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Midnight Sun By Stephanie Meyer – Review

Kym Du Toit

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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 The illegal upload revealed a whopping 12 unpublished chapters of Midnight Sun.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.

Edward’s anxieties

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.

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Comics & Literature

5 Things You Missed In Bridgerton

Kym Du Toit

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Netflix

Since its Christmas release Bridgerton has become a jewel in the Netflix crown. The series adaptation skyrocketed through the charts topping number one within weeks. It recently established itself as the biggest series launch in Netflix history. But there’s plenty that you might’ve missed in Bridgerton.

There is a lot to take in throughout the show’s first season. From a gossip columnist ruling the high society’s movements to inter-class relationships. This series is one that encapsulates regency culture. But there are quite a few visual easter eggs dotted between the abundance of corsets and jewels.

Let’s take a look at some things you may have missed throughout the first season.

SPOILERS: If you’re reading this then you’ve probably seen the show, but if not there are spoilers ahead.

1. The bee that won’t buzz off

.Often between scenes, the screen will focus on an insect flying around an open window. This is particularly obvious during the closing scene after Daphne gives birth. The bee flies away and the end credits roll. Benedict also has a bee embroidered on his shirt collar. But what does the bee signify?

There are two possibilities for this, and the clues lie in Julia Quinn’s sequel, “The Viscount Who Loved Me.” In the second book and a possible route the producers will follow for the second season, the bee is big news. It’s clear that the Bridgerton patriarch is missing, but we don’t find out why. According to the sequel, Sir Edmund Bridgerton dies from a bee sting. Could the beloved father and husband have reincarnated into a bee? Or does the bee simple signify his presence?

Another possibility points to the heir to the Bridgerton estate. Viscount Anthony Bridgeton played a vital role in the first season. And if the second book of the series is anything to go by, he could play an even bigger part in the next. Quinn’s “The Viscount Who Loved Me” explores Anthony’s struggles with his father’s death.

Anthony is well known to be one of the most notorious rakes in the ton. But it’s his father’s death that hangs over his potential for marriage. The Viscount knows love exists after watching his parents’ happy marriage. Yet, he has no intentions of falling in love himself. He is convinced that he will die young like his father. That is until a bee forces his hand in marriage to Kate Sheffield, who turns out to be his soul mate.

2. Wait, was that an Ed Sheeran song?

That’s right. Classical covers of modern-day pop songs play throughout and can easily be missed in Bridgerton.

The harmonious notes of string quartets and soft harps are common in regency films. But Bridgerton takes it one step further. Staking their claim that the series is a modern take on regency life.

Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” plays out during the first ball of the season. Simon and Daphne’s rain scene is accompanied by a rendition of ‘Wildest Dreams.’

Maroon 5, Shawn Mendes and Celeste are also some of the artists used by composer Kris Bowers.

3. The family colours

Fabrics of silk, satin and soft Chinese cloth adorned highly ranked families of the 1800s. Each family of Bridgerton displays their house colours which are always adhered to.

The Bridgerton’s colours seem to be more subdued than other families. Their colours typically include soft blues and pinks. As the prominent family of the social season their colours represent old money. Whereas the Featherington’s wish for nothing more than to show off their new fortune. Their colours and patterns are far more extravagant.

Once Daphne and Simon are engaged, both sides of the family begin wearing purple. A show of both houses coming together.

4. White roses

Flowers are another thematic sign you might’ve missed in Bridgerton. In particular, white roses. Usually, all white roses appear when Daphne is on screen. For example, Simon plucks a white rose for the debutante during their promenade. The two also canoodle in front of a rose bush during Lady Trowbridge’s ball.

White roses symbolise purity, innocence and youthfulness. They are also associated with young love and eternal loyalty. Both meanings link to the Duke and Daphne. Although, the irony that Simon takes away her “innocence” before an engagement is not lost on us.

5. Lady Whistledown’s identity

We don’t find out that the infamous Lady Whistledown is Penelope until the end of the season. But there are many clues hidden along the way. Some that were no doubt missed while marathoning the show.

Penelope placed herself in all the situations she needed to be to write her columns. For example, if you look closely at Simon and Daphne’s first meet, the gossip can be seen watching.

Penelope was also part of the Featherington household, where Marina Thompson resided. Marina’s pregnancy occurred much earlier in the season than when Lady Whistledown divulged. The news only broke when Penelope and Marina’s friendship was on the rocks.

Netflix have recently announced that they will be running a second series. The date is yet to be set due to the pandemic. But no doubt fans will be waiting with bated breath to catch another glimpse of the town’s most famous rakes.


Have you spotted any more easter eggs in the series so far or things people might’ve missed in Bridgerton? What are your thoughts on the upcoming second season? Let us know in the comments below.


Read more of our literature articles HERE.

Read IMDB information about Bridgerton HERE.

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