Bella moves into her dad’s house in Forks, Washington from Phoenix, Arizona so that her mom, Renee, will be able to travel with her new husband (minor league baseball player). She’s sad to leave the sun and warm weather behind, but is willing to make the sacrifice for her mom’s happiness. It is a little awkward between her and her dad, Charlie, because neither is really sociable. He bought her an old truck that she loves.
Bella drives to school on her first day and goes into the main office. She is given a slip of paper to have each of her teachers sign and return at the end of the day. The first student to approach Bella is Eric, who shows her to her next class. In her trigonometry class, she meets Jessica, who invites Bella to sit at her lunch table. That is when Bella first notices the Cullen family. Five beautiful people who all sit together and were adopted by Dr. Cullen and his wife. Jessica explains that Emmett and Rosalie is a couple and Jasper and Alice are as well. She then points out that Edward is single, but doesn’t date. Edward stares at Bella and she tries to ignore him.
Later that day, Bella finds out that she is in the same Biology class with Edward, and the only seat left in the class is right next to him. The entire time, Edward glares at her and edges as far away from her as he can. After class, he storms out. Mike notices the strange situation and uses it as a chance to introduce himself to Bella. He walks her to gym as that is also his next class. After school, Bella goes back to the office to turn in her slip. Edward is there trying to convince the secretary to change his schedule so that he would be in a different biology class. When he realizes Bella is there, he storms off again. Bella is left wondering how she offended him.
Edward is absent the rest of the week and Bella wonders why. When he returns, she starts feeling ill. She dreads going to biology, but when she gets there, Edward starts being nice to her. They finish a lab (which Bella had already done at her old school) quicker than the rest of the students. Edward starts up a conversation and gets her to talk about why she left Phoenix.
The next day, Bella wakes up to snow on the ground. She takes care getting to her truck and drives to school. When she gets there, she wonders why all of the ice didn’t give her any trouble while driving. She gets the tires and sees that Charlie had put snow chains on for her. The next thing she knows, a guy named Tyler is skidding on the ice and headed straight for her. She sees Edward across the lot with a concerned expression. The next thing she knows, Edward is between her and Tyler’s van. He keeps the car from crushing her, but refuses to acknowledge what really happened. The paramedics arrive and make Bella go to the hospital because Edward said she hit her head. While there, Edward promises to tell Bella what really happened if she promises not to tell anyone. She agrees, but he gets out of telling her. Charlie, who is also the police chief, comes to pick Bella up from the hospital.
There is a ladies’ choice dance at school. Mike says that he’s waiting to give Jessica an answer in hopes that Bella will ask him. She tells him to go with Jessica. Edward speaks to Bella for the first time since the accident and ends up telling her that they shouldn’t be friends. They get into an argument over it, and Bella stomps off. After school, Eric asks Bella to the dance and she turns him down. Edward blocks the road so that Bella is stuck behind him. Tyler uses the opportunity to ask Bella to the dance as well. Again, she declines. Edward uses Bella’s excuse of going out of town to offer her a ride. Eventually, she agrees.
Later that day at lunch, Edward is sitting alone in the cafeteria. Jessica points out that he is staring at Bella again. He calls her over with his finger and she goes to find out what he wants. They talk about Bella’s friends, including how Mike is jealous of their exchange. Edward tries to warn Bella again about how he isn’t any good for her and gets her to explain one of her theories about what he is. When her reply indicates a superhero, he mentions that he might be the bad guy. When the lunch crowd dwindles down, Bella gets ready to go to class. Edward informs her that he is skipping. Bella soon finds that she should have skipped class as well. In biology, they are doing blood typing. Bella starts to get woozy at the first sight of blood. Mike offers to walk her to the nurse, but Edward takes over halfway there. He then gets her out of gym class and takes her home. On the way, she invites him to the beach party at La Push her friends have been planning. He turns her down, saying that he and Emmett are going camping.
That weekend, Bella goes to La Push with her friends. While they are there, they run into some of the locals that live on the Quileutes’ reservation, including Jacob Black (Charlie’s best friend’s son). A girl named Lauren from Bella’s group who really seems to have a grudge against her teases her about Edward not coming. One of the other boys makes a comment that the Cullens don’t come to their beach. Bella takes a walk with Jacob flirts with him to get him to tell the story of why the Cullens aren’t allowed in La Push. He explains that the legend says that they are vampires. They have a treaty that won’t allow them on their land. Technically, Jacob breaks the treaty by telling Bella the story.
When Bella gets home, she goes straight to bed only to have a nightmare about Edward. The next morning, she researches vampires online. When she doesn’t come up with anything that matches Jacob’s story, she decides to go for a walk. She goes deep into the woods and sits there for a while, thinking about what Edward is. She goes back home.
The next day at school, Bella is in a good mood because it is sunny. However, her mood quickly drops because Edward isn’t there. Mike asks her out on a date, and she declines on account of Jessica’s feelings (since he’s taking her to the dance). After school, Bella goes outside to read. She starts flipping through the works of Jane Austen, but gets frustrated when the names of the characters remind her of Edward. She ends up falling asleep outside. When she wakes up, she starts getting dinner ready and asks Charlie if she can go to Port Angeles with Jessica and Angela (quiet, shy girl) the next night for dress shopping.
In Port Angeles, Bella helps Jessica and Angela pick out dresses for the dance. Bella gets up the nerve to ask Angela if the Cullens miss a lot of school (yes), and Angela leaves it at that. When the shopping is done, Jessica and Angela decide to go to the bay while Bella stops by the bookstore. However, when she arrives there, she realizes that it is not quite what she was looking for. She starts wandering around, but ends up getting lost in a more industrial district. She starts being followed by four men. She tries to loose them, but too late she figures out that they were herding her. Just as she is about to try to fight them off using self defense, Edward pulls up in his Volvo and tells her to get in the car. He makes her talk to calm him down. When the finally get to the restaurant where Bella was supposed to meet her friends, they are just walking out. Edward asks if he can take Bella home and her friends agree. They go into the restaurant, and Edward pays off the hostess for a private table. The waitress flirts with him, but he is oblivious. They talk about Edward’s telepathy and how he was following Bella around. On the ride back, they get into more specifics about Edward’s vampirism.
The next morning, Edward picks Bella up for school, forcing his siblings to take Rosalie’s flashy BMW. Bella’s friends are shocked to see her arrive with Edward. Jessica says that she wants details from the previous night. Bella begs Edward to tell her what her friend is looking for. They decide that telling people that they are dating is the easiest answer. Edward says he will be listening to the conversation to see how Bella feels about him. When the conversation occurs, Bella throws in her own cryptic messages for Edward. At lunch, Edward and Bella sit together again. Edward changes their plans of going to Seattle that weekend so that he can show her why he can’t go in the sun. They continue talking about his life as a vampire.
The next morning, after Charlie is already gone for his fishing trip, Edward arrives without a car at Bella’s. They get in her truck and she drives, following his directions. They get out by a path that goes through the woods, but don’t end up taking it. Eventually, they end up in a meadow. Edward slowly comes out into the sun and sparkles. Bella is completely taken back by surprise. They sit together and Edward shows off why she should be afraid of him. He regains his composure after a while and explains how Bella smells better than any other human to him. When it is time for them to go back, Edward puts Bella on his back and runs through the woods back to the truck. Bella feels a little woozy and has to sit for a while. Edward kisses her and she is passionately drawn in. However, Edward is still trying to get used to controlling himself around her and pushes her away. They head back to Bella’s and she invites him in. When Charlie comes home, Edward leaves quickly. Bella hurries up to her room to find him waiting there for her. They spend the night together mostly talking, and Bella eventually sleeps.
When Bella wakes up, Edward is in her room, ready to take her to meet his family. She gets ready and they take off. Carlisle and Esme greet her first and seem pleased with her. Alice is extremely friendly and Jasper is a little standoffish because Edward warned him. Edward plays the piano for her and then shows her around the house. In Carlisle’s office, he explains his father’s history (son of a preacher who encouraged witch-hunts. Carlisle was more patient and found vampires, who ended up biting him and leaving him for dead). He then takes her to his room where they tease each other. Alice and Jasper come along to ask them if they want to play ball that night since there will be a storm. They agree to go with them.
Edward takes Bella home so that she can prepare Charlie for meeting him. However, Billy and Jacob are at the house instead. Bella sends Edward away so that she can talk to them. She informs Billy that what the Cullens are is none of his business, and neither is telling Charlie. He agrees, and before he leaves, he tells her to be careful. Charlie arrives and Bella explains that she is going to play baseball with Edward and his family. Edward arrives shortly after and they are off.
After a ride in Emmett’s Jeep and a short run, they are in the clearing where the Cullen family plays baseball. They start the game with Esme as referee and Bella just watching. When Alice freezes, they all know that something is wrong. There are three vampires on their way to check out the game. When they arrive the leader, Laurent, seems to be interested in the vampires’ “vegetarian” way of life. Edward tries to keep Bella out of sight, but one of them, James (who is a tracker), catches Bella’s scent. Edward, Alice, and Emmett get her out of there quickly. It takes a lot of convincing from Bella for Edward to take her home instead of continuing to drive on.
Once at the house, Bella acts like she broke up with Edward. She packs and then tells her father that she can’t be stuck in Forks for the rest of her life. She storms off and gets into her truck where Edward is waiting for her. After driving a little ways, Edward switches spots with her. They go to the Cullen’s house where Bella switches clothes with Esme because Rosalie refuses. Edward, Carlisle, and Emmett take off in the jeep; the read-headed female follows them. Esme and Rosalie take off and James follows them. Alice and Jasper take Bella and head down to Phoenix.
While waiting, Alice explains to Bella that the vampires have venom that they release when they bite. After a person is infected, it takes them about three days to become a vampire if they survive the transition. A little later, Alice sees James in a dark room watching TV, but she can’t tell where it is. Edward calls and tells Bella that he is coming for her and they will be going far away together. Alice sees a room and starts sketching it. Bella recognizes it as a dance studio around the corner from her mom’s home in Phoenix, and this lets them know that James is in the city. Bella calls her mom, warning her not to come home. Shortly after, Alice’s phone rings and she gives it over to Bella because her mom sounds distraught. Bella starts telling her mom that she is fine, but after some silence on the other end, she is greeted by James. He tells her that he has her mom and that Bella must meet him alone to keep her safe. Bella writes a note to Edward and tells Alice that it is for her mom.
Alice and Jasper take Bella to the airport to meet Edward. She asks Jasper to take her for food and then says that she needs to use the bathroom. She slips away and onto a shuttle bus heading for the Hyatt. From there, she takes a taxi home. She finds that her mom’s apartment is a wreck. Heading down to the dance studio, she hears her mom’s panicked voice again. When she continues to listen, she realizes that the voice is coming from a home movie rather than her actual mom. She is relieved that her mom is safe. James attacks her and films the entire incident. He reveals that the last one that got away from him was Alice. Edward comes to the rescue. Jasper and Emmett drag James away to kill him. Carlisle tries to help Bella, but Edward has to suck the venom out of Bella’s hand where James bit her.
The next thing Bella knows, she is lying in the hospital in extreme pain. Edward explains what happened and that their cover story is that she fell out of a window. When her mom arrives, she offers to have Bella move to Florida with her and Phil. Bella declines in favor of staying in Forks. Her mom is worried about her staying for a boy, but Bella explains that there are other reasons as well. When alone again, Edward and Bella discuss their future. Edward refuses to turn Bella. Bella refuses to be without Edward. He promises to stay with her as long as it is safe for her.
Some time later, Bella spends the day getting all dressed up by Alice. She thinks that Edward has changed her mind about changing her, but it turns out that he is taking her to the prom. While he wants her to live out life as she normally would, she protests the entire thing. He promises not to leave her side all night. While they are dancing, Jacob Black approaches them. Edward gives them some space and Jacob explains that his dad sent him to tell Bella that they will be watching. Bella appreciates the gesture. She spends the rest of the night with Edward.