Midnight Sun - review
Twihard anyone? Team Edward or Team Jacob? This series is the one that started it all. I am a fangirl because of it (I won't say reader because that honor belongs to Harry Potter and Narnia) but damn, with Twilight I fell deep into the rabbit hole. When I say deep, I mean DEEP, fanfiction-cosplaying-meetings DEEP.
I realize that these books are CHEESY and the writing is not excellent. But, I was also 15 and the idea of eternity next to the one you love really appealed to me. And I'm actually not Team Edward, I'm all for soft, warm, baby Jacob who never got what he deserved and got stuck with crappy "Nessie" for a mate. And that will always hurt (it doesn't help that in the movies Taylor Lautner was shirtless half the time *insert drooling face here*). I have such warm fuzzy memories related to Twilight. My best friend from junior high and I were totally obsessed, and when we changed school I found another likeminded individual to fangirl with. I still remember we went out to get pizza and stumbled upon a coupon that said you could get tickets to the premiere if you went to the offices and told them some bit of trivia (I will not pretend to remember what it was) and how we walked like ten blocks to get there, and when we got the tickets it just felt like coincidence, like the world had conspired for me. And there we were, in the middle of a movie theater FULL of twihards, and the excitement! I felt like my heart was going to explode! And the movie was good (we all know how we feel about the movies). So of course I had to read Midnight Sun when I heard it was being published!
We know the story, clumsy little old Bella moves to Forks because her mom remarried, so she goes back to high school with her sheriff father. She is the sensation among the teens mainly because she's new, but also because she's kind of pretty. She meets the Cullens, who appear to be gods, and is immediately attracted to Edward, who appears to hate her. Eventually they fall in love and she discovers he is a vampire and his family too, but she's okay with that, even if her blood "sings" to Edward, making her damn near irresistible to him. But no one cares because it's love. Until they go play baseball and find another coven, to whom Bella becomes prey. The chase begins, but since it's Y.A., Bella survives to keep bothering Edward to turn her into a vampire too.
This was one of the most expected books for my generation because it gave us the iconic "so the lion fell in love with the lamb", "you're exactly my brand of heroine", etc. So of course it had to be a literary wonder, 10 years in the making, right?
I had heard too many conflicting opinions to make a well informed decision to skip it, so I took the plunge, ordered it for my birthday and then read it in February. I prepared myself by watching all the movies (my plan was to watch only the original 3, because I hate Breaking Dawn, but again- rabbit hole!). The movies reminded me of how much I hate Bella, and (especially) Kirsten Stewart's portrayal and I still think it's ridiculous that vampires shine, but oh well! I was ready. I started it and one week later... I was still reading it (I had expected to be finished by then, seeing as I was obsessed)... It appears most of the reviews were spot on, it is a very thick book and the beginning was terribly boring.
I am not Team Edward for a reason. He is so WHINY. And so dramatic! Like if the girl wants to become a vampire, and your psychic sister is predicting it, and your whole family is accepting her and it's also illegal for humans to know as much as she does... just TURN HER. I realize that if he had, we would have no Twilight Saga, but Midnight Sun just convinced me more of this. So much unnecessary drama.
Again, I fell into the rabbit hole and went looking for more information on the books, as some things have disappeared over time (like for example, Bella never tells Edward "I know what you are" like in the movies but he does throw a tantrum after showing her he glows, because he is "disgusting"). Also, did you know some people actually liked Breaking Dawn?! Yeah, apparently they considered the ending "perfect" *eye roll*.
The whole romance between Edward and Bella is just a game of "I don't deserve you"; he is a monster in his mind, he doesn't deserve love; she is just an ordinary, clumsy 17 year old who def doesn't deserve the love of someone so cultured and knowing as Edward. Having said that, I think we could have reduced the book to half if Meyer had skipped all the "I'm not worthy" whining going on in Edward's mind.
It did, however, contribute to the insight into the character, as in the original trilogy he's just so perfect and unreachable (and his whinning is endearing) but my favorite part was all the extra information we got on the Cullens. I'd forgotten that Alice never knew where she came from, and James in the end gave her a clue (deep dive into the Wiki twilight archives), I also don't remember her being so nice, and the whole viewpoint on how the futures intertwine and how she can see them like a boardgame in her mind was absolutely BRILLIANT. Esme and Carlisle's love for Edward was also amazing, I didn't realize that they really saw him as a son. Emmett of course was as funny as ever, even more than I remembered. Rosalie was as intense as I remembered her, if not more. Jasper was also a bit of a (re)discovery for me, as I didn't remember he struggled so much with his thirst and his past.
I believe I should also mention how much I hated Bella this time around in the book. When I was young I wanted to be her, you know, typical next door girl who cannot be considered pretty until you really look at her, but she reads and is smart and in contrast, falls down over everything. I mean, the coincidences are there as I've always read more that what's considered proper (now I know that however much I read is absolutely proper) and I've always tripped over air (ask Luis, he has been a witness to countless accidents, and he still laughs about ALL of them), but I was just a teen (thanks Andrea-past, but we are different now). Bella seemed so pretentious! What kind of teenager says she loves Shakespeare and Austen? Shakespeare is absolutely horrible to read when you are in COLLEGE, so why would a teen be doing that? And Austen? While she could be considered a pillar of feminism, I will never get why everyone is so obsessed with Mr Darcy, when he was (tbh) a complete ass. And the whole "I'm not pretty"? She needed to take some confidence pills ASAP. She also kind of reminded me of a friendship past, who in the end was not a friend and it just made me angry.
I also don't think it was mentioned how obsessed James became with Bella because he was a tracker. Or how exactly everyone had pulled off the "accident" Bella had. So that was a nice new discovery on the story. I also absolutely adored the parts when Jacob and Edward were together because he kept saying that Bella "smelled funny" and I guess it's when he starts to turn into a werewolf. I NEED New Moon in Jacob's perspective. Please?
Overall it was a nice book, an entertaining read, a trip down memory lane and the closing of a cycle (sort of, because I wasn't kidding about New Moon), but it didn't revive the Twihard in me, and actually made me glad to have outgrown that phase. My heart will always be Team Jacob and Twilight will forever be a happy remembrance, but I've moved on, and I am now a fangirl but for other sagas and fandoms.
So, if you were a hard-core Twilight fan, I totally recommend reading this, but keep in mind that it does drag a bit. If you just read the original saga to know what the fuss was about, this will probably be a boring book for you, so don't waste your money. Have you read it? Do you agree?