I loved the first two books in Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series and was eagerly anticipating Forever and seeing what sort of conclusion Sam and Grace would find in this book. Stiefvater created a really unique tale about wolves, a more believable "werewolf" story in many ways and she does an excellent job of evoking the feeling of winter and it's crushing weight on the characters. I was really pleased with Forever, but perhaps for different reasons than I originally expected. If you haven't read the first two books you will be spoiled for them in this review.
So Linger left off with Grace having to switch to wolf in order to live. The books are heavy with this kind of tragedy, the first book there's worry Sam will switch permanently to wolf and in the second that Grace will die. But what could be worse than finding a cure for werewolf problem and having the person you most wanted to be cured for end up having the same problem? So when Forever starts, Grace is just beginning to come back to human form, the town still really wants to hunt the wolves, Cole is searching for a cure, and Sam is trying to defeat the demons of his past.
Admittedly, I found the story lagging in parts. And the central conflict didn't have enough urgency for me. So while I find these to be the flaws of this book, the characterization was so excellent I didn't care. Sam especially felt so incredibly real to me throughout the book, like a real person. And the writing is achingly beautiful and so precise and true in parts it's hard to believe you're holding in your hands a book that will be dismissed by many as YA Paranormal Romance. As I was reading Forever, I realized I read it for a love of Sam, it's always his POV that I looked forward to most and his perspective that I enjoy. I also love Sam and Grace's relationship, even if the forever nature of it feels a little shocking to my YA sensibilities.
I will caution that the ending will probably not be satisfying to all, but if you read the first two books in this series and loved the characters, you'll want to read this one as well. It's hard for me to even think of this as wolf book, there's so much goodness about life and the nature of relationships to be found within the pages. Also, lots of romance.
Things You Might Want to Know: profanity
Source of Book: Review copy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
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