Rummanah Aasi
  Maggie Stiefvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls is my leading favorite YA werewolves series. What sets this series apart, in my opinion, is that it moves beyond the werewolf and human relationship and delves into the various aspects of our humanity. I highly anticipated Forever's arrival this year as I loved the previous two books, Shiver and Linger, and I was not disappointed at all. This review may contain spoilers for Shiver and Linger only.

Description (From Goodreads): In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Review: Forever is a poignant, beautiful, heartbreaking, and an incredible climax to Maggie Stiefvater's werewolf trilogy. I was looking for something close to a happy ending for characters that have suffered a lot in the previous books, but I discovered something even better and powerful: a novel full of hope and an extremely captivating book that I didn't want to end.
   Maggie Stiefvater's writing is fabulous. She is unbelievably gifted in creating scenes and especially emotions in such pitch perfect yet simple phrases that makes the reader ride on an emotional roller-coaster. I get so immersed in her world that I find it hard to imagine these characters don't exist in real life. The internal struggles of the characters only add to this depth and tug at your heart strings.
  Unlike many other paranormal romances that I've read, the Wolves of Mercy Falls is a series that is driven by first and foremost by its characters. I fell in love with Grace and Sam's relationship in Shiver, I wanted Isabel to find healing in Linger, and I couldn't help but by smitten by the reckless and snarky rock star that is Cole St. Clair.
  Stiefvater doesn't shy away from putting her characters through strife in her books. Emotions are raw, real, and gritty. There's no sugarcoating. People just don't die in order to move the plot along or build suspense, but they leave a residue for the remaining characters, who grieve and search for healing.
  There isn't much of a plot in Forever.  The book begins right where Linger leaves off: Grace is a werewolf for half of the book, and Sam misses her desperately. Isabel is depressed, though she won't admit it to anyone, let alone herself. And all the while, the threat of Tom Culpeper and his desire to get rid of all the wolves is looming. What drives the plot forward and builds nail biting suspense is the fact that Tom Culpeper actually gets his wish: the government comes in to stage a massive hunt to exterminate all the wolves in Mercy Falls, meaning everyone from Beck to Grace are all in danger. So Sam and Cole must come up with a plan to save the wolves before they're all murdered.
  The magic of this series is the development of the various relationships. The devotion and love between Sam and Grace, who have fought so hard for their love, the romantic tension between Cole and Isabel, and surprisingly, the budding friendship between Sam and Cole. I love the fact that all of these characters are not one dimensional. They are severely wounded from their own tragic pasts. In a way, I think Stiefvater uses the wolf as an allegory for the inner demons these characters are fighting to either control and in some cases accept and move on. Amazingly, characters who are neglected by their birth families, either by choice or by fate, they manage to to find solace in one another and creating a community of their own. 
  In midst of the angst, pain, and self discovery, there is an abundance of romance. There are short glimpses of the affection between Sam and Grace that maybe might have made me almost cry once or twice. And every time Cole and Isabel are together, you just feel the collision of personalities and the crackle of sexual tension. 
     I sobbed in Shiver and Linger for different reasons. In Forever, I really thought I would finish the book dry eyed, but that was before I reached the last few chapters of the book and they just seemed to pour out of me. I know many people were disappointed with the book's ending, but I really don't think it could have ended any other way. We are given clues as to what happens next, but most importantly a feeling of hope that our characters will be just fine.

Rating: 5 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, a couple of allusions to sex, and a few violent scenes. Recommended for Grades

If you like this book try: Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer, Trail by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
9 Responses
  1. Lauren M Says:

    Aw, Forever sounds positively beautiful! I still need to read Linger, but after reading this review there's no doubt I'll be reading Forever soon!

  2. Jenni Elyse Says:

    Can you believe I haven't read this yet? I know. *hangs head in shame* I need to get to it.

    I'm glad you liked it. I've seen so many mixed reviews that I'm worried I won't like it. I hope I do.

  3. Awe! *hugs* I love books that give way to a good cry. And I LOVED Shiver. I haven't read Linger or Forever yet because I kept hearing that both would disappoint me, but your review gives me renewed hope, especially with the mention of an abundance of romance. That's what I live for!

  4. Lauren: I know many were turned off by Linger because of the added povs but I thought it made the book stronger. I hope you love Cole as much as I do!

    Jenni: I had this one on my shelf for a few days along with "Where She Went". I didn't think I could handle another emotionally charged book but I was so worried about the characters that I decided to confront my fears.

    Missie: I guess I'm in the minority that loved both books and can't help but be carried away with Maggie's writing. I have a very strong feeling that you are going to love Cole. I hope I don't disappoint you.

  5. Jennifer Says:

    I have yet to read this series even though I have book #1 on my shelf at home. You're emotional reaction to each book has me really curious now. I might have to read it sooner than I planned. :)

  6. I loved Forever. It seems like most people didn't like it, but I loved the ending. I agree with you that this was the best way or at least most appropriate way it could have finished.

  7. Jennifer: I'm such a sap. I fell in love with these characters very easily. Each book is very different from the other.

    Alison: I thought Maggie gave us enough details to figure out the ending on our own. I know I didn't need the entire ending spelled out for me.

  8. I'll be honest and say I didn't really like Shiver and so didn't bother to continue with the series but I love looking at reviews that differ from my opinion. I always find it interesting how people can interpret characters and things in different ways.

  9. I seriously loved this book so much. I'm so glad you loved it, too. Maggie Stiefvater just rocks the prose so much. Plus, her dual/quadruple narratives are just amazing. I wouldn't even need head titles, I'd know who was speaking. *sigh* Loved this review, Rummanah!

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