Midnight Sun review: this nostalgic story made me question Bella and Edward

I loved Twilight when the movies came out, I bought every single book (including The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner ) and flew through them. As a teenage girl I loved every page, and when I look back I tend to have fond memories even if there were some strange plot points (such as the whole pregnancy storyline). Midnight Sun, which takes us through Twilight but from the perspective of our favourite brooding, sparkling vampire was long anticipated by many readers and now it is finally out in paperback.

As I opened up the book I felt a rush of nostalgia, being transported back to my early teen years when vampires were all the rage.

But as the book went on, I couldn’t help but question the relationship we’d all grown familiar with. Bella is a child. Sure, she’s old enough to drive a car (or truck) and she’s not far from 18 but she is still a child.

Edward is old enough to be her grandfather’s grandfather. Yes, he doesn’t look it – but he is that age. Not only is Edward so much older than her, but his behaviour is better described as stalking than romantic – I don’t know any woman who would swoon by a man breaking into her home to watch her sleep.

Jada Jones is one of The Review Club’s expert reviewers

Jada Jones is one of The Review Club’s expert reviewers.

The Reviews Club brings together the UK’s biggest experts to review products and services in an honest and in-depth manner. She specialises in books, food (excluding dairy – so she knows a lot of the best vegan alternatives), drinks and homeware. You can find her over on @JadaJonesTweets where she is likely to be excitedly chirping about a book she read and is often up for a chat about any of her reviews.

Being reminded of this quite frankly illegal relationship dynamic I couldn’t help but wonder what type of message it was sending to teen readers. I found it altogether strange that Edward had any interest in Bella – who he describes as ‘just an ordinary human girl’ on the first page – with her significant youth I would expect her to bore him. Although Edward seems satisfied with not enjoying his eternal existence as he opts to relive high school over and over again.

I find the dynamic between the two quite troubling, with Edward’s possessive and controlling behaviour looking more like red flags than something to aspire towards.

I think this book is best enjoyed by an older crowd with feelings of nostalgia who are able to see it for the fiction that it is. The whole book wrapped me up in nostalgia and reminded me of my teen years that allowed me to enjoy it – but you must read it with a pinch of salt. If you can see how ridiculous and quite frankly dangerous Edward and Bella are then I think this is a good read, I just worry that some readers might look to this as a representation of what a romantic relationship should look like.

And for fans who have waited for this book for years (like myself) it’s a nice waltz down memory lane, although it does make me glad for the significantly healthier relationship dynamics I see in the books that now fill up my shelves.

I did enjoy this book, having read all the books (excluding Life and Death) it was a comforting read and reignited my inner fangirl. It even made me want to dig out my DVDs and watch Twilight again for perhaps the 56th time (I really was a huge Twilight fan). But I think in order to enjoy it, it’s important to remember that it is a work of fiction.

That can be obvious enough due to the vampires and werewolves but between Twilight and The Vampire Diaries a lot of my favourite stories throughout my teens had concerning themes of older men controlling young teenage girls (always leading to her death).

You can get your hands on a copy of Midnight Sun to round off your collection here.