Curious what was going on in Edward Cullen’s head? Author Stephenie Meyer finally has the answer. More than a decade after revealing, then pulling, the companion novel that would re-tell Twilight from the vampire’s point-of-view, Meyer has announced that Midnight Sun is finally getting released this summer.
Meyer announced the new release date of Midnight Sun on Good Morning America (after a tease on her personal website caused it to crash), saying that the companion novel would be coming out on August 4. It’s the next in a series of 2000s YA franchises that have gotten new novels—for example, the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which focuses on future-President Snow, comes out on May 19 (and already has a movie deal).
In a video statement, Meyer said she wasn’t sure if she should release this book that had been on the shelf for over a decade, but a combination of fan response and the times we’re living in prompted her to finally take the plunge.
“I am very excited to finally, finally announce the release of Midnight Sun on August 4,” she said. “It’s a crazy time right now and I wasn’t sure if it wasn’t the right time to put this book out, but some of you have been waiting for just so so long. It didn’t seem fair to make you wait anymore. “
Midnight Sun is one of those books that seemed destined to live in infamy. It was first announced over a decade ago with a planned 2008 release date, three years after the series debuted with Twilight and the same year as its final chapter, Breaking Dawn. It would serve as a companion novel to the original series, telling the story of Twilight from Edward Cullen’s perspective. However, a first draft of the book’s opening later leaked online, which prompted an angered Meyer to pull the release indefinitely and release a statement on her website:
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.
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 would probably win and all the Cullens would die.
Meyer continued to keep Midnight Sun on lockdown—even as shameless Twilight fanfic copycat E.L. James came out with her own 50 Shades of Grey companion novel, Grey. However, Meyer has kept the series going with a successful movie franchise and a 2015 Twilight reimagining called Life and Death, which swapped the gender roles of Edward/Edythe and Bella’s/Beau. Conceived as a way to field criticism over the story’s reliance on gender roles and stereotypes, Life and Death ended up falling back into those trope traps by doing things like making Beau less emotional and adding unnecessary physical descriptions for female counterparts like Edythe.
It’s unclear how much of Midnight Sun has been changed in the 12 years since it was first postponed. Maybe Edward Cullen has a quarantine beard now. Midnight Sun comes out on August 4.
For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.