Spoilers: ‘Midnight Sun’ and the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
When I first heard that Midnight Sun, the Twilight companion novel from Edward’s point of view, was going to be published in this year of Our Lord 2020, I honestly had no plans to read it. Though I was a Twihard in my youth, I swore off the series right after I angrily threw my brand new copy of Breaking Dawn into the donation bin. (Giving birth to a human-vampire hybrid child? Spending 500 pages preparing for an epic battle that would never happen? Imprinting on a human-vampire hybrid child?) It was easily the most absurd book of the entire saga—or at least, until now.
When my friend asked me to read Midnight Sun along with her, I figured, why not? It had been over a decade since my original promise to avoid all things Twilight, and it’s not like I had much else to do during the pandemic. Though it was nearly 700 pages long, I figured I could break it up into manageable pieces over the coming weeks. What I didn’t anticipate was that I would become so addicted to how absolutely deranged Edward’s take on the original book would be that I would binge-read it in a single weekend.
Was it an objectively good book? No. Did it add to the Twilight saga in a significant way? Also no. But what I read will definitely haunt me, and if I have to suffer from the knowledge of every batshit thing Edward said and did in this novel, then so do you.
And now I present to you: the 10 unhinged moments from the new Twilight book that I can’t stop thinking about.
1. Edward oiling Bella’s window
By now, even non-Twilight fans have probably heard about how Edward breaks into Bella’s room and watches her sleep every night. What we didn’t know, though, was that Edward actually oiled Bella’s window so she wouldn’t wake up whenever he opened it. I repeat: HE OILED BELLA’S WINDOW. It was only mentioned in passing in the book, just a throwaway sentence I managed to completely gloss over until my friend pointed it out to me. This is a bizarre doubling-down on an already-controversial part of the original saga, but it sure gave me a lot of joy to rehash this detail to all of my ex-Twihard friends.
2. Edward falling in love with Bella before he even had a real conversation with her
If you thought their romance moved a little too fast in the original Twilight book, just wait until you find out that Edward was head over heels in love with her before they even had so much as a normal conversation. Why? Because Alice had a vision that he would fall in love with her, and that was good enough for him, I guess! (I’m not even going to get into the fact that Edward started contemplating suicide—not just hypothetically, but actually planning out how he would do it—at the thought of Bella dying just TWO DAYS after they started dating, but please know that it happened.)
3. Edward stalking Bella throughout the day (every single day)
Again, everyone knows that Edward would break into Bella’s house to watch her at night, but it’s one thing to hear him mention it briefly in the first book and another thing to have to sit through chapters of him describing her sleep in excruciating detail. And if you thought Edward’s inability to read Bella’s thoughts was going to save her, think again. Edward was willing and able to get into the heads of everyone around her, spending the majority of each school day doing nothing but watching Bella from everyone else’s eyes and using the scent of her blood to track her physical location. Not only was that HELLA uncomfortable, but it was also pretty boring—it just meant we had to relive all of Bella’s conversations that we’d already seen in Twilight. Trust me, it wasn’t even that interesting the first time around!
4. Jasper getting high off Edward and Bella’s feelings
This has been haunting me since the moment I read it: Apparently Jasper (who has the ability to feel and manipulate other people’s emotions) loooooved hanging out with Edward and Bella so much because he was literally getting high from all their teenage sexual frustration. I wish I were joking! He lingers outside the door of the room they’re hanging out in just to experience it longer and is delighted to learn Bella would be joining them to play baseball because he just couldn’t get enough of it. I have been screaming about this nonstop for days.
5. Edward silently counting all the bugs in the meadow
Ever wonder what was going through Edward’s head during the iconic meadow scene? Well, question it no longer! While Bella fawned over his Swarovski crystal skin, my man Edward Cullen was busy counting insects to try to keep his blood-boner down. I am not kidding when I say I laughed through the entire drawn-out excerpt.
6. Edward talking about how he once spent days underwater because of… reasons?
He mentions this to Bella in passing, and she never thinks to follow up with any questions. And despite having the luxury of being inside Edward’s head, he doesn’t care to enlighten the audience about his aquatic adventure either. What on earth would possess a vampire to stay underwater for days? How is it that this companion novel actually manages to leave me with more questions than I had before I read it? Why am I still trying to find logic in any of this?
7. Edward calling Bella’s classmates “children”
Look, I 100% understand why Edward, a 100-year-old vampire, would infantilize his high school classmates (who are, in fact, children). If I had lived that long and had several medical degrees under my belt, I would probably be exhausted by the idea of spending every single day around 14-to-18-year-olds. But, uh, Edward, you do realize that the girl you fell madly in love with is the same age as those children? Not to mention that you’re constantly calling her “the girl” and admitted yourself (while watching one of Alice’s future visions) that you don’t actually consider her a woman yet. Have I ever seen so many red flags in my life? Probably not!
8. Edward constantly trying to justify his toxic behavior
Healthy relationship? Never heard of her. Look, Stephenie Meyer obviously got the memo that Edward’s actions in the original saga were questionable at best and abusive at worst. And now that she has the chance to show them through his own point of view, she justifies them by… saying Edward knows what he’s doing is fucked up? Like that somehow makes it better? Maybe it’s just me, but saying, “I know I’m a creepy stalker, and I hate myself for it, but I can’t help myself” doesn’t actually absolve him from being, you know, a creepy stalker.
9. Edward straight-up contemplating genocide
When Edward went on a four-page rant about how he wanted to kill all of Bella’s classmates so that he could suck the lifeblood out of her right then and there, I honestly wasn’t shocked. We’ve known from the beginning that Edward originally wanted to murder Bella, so his psychopathic fantasies felt on-brand in the moment (though pretty tone-deaf, given the influx of school shootings the past several years). What DID throw me off, though, was his offhand comment about how a possible breach in the treaty the vampires made with the Quileutes would give him the opportunity to slaughter the entirety of the Native American tribe. All I have to say is: Um???
10. Edward feeling guilty about killing a child molester
So back in the day, good ol’ Eddie used to use his vampiric powers to fight against the forces of evil (much like an old-timey, supernatural Batman, if you will). He reminisces about one of his past victims, a reluctant pedophile who talked himself into acting on his impulses when he passed by the open window of a child’s room. But for some bizarre reason, Edward seemed to feel guilty about this and didn’t act until the man had already reached through the window to touch the child’s arm. In another case, maybe I could understand waiting for someone to commit a crime before they suffer the consequences. But Edward can read minds! He could see exactly what this man was planning to do! And he still let the man touch the child! What’s worse, Meyer writes that the pedophile was relieved that Edward was there to stop him from sexually assaulting the child. I repeat: Um???