On August 30, Stephenie Meyer posted a notice on her official website saying that someone close to her who she had given an early draft of her upcoming novel, “Midnight Sun,” had leaked it onto the internet. “It has taken me a while to decide how and if I could respond. But to end the confusion, I’ve decided to make the draft available [on her website],” she said in her statement. “This way, my readers don’t have to feel they have to make a sacrifice to stay honest.”
“So where does this leave Midnight Sun? My first feeling was that there was no way to continue,” she wrote. “In any case, I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun, and so it is on hold indefinitely.”
After reading the draft of “Midnight Sun” that was posted, I only have three words for Ms. Meyer: Please finish it.
For those readers who are not familiar with the concept of the novel, “Midnight Sun” is a rewrite of Meyer’s first novel, “Twilight,” from its hero’s perspective: Edward instead of Bella. She has even said before that, once she started writing “Midnight Sun,” she realized that she should have told the story from Edward’s perspective all along. She was right.
What made “Twilight” so interesting was the dynamic between Edward and Bella. Edward was torn between his “wants” for Bella; he was in love with her, and yet he wanted to kill her. In “Twilight,” the reader got a confusing take on his confusion from Bella. She was unsure of his emotions and reactions towards her, and so were we. Did he want to kiss her or kill her? Was it lust or bloodlust?
“Midnight Sun” clears those up. Finally, the enigma that is Edward begins to make sense. Sure, the novel remains about a third completed (the draft is only 264 pages long), but even only telling the story until the drive home after the tense Biology Movie Class Scene, so many puzzle pieces fell into place: What Edward did when he went North to escape Bella. Edward’s hand in Angela and Ben’s relationship. Edward’s real excuse for following Bella to Port Angeles. The extent of Edward’s love for Bella, and the explanation behind it.
Sure, Edward still is a creepy stalker who can’t get enough of watching Bella sleep, but it works because we have an explanation for it. Just like writing Bella’s pregnancy in “Breaking Dawn” from Jacob’s perspective led to some confusion and irritation over Bella’s motives for giving birth to what Jacob thought was a monster, writing “Twilight” from Bella’s perspective led to confusion and harsh claims against Edward’s character. Edward’s perspective is much more fun than it should be as it shows how he rediscovers his 17-year-old side after being trapped in the same body for almost a century. And that includes hormones.
While Edward’s voice is a lot more interesting than Bella’s (and significantly less annoying), “Midnight Sun” is still very much a chick read. I can’t see 14 to 21 year old boys going to a book store and wanting to swoon over Edward’s endless monologue about his love for Bella, but anyone who enjoyed the Twilight saga will definitely enjoy this installment.
The part of “Midnight Sun” that was the most fun was reading everyone’s minds (except Bella, of course) alongside Edward. Meyer is able to include scenes that Edward was unable to see by having him watch it from someone else’s perspective. It is fun to see how all the pieces that were missing from “Twilight” fall into place, and of course we don’t have the same frustration Edward has because if a reader wants to know how Bella is feeling, they can just flip to that scene in “Twilight.”
It is almost funny to see how Edward’s bias of Bella is almost as severe as Bella’s is of him. To Bella, Edward is the most attractive, perfect man in the realm of existence. To Edward, no one else can anywhere near compare to how delicate, pretty, and selfless Bella is. Seeing their views of one another makes it clearer that the “perfection” they find in each other is mostly their mutual love and a decent percentage exaggerated.
“Midnight Sun” is nothing more than a companion piece; don’t think that you can just skip over the Twilight saga and just start from Edward’s perspective because there are a lot of missing details that were explained in previous books and did not need to be explained again. For example, Peter and Charlotte are introduced early on in “Midnight Sun,” while Bella did not know that they existed until “Eclipse.” “Midnight Sun” is a fun way for Twilight fans to re-explore the universe that they had come to love in a new way, a way that will lead to many, many “Oh, well that makes more sense” moments.
So please, Stephanie, please finish writing “Midnight Sun.” After all, you can’t leave us hanging by not sharing The Meadow Scene from Edward’s perspective with us.