Midnight Sun: what can we expect from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight prequel?

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15 years after the first novel in the Twilight saga was released, Stephenie Meyer is taking readers back to Forks, Washington, with her new book, Midnight Sun

Whether you loved it or hated it, there’s no point denying that the Twilight saga was very big news. Indeed, the vampire romance has sold well over 100 million copies, with translations into 37 different languages – and pretty much everyone has an opinion on the Edward/Jacob/Bella love triangle. Even now.

Is it any wonder, then, that so many ‘Twihards’ have reacted with excitement and enthusiasm to the news that Edward Cullen – the floppy-haired vampire brought to life by Robert Pattinson in the movie adaptations opposite Kristen Stewart’s Bella Swan – is set to become the subject of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight prequel?

Oh yes.

Announcing the news via a video message to Good Morning America, Meyer explained: “I am very excited to finally, finally announce the release of Midnight Sun on 4 August.

“It’s a crazy time right now and I wasn’t sure if this was the right time to put this book out, but some of you have been waiting for just so, so long. It didn’t seem fair to make you wait anymore.”

Meyer continued: “Sorry about the bad timing. Hopefully, this book can be a distraction from the real world.

“I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you.”

In a press release, Meyer added that she hopes the book gives readers a chance to “live in an imaginary world for a while.”

“I hope this book gives my readers a little pleasure to anticipate and if it arrives, a chance to live in an imaginary world for a while,” she said.

“I can’t express how much I appreciate the patience of my readers, and their support over the years it took to finish Midnight Sun.”

So, what’s Midnight Sun about?

As fans of the OG series will no doubt remember, Bella was the shy and introverted girl who moved to a new school at the beginning of the first Twilight book. There, she fell in love with Edward, a pale and impossibly attractive classmate, who – surprise of all surprises – turned out to be a vampire.

The story revolved around the particularly problematic dilemma of Edward and Bella’s relationship: yearning for each other, they couldn’t truly consummate their love because, unless Bella became a vampire, she would die

Then, there was the little matter of Jacob. As in, yeah, the sweet, doting BFF (with a rippling six-pack) who was every bit as obsessed with Bella as Edward. Unlike his love rival, Jacob was not an icy-to-the-touch vampire. He still had his issues, though: he was a werewolf. Part of a pack of werewolves, actually. And a pack of werewolves predisposed to hate vampires on sight, whether they’re after their girl or not.

The series was always told from Bella’s POV: she was new to the world, she was the reader’s eyes and ears, she allowed us to experience the inexplicable. And it’s worth noting that the series has been derided for its positive portrayal of stalking and coercive control. Indeed, Edward meets all 15 signs of an abusive relationship, from threatening suicide if he and Bella can’t be together to isolating Bella from her friends and family over the course of the series.

New Moon stills: Twilight Saga
Despite his abusive tendencies, fans fell hook, line and sinker for Edward Cullen... as did Bella Swan.

Despite this, though, fans loved it. They loved it. And now Meyer has decided to offer readers the chance to learn about Edward’s past and his experiences as a vampire via Midnight Sun

Which is, you guessed it, all from his POV. Go figure.

What’s the controversy around Midnight Sun?

In 2008, a partial draft of the Midnight Sun manuscript leaked online. In response, Meyer postponed the book’s release indefinitely, saying she was too upset to continue writing.

“I did not want my readers to experience Midnight Sun before it was completed, edited and published,” Meyer wrote in a 2008 letter to fans on her website.

“I think it is important for everybody to understand that what happened was a huge violation of my rights as an author, not to mention me as a human being.”

What have Twilight fans said about Midnight Sun?

“Thank you so much Stephenie Meyer. This is the greatest thing to take our minds off what’s happening in the world. We waited 12 years and it was all so worth it,” tweeted one, in response to the news.

Another said: “THE WAITING WAS WORTH IT! I knew this book would come eventually!”

Still one more said: “Thank you so much SM!! You have no idea how you have brightened the lives of millions of us!! Our fandom is the best and stronger than ever!! Pre-ordered my copy already!!”

And another joked: “I may be 32, but the teenage girl in me is screaming ‘Buy the book!’” 

When is Midnight Sun due to be released?

It’s coming on 4 August 2020. Will you be revisiting the Twilight franchise?

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Images: Summit Entertainment, Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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