Little, Brown, Sep 2006, $10.99
Seventeen year old Isabella Swan leaves her newly married mother in Phoenix to live with her father Charlie, the police chief of Forks, Washington on the Olympic Peninsular; a four hour flight to a place she has never visited, but life starts anew for her. Her first day at Forks High School leaves her nervous as there were three hundred and fifty seven students yesterday who know each other. Today there is one more pupil who nobody knows; Bella knows no one.
On that first day in potential purgatory, Bella meets the enigmatic Edward Cullen. She is very attracted to him, but he acts schizoid towards her. One moment he seems to want her; the next he loathes her. She also acts out of character as she spit out her life to this stranger. However, she begins to unravel the mystery of the teen she desires who at times acts as obsessed with her as she is with him. Although she does not fully believe what she has found out, Bella realizes Edward and his adoptive family are vampires whose sustenance comes from animals. Other vampiric clans are not as regimented as they feel vampire superior should dine on inferior beasts including humans; Bella is fair game.
This is an exciting young adult romantic fantasy starring two teens besotted with one another in a taboo love. The story line is driven by the lead couple as their attraction causes problems for each of them and their families especially when outsiders intervene. Although the climax is rushed and too much of what occurred is passively explained instead of actively happening, readers will enjoy forbidden teen love between a purebred human and a purebred vampire.