Her mother had recently remarried to a minor league baseball player, Phil Dwyer. Renee, Bella's mother, stayed home with Bella, but the stress of Phil traveling so much and Renee not being able to go with him, ended with Bella going to live with her father, Charlie, who is the chief of police in his small hometown of Forks, Washington.
The rainiest, gloomiest town in the United States. Bella is none too happy to go. She has inherited a hatred of the place from her mother, who had taken Bella when Bella was just a baby and had escaped from the town she despised. Bella arrives and is gifted with a truck from her father, from one of his old friends who could no longer drive. Charlie has enrolled Bella in Forks High School, she attracts attention, not just because of her truck-which backfires every time it stops, but because of the fact that she's the new girl.
All of the male students are instantly attracted to her, specifically Mike Newton, who Bella has no interest in. She is sitting at lunch with Mike and some of the girls, when Bella notices for the first time, the Cullen family. Bella hears the whole story about how they were adopted by Dr. Carlisle Cullen and his wife, Esme. Both plainly too young to have children of their own. She notices, in particular, Edward Cullen, who she is instantly attracted to. She also notices the strange, hate filled looks he gives her. She is confused and slightly hurt by it. She doesn't know what she could have done to warrant the looks.
In their first class together, the tension is even more noticeable. He is out of his seat as soon as the bell rings. Later on, Bella goes to the school office and sees Edward trying to change his classes around, he is not successful. She goes home confused by his behavior-how he seemed totally repulsed by her when he didn't even know her.
The next time she goes to school, he isn't there. Bella wonders why he isn't there and is reminded of his past behavior towards her and thinks it's something to do with her.
A few days later, he reappears, seemingly having forgotten their last unfriendly encounter. She is struck by how inhumanly beautiful he has, how stunningly attractive he is.
Later, out in the parking lot, Bella is getting ready to leave, when Tyler Crowley's van starts careening towards her, from skidding on the ice. Bella whips around, thinking she is going to be crushed, when all of a sudden-like a bolt of lightning, Edward appears and stops the van completely with his one hand. Bella looks at him, amazed at his incredible and super human strength. She can't understand how he could have stopped the van, she starts repeatedly asking for an explanation of this, but Edward always refuses to say. It leaves Bella even more frustrated and curious.
During a trip to the La Push reservation, Bella bumps into a family friend, Jacob Black, of the Quileute tribe. She begins to flirt with him to get him to tell her the local tribal legends. Jacob, without knowing it, tells her all she needs to know about Edward and his family, that they are vampires. Jacob doesn't believe the stories, but his family and some of the locals there, do believe them.
Later on, Edward ends up rescuing Bella again. This time in Port Angeles, after a gang of serial rapists attempt to attack her. Bella and Edward end up talking and Bella asks him if what Jacob told her was true. He admits the truth and tells her that he is, and that his family only drink the blood of animals so they wouldn't be like most other vampires who feed on human blood. Bella and Edward fall passionately in love with each other. Edward, though is cautious and tells her so.
He tells her the real reason why he avoided her so much in the beginning-why he was so seemingly repulsed by her. He tells her that the scent of her blood, appealed to him more than any other humans blood, it was so much stronger than any other persons blood. Despite this, Bella is unafraid. She trusts him and loves him more than anything else. Edward's family accepts her, except for his sister, Rosalie, who resents Bella and thinks that Bella is an unwelcome intruder on her family's secret. It is also revealed that Edward can read minds, but Bella is a special exception to that rule. Something that relieves her greatly.
For awhile, things seem to be perfect. Then on day, Bella and Edward go out to watch him and his family play baseball. They can only do this in storms, because of their strength, the force of them hitting the ball, sounds exactly like a crack of thunder. Bella and his family are playing, when Alice Cullen "sees" a group of Nomad vampires coming. The leader, James, ends up smelling Bella and almost attacks her. This starts a frantic race to hide Bella and kill James.
The family ends up splitting up, Bella going with Alice and Jasper to Phoenix to hide in a hotel room. She soon gets a call from James, claiming he has her mother held hostage in Bella's old ballet studio. Bella, without a second thought, sneaks past Jasper and Alice and goes to the ballet studio to face her certain death.
She gets there and discovers that it was all a trick to get her there. Her mother was still safe far away from there. Edward arrives and he and James start a violent fight. James gets away from Edward long enough to bite Bella on the wrist, therefore releasing excruciating venom into her blood stream. The rest of the Cullen family arrive and they destroy James. Edward is against Bella becoming a vampire, so he does the only other option there is: Suck her venom out. He almost loses control, but manages to pull away.
Bella is in the hospital for awhile, but after she is released, Edward makes her go to prom. Saying that prom was an important rite of passage. There, she sees Jacob, who says his dad sent him there to tell her to break up with Edward. Bella doesn't pay too much attention to it, and she and Edward seem more committed than ever before.