New Moon, the second book in Stephenie Meyer’s popular Twilightseries, opens with a dream on the eve of Bella’s birthday. She worries that she has aged another year, making her physically older than Edward Cullen, her boyfriend. Edward is a vampire. He stopped aging at seventeen.
Bella reluctantly agrees to go to the Cullens' home after school to celebrate, but only after she watches Romeo and Juliet for English class. The film sparks a conversation about suicide. Edward reveals to Bella that if anything ever happens to her, he plans to kill himself by visiting the powerful Volturi vampire family in Italy and provoking them.
At the Cullens' house, Bella gets a paper cut opening presents. Jasper throws himself at Bella because of the sudden scent of her blood. Edward slams into Jasper, preventing him from attacking her but knocking Bella into some crystal vases that cut her arm. Everyone except Carlisle leaves the room because the scent of blood is too much to bear.
Carlisle treats Bella’s arm, and the conversation turns to Edward’s spiritual belief that vampires do not have souls. Therefore, Edward would never turn Bella into a vampire. When Edward returns, the events of the evening have upset him so much that he is cold and distant. Bella kisses Edward, who reacts with an almost desperate edge to the kiss, as if he is saying goodbye.
After days of strange, distant behavior, Edward takes Bella for a walk and informs her that he is leaving Forks. Amid her protests, he tells her he does not love her anymore. He leaves a brokenhearted Bella in the woods.
As the months pass, Bella lives in a numb haze. One night, she discovers during an encounter with some dangerous strangers that she hears Edward’s voice in her head. Despite her fears, she begins seeking danger in order to hear him again.
Bella enlists the help of Jacob Black to fix some old motorcycles. As they work together, Bella and Jacob forge a strong friendship. Bella begins to heal, though she still feels broken and hollow from the loss of Edward. In order to hear Edward’s voice, she rides motorcycles and searches for the meadow where they had once spent a wonderful day.
When Jacob falls ill and his father forbids visitors, Bella goes to the meadow alone. However, she soon discovers that she is not alone. Someone else is there: the vampire Laurent, who tells Bella that Victoria is hunting her. Laurent is about to attack Bella himself, but five giant wolves chase him away.
Bella seeks out Jacob, but he has changed. As Sam Uley and his other friends look on, he tells her they cannot be friends any longer. But later he sneaks into her window and apologizes, telling her that he has a secret he cannot tell, but encourages her to guess by remembering theQuileute legends. She sleeps, and in her dreams remembers a conversation with Jacob. She realizes that he is a werewolf.
Bella rushes to Jacob to warn him that her father plans to lead a hunting party to kill the wolves, but is angry because she believes Jacob is murdering people. He explains that the werewolves are protectors, keeping people safe from vampires. Bella tells him that Victoria is after her. Jacob is excited that Bella has information about the vampires that might help the wolves.
As the wolves hunt for Victoria, Bella is left alone and feels neglected. Jacob promises to take her cliff diving (another of Bella’s dangerous schemes). But when Bella arrives, she finds that the wolves have gone after Victoria, and she decides to jump alone, despite an impending storm. Luckily Jacob saves her, but meanwhile, a friend of Charlie and Billy’s dies. Jacob takes her home, and for a brief moment she considers what it would be like to be with him. Bella wonders if she could betray her love for Edward and try to be happy with Jacob. Suddenly, Jacob smells a vampire and quickly turns the truck around.
Alice Cullen has returned, having seen a vision of Bella jumping off the cliff. Jacob refuses to stay as long...
(The entire section is 1,280 words.)