Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer: The End is Here (Ch. 29 – Epilogue)

SPOILER ALERTS

Now that I’ve finished the book, start to finish, it’s hard to say that I liked it. I enjoyed reading it, but it’s just not a good book. Edward is a creep. He has been a creep the entire book. If Meyer writes more from his perspective, he will continue to be a creep. It is ingrained in him. 

The additions for the most part were lackluster. Meyer refused to go into real detail with new scenes and there was very little excitement to be had in any scene outside of the Bella-Edward relationship. Considering I had already seen all of those events in the original Twilight book, they just didn’t have a lot of appeal for me. The most interesting characters, as per usual, were side characters. And any type of excitement I had built up towards the middle quickly sputtered out at the end. It was just disappointing. 

Would I recommend it to someone? No.

Is it worth reading? Not really. 

Will I read it again? Yeah, probably. 

So do with that what you will. Here’s my last analysis from the last two chapters:

First off, I really, really, really hate the way Alice and Edward manipulate Bella’s mother, Renee. It seems almost dirty to me. They don’t really care about Renee. They aren’t really doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. They just manipulate her to make their lives easier. Alice only befriended Renee to make it seem like she is trustworthy and to make sure she was out of the room when Bella woke up. That felt so wrong. She’s Bella’s mother. She should have been there. I understand the reasons why they did it, but it still doesn’t sit all that well with me. I wish they had more regard for the feelings of others. It just feels cruel to make someone feel like you’re their trusted confidant when you’re only using them for your own gain.

I also wish Edward wasn’t such a judgemental jerk. His opinions about Renee added insult to injury. He sees her as narcissistic. Everyone always caters to her needs and she has no frame of reference for anything else. He also judges her for silly things, like opening the door too loudly. I forgot how endlessly condescending he is. He is incapable of just letting a person be. He just has to ridicule them.

For someone who hates himself so much, Edward really does think he’s better than everyone.  

I found it somewhat endearing that Renee was so concerned about Bella falling in love, personally. Renee may be flawed, but she isn’t without motherly instincts. She recognizes that Bella is a lot like Charlie and will love deeply. She worries about how that will impact Bella because Bella isn’t the type who can just move on. Charlie never really got past Renee. Renee doesn’t want that same future for Bella. I get it. 

When Edward talked to Bella about how wonderful her blood tasted to him, it did make me wonder about what exactly vampires absorb from human blood. It is obviously their food source more than anything else. It fuels them. It’s all about making them feel strong.

But what if, in a different universe than the Twilight universe, vampires drank human blood and actually got something out of it more than just fuel? What if vampires actually absorbed the life force and traits of humans through their blood? Because humanity bounces back so quickly, I could see a world where vampires drink from humans, the humans survive, and the vampires are changed a little bit by human blood. What if that had lasting impacts on who they were and how they acted? 

Say they wanted to be like Edward and only drink and kill evil humans. What if they would absorb the evilness in their prey? And if they drank good people, they would become better. They would be kinder and more patient. If they drank from someone intelligent, they would become smarter. They could control their own behavior and thought processes purely on what they drink. Human blood would be their remedy to the monotony of human life because vampires could become anyone. Everything about their personality, wants, and desires could change the more they drink. There are so many routes that something like that could take. 

I think I’m more excited about that concept than I am about Midnight Sun. It’d make a great book to read about a vampire whose personality changes depending on the blood he drinks. He could drink from evil individuals and act horribly, just to regret it when he drinks the blood of someone good and pure. I think it’d be super interesting to read. Maybe some core traits would remain unchanged, but it’d be a constant balancing act between drinking from good people and bad people. What is the better thing to do?

But we’re talking about Midnight Sun so let’s get back to that.

Beyond everything going on with Edward and Bella, I do really want to learn more about Alice. Her human past is a constant unknown in this series. The information we do eventually get about her is stunted and vague. She had visions. She spent her life in an asylum. No one knows. It’s just a little bit shorter than I would like for her. 

And, in conjunction with the little pieces of information we get about the mortal lives of other vampires, I’d love to know more. We know the most about Rosalie and Carlisle without a doubt. But what about the others? I’d love to have more background on Emmett. What was his mortal life like? Did he ever miss his family? I’d enjoy getting to know more about Jasper and his experiences down south. 

Even characters like James, Victoria, and members of the Volturi deserve better background stories. I want to know where they came from and what they did. What are their stories? What do they miss? What do they want out of forever? It’s all very intriguing and Meyer didn’t really give us enough new information during Midnight Sun to placate me. I wonder if it just never occurred to her that readers would want to know.

Yet, it was also interesting to start to see Edward planting the seeds for his eventual departure from Bella. He began to act detached at the end of Midnight Sun, as if Bella was beginning to matter less and less to him. Watching him force himself to act like that was hard. It seemed like a huge challenge for him. It was also an odd departure from his usual attitude and perspective on things. I do really think the tape made him lose his mind. 

However, I think it’s bold of Edward to assume that Bella would just resume her normal human life after he leaves. He allows her to get closer to almost all the members of his family, fully knowing he is preparing to leave forever. Her closest friend is Alice and Bella has no idea that the Cullens will leave soon. Instead, it’ll come as a shock when she’s eventually alone. It’s just so unnecessarily cruel. It is even more cruel if you consider the fact that Edward has seen the visions of how Bella will act and feel after he leaves. He knows the excruciating pain he will cause her, but he somehow also thinks she will just move on. It’s laughable. 

And then the book ends. I don’t think Midnight Sun ended at the right location. It was very random, ending in the same place as Twilight where Edward takes Bella to prom. In the context of Twilight, that was fine. For this book, it’s strange and a way too sudden cut-off. It’s almost like stopping a thought mid-sentence. I think it should have entered into New Moon a little bit and ended when Edward actually leaves Bella. It just comes across as randomly ending in the middle of nowhere. Considering my obvious distaste for the past few chapters, I think I needed more to make up for it. This wasn’t enough.

All in all, not impressed with the ending of this book at all. Meyer caught her stride in the middle of the book just to immediately drop the ball. I’m not surprised it ended so poorly, but I am disappointed. I don’t even know if I want her to write another one.

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer (Ch. 27-28)

After that last chapter, I considered adding Midnight Sun to my DNF. I honestly don’t even really think that it deserves to be finished. The entire book is next to worthless to me if the author makes it abundantly clear she doesn’t even care if readers enjoy this book. I want to promote authors who care about their readers, not ones who milk them like a cash cow. 

But I guess I’m hopeful still. I remember moments where I genuinely enjoyed this book. Maybe I can justify her complete lack of effort as boredom on her behalf. Maybe she just genuinely hates battle scenes. It’s a bit of a stretch for me that she’s fine with writing endlessly about how perfect Bella is, but won’t write about the death of an insanely powerful threat… But maybe that’s the case. She just doesn’t care for violence. I don’t know for sure.

I do know that we, as readers, deserved better. And I’m particularly let down on behalf of her loyal fanbase. How can she continuously let them down when it comes to the scenes that they scream for? It is horrible that they begged for action the entire Breaking Dawn book and then she turned around and wrote another book that completely misses the point. 

What is the point of a vampire without a little bit violence?

Especially in a romance novel. I’ve always thought the allure of supernatural men in romance novels is that (1) we can excuse their violence as them not being human so (2) we can all find it super attractive. Without the element of violence, what is the appeal of someone like Edward? It can’t be his broody and depressive nature. That’s just not good enough for me.

And I’m not sure the fact that he makes Bella feel special is really good enough for me either. Although I am starting to think that that is the key to why the Twilight series is wildly successful. It’s not the writing. It’s not really the characters. It’s the fact that a completely average girl is viewed as a goddess by a hot, rich vampire. She becomes his entire world. And she’s exactly like everyone else, no matter how much Meyer emphasizes that she’s not (a problem in itself in my opinion, but we won’t get into that again.) Maybe people like this book because it makes them feel like they too could be special in the eyes of another person. Their completely normal traits can cause someone to fall in love with them. If someone can love someone as boring as Bella, they can love us too. 

However, it’s not necessarily an incentive for perfect love just to think the other person is special. Love is independent of a healthy relationship. They may intertwine, but they’re not necessarily directly in proportion to each other. So, in the context of their relationship, I still don’t get the appeal. Edward is toxic. His patterns of behavior are unhealthy. His personality sucks. I’d rather be alone than have someone like him think I’m great. Obviously the things he does to great people are horrible. He’s a stalker.

You might have to risk a lot for love, but it has to be worth it in my opinion. He’s not.

And it’s a bit disappointing.

But writing about isn’t always.

So here I am.

And am I happy about it? To be honest, no, not really. I’d love to be the type of person who can have a dramatic “I hate this series, I’ll never read it again,” moment, but I’m not. I probably will read it again. I might even read Midnight Sun again. It sucks. The writing sucks. The climax sucked. A lot about it just isn’t good. 

But for some reason I’ll still enjoy reading it. It’s like the worst type of guilty pleasure because even I don’t understand why I like it. I spend more time complaining about this series than complimenting it. Maybe it’s the little bit of nostalgia I feel to return to these characters I knew when I was younger or maybe it’s some type of deal with the devil Meyer made to make people addicted to her poorly written books. I’m not sure which is more likely at this point. The one thing I do know is I’m mad about it. 

Especially because my convictions about this series are so strong. I feel like they completely normalize unhealthy patterns of behavior. They romanticize abusive relationships as well as horrible things like suicide. They make death seem appealing. They make young girls think that men like Edward are romantic. They condition people to seek out similar attitudes in their own relationships instead of seeing things like stalking and telling someone who they’re allowed to go see as gigantic red flags. A lot of readers wouldn’t even notice that this behavior is horrible unless it was pointed out to them, especially during the original Twilight books. They might even find them romantic. That’s how deeply effective this type of conditioning is.

Because I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: stalking someone isn’t romantic. Sneaking into their bedroom to watch them sleep isn’t romantic. Controlling what they do? Not romantic. None of Edward’s behavior is romantic. 

I don’t personally ever find anything Edward does to be romantic, but the fact that I can find these books easy to read if I just don’t look too hard at them is a bad sign for how toxic literature impacts us all. It makes horrible behavior seem normal. I am fully aware that these books push an unhealthy agenda. And yet I still read them and like them. How messed up is that?

And how messed up is the fact that, as a teenage girl, I was recommended to read this by an adult? Did no one ever notice how horrible these books are? Or did they just not care? It feels like girls were encouraged to read books like this so they could fall in love with toxic, overly controlling men. Instead of being taught to be wary, they were taught to rush into unhealthy relationships headfirst. As long as the man could justify doing these things as protecting their loved one, they were a hero and not an abuser. 

Gag me with a spoon.

But of course I’m going off on another long-winded tangent. Toxic masculinity will kill us all if we’re not careful, but that’s not the entire point of this blog post. I’m supposed to be trying to read some of the actual book. 

Back to the chapter.

SPOILER ALERTS

I find it odd to watch Emmett ponder over the impossibility of Edward’s strength. Emmett knew he would never have the strength to start drinking someone’s blood and then just stop like Edward did. I wonder if he fully realizes that he has strengths entirely independent of Edwards. He is more open and honest than Edward, for one. To me, he comes across as more intensely loyal than Edward. He doesn’t ever seem to consider abandoning his family. He fiercely loves them. He allows new people into his heart without any fuss. He is not at all judgmental like Edward is. He is not condescending. 

More than that, Emmett is capable of loving someone completely without infringing on who they are and their own autonomy. He never asks Rosalie to be someone she isn’t. He never tries to control her behavior or her actions. He is not a creepy stalker. He is, instead, a healthy partner. 

I also wonder what would have happened had Jasper just revealed himself to the tracker from the get-go. Instead of hiding himself, maybe he should have just made it clear that he was a man of war during their very first interaction with the other vampires. Maybe then James wouldn’t have risked threatening the Cullens. Jasper can come across as deadly just because of the sheer number of vampire-related scars he is covered with. If he uses his talent to amplify that during their original meeting, he would have looked like the deadliest vampire alive. He might even be the deadliest vampire alive. 

I would love to see him in a fight with Alice or Edward. I don’t know if even their advanced detection skills would allow them to defeat him.

Watching how Alice solved the problem of Bella’s accident was interesting enough, but kind of added insult to injury. Why would we go into such detail about this, but ignore almost the entire battle scene? We got to hear about Alice interacting with the hotel receptionist in detail for pages on end, not entirely to my despair. Yet, we heard so little about Emmett and Jasper literally ripping a vampire into pieces and setting him on fire. It’s pure agony for me. Stephanie Meyer’s endless boredom with violence causes real damage to her series time and time again. Maybe she should hire a ghostwriter for her next book.

I wonder why she didn’t for this book when she put so little effort into adding anything new to the series. It’s all starting to come across as an afterthought to me. But perhaps I’m being a little too critical now that I know the extent to which I’ll be disappointed by Midnight Sun. I did originally enjoy that chapter about chasing James, for example.

But I didn’t realize throughout the original books the extent to which smell really would help a vampire doctor. Edward could tell that the blood in Bella was not her own. It smelled completely differently to him than her own. It would continue to do so, to some degree, for many weeks.  If he can pick up those small differences for the next few weeks, what can Carlisle’s trained nose really pick up? I’ve heard before about sniffer dogs that can detect sickness in a human far before any other medical devices can. I wonder if Carlisle often does the same and how he prevents that talent from becoming suspicious. Such an advantage would undoubtedly aid him in being a skilled doctor, but it would be extremely odd for him to have such early detections of human ailments. 

I also found it interesting that Renee’s mind is the exact opposite of Charlie’s. It makes sense, considering how different their personalities are, but I didn’t really think that Renee would be just as unique as Charlie. Her mind is extremely loud, unable to be ignored by even humans. While they may not be able to hear her thoughts like Edward can, they can’t seem to ignore what she wants. When Edward tried to imagine Renee as a vampire, he pictured a woman who would constantly be projecting her thoughts at the people around her. Her thoughts would be inescapable. Even now, as a human, her thoughts impact the way Edward feels about the people around him. It also helps her get what she wants. That’s very interesting.

It was also unusual that Renee’s blood was overly sweet compared to the average human. Bella’s parents seemed almost as unique as her. Renee had her overly impactful thoughts and sickeningly sweet blood. Charlie had thoughts that were more hidden from Edward than any other humans except for Bella. Why did Edward never mention any of this to Bella? It feels like pertinent information he should have shared with her. It might have made her feel like less of a freak.

Plus, it’s just pretty interesting stuff to know. Now she may never find out at all until long after her parent’s deaths.

Watching Bella interact with the tracker through Edward’s mind was also very interesting. Her calmness and patience came across as jarring in such a violently-minded scene. No wonder James was so thrown off by her behavior. It is very oddly placed. 

However, it made sense in the original book so I suppose it makes sense now.

But Edward never should have been given that tape to watch. I don’t understand why Alice didn’t just destroy it when she realized she would never be able to convince him not to watch it. So much of this is probably why he evolved into a completely toxic, overly controlling partner. Bella could barely move without his permission. The entire video was designed to traumatize and infuriate him, and it worked. 

But it worked after James was already dead. Edward had no recourse for handling this trauma and rage. He couldn’t go and kill James himself and I doubt there’s a vampire psychologist waiting in the shadows to provide him with the therapy he needs. So, instead, he directed these huge emotions towards himself and Bella. Their relationship suffers as a result. For a vampire that already believed he was the worst creature to walk the earth, this could be the unhealthiest moment in his life. It is almost definitely the most unhealthy moment in this series.

Alice should have just destroyed the tape.

And, then, I was hopeful again. Maybe Edward shouldn’t have watched this tape, but I definitely wanted to. Perhaps this was the moment where Meyer would detail the fight scene. But of course not. Vampires move too fast for videos to really capture them. Of course we would miss the entire thing. Another let-down. 

The next section absolutely crushed any progress these past few chapters made, at least in my opinion. The section where Edward begins to pray is extremely off putting. It has an odd mix of strong Christian beliefs and the overwhelming sense that Edward believes he is his own God: “It made no sense for immortals to have a god; we had taken ourselves out of any god’s power. We created our lives, and the only power strong enough to take them away again was another like us. Earthquakes couldn’t crush us, floods couldn’t drown us, fires were too slow to catch us. Sulfur and brimstone were irrelevant. We were the gods of our own alternate universe. Inside the mortal world but over it, never slaves to its laws, only our own.” 

The hubris kills me.

It also comes across as a section from a completely different book. Normally Edward is melodramatic, but this is to a whole new extent. It is aggravatingly dramatic and almost disturbing to read. I can’t explain the concrete reason why I hate it so much, but I do. It is just so out of place. Perhaps it is some type of psychotic break. He might have finally lost his mind. 

This is probably also the moment where he really commits to leaving Bella behind. He prays to “her” God for the strength to leave her. This came across as utterly ridiculous to me. I know he had some type of breakthrough while she was in the hospital recovering that caused him to leave in New Moon, but I really couldn’t imagine the scene where he makes that decision would be like this. If the next book is just about his mental breakdown, and it sounds like this passage, it will be the first book in the series I absolutely do not finish. 

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer: Off-Kilter, Unwanted (Ch. 25)

Is it read-worth? I had high hopes for this portion of the book. The previous chapter seemed so fun and high stakes that it really caught my attention. Plus, the vibe of that chapter was completely unexpected. This chapter came across a little disjointed for me. A lot of the events that occurred were incredibly out of place for a vampire-oriented world. Tension building is great and all, but I prefer that it all make sense in the greater context of the story. All in all, it just wasn’t the best chapter in the world. Hopefully the next bit improves.

Spoiler Alerts

Obviously, I was hoping to enjoy this chapter more. And I did enjoy some bits of it, just not most of it. Too much of it was off-kilter for me in the Twilight universe. It kind of felt like those thriller movies where the director relies too much on big action scenes than scenes that actually make sense in the larger story-line. I don’t need explosions and car chases in Twilight. That’s just weird.

But broken down section by section, it wasn’t all bad. Some things were actually quite interesting to think about.

First off, it seems like it would be INCREDIBLY difficult to be a vampire in an airplane. Breathing in the scent of all of the human blood around you in such a tight enclosed space sounds so taxing for a creature whose body literally screams for blood. I wonder if most vampires can eventually manage it or if it’s something most try to avoid.

Of course, I wasn’t surprised that the Cullens had no issue with it. They’re used to being around humans all of the time. Carlisle in particular has incredible restraint. It barely phased them.

I also found it interesting to think about the differences between the Cullens and other vampires. Is it possible for other vampire families to even buy plane tickets? The Cullens live more in the human world than they do the vampire world. I doubt many vampires even bother with human identities.

And that made me wonder if it was worth avoiding human blood just to have access to more human amenities. Spending hundreds or even thousands of years outside of normal human society sounds boring. You’d have no sense of community. It’d probably make you just as crazy as James seems to be for challenging such a large family of vampires.

Yet, of course, James isn’t just crazy. It’s insane how extremely intelligent he is. Tricking Bella didn’t seem to require a lot of actual effort on his behalf, but he somehow managed to do it without alerting any of the vampires protecting her. I wonder if his abilities as a trickster are built into his extraordinary talent as a tracker. Maybe there’s more to his supernatural ability than we are led to believe.

But the beginning of chapter twenty-five of Midnight Sun did have me unimpressed with Bella. She had been super selfish in escaping from Alice and Jasper. They were trying SO hard to protect her. Bella used their lack of understanding about humankind against them.

I had always thought, while reading the original Twilight book from Bella’s perspective, that Bella was pretty stupid. I couldn’t think of anything more idiotic than blindly trusting a man who was trying to kill me. Why didn’t she even think about asking Alice for advice?

Yes, I know she was in a rush to defend her mother. I get that. But she had someone right next to her who can envision hundreds of possible futures. Why didn’t it ever occur to her to take advantage of that?

She also could have just tried to call her mom. But whatever.

Now that I’m a little bit older than I was when I first read the series, I don’t blame her quite as much. It’s only a minor (stupid) annoyance that Bella is so gullible. Realizing that she’s just a normal teenage girl is what makes me less annoyed. Bella isn’t the adult Meyer tries to make her out to be. She is just a kid. She isn’t always going to make the right choices. Sometimes, she does stupid stuff.

And I should have remembered that when I was younger, too. I mean obviously her failing for Edward was the biggest wrong choice that Bella ever made and she did that right in the beginning of the series! I didn’t even like him as a teenager. He’s a creep.

Alice’s pain during those first few pages of this chapter did remind me of my original annoyance, though. It is curious, however, that Alice never realized that Bella’s mom had never been there at all. James didn’t have her mother. It was a trick. Considering how clearly she was seeing everything else by the end, it was odd to me that she missed such a huge detail about the scene.

I also found Edward’s perspective extremely off-putting during this chapter. He seemed so distracted by the most random things. He even thought about how nice the roadways were in Arizona while he was rushing to go save Bella. It felt like an advertisement for Phoenix in the middle of a life or death scenario. It was just weird.

And I understand that people think weird thoughts when they’re in shock or extremely stressed… But it was still weird. Meyers almost lost me with those oddly placed random details about Edward’s hunt for Bella.

It was a WTF moment.

Of course, the increasing tension of the situation brought me back in. Jasper in particular is great during these scenes. He brings so much energy to the room and comes across as a real soldier instead of a teenage vampire. I had never really understood the extent of his strength during the first Twilight books. I’m excited to get to know more about him.

However, the car ride in general eventually lost me. Like I said earlier, it was just so out of place and off target for a vampire book. It was supposed to help build the suspense, but I really hated the vibe. I don’t read vampire books for fast and furious car rides. I just don’t.

A lot of this chapter is just really disjointed in comparison to what I expect from a vampire book. Between Bella’s choices, Alice’s inability to see the future, the car chase, and Edward’s absent-minded thoughts about nice roadways, it was just a bit off-kilter. Hopefully the next chapter will be better.

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer: The Chase (Ch. 24)

Is it read-worth? This section of the book came across more as a competition than a life-or-death scenario, but I didn’t mind that at all. I think it’d be silly to take Twilight super seriously. It wasn’t a bad chapter though. It was just a little bit unexpected.

But . . .

I was really, really confused today when I went to go read a chapter of Midnight Sun. I ordered the book through Amazon and I’ve been reading it on PC. Normally, I don’t have any issues with it. 

But today I did. When I went to the store page for Midnight Sun, I received an error code that the book was currently ‘under review’ by the Amazon team. The kindle edition was no longer available for purchase. It took me a few minutes to access my copy through another page, but I wonder why it’s no longer for sale with Amazon. Google didn’t give me any answers. Do any of you guys know?

I mean, maybe the Twilight series has some deep, dark secret that I’m missing out on.

SPOILER ALERT

Thankfully, I finally managed to start reading. And once I did I thought the beginning of chapter twenty-four was really funny. During the first section of the first page, Edward was detailing to Alice and Jasper how to keep a human alive. He told them how often humans are supposed to eat, how much they should sleep, and that we need constant access to water. It felt so ridiculous to me that they wouldn’t know this information considering that they go to school with humans, but to be honest they probably don’t. Edward himself seemed to have forgotten how humans take care of themselves when he first started dating Bella.

It was just really funny to me. 

However, once we got back to the action, I was more hooked by that than the humor. It was so exciting! When Edward was in the vehicle with Emmett and Carlisle being chased by the tracker, I was a little put off by that however. Edward seemed to believe that he being able to evade a speed trap was an immediate sign that he had a special ability. I don’t necessarily agree with that. 

With all of the resources that the Cullens obviously have at their fingertips, it would make more sense for them to have a police radio in their vehicle than a built in radio in Edward’s head. I’m not sure if phone apps existed at this time, but there are also apps for avoiding police officers. I just don’t know if the tracker would connect Edward’s evasion to the police trap. 

But it is pretty obvious that Edward has special skills considering how quickly he protected Bella at the baseball field. I just didn’t think that that one little detail made sense in the car. I’m being a little bit nitpicky here. 

Of course, if I was a vampire in the Twilight universe, I’d probably just always assume that other vampires have supernatural abilities. It’s supposed to be rare, but based on how many vampires we encounter that do have extra talents, it’s not that rare. Better to assume they’re gifted and act warily than assume that they don’t and die. 

It was nice, though, to see Alice’s ability put to good use during this chapter. Her talent at seeing the future is a huge benefit for the Cullens. It helps them prevent wasting time with bad ideas and keep themselves away from danger. They can even somewhat predict when James will grow bored with the chase in the beginning of the chapter. In my opinion, if they had used her better, it would have probably set them up for a near win. But maybe it was just impossible to predict just how gullible Bella is. 

But I do sometimes wonder if they could really use Alice’s talent better. Is it possible for her to explore more options on how they should proceed than she currently does? If she had an idea to contact Carlisle and have them change plans, wouldn’t she be able to imagine a different future than the one they’re currently set in? Or do her ideas have to be more firmly in place for her to imagine different ways forward? Was there never an easy option for capturing and killing James? Or did she just never think of one? It’s hard to understand her talent when the scope seems so wide and yet so enclosed at the same time. Her talent is obviously fallible, but I don’t really understand just how fallible it is.  It could just have been that her view of the trackers actions were so limited that it was hard for her to predict better futures, but it still feels like her ability could be sorted to more offensive uses.

I did also really enjoy learning more about how James evaded the Cullens. Edward was always so vague in the first books about any potential risks to Bella. He was always too embarrassed to say that someone outsmarted him and James definitely did so. He evaded Edward, Emmett, and Carlisle with extreme talent. He even made a game of it. And then to use an airstrip to completely escape them? I was shocked. It made sense though considering the fact that Laurent had implied that James enjoyed such games.

It was also great to see how completely gleeful James was. Even when the Cullens turned on him towards the middle of the chapter, he was extremely excited instead of fearful. He is so excited that their chase had just been a trap. He’s a complete psychopath and I’m loving it. James just lives for the danger of the hunt. It made the chapter feel more like a competition than a live-or-death scenario, but I’m okay with that. 

I mean I obviously know the end of the book so I’m not going to worry too much about the details.

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.