12 years ago a furious Stephanie Meyer took to social media. A controversy had broken out in the publishing world. In the midst of Twilight Saga pandemonium, a draft of a new addition to the series had leaked. The illegal upload revealed a whopping 12 unpublished chapters of Midnight Sun. The new instalment was set to partner the first of the series. But from the perspective of the brooding anti-hero, Edward Cullen.
Back in 2008, Meyer wrote: “I did not want my readers to experience Midnight Sun before completion. What happened was a huge violation of my rights as an author.” In her anger, she vowed to change the ending but later decided to scrap the draft altogether.
Though, Stephanie Meyer wasn’t ready to leave the story behind for good. Over a decade later she announced its 2020 release. Publish day was set to be big, with stores flocking to stock up.
But how has the new YA book faired with Twihard fans who have grown out of adolescence? Has it lived up to expectations? Or did we learn everything we needed to about the brooding Cullen from the original series? I have mixed feelings when it comes to Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer, and here’s why in our review.
SPOILERS: Caution there are spoilers ahead.
The same storyline
Midnight Sun doesn’t provide a new subplot to the Twilight series. In fact, it’s more of a companion alongside the very first novel. The plot is the same. The same romance. Original complications and near-death experiences have not changed. The only difference is that we are viewing the story from Edward Cullen’s perspective.
In hindsight, there are positives of replicating a storyline from a different viewpoint. Although the base-plot remains, new perspectives from well-known scenes clear up the narrative. For example, Edward and Bella’s first interaction in biology class. In the first novel, Edward’s reaction is hostile. In Midnight Sun we see that Edward is battling with his inner “monster“. He desperately tries to suppress himself from killing the whole class.
Meyer’s writing has improved
No author, no matter how famous, exists without criticism. Unfortunately for Meyer, alongside her colossal following there was plenty of criticism. Especially when it came to her writing style.
Stephen King was among the harshest of critics when discussing Meyer’s writing abilities. In an interview recorded in 2009, he compared J.K Rowling and Stephanie Meyer. According to King, both authors speak to younger audiences. Though, he stated: “The real difference is Jo Rowling is a terrific writer. Stephanie Meyer can’t write worth a darn.”
Midnight Sun showcases Stephanie Meyer’s much-improved writing technique. Yet, there still lies the occasional odd line, such as “Her scent hit me like a battering ram.” On the whole, the style seems more put-together.
It’s difficult to avoid comparisons to the first book when discussing Edward Cullen. But the latest addition to the saga shines another light on the brooding vampire.
The traits that form Edward’s character have been inscribed in historic romance fiction. He is distant, brooding, composed, formal and elusive. All characteristics which add to the anti-hero appeal.
Though, by providing Edward’s perspective his character seems to have altered. He appears more vulnerable, anxious, and less composed.
Meyer has confirmed that this was her strategy. Edward’s life before Bella was monotonous. As soon as he met her he fought every instinct to kill her, feed from her but also protect her from harm. A heavy mixture of emotions bound to cause anxieties.
Meyer also discussed the hardship of writing this novel. Her own anxieties often collided with Edward’s which caused the author many headaches. This being the main reason why she will not be completing the whole saga from Edward’s view.
An insight into Edward’s world
It’s disappointing that we don’t see much of Edward Cullen’s immortal world. The book offers no new insights into the Twilight world from a vampire’s perspective. Though, it is intriguing to witness more interaction between the five siblings. On occasion it is more intriguing to read about Alice and Jasper than Edward himself.
On the whole? Midnight Sun isn’t a complete disaster. But I can’t see it quenching the thirst of a beloved Twihard or Twilighter. The same who have dreamed of a new addition to their favourite saga for over a decade. It has its positives, but it also has its negatives. For this reason, I found myself on the fence.
CULTURE CROSSING SCORE 2/10
Thanks for reading our review of Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read more of our literature articles HERE.
Read IMDB information about The Twilight Saga HERE.
Book To Movie Adaptations Coming Soon
It seems that Hollywood is on an adaptation bender these days. With the upcoming Dune film to the To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before Netflix franchise, there is a lot of money to be made in book to screen adaptations. And there are a ton of them in the works. Here’s 15 book to movie adaptations that will soon be coming to a screen near you.
1. The House of Gucci – November 24th, 2021
You don’t have to wait long to watch this true story unfold. Written by Sara Gay Forden, the book goes into the real-life whodunnit of the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, this film is coming out this November.
2. Where the Crawdads Sing – June 24, 2022
This bestseller is going to premiere next summer on Netflix. The book, written by Delia Owens follows Kya; a young woman with a turbulent life, who becomes the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. Daisy Edgar-Jones is set to play Kya.
3. The Nightingale – December 23, 2022
The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, follows the lives of two French sisters after their lives are torn apart by World War Two. The film stars sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning and is set to be released on 23 December 2022.
4. The School for Good and Evil – 2022
Written by Soman Chianani, The School for Good and Evil is a middle-grade standout. It takes place at twin schools that kidnap two children every year. Alongside the children of famous fairy-tale heroes and villains, these children are then trained at either the School for Good or the School for Evil. Eventually becoming the next generation of fairy tales. This film has big names in the cast, such as Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, and Kerry Washington. The main characters Sophie and Agatha will be played by Sophia Ann Caruso and Holly Sturton. Shadow and Bone mainstay Kit Young will also be in this adaptation. It has wrapped filming and will come out sometime in 2022.
5. All Quiet on the Western Front – 2022
Who else remembers reading this in school? The classic was written by Erich Maria Remarque and chronicles the horrors of World War One. The book is being adapted as a film by Netflix. It’s going to be directed by Edward Berger and will star Daniel Bruhl. This is actually the third time the book has been adapted for the screen and will premier in 2022.
6. House of the Dragon/ Fire and Blood – 2022
Rejoice Game of Thrones fans, there’s more coming your way. Based on the book Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin, this Game of Thrones spin-off follows the Targaryens 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It’s being produced by HBO and will be a ten-part limited series. It’s set to premiere in 2022.
7. Bridgerton (Season 2) – 2022
The pandemic hit Bridgerton has also been renewed for season two. The second season will cover The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn. This love story will centre around Anthony Bridgerton. There’s no official release date, but speculation puts it at 2022.
8. A Discovery of Witches (Season 3) – 2022
AMC +’s Discovery of Witches has been renewed for season three. The show is based on Deborah Harkness’All Souls Trilogy. It centres around actors Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as a vampire and witch who fall in love. It’s set to premiere sometime in 2022.
9. Shadow and Bone (Season 2) – 2022/2023
Netflix’s Shadow and Bone has been confirmed for a second season. It will cover the events of the second book, Siege and Storm. It’s also unclear if it will dip into the Six of Crows duology. You can read more of our coverage of season two of Shadow and Bone here.
10. Ninth House – TBD
Written by the same author of Shadow and Bone, Ninth House is Leigh Bardugo’s adult fiction series. It follows Yale freshman Alex Stern, who has the ability to see ghosts. She is hired to oversee the dark magical dealings of Yale’s secret societies and gets caught up in forces beyond her imagination. Picked up less than two days after its release in 2019, Ninth House is in the works for an Amazon series adaptation. The show does not have a release date yet and is still in pre-production. Leigh Bardugo is currently writing both the sequel and the show, according to her Instagram.
11. They Both Die at the End – TBD
When Mateo and Rufus are told that they will die, they befriend each other to enjoy their last day. After the project fizzled out at HBO, They Both Die at the End has now been picked up for a tv show by Entertainment One. The show will also be written by the author of the book, Adam Silvera. There is no release date yet.
12. The Selection – TBD
A staple of 2010s dystopian fiction, The Selection by Kiera Kass is right up there with Divergent and the Maze Runner. The Selection follows America Singer, who is selected to compete in a Bachelor-like competition to select the next Queen. What feels frivolous quickly becomes a high-stakes competition for the fate of the country. The Selection is set to premiere on Netflix as a movie. Haifaa Al-Mansour is attached to direct. You can expect to be able to watch The Selection in mid-2021.
13. The Red Queen – TBD
Another mainstay of mid-2010’s dystopia is the Red Queen series, by Victoria Aveyard. The Red Queen is set in a world divided by blood colour. The silver-blooded have superpowers and rule over the kingdom. The red-blooded are powerless; living in poverty and serving as cannon fodder to the war. But when red-blooded Mare Barrow reveals the power to manipulate lightning, everything changes. Elizabeth Banks is executive producing and directing The Red Queen for a TV series at Peacock. She will also play a key role. We’re still waiting on a release date, but Aveyard has co-written the pilot.
14. Blackout – TBD
Blackout is a collection of short stories following black teenagers who stumble upon love in the middle of a blackout in New York City. Authors include Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, and Ashley Woodfolk. The collection is going to be adapted into a six-part anthology on Netflix. The Obamas are actually producing Blackout under their flagship Higher Ground banner and Temple Hill. There is no release date yet.
15. Long Way Down – TBD
Written by Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down takes place in the sixty seconds the main character decides whether or not to murder the man who killed his brother. It’s being adapted into a feature film by Universal and is produced by John Legend and Michael De Luca. There is no release date yet.
That’s our list of 15 book to movie adaptations coming out soon. Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the five things you missed in Bridgeton Season One HERE.
Read iMDB information on The House of Gucci HERE.
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