We all have regrets in life. Not investing in Bitcoin in 2017, choosing an ill-fated uni course out of panic, not going to the last kick-ons pre-pandemic and lockdown: the regrets of a life can range in magnitude. With the official publication and release of Midnight Sun yesterday, Twilight author Stephenie Meyer is doing some reflecting, too. That said, we are getting real Edith Piaf vibes because apparently the woman who wrote one of the most beloved and pilloried YA series in living memory would only change one (1) thing from the entire Twilight book.
ICYMI, nearly fifteen years after the world first met iconic 2000s couple Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, we’re finally getting Edward’s side of the story. Midnight Sun is essentially a rewriting of the first novel in the Twilight series from the moody vampire’s perspective. An unfinished version leaked back in 2008 leading to Meyer to cancel the novel’s release, until now.
Now, we don’t know how active or engaged Meyer has been in the fourteen years since the first book in the series was released, but the rest of us have spent the better part of a decade unpicking the most absurd things about these books. Twilight was the absurdist fantasy YA novel that we loved to hate, perhaps no one more so than the man it made a star: Robert Pattinson. The book is riddled with hyperbolic language, nonsensical plot holes and bizarre characterisation moments. Despite this, there is but a single thing Meyer would change.
Edward would say “I love you,” to Bella sooner. That’s it.
“When I was writing Twilight, things felt right,” Meyer told Bustle. “But then I realized [Edward] absolutely would have told [Bella] he loved her sooner. There’s no way he wouldn’t have. There were certain points where I’m like, ‘Yes, he would have said it right here.’ And I can’t change that. And that’s very frustrating.”
Oooh yeah, that would be frustrating wouldn’t it, Steph? FYI, in the original novel, Edward tells Bella he loves her before the Cullen family baseball game. Let’s take a moment to revisit the most iconic use of a Muse track in cinematic history, shall we?
Stunning. Anyway, Meyer reckons Edward would actually have told Bella about his feelings much earlier. “He definitely would have after he saved her in Port Angeles. He addresses that mentally where he is kind of surprised, as he thinks over their conversation when he’s talking to her again, that he didn’t say it,” she explained. “He’s like, ‘Oh, is she not aware?’ But still, I feel like if I had the freedom to rework it instead of just telling his side, there would have been some fun changes.”
In the spirit of righting wrongs, we have a few gentle suggestions for what could have done with a little revision and massaging in the Twilight universe in Midnight Sun.
The Bizarre Imprinting System
First up, Jacob’s bizarre werewolf imprinting system. Essentially, he ‘imprints’ on Edward and Bella’s baby daughter Renesmee—a character name that’s ripe for amending—and it’s implied they will inevitably bone. During her life he’ll be like a ‘best friend and protector‘ to her, which sounds a lot like child grooming to us, but hey, what do we know.
Edward Not Understanding Human Food
Bella deserves better than someone who can’t grab some hummus and crackers on the way home.
The Stalking, Breaking & Entering
Oh yeah, we might also have given some thought to the characterisation of Edward breaking into Bella’s home and watching her sleep as creepy instead of *checks notes*… romantic.
Edward’s Boner For Bella In A Long Khaki Skirt
The moment that Edward reveals he thinks Bella is at her sexiest when in a khaki skirt and a blouse, could surely have been erased in Midnight Sun. Even the words khaki and blouse are basically birth control. Can’t tell if it’s better or worse than current YA teenagers are dressing like the absolute thots we know them to be.
The Overuse Of The Words Chuckled & Chagrin
Meyer’s heavy use of the word ‘chagrin’ spawned 1000 ‘reading Twilight filled me with chagrin‘ memes and she didn’t learn! In the unfinished version of Midnight Sun, the word chagrin appears nine times in just twelve chapters. Exact same deal with ‘chuckled’, as pointed out by the above TikTok which made us chuckle.
The Cullen’s Family Dynamics
These people are remarkably bad at doing the literal only thing they do, being vampires and not letting people know they’re vampires. Maybe Midnight Sun could have rectified that image?
Jasper Being A Former *Confederate Soldier*
No explanation necessary.