Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fiction
Pub Date: July 2011, Scholastic, Inc.
Format: Hardcover, 386 pages
Source: Purchased from Amazon.com
When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their love moved from a curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.
That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.
Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment -- a moment of death or live, farewell or forever.
Well, to be blunt and 100% honest, one sentence in the above synopsis taken from the dust jacket sums up the way I feel about this book and this series: "That should have been the end of their story." For me, The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy has gone downhill with each successive book. I loved Shiver -- in and of itself it was a delicious read and actually felt like it could have been (and really should have been) the end of the story of Grace and Sam. I was happy when I finished that book and it really felt like a story that had been wrapped up and tied with a pretty little bow.
Forever was not wrapped up at all. A gaping hole with a giant question mark is what I felt like I came to when I reached the end. Yes, the title implies "forever," but the ending just doesn't make me feel "forever." It's more like I'll be forever wondering what happened to Grace, Sam, Isabel, Cole, and everyone else, except that I don't think I plan to waste much time thinking about it. I suppose I should have realized after reading Linger and not enjoying it as much as Shiver, that perhaps I should be wary of the last book in the trilogy, but unless books just get progressively awful for me or I have a change in taste/preferences, I usually feel like I have to finish a series.
Oh, how I wish I'd just read Shiver and enjoyed my happily ever after. It's not that there weren't some exciting parts in Forever. The efforts to save the wolves and give them a new home made for a dramatic read and I did enjoy that aspect. I also appreciated more from Isabel's and Cole's point of view, but again, there was no closure for the two of them, either. I can live with being left hanging if I know that there is another book coming, but this is it, folks. There is no more.
Other things I appreciated: (1) The research that Stiefvater mentioned she had done on wolves in her Author's Note. I felt like what she had written about the nature of the characters as wolves seemed quite realistic and I definitely thought it added to the story. (2) The story was told from multiple points of view. I liked hearing Isabel's and Cole's voices and not focusing entirely on Grace and Sam. I guess I felt that way because I was a little bit tired of the way Grace and Sam's story was headed at this point. But the things I did appreciate saved Forever from getting a negative rating, in the end. After all, I do try to be fair.
My final thoughts for you are simple. If you haven't read this series yet, read Shiver and leave it at that. Enjoy that story for the satisfaction it provides and re-read it to your heart's content. I'm not sure if I'll be able to re-read it because I know how the rest of the story ends (or doesn't). Quite honestly, it makes me wonder if I wan to read anything else by Stiefvater -- thoughts, anyone?
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