The second installment in the Twilight series, by Stephenie Meyer, finds Bella Swan and Edward Cullen in their senior year at Fawks High School.
After her near death experience the year before, Bella has attempted to live a quiet live with her vampire boyfriend. She goes to school, studies hard, works part time, and spends every waking moment with Edward. Typical teenage infatuation.
This continues up until Bella’s 18-year-old birthday, when Edward’s brother, Jasper, attempts to attack her after she suffers a paper cut on her finger. Edward and his family decide to leave Fawks, and Bella, in an attempt to keep her safe.
In true teen fashion, Bella falls apart when the love of her life leaves her. Months go by while she’s in a zombie-like state. She only manages to get out of it slightly when she begins to hang out with her childhood friend, Jacob Black. The two renew their friendship when Bella brings a pair of motorcycles for Jacob to fix in his home made garage.
Jacob doesn’t take the pain away for Bella entirely, but he helps her deal with the pain of Edward leaving. The two become close, though Bella only sees Jacob as a friend. But, it’s obvious that Jacob wants more from Bella than a friendship.
Abruptly, Jacob cuts off contact with Bella after he comes down with the ‘flu’. Bella forces Jacob to see her, and guesses his secret as he isn’t allowed to tell her. Jacob’s tribe has a secret linked with the one that Bella knows of Edwards, the tribes way of protecting themselves against vampires.
After she cliff dives while on the reservation waiting for Jacob, who’s searching for a vampire threatening Bella’s life, Bella gets a visit from a good vampire with bad news. Edward’s going to attempt to kill himself, assuming that Bella died after the jump she did that Alice didn’t see her survive.
In the end, Bella and Alice save Edward and be goes back to Fawks with Bella. She doesn’t see Jacob for quite some time, until he brings her motorcycle to make Charlie ground her, and remind Edward and the Cullens of the treaty that they had agreed to.
When I was in high school, this book was the bane of my existence. A friend and I had started reading them at the same time, and I almost stopped reading the series altogether because of this book.
Bella’s personality bothered me, that someone could wrap themselves and their happiness around a boy so entirely that they shut down if they left and only came back to life if they returned disgusted me. It seemed entirely unrealistic, and a bad example for those reading it.
The second time around, the book wasn’t so bad. Bella still annoyed me, but I could see past the pain and understand it. (Slightly.)