Monday, February 27, 2012

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

From In 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.

My Thoughts: 
As from my review of Stiefvater’s Linger we all know I admire her writing abilities and her style. I’m sad that this series is over because it was riddled with amazing characters and an interesting concept on wolf lore. While Forever offered many answers to questions from the first two books, it ended with more than could be clarified. 
The first half of the book for me-was drastically slow paced. After recently finishing Linger it was hard to switch from the breakneck pace of that book and then to leap into Forever. I understand that Sam is depressed and worried about Grace being a wolf and is over analyzing everything-but just because he is operating on auto-pilot doesn’t mean the first half of the book had to.
The thing that kept me turning pages was the character Cole. Stiefvater really let us get inside his head in Forever and it was a really fun place to be-scary at times-but insanely fascinating all the same. His voice was rich, authentic, and sharp, like he had his own culture, and it gave the slower first half of the novel a driving force that it desperately needed. Using Cole and Isabel’s quick-tongued passionate on-again, off-again intimacy was also a brilliant tool on Stiefvater’s part. It gave Forever an alternate romantic relationship to route for-even though this one was so completely different from Sam and Grace’s. This new relationship was a great demonstration of another type of love-a hard to handle, know you shouldn’t handle, type of love that many readers will be able to connect with. It’s refreshing to see this kind of character interaction in the YA genre when most relationships are the true-love, soul-shaking kind. I love reading both types but it’s always nice to see an author implement a new concept into their series when you least expect it.
The second half of the book was well delivered. As opposed to the first half where readers are left waiting...and waiting...and waiting for something to happen-the second half has something new and threatening occurring in each chapter. It’s like our characters were in a steady sleep the first half and then woke up with a fire under them in the second half. It wasn’t terribly off-putting and because Stiefvater has such talent when it comes to constructing believable and fresh characters, it didn’t make me put the book down. 
The ending was slightly abrupt for me. We had several chapters of intense action and heartbreaking reactions...but then we are shoved into a future point in time and given an ending that doesn’t tie up everything. This isn’t a bad technique either-I just couldn’t help but want to know more about where the characters I’ve grown to love end up in the future. Instead readers are left to use their own imaginations-which is nice-but as we are not the characters, we can’t really know if they’ll survive or not-be it their relationships or their lives. Either way this series is worth reading and because her style is so unique and crisp, I’ll be picking up future books by Stiefvater. 

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