Buckle in, Spider Monkeys. We're going back to Forks.
Stephenie Meyer's highly anticipated return to her vampire world is finally here. Midnight Sun is Twilight as told from Edward Cullen's perspective. Since its 2005 release, Twilight has sold over 165 million copies and spawned five feature films. This Romeo and Juliet with a vampiric twist has come full circle, and I was ready to dive deeply into the nostalgia of Edward Cullen's honey-gold eyes.
I truly had no expectations of what it would be like to be in Edward's thoughts. From Bella's point of view, Edward is this dazzling god who does everything perfectly. He's good at songwriting, baseball, driving, singing (probably), and most importantly he's good at not killing Bella. At least, he becomes very good at that, too. I was ready for that dark, brooding vampire who repeats high school every decade so that he and his family of vampires can have ordinary lives.
But Edward surprised me. Yes, he's a bit pretentious and thinks everyone is terrible. But beneath that marble exterior lies an insecure anxious mess that doesn't think he deserves to be loved. In other words, I didn't think Edward would make me feel so seen. The book is 658 pages of Edward attempting to take care of Bella (and failing). So much of Bella's narration is rooted in what Edward is doing and thinking and how they can be together forever. Well, girl, same. Edward's inability to see into her mind singles her out as different. Her sweet, sweet blood makes her an object of his immortal thirst. Bella's small acts of kindness and selflessness help him fall in love with her. Like, instantly. If you're not a fan of that, then why are you here?
A few months ago, I asked a series of questions I hoped Midnight Sun would answer. Some were, many were not, and now I have entirely new queries and thoughts. Either way, like Bella Swan, I hopped on the Edward train and let him take me along for the ride.
1. Edward's introduction to the Midnight Sun is full of repetitive immortal ennui as he reads the minds of his classmates. He is basically Gudetama the depressed egg.
2. Alice did not foresee Bella's arrival into Forks, but she does spend a lot of time guessing, "Will Edward murder Bella today or won't he?"
3. It doesn't matter what Edward had to eat for breakfast (he prefers mountain lions but is concerned about overhunting), because as soon as he saw Bella, it was over. She had "the sweetest blood I'd smelled in more than eighty years."
4. The Cullens, while they keep to themselves, do engage in dangerous snowball fights that sometimes break school property.
5. I'm very worried about Edward's skincare. During the nights he only goes home to change, he only mentions explicitly showering once (maybe twice?). I guess these vampires don't sweat.
6. OKAY. The biggest question was what is going through his mind when he sees Bella. Using his invasive mind-reading, Edward "sees" her through other people in school. He even thinks she's ordinary-looking. BUT THEN.
7. Edward spends SEVEN pages thinking about murdering everyone in his class so that there will be no witnesses after he drinks Bella dry. Her scent just slams into him and that's it. He rearranges who he'd have to kill first. He even thinks about taking out the poor receptionist who is thirsting after him. Is this a ~Meat~ Cute?
8. The Cullens have lived many places, describing a nomadic life that mentions Minnesota, the Appalachians, and New Orleans. But they keep returning to Forks because it's so cloudy they can have a normal life and even go outdoors without causing a traffic jam by sparkling in the sun.
9. Edward's absence from school did not go unnoticed by Bella. For nearly a week he goes to the snowy wilds of Denali to hunt AND REJECT Tanya, one of the local vamps. Bro, you know she wants your bod. Why are you messing with her like this? She's capable of this:
10. For the record, Edward is sOoO annoyed with Bella he calls her an "aggravating and delicious nobody." True love.
11. After getting Bella's smell out of him, he just goes home? Points to Edward because he does love his family. With the exception of the pillars of morality that are Esme and Carlisle, everyone is DONE with him.
12. I would be immortally irritated too if I had to be the seventh wheel to three disgustingly gorgeous and in love hetero couples.
13. Everyone is worried for Edward, except Rosalie who thinks Edward is going to ruin their peace. Spoiler alert: he does.
14. Edward can't read Bella's mind. This is explained in Breaking Dawn, but for now, Edward thinks something is wrong with him. *Existential crisis has entered the chat*
15. His obsession with Bella drives him to invade other people's thoughts just to get a glimpse of her throughout the day. This is how he gets to know her and sees how kind she is. Edward really thinks lowly of humans, but Bella smiling at someone or including a friend in an inside joke puts her above the mean human teens she's surrounded by.
16. Edward searching minds for Bella is the vampire version of doomscrolling.
17. Edward listens to some violent (probably rock?) music to stop thinking about how jealous he is of MIKE NEWTON. Oh, Ed.
18. Alice sees Bella's accident just before it happens! It's like the truck won't stop coming for Bella. "Oh, for the love of all, that was holy, would the catastrophes never end?" No, Edward. They won't.
19. Good news, Edward wants to protect Bella. Not kill her.
20. Bad news, now that he's endangered their secret by saving her, the other Cullens want her dead.
21. My greatest disappointment is that we don't get the Rosalie and Edward date scene. As soon as she's turned, she knows that Edward is not the one. Edward feels the same way and is pretty mean to Rosalie. She's hot and angry, Edward, let her live.
22. Page 110: HE LOVES HER.
22. Edward says, "Yes, Rosalie, we all know how proficient an assassin you are." Judgey, much, dude. Let her feel her rage!
23. Turns out no one in the Cullen house has privacy because EDWARD IS ALWAYS READING THEIR MINDS.
24. Emmett is the vampire personification of a shrug emoji.
25. Carlisle is the only Cullen helping humanity by being a surgeon while everyone else buys fast cars and gets rich with insider trading. Cool cool cool cool cool cool cool.
26. While Bella sleeps Edward just reads her books and watches her talk. 1. Creepy. 2. Are you tired of rereading Austen?
27. Angela is really lovely, but even though Edward HATES Jessica, I just can't. Not when she's played by Anna Kendrick.
28. Edward calls himself a vampire guardian angel. That's it. That's the tweet.
29. For so long he was in darkness but Bella is like the sun during midnight. LIKE A FULL MOON?
30. There are some flashbacks, but they're just introductions to the UN of vampires that we meet in Breaking Dawn.
31. The guy who plans on assaulting Bella in Port Angeles is taken care of. I thought Edward was going to murder him, but Carlisle steps in because he's a benevolent DAD.
32. Edward: "I would break her." Me:
33. Surprise Emmett and Edward playing cupid in high school for True Angel, Angela.
34. Jasper only stops wanting to kill Bella because she's going to be Alice's best friend. Siri play: "Felices Los 4" by Maluma.
35. LINKIN PARK HYBRID THEORY.
36. I forgot Edward's favorite Star Wars is The Empire Strikes Back and honestly ...
37. When Edward brings Bella home his entire family dunks on him because Edward has no game.
38. Edward calls his sparkling "the most flagrant symptom of my disease" and I can't handle THE DRAMA.
39. We see into Charlie's mind as he thinks of Renee and it's so sad but a great build-up to the moment Bella runs away from Forks!
40. Vampire baseball is just not the same without the music and blue lighting.
41. The real MVP of this novel is Emmett for just being a big vampire beefcake.
42. Watching Alice stage the bloody accident to corroborate Bella's "accident" feels like an episode of CSI played backward. Genius.
43. The Cullens race to get to Bella (causing a 27 car pile up on the 101) is and all I could think of was Vin Diesel saying "I don't have friends. I have FAMILY." #TooFastTooSparkly.
44. Tortured, quiet, beautiful, anxious, and immortal. Edward's chaotic thought process does him more harm than good most of the time, but he pines and longs for Bella just as much as she does for him. We all know how the story ends, but Midnight Sun is everything I wanted to be, capturing the nostalgia I felt reading Bella's point of view fifteen years ago. One thing was clear to me: Robert Pattinson was born to play Edward Cullen in the best possible way. Team Edward forever.