For reasons not stated at the beginning of the story Bella Swan has decided to leave her home in Phoenix, Arizona, where she lives with her mother, to go and live with her father in Forks, in Washington state. It's awkward at first, her father Charlie is pleased to have her there but Bella has always disliked Forks and is not at all sure she'll be able to settle. He's bought a truck for her from an Indian friend, so at least she has transport, and with that she starts at her new school.
Bella doesn't consider herslf to be a particularly 'cool' kid, or particularly pretty but is surprsied to find herself the object of attention of a couple of boys. She's never had many friends but finds that here in Forks she does actually have some, they may not be the cool kids, but that's fine. One day in the canteen she notices a group of teenagers sitting apart from the rest of the school. This is the Cullen family and it's explained to her that they are different and always keep themselves aloof from everyone else. Amongst the Cullens is Edward, absolutely the most gorgeous boy Bella has ever seen and it's not long before Bella realises that he has noticed her. After a shakey start they begin to communicate. Then Edward saves her from certain death under a runaway truck and Bella can't figure out how he got there fast enough to save her. Something is definitely peculiar about Edward. Bella sets out to find out what it is exactly and it's not long before she realises she has fallen in love with a vampire.
Most people, I have to say, seem to love this series. Those that don't seem not to like the fact that mostly it's just a teenage romance book with vampires. And this is true, it is. Three quarters of the book is about how Edward and Bella get together, their life at school, and not a lot else. I'm trying to work out why that didn't bother me and I can't. Yes, I liked the two main characters, I also liked the forrested setting of Forks, WA. Most of the book really isn't *about* very much to be honest but despite that I really did like it an awful lot. And when it suddenly took off, a hundred pages from the end, with the arrival of a rogue group of vampires, it was suddenly unputdownable! Superb. If I was going to be really nit-picky I would say that sometimes Edward's resemblance to a Mills and Boon (Harlequin in the US) hero did grate a tiny bit. He is ever so slightly *too* perfect - but I find I can live with that quite happily. I have the next book, New Moon and will read it probably next month when I can devote more time to it.