A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- Author: Stephenie Meyer
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Brothers and Sisters, High School, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Wild Animals
- Book type: Fiction
- Publishers: Little, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: August 4, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
- Number of pages: 672
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: August 24, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love vampires and love stories
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.