Bella Swan is a seventeen-year-old high school student who has chosen to live with her dad, Charlie, in Forks, Washington. She leaves her mom and her home in Phoenix, Arizona, and moves to a town that is extremely small and where everyone knows everyone else. Bella’s dad is the sheriff in town, so everyone at her new school knows her immediately. There are a couple of boys whose attention she immediately catches. But as far as her attention goes, there is a group of five people who catch it.
She sees this group of people who can only be described as unbelievably beautiful. There are three guys and two girls. They all have pale skin and dark circles around their eyes. But they are graceful and gorgeous. The five sit alone at lunch, not eating, sometimes talking to each other and sometimes staring off into space.
Bella is curious about this group of students, but does not really ask any questions. She discovers that one of them, Edward, is in her biology class. He is, in fact, her lab partner. However, he is extremely rude to her, even though she has never said a word to him. Finally, several days later, as Bella is trying to figure out what she could have possibly done, Edward speaks to her. She is mesmerized by his beauty and shocked that he is finally talking to her. Bella’s curiosity is piqued even more.
One day the roads are a sheet of ice as Bella makes her way to school. She parks her truck, but as she is walking toward the school building, a van comes out of nowhere and begins sliding toward her. Suddenly Edward is by Bella’s side, completely blocking the barreling van. Bella wonders how Edward could have suddenly appeared at her side to save her life.
Bella is asked by some classmates to go to the beach with them one Saturday. She reluctantly agrees and a group of kids from the school go. While they are there, some other people show up from a local town. One of the boys, Jacob, is obviously very interested in Bella. She catches from a conversation that this boy and his friends know Edward and his four friends. Bella flirts with Jacob to get him to take a walk and tell her more about Edward. Jacob explains to her the legend that his people are werewolves and Edward’s people are vampires, and that is why they cannot spend time together.
Bella is extremely confused. She researches vampires to find out if it could be true. Finally, she is able to spend time with Edward. He finds her irresistible, and she feels the same way about him. They are able to talk and she finds out the truth: he is indeed a vampire.
So begins the adventure of Edward and Bella as they deal with their differences and learn more about each other. There are other vampires, of course, that Edward must keep away from Bella. The ultimate scare comes when a vampire named James does everything in his power to lure Bella away from her safety, tricking her into meeting him that he might take her blood.
This is such an amazing book! The story sounds somewhat far-fetched and childish, but it is truly believable. I have not read many fantasy books, so this was a nice change. There are four books total in this series, so I cannot wait to read the next three. This book creates so many images that the reader can picture and believe. - JH