Bella has been going out with her vampire boyfriend Edward for six blissfully happy months. The only thing that worries her is his steadfast refusal to even consider making her into a vampire like him. As the day of her eighteenth birthday rolls around she feels less than happy because she is now older than Edward, who will never age past seventeen.
To celebrate her birthday Edward takes Bella to a birthday party at his family home but when a stupid accident that leaves Bella covered in blood and nearly triggers a feeding frenzy in Jasper, Edward’s brother, the party falls somewhat flat.
Edward suddenly becomes more distant towards to Bella and finally he tells her that he and his family are leaving Forks, to never return, and he no longer wants to see her.
Edward is Bella’s whole world and his abandonment is a harsh blow. Her whole world falls apart and as she becomes withdrawn from the world she soon loses most of her friends becoming even more isolated and lonely.
When she does something dangerous she starts hallucinating and thinks she can hear Edward telling her not to do anything stupid and to be more careful. This leads to a whole new range of interests for Bella including learning to ride a motorbike and cliff diving because she feels that he is still with her at those times. Her old friend Jacob Black becomes her partner in crime, fixing up her motorbike for her and teaching her to ride it. Although the pain of Edward’s departure never leaves Bella, Jacob soon becomes her best friend and he helps to fill some of the voids in her life.
Jacob himself is no ordinary boy and soon Bella discovers that part of his Quileute heritage is to be cursed to be a werewolf. Certain members of the tribe turn into werewolves in their teenage years in response to the presence of vampires. Werewolves and vampires are natural enemies and the enmity runs deep on both sides.
Alice returns to Forks and although she brings no news of Edward with her, her extraordinary gift of being able to see the future soon tells her that Edward is heading on a path of self destruction that only Bella can advert. But will Bella be in time to stop the tragedy.