Isabella “Bella” Swan, moves from sunny Phoenix, Arizona to rainy Forks, Washington to live with her father, Charlie, while Bella’s mother, Renée, travels with her new husband, Phil Dwyer, a minor league baseball player. Even though she never had many friends in Phoenix, Bella attracts much curiosity at her new school in Forks, and she is quickly befriended by several students. Much to her dismay, several boys in the school compete for shy Bella’s attention.
When Bella sits next to Edward Cullen in Biology class on her first day of school, Edward seems utterly repulsed, even attempting to change his schedule to avoid her. Although Bella feels Edward must hate her, his actions soon indicate otherwise. He displays supernatural abilities while saving Bella from being killed by an out-of-control van. After seeing an impression of Edward’s hands in the side of the van, she realizes that Edward cared at least enough to save her life and that he has supernatural abilities. Bella confronts him afterwards about the strangeness of the situation, but he refuses to discuss it. As time passes, Bella and Edward are repeatedly drawn to one another, even though Edward desperately tries to avoid her.
After tricking a family friend, Jacob Black of the Quileute (pronounced Quil-yoot) tribe, into telling her the local tribal legends (flirting with him to do so) , Bella concludes that Edward and his family are vampires. Although she was inexplicably attracted to him when she thought Edward drank human blood, she is much relieved to learn that the Cullens are “vegetarian” vampires who drink animal blood instead. Over time, Edward and Bella fall deeply in love. Their foremost problem is Bella’s “alluring scent”, making Edward struggle to resist his desire to kill her. However, despite this and Bella’s strange knack for constantly landing herself in dangerous situations, they manage to stay together safely for a time.
The seemingly blissful state of affairs is thrown into chaos when another vampire coven sweeps into Forks and James, a tracker, sets his sights on Bella. Under the assumption that James has kidnapped her mother, Bella is lured to her former dance studio, where James attacks her. Edward, along with the rest of the Cullen family, rescues Bella before James can kill her.
On the cover, there are hands holding an apple. Stephenie Meyer has stated that the apple on the cover represents the forbidden fruit from the book of Genesis. This symbolizes Bella and Edward’s love which is forbidden, not unlike that of the forbidden apple tree. The ‘forbidden fruit’ also represents Bella’s blood. No matter how much Edward wants it, he is not allowed to kill her because it goes against his family. But still, her blood sings to him… Tempting him to take a bite.
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