Mini Reviews | Midnight Sun and Girls on the Verge

Posted October 5, 2020 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Books, Reviews / 2 Comments

Mini Reviews | Midnight Sun and Girls on the VergeMidnight Sun (Twilight, #5) by Stephenie Meyer
on August 4, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 675 •Format: E-BookSource: Overdrive

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella's side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward's version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.
This unforgettable tale as told through Edward's eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years 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 justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?
In Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer transports us back to a world that has captivated millions of readers and brings us an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love.
"People do not want to just read Meyer's books; they want to climb inside them and live there." -- Time"A literary phenomenon." -- The New York Times

I have to admit, back in the day when the initial chapters of Midnight Sun were available to read on Stephenie Meyer’s website, I adored the manuscript. I was SO thrilled to be in Edward’s head and I was heartbroken when she decided to no longer pursue the project. When I heard that she was finally revisiting it years later, I was equal parts excited and apprehensive, because I know my tastes have changed since my tween years and I wasn’t sure I’d still love this series as much as I originally did.

In preparation of Midnight Sun’s release, I read Twilight back in March and actually enjoyed it for the most part. Though Edward and Bella’s relationship bored me nearly to tears (when I used to think it was so romantic) I loved the Pacific Northwest setting, the unique vampire lore, and the quiet, journalistic narration, just following Bella do normal, everyday activities like reading, cooking, etc. There was something comforting about it, without being boring. You’d therefore think that Midnight Sun would be even more engaging as it’s the same story from the POV of a vampire, but honestly it put me in such a slump. I was SO TIRED of reading Edward’s obsessive, ruminating thoughts- he brings a whole new meaning to overthinking things. There were some bright spots, such as getting more time with the Cullens, getting a lot more of Edward’s backstory, and seeing how the Cullens cleaned up the whole end mess in Phoenix behind the scenes, but other than that it was truly so boring. Not to mention Edward is definitely a stalker, which I’m not surprised about and I know that paranormal romance isn’t necessarily supposed to be realistic, but his behavior definitely makes me more uncomfortable now that I’m older and wiser.

This book actually made me change my mind about a lot of secondary characters though, which was interesting! I never liked Jessica (she always seemed shallow) but I really disliked her after this book. I was never a Jacob fan but he seems so sweet and earnest through Edward’s mind-reading abilities. And Jasper really had a darkness about him that didn’t come through as much in Bella’s POV. As I mentioned earlier, this book definitely had pockets of intrigue, but I think it easily could have been 100-200 pages shorter.

Overall: I’m glad I read Midnight Sun for the nostalgia and also to round out the Twilight series, but it’s definitely not as good as I thought it would be back in the day. I do appreciate the additional insight it gave to the Twilight universe, though.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Mini Reviews | Midnight Sun and Girls on the VergeGirls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on April 9, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 229 •Format: ARCSource: ALA

Camille couldn't be having a better summer. But on the very night she learns she got into a prestigious theater program, she also finds out she’s pregnant. She definitely can’t tell her parents. And her best friend, Bea, doesn’t agree with the decision Camille has made.

Camille is forced to try to solve her problem alone . . . and the system is very much working against her. At her most vulnerable, Camille reaches out to Annabelle Ponsonby, a girl she only barely knows from the theater. Happily, Annabelle agrees to drive her wherever she needs to go. And in a last-minute change of heart, Bea decides to come with.

Girls on the Verge is an incredibly timely novel about a woman’s right to choose. Sharon Biggs Waller brings to life a narrative that has to continue to fight for its right to be told, and honored.

I’m ashamed to say Girls on the Verge has been sitting on my physical TBR unread for over a year, because I think it’s SUCH an important book. I absolutely flew through it in one sitting, and found it to be an honest and timely story about reproductive rights in the United States.

Girls on the Verge handles tough topics without pointing fingers and assigning blame to the characters’ decisions, rather it works to shed light on the struggle for women to have autonomy and rights over their bodies in a way that is quite shocking this day in age. From pregnancy “crisis centers” masquerading as a place to help women make the best decisions regarding their pregnancies to having to traverse state and country lines to seek medical care and navigate through differing laws, it manages to both weave a narrative and so much important political and legal information into a YA novel that’s under 300 pages.

The story also doesn’t sacrifice plot and characters in favor of the issues it tackles. All 3 main characters feel well-rounded and realistic, whether I was cheering for them or cringing at their comments. All 3 of them had very different views and experiences with reproductive rights and their viewpoints were both explored and challenged. Their entire relationship felt like a natural and organic dialogue about the issues at hand, and there was so much girl-empowering-girl energy which was awesome.

Overall: An extremely important and timely addition to the YA contemporary canon.


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