Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer: Lacking Depth in All Regards (Ch. 14-15)

Is it read-worth? I kind of feel like I’ve been on vacation from Midnight Sun. Usually it only takes me a couple hours to finish a book this size. Writing blog posts about it has definitely made it slowed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I honestly don’t know if I would bother to finish this book if I wasn’t writing about it. I was really hoping to enjoy it more than I am. It’s hard to say that Twilight was more interesting, but Midnight Sun is just… eh. The entire concept of Edward and Bella’s love is really getting beaten into the ground. Edward himself is incredibly off-putting and I don’t particularly enjoy reading things from his perspective. He comes across as creepy more than anything else. I can’t relate to him most of the time. After reading the previous chapters and these past few, Midnight Sun comes across as more of a cash grab than a passion project. 

Spoiler Alert

There just isn’t any depth to it. I was expecting more.

Especially when it comes to the development of side characters. Stephanie Meyer did Jessica dirty. All she comes across as is a shallow, mean-spirited, jealous teenage girl. There is nothing more to her, even now. Every thought Edward reads of hers is absolutely riddled with spite. I wish she had been developed more. No one is entirely bad. Why would a random teenage girl be so awful? If we are supposed to extend our courtesies to blood-sucking vampires, why are we so dismissive to teenage girls? She deserved better than that.

Plus, it really would have been nice for Bella to have well-developed friendships with thoughtful human girls. I understand that she is supposed to be capable of keeping a secret for Edward, but she could definitely do that and have friends at the same time. You don’t actually need to tell your friends everything. Every second she isn’t with Edward in the original series and now comes across as painful and awkward. 

And maybe Jessica didn’t have to be her best friend. They have very different personalities after all. But there were other options for Bella. She could have been closer with Angela. Her only real friendships towards the end of the series ends up being with Edward and anyone close to Edward. Jacob may be the shining exception to that, but he’s a romantic interest and that doesn’t really count in my opinion. Loving someone to the exclusion of everyone else isn’t healthy. I know Meyer was trying to show how Bella’s whole world is Edward, but I still would have enjoyed otherwise. Plus, I could use more breaks from Bella-Edward interactions throughout Midnight Sun. I’m so tired of hearing about how he’s a horrible vampire in love with the perfect human girl. 

I did note that Meyer included new information about Bella, however. I didn’t know that she wanted to work with books in her future. I think she always talked about just going off to college without any specifics involved. Of course, I knew she always liked to read, but it was nice to know there was more to it. However, I wonder why this fact wasn’t included in the original Twilight series and instead was included in Midnight Sun as some sort of half-hearted add-on. I thought the whole point of Midnight Sun was to learn more about Edward. I already read four books about Bella. I already gave up on her development as a character.

Plus is Midnight Sun really going to focus more on Bella and Edward than on providing new information? It would make sense, considering their obsession for each other, but I really would like more from this book, even if it’s just getting to know Edward more. Bella bores me. Edward creeps me out. Right now, I’d prefer creeped out over complete and total boredom. At least then I can talk about what a stalker Edward is. How long can I really talk about being bored?

(Apparently a while, but still.)

When Edward begins talking about Carlisle, chapter fourteen does manage to regain part of my mostly lost attention. It is just hilarious that life-threatening, super strong vampires sparkle. I can’t imagine being afraid of someone who looks like they got dumped into a glitter vat. And apparently Edward was! However, that’s not entirely unbelievable. Back in his times, supernatural things had much more of a stigma surrounding them. Small abnormalities were scary. Now? I don’t think they have the same impact. Everyone I know watches so many TV shows and movies that depict images way scarier than a beautiful sparkly man. We are kind of numbed to the unusual more so than the previous generation. And with all of these cool new products available to us, the majority of people would think that vampires sparkle due to a cool new cosmetic that they’re using. We’d want to buy it, not stake the vampire. I have some sprays that make me sparkle, but nothing like vampires do.

I also found myself wondering how much Alice’s visions play a role in shaping the future. Would Edward really have brought Bella to the field so quickly after thinking about it if her vision hadn’t told him he would? I’m not sure. I really just don’t understand how the process works and I want more information. I wonder if her visions can immediately account for the results of her seeing the vision and if she’s constantly bombarded with new information. It would be super similar to how Edward is constantly bombarded with the thoughts of others. Does she just tone it out?

However, can you even imagine a version of the Twilight series where Edward kills Bella in the field? I would definitely read that book and I would probably love it in a really gruesome, sadistic way. I don’t know if many others would enjoy it more than the original story. People feed off of the intense romance. But it would be SO good.

Imagine this: two people meet and fall in love. One is a creepy stalker vampire who follows the girl home. She is obsessed with him and excuses his behavior because of “love.” They both completely revolve around the other person. But her blood smells too good for him and, eventually, he can’t resist it. In a moment of weakness, he kills her and dooms himself to spending the rest of eternity alone. The consequences of her allowing him to behave the way he does is death. Finally a moment worthy of how much Edward hates himself! Some drama! Real emotion! Be still my broken heart.

Trust me, it’d be a great book.

But we know he doesn’t kill her and instead their highly unhealthy relationship continues. All of that suspense was for nothing. I’m not there yet, but we all know and remember their day in the meadow.

As a side note, when Edward hissed at Rosalie for glaring at Bella, I was instantly reminded of the way good writing can impact your perception of a scene. When Rhysand or one of the fae hiss in the Court of Thorns and Roses series (so good), it comes across as super sexy. When Edward does it? Yuck. It just adds to his overall weird vibe. Maybe it’s the complete lack of sex appeal throughout the entire Twilight series that lends itself to a totally different result, but I do wish that Edward had a little bit of an edge to him. 

Other side note, if you haven’t read that series, go read it. A Court of Thorns and Roses is to die for good. Sarah J. Maas is the author. I cannot recommend it enough.

Throughout this book, however, I do keep finding myself trying to get back into Bella’s shoes. How did she even fall for Edward? After reading his internal monologue, I don’t really understand the attraction. He is constantly distracted by his own self-pity and hatred, he constantly avoids her or acts in an aggressive manner, and is, all in all, kind of a garbage, self-centered partner. He is too focused on believing he’s the bad guy to actually act like a good guy. He showed red flags of controlling behavior right from the get-go. How did she fall for him? And why does she pretend that his looks had nothing to do with it?

There’s no way she fell for someone who is such a jerk without it having something to do with his looks or his wallet. I just don’t get it. Midnight Sun makes it more obvious than ever that Edward does not have a personality worth falling for. He is a whiner and a creep. He makes me uncomfortable. He is controlling and abusive. I’m not about it. 

Chapter fifteen was more interesting than chapter fourteen, however. This is probably because the opener was entirely new writing. It wasn’t just a knock off of the first book. I wouldn’t say it was a great chapter though. 

While I really want to love Edward’s interactions with Alice, I just don’t. She seemed like a way more interesting person in the original Twilight book. Now? She’s extremely one dimensional and more than a bit boring. Like everyone else, all she seems to talk about is Bella. She wants to get to know Bella and be near Bella and help Edward with Bella and protect Bella. I want more Alice, not more Bella. All of her focus being spent on one person just isn’t lending itself well to the story.

I mean the point of Midnight Sun was to get to know Edward and the Cullens more, right? Why am I only hearing about Bella? I already spent four books with her!

I did enjoy one of Alice’s statements though when discussing Bella with Edward: “Did it never occur to you that Bella might not be willing to lose you? That one short mortal life might not be long enough for her?” Like YES finally! It shouldn’t be Edward’s call as to whether or not Bella becomes an immortal. It is Bella’s choice! I understand that he thinks he is protecting her soul, but that is HIS religious belief and obviously not hers. I absolutely can’t stand it when people infringe upon the rights of others and use religion and spirituality as an excuse. If Bella wants to become a vampire, she should be able to. It’s her body, her life, and her soul.

And how can no one in the Cullen family see the reason to become a vampire? Edward is constantly talking about how no one would make this choice for themselves, but actually thousands of people would. Immortality, beauty, and impossible strength? Thank you, yes please. It is not a difficult bargain to make, especially if you can drink animal blood instead of human blood in order to survive. While many people may agree with his religious beliefs, for a large amount the soul wouldn’t even be a factor. People probably wouldn’t agree that becoming a vampire is enough to send themselves to hell.

And I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I hate the romanticization of suicide throughout the Twilight series. I probably wouldn’t hate it as much if this series wasn’t pointedly marketed towards teenagers and young adults. This story makes suicide and death feel like a love story and I’m just not about it. Carlisle trying to kill himself was not admirable – it was sad. Imagining different ways to kill yourself if your partner dies is not romantic – it is horrifying.

And for someone who has been practically begging for more outside scenes and background, I was actually really underwhelmed by what we received. Christmas with Carlisle is cute and all, but not entirely what I wanted. The interaction with Sobhan and Maggie needed better writing in order to have the impact Meyer was obviously hoping for. I wanted to feel the primal energy between the two groups of vampires. I wanted a little bit of adrenaline. It makes sense that Edward would feel something the first time he interacts with other vampires. I understand it was just supposed to provide the line that led Edward to killing and drinking human blood, but it wasn’t enough energy for me. I don’t even buy that Siobhan saying drinking human blood was one of the greatest joys of life would really be enough for Edward to change his lifestyle. He seems so much more strict with himself than that and, with his deeply held religious beliefs, it’s hard to think that the promise of pleasure would be enough for him to kill a person – even if they were bad. And I definitely didn’t need to hear that Siobhan was wrong, that the greatest pleasure in Edward’s life was Bella. Excuse you but that is just too much for me.

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