The manuscript leaked in 2008 and the author, Stephenie Meyer, felt so betrayed over the whole thing that she put the project on hold for several years, saying "If I tried to write Midnight Sun now, in my current frame of mind, James would probably win and all the Cullens would die." The leaked draft manuscript was then put up on Meyer's website. The finished novel was published on August 4, 2020.
Midnight Sun provides examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: Things which were only alluded to or loosely explained in the original Twilight novel— Edward's hunting trip with Emmett, the precise way Edward's powers work, Jessica and Mike's characters, even conversation content between Edward and Bella— are all explained more thoroughly with Edward's point-of-view now available.
- A God Am I: Edward has an inner monologue about how vampires are basically gods and can only be destroyed by other vampires.
- Alone Among the Couples: Edward expresses some annoyance about living with three perfectly matched couples, especially when he thinks there's no hope for him and Bella.
- Artistic License Physics:
- When Edward runs through scenarios on how to get away with killing Bella in class, he thinks Bella's blood would cool in the five seconds it would take to kill the rest of the class. That's not how temperature works.
- Edward can run on snow without leaving tracks or indentations, despite weighing the same as a human man his size.
- During the van crash, Edward tackles Bella out of the way. The van then ricochets at a 90 degree angle off the truck back toward them for him to stop it with his hands, explained as the "strong iron frame" of the 1950s truck deflecting it. All of this occurs within less than a second.
- Edward's plans to leave Bella for her own safety solidify in his mind after James almost kills her in the ballet studio. He would do this at the start of New Moon.
- When he sees the small bite left on Bella's hand by James, Edward thinks about how horrible it was for him and Carlisle to get so little venom to work with, explaining why he injects Bella with syringes full of venom in "Breaking Dawn".
- Jacob thinks something's gone rancid in Bella's home and that she's wearing an awful perfume after she dances with Edward— a nod to Jacob becoming a werewolf later in the series, and to how vampires and werewolves smell bad to one another.
- Conveniently Coherent Thoughts: Everyone seems to think in (usually) complete, plot-relevant sentences. This seems to be actually treated as how things work rather than a Translation Convention, as the narration contains statements such as "His thoughts were no longer coherent", as if coherence were the default state. Charlie is remarkable to Edward for not having thoughts in exact words, just emotional tones.
- Crazy Enough to Work: We finally get to see how the Cullens got to the dance studio to stop James so fast: they stole a street racer's car with nitro boosts and Alice and Jasper linked their powers with Edward's telepathy to turn him into the God of Driving, speeding through Phoenix traffic at 180 MPH. When they need a new car, they hijack one on the interstate and Emmett throws the previous car into oncoming traffic.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- Intentionally or not, Edward's inner monologue frequently evokes school shooters. He spends pages pondering how to most efficiently kill the other 20 people in his classroom while preventing them from escaping or raising an alarm, all so he can feed on Bella.
- His inner monologue on going after Bella when she's at home and her father's away comes off as if he's planning to rape her.
- Edward's exchanges with the school receptionist play out like scenes at the beginning of a porno; he gets her flustered with his voice and she repeatedly reminds herself he's "too young".
- Emo Teen: Edward spends a lot of time being overly dramatic about everything from his feelings about Bella to his assumption that all vampires go to Hell when their bodies are destroyed.
- Hidden Depths: Edward asks Bella what her favorite movies are at one point, and she gives him quite the interesting list. (In order: the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Vertigo, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Beauty and the Beast, The Empire Strikes Back, Gattaca, and Somewhere in Time.)
- Edward constantly complains about how shallow teenagers and humans in general are, constantly looking down on them and calling them silly, and yet he's just as shallow when it comes to his thoughts about Bella. Really he's probably more immature than most of the teens in Forks.
- The first time Edward enters Bella's bedroom while she's asleep, he's repulsed by himself as something no better than "some sick peeping tom" since he's a dangerous vampire. Before she goes to Port Angeles, he tells himself he's not trespassing on her privacy or leering at her the way a peeping tom would; he's protecting her. After her tells her he's been watching her sleep almost nightly and she blushes, he's offended that she might believe he's just a pervert.Edward: Are you very angry with me?
Bella: [blushing] That depends!
Bella: What you heard!
Edward: [thinking] I felt a rush of relief that she did not believe me capable of a viler kind of surveillance. Her only worry was embarrassment at what I might have heard her say? Well, on that matter I could comfort her. She had nothing to be ashamed of.
- It's All About Me: Apparently this is Renée's power. It's implied to be projective telepathy, calling forward to Breaking Dawn, but the effect is that people sense what she wants and want to give it to her.
- It's All My Fault: Edward is dead convinced that everything that is wrong in Bella's life is his fault.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- Edward's criticism and disgust at himself for breaking into Bella's bedroom and watching her sleep is both an emotion he is feeling in-story and an acknowledgment of a common criticism of Twilight, namely that Bella did not see this as a wrong thing to do.
- A nurse assumes Renée flew in from Georgia, and Renée is a little offended and corrects her "Florida". This could be a nod to Fifty Shades of Grey, where Ana's mother lives in Georgia.
- Lampshade Hanging: Multiple times, Edward acknowledges he is stalking Bella, "Like a stalker. An obsessed stalker. An obsessed vampire stalker."
- Meaningful Name:
- Discussed by Edward, who doesn't think "James" really covers how monstrous James is.
- The place Edward head when misleading James is called "Calgary", alluding to the place where Jesus was crucified.
- Bella, on her part, goes back to Phoenix, where she almost becomes a newborn of an immortal race that appears to be in flames in direct sunlight.
- Must Be Invited: When Edward first comes round to Bella's house (that she is aware of) she gives him an explicit invitation. He is amused and thinks she may be thinking of this aspect of vampire mythology.
- Pædo Hunt: Edward flashbacks to his past as a Serial-Killer Killer, focused on a time he killed a paedophile just before he could attack a child.
- Perspective Flip: The novel is a retelling of the first Twilight book, but from Edward's point of view rather than Bella's. A lot of it consists of Edward just describing what Bella is doing and saying, or describing other people's interactions with and thoughts about Bella, though there are some scenes unique to Edward's perspective.
- Pun: When Edward flees from Fork to escape the temptation to kill Bella, he goes to Alaska, the state nicknamed Land of the Midnight Sun.
- Shout-Out: Edward makes a few comparisons between his relationship with Bella and the myth of Hades and Persephone; he's a creature associated with death and darkness, in love with a woman associated with life and light. The cover, featuring a pomegranate, is also a reference to this myth (Persephone had to stay in the Underworld for half the year after eating six pomegranate seeds there).
- Stalking Is Love: Edward feels guilty and berates himself for stalking Bella, but justifies it to himself as protecting Bella from harm or death by speeding cars, stray meteorites, or creepy men sneaking into her bedroom to watch her. He still does it anyways despite acknowledging to himself that it's criminal— according to human laws. As in Twilight, Bella isn't bothered by it when he tells her; he was "protecting" her when he saved her from a would-be rapist in Port Angeles. Her only concern is what he might've overheard her say in her sleep.She smiled wider again. Her clear, dark eyes seemed deeper than ever. I'd just admitted to stalking her, and she was smiling.
- Talking in Your Sleep: Bella's sleep-talking is mentioned in Twilight, but we actually see it here from Edward's perspective. He explicitly mentions that this is a big reason he watches her sleep, because it's the closest he can get to reading her thoughts.
- Title Drop: The title is how Edward sees Bella after she says his name in her sleep:Edward: My life was an unending, unchanging midnight. It must, by necessity, always be midnight for me. So how was it possible that the sun was rising now, in the middle of my midnight?
- You're Cute When You're Angry: In the leaked manuscript, Edward finds Bella cute when she's mad, repeatedly calling her a "furious kitten that thinks it's a tiger" among other things. Portions of this were changed in the final version.