Midnight Sun

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Midnight Sun Book Poster Image
Same Twilight story, but from Edward's brooding perspective.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Greek myth of Persephone and her relationship with Hades figures prominently. Readers can compare Bella and Edward as narrators as they read this version and think about other favorite books -- how they'd be different with other narrators. Mentions of other interpretations of vampire lore, classical music pieces, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.

Positive Messages

On the plus side, loyalty to family and self-sacrifice. Many reminders of the joys of mortal life as opposed to eternal one. On the minus side, depicts a possessive relationship with some stalking behavior -- though this feels like slightly less of an issue than in the original Twilight.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Edward is intense, brooding, serious about doing what's right as opposed to what would make him happiest. After he decides he's strong enough to tame his vampire urges to kill Bella, he has some more common relationship missteps. He's overbearing and so protective that he sneaks into her house, watches her sleep. In this version, he admits to being uncomfortable with his behavior, seems willing to change. Some Native American characters and a longstanding friendship between Bella's father, a White police chief, and a Native American elder.

Violence

An attack with injuries from blood loss, a broken leg, a cracked skull. Mention that a villain is ripped up and burned by other vampires. Car accident with minor injuries. Men threaten Bella in an alley. Vampire hunting scenes: a bear is attacked, drained of blood; mentions of mountain lions killed. The death of high school students and faculty plotted by Edward until he decides to control his impulses. A speeding car causes a crash. Mentions of how vampires turned years before: in an attack, after nearly dying in a suicide attempt, and in the 1918 flu pandemic. Edward recalls decades before when he killed humans as a vigilante, especially one where he stopped a man from kidnapping and murdering a 6-year-old girl, another where he found women held captive and killed their captor. Story of Rosalie finding Emmett after a bear attack.

Sex

Some passionate kissing and flirting. Mention that Emmett and Rosalie shared an "intensely physical" love. Edward hears lots of flirty thoughts in high school and directed at him and Bella.

Language

Versions of "damn" and "hell" a few times out loud and a few more times Edward hears those words plus "jackass" in other people's thoughts.

Consumerism

Coke at a restaurant. Edward's family loves their cars, especially the Volvo, BMW, Mercedes, and Jeep.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mention that men are drinking themselves sick in a dive bar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Midnight Sun is the exact story from the wildly popular vampire romance Twilight, but told from the vampire Edward's perspective. Readers will want to start with Twilight before they tackle this longer version and make their comparisons. They'll notice that there's a bit more violence in this version. Vampires hunt big game, and Edward plots to kill Bella and anyone who gets in his way at the high school. Edward also recalls his time decades before as a vigilante killer and how he stopped the murder of a 6-year-old girl. After Edward decides he's strong enough to tame his vampire urge to kill Bella, he has some more common relationship missteps. He's overbearing and so protective of his mortal girlfriend that he sneaks into her house and watches her sleep. Parents worried about this bad relationship example will be relieved that Edward comes off a little better in Midnight Sun. He's uncomfortable with his own behavior and wants to change. He'd also rather do what's best for his girlfriend than for himself and agonizes over the right course for their relationship.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byCarolina H. August 21, 2020

Wider view point.

Yes, it´s from Edward´s perspective and his perspective is wide. So you get everybody's point of view and there is an underlying theme of family and teamwo... Continue reading
Adult Written byGinaMB300 August 21, 2020

Same old drivel

I read all her books as they came out, because as a literature teacher of middle school I like to keep up with their reading preferences. Even with this curren... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bymiraculous.stra... April 2, 2021

I got about 1/2 way and was bored.

Just boring. I had high expectations for this book since I loved Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn but this was dreadful. It was 700 pages of Edwar... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byAbi.18 February 15, 2021

it's alright. shows a new perspective on the original novel

Some interesting new points of view, adding a little dramatic irony when you can know what people are thinking but Bella doesn't. it's fun to be able... Continue reading

What's the story?

In MIDNIGHT SUN, Edward, a vampire who can hear other people's thoughts, knows Bella is the cute new girl at school before he sees her. All the boys are thinking about how they'd like to date her. When he meets her in biology class, his reaction is quite the opposite: He'd like to drain her of all her blood immediately. She smells that good. He barely makes it through class without an incident that would expose Edward and his whole coven/family of peace-loving vampires who normally stick to animal blood. He runs off to Alaska to hide from his shame, but misses his family and is determined to curb his urges so he can live among them again. When he returns to school, though, he recalls that Bella's scent isn't the only fascinating thing about her. She's also the only person whose thoughts are totally hidden from him. Suddenly he really wants to know what she's thinking, and wants her to like him despite the danger.

Is it any good?

Fans of Twilight will clamor for this Edward-narrated version of the same story that adds more male brooding, more insight into Edward's coven, and more voyeuristic mind-reading. It's too much of all those things by the end, but fans will still slog through the 650-plus pages to find out just what Edward is thinking in their favorite Twilight scenes. It's what every girl wishes she could uncover about her own mysterious crush -- though you hope you don't find out that he really wants to drink your blood in biology class.

Edward's mind-reading adds the most curious layer to Midnight Sun, especially when he's around Alice, his sister who can tell the future. Alice goes through every possible outcome of a situation while Edward watches in her head. It adds some extra tension to the tracking scene (more than the driving of fast stolen cars through Phoenix) and extra tension to Edward's take on the relationship. Edward sees Bella in Alice's head as a vampire and he doesn't want to do that to her, even if he also sees her fall apart if he leaves her. This struggle makes the story more tragic in this telling than in Twilight, but sets up the sequel well. Midnight Sun couldn't quite stand alone without Twilight as a base, but it's still a literary exercise in perspectives that fans will thoroughly enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about which version they like better, Twilight or Midnight Sun. What other stories would you like to see from a different perspective? Which stories have you read that successfully change narrators throughout?

  • Why do you think author Stephenie Meyer wrote this version? Does it enhance the series? Take away from its mystery?

  • Would you read Edward's take on New Moon or Eclipse? Why or why not?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love vampires and love stories

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