If you were around age 13 in 2008, you probably remember all the drama surrounding Midnight Sun, the book that was supposed to be the fifth installment of the wildly popular Twilight series. In case you don’t remember, though, here’s what happened.
Twelve years ago, in September 2008, when Twilight hype was at its peak and the first movie was about to be released, an unfinished draft of a book called Midnight Sun was published online. The draft, a retelling of the original Twilight book from Edward’s perspective, was rumored to be the real deal, directly from Stephanie Meyer’s desk, but many fans believed it to be a fake. That is, until Meyer published the following letter:
“There were very few copies of Midnight Sun that left my possession and each was unique. The manuscript that was illegally distributed on the internet was given to trusted individuals for a good purpose. I have no comment beyond that as I believe that there was no malicious intent with the initial distribution.”
“I did not want my readers to experience Midnight Sun before it was completed, edited and published. 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. Unfortunately, with the internet, it is easy for people to obtain and share items that do not legally belong to them. No matter how this is done, it is still dishonest.”
“So where does this leave Midnight Sun? My first feeling was that there was no way to continue. Writing isn’t like math; in math, two plus two always equals four no matter what your mood is like. With writing, the way you feel changes everything. If I tried to write Midnight Sun now, in my current frame of mind, James [a vampire tracking Bella] would probably win and all the Cullens would die, which wouldn’t dovetail too well with the original story.”
“In any case, I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun, and so it is on hold indefinitely.”
After this rightfully upset (but still incredibly dramatic) letter, Meyer posted the unfinished draft on her website, cutting off right before Edward and Bella really begin to connect. Fans assumed that Midnight Sun was forever cancelled, and that they would never get the heart-throbbing, squeal-inducing inner musings of their favorite brooding, 108-year-old teen vampire falling in love for the first time. But we all must move on from our middle school heartbreaks, and soon the almost-book was forgotten.
That is, until now.
Twelve Years Later…
Last week, Stephanie Meyer published a vague countdown announcement on her website, teasing something big happening on Monday, May 4th. When the timer ran out, the website crashed due to the number of people logging on to see what all the fuss was about. Then, on Good Morning America, she announced something that may have seemed like a dream to hordes of former teen twi-hards now trudging through a lockdown in their mid-twenties:
“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 it 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 right to make you wait anymore.”
It turns out, fans never really did forget about Midnight Sun. They were asking about it even after Meyer published Life and Death, a gender-swapped version of the story starring vampire Edythe Cullen and mortal Beau Swan. Apparently when she discovered that E.L. James, who wrote the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey series loosely based on Twilight, had published a retelling of her own series from Christian Grey’s perspective in 2015, Meyer had what she described as a “flip the table moment” and changed her mind about her once-final verdict.
Publisher Little Brown has released a description of Midnight Sun on their website, calling it a novel “drawing on the classic myth of Hades and Persephone…about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love.”
“This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting beautiful, mysterious Bella is both the most intriguing and unnerving event he has experienced in his long life as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he let himself fall in love with Bella when he knows that he is endangering her life?”
Midnight Sun will become available August 4th, but can be pre-ordered now from most major book retailers, including Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Target, and Amazon.