon… and all I can say is, I do not know how I managed to survive through the entire book. I had never had a boyfriend, but even I knew that in real life, you don’t just curl up and die when your boyfriend dumps you. You have to get up, move on and get over it. I also didn’t like the constant comparisons that Meyer made with Romeo and Juliet. At the time, I was studying Romeo and Juliet myself, as part of my Junior Cert. To me, it’s not a story of true love. It’s an adolescent fantasy of what love is. What they believe to be love, ends up killing them.

Put it like this; how long did the two youths actually really know each other before they decided to marry? Think about it.

Another thing I didn’t like was the constant references to suicide. Edward running to to Volturi to kill him, Esme throwing herself off a cliff when her child died, Bella putting herself in constant danger… is this the right message to send to someone? That if life is too hard, you should kill yourself?

Anyway, I only got two chapters into Eclipse before I finally gave up. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was tired of hearing about how gorgeous Edward Cullen was and the constant complaining from Bella Swan about how life wasn’t fair. (But of course, we already knew that!) I stayed right away from Breaking Dawn and I didn’t go near the final three movies. By the time the last movie came out, I was sixteen. I had grown out of vampires and werewolves; I had moved on to books that covered real life issues.

I did start the unfinished draft of Midnight Sun… I just don’t think I ever finished it. To be honest, how Stephenie Meyer wrote through Edward’s eyes really unsettled me. The part where he watches Bella read outside her home, was disturbing. I’m sure that many Twi-hard fans would agree that this takes stalking to the next level.

Reading where he compares Bella to Persephone – a woman who was forced to marry a man without her consent, live somewhere she never wanted to be – it actually makes sense. It’s a reference to how he treats Bella. Stalking her, forcing her to go places where she doesn’t want to go, making her do things that she doesn’t want to do; he is exactly like Hades in that perspective. Yes, Meyer picked the wrong time to make the comparison (comparing Persephone’s pomegranate to Bella’s mushroom ravioli? Really?) but I think many will agree that the comparison holds true.

Stephenie Meyer waited 12 years to publish this book and to be honest, I think she waited too long. Society has changed, we have moved on. Even the most Twi-hard fans have grown up and have moved themselves away from the franchise. As much as we like to hang onto something we really like, we must learn to let go.

With the rise of MeToo and the constant horrific stories of abuse in the media, our perspective of Twilight has altered. Fans are beginning to see the realities and unhealthiness of Edward and Bella’s relationship. Control, isolation, mental and emotional abuse. In today’s society, do we really want to read a story like that?

Midnight Sun is a story that I’m sure that many devoted fans will be itching to read. But I will admit, it’s a little sad that they would still want to read about a controlling and abusive monster especially in today’s society.

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