Midnight Sun: Twilight fans feel young again as new book arrives

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The movies helped launch the careers of (left to right) Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson

“Who is ready to go back to being 12 years old again?” wrote one Twilight fan on Twitter. “My 13 year-old self is truly LIVING rn,” wrote another.

They had both immersed themselves in Stephenie Meyer’s saga once again after Midnight Sun, the latest book in the Twilight series, was published.

It re-tells the fantasy romance tale from the perspective of vampire Edward Cullen, rather than Bella Swan.

Nostalgic fans devoured it, while early reviews gave it a warm reception.

“Am I a grown adult? Yes,” wrote another fan online. “Am I fully aware that Twilight is absolute trash? Yes. Am I still going to read Midnight Sun? Also, yes.”

The original Twilight book was released in 2005, with the film following three years later.

The last full book in the series, Breaking Dawn, was released in 2008, although Meyer also published a gender-swapped version of the original story in 2015.

But fans have known about Midnight Sun for a long time – the draft manuscript was leaked in 2008, which the author said made her feel “violated”.

This May, she announced that it would finally be published. Speaking to the New York Times, Meyer said was arriving now purely “because I finished it”.

She said: “When I did see the light at the end of the tunnel… I started the publication process right away, because I knew there were people who had been waiting really kindly and patiently, but also anxiously, for quite a while.”

What do the critics think?

The early reviews of the 671-page novel from fast-reading critics included one by Ed Power in The Telegraph, who gave the new book three stars.

“The big thrill for Twilight true believers will be observing a familiar story play out, beat by beat, but from a different viewpoint,” he wrote.

“Meyer is genuinely invested Edward and Bella, and their dream of a shared life, and her devotion is infectious. If predictable in places, Midnight Sun is no teenage fang dud.”

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Parts of Stephenie Meyer’s new book were leaked online, but now she’s decided the time is right to release it

Meredith Goldstein in the Boston Globe wrote: “Some of the book feels repetitive.

“We already read a lot of the dialogue between Edward and Bella in [first book] Twilight so the better scenes are when we get to follow Edward without her.”

She went on: “There are adorable moments with Edward and family, specifically Alice, his sister, who has visions of the future.”

In USA Today, Morgan Hines said readers get a “deeper insight into the book’s characters and understanding of its narrative” through learning more about Edward’s internal struggle, his past and his view of the relationship with Bella.

“And as in any relationship, understanding both sides is revealing,” she wrote.

Could it be turned into another movie?

All four of the other books – Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn – have made the leap from page to screen, helping to launch the careers of Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.

But director Catherine Hardwicke told Entertainment Tonight it would be “difficult” to simply re-cut her work for a fifth movie. “We did stay a lot more in Bella’s head,” she said.

She added that while an on-screen reunion would be “a lot of fun”, it was clear that Pattinson and Stewart were both now busy Hollywood stars.

“Rob is Batman now… and Kristen is in a million beautiful projects,” she said. “Who knows what would happen.”

For now it’s all about the book, which publisher James Gurbutt noted “was always going to be a big deal”.

He said: “At a time when bookshops have only fairly recently reopened, we hope this will be a really significant publication for retailers.”

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