Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Came out: July 12, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Age Group: Young Adult
Parental Warnings: none
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The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie StievaterIn 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.
Forever starts off where Linger ended. Grace is a wolf. Sam is uncertain about whether he is still one. Cole is searching for a cure. Isabelle is lost. Mr. Culpeper is planning to bring the wolves DOWN.People fall in love; people become ruthless. Either way, you know that Forever is going to be insanely good. It was.I'm not going to lie. This book is probably the hardest review that I've written in a while. The last book is always the toughest because it's hard to sum up exactly what it means to you. I've been following the Wolves of Mercy Falls books since the beginning. My copy of Shiver is probably abused beyond repair from rereading it so much. Before I bought my own copy, I shamelessly stole my friend's copy and kept it at my house until finally fed up, she asked for it back.
So I was freaking out when Inkwood turned out to have a copy. This was maybe my first visit in maybe a year and so I came armed with a flyer, nervous that they wouldn't want to hear about my tiny blog. By then, I had only had it for about a month and a half, but I was wondering if they would hang it up for me. My mother called me over and I saw a shelf of advanced reader copies. "Oh my gosh, did y'all go to BEA? I really want to go next year," I said and then proceeded to rattle off a list of books and authors that I wanted to see.They gave me a copy. I flipped. I didn't read it right away, because the atmosphere of Shiver and Linger made me feel like I had to wait until it was cold or rainy or something. It was atmospheric and descriptive, and I felt like things needed to be a certain way for me to read the final book.So one day at my camp, conditions were perfect. I settled into my bunk and was immersed into the amazing world that is Mercy Falls.First of all, I have yet to meet a person who doesn't like the format. Gorgeous covers, alternating points of views, and different colored fonts that match the colors, I love it. The temperature is present underneath the chapter headers, and I think it adds the perfect flair to the book.One of the things that stood out to me was the setting. It's beautiful and perfect for the book. In previous books, it was wintery and cold and forested and tense. In this one, it was summer, which I thought took me back to "Summer Girl" in the first book. The atmosphere is tense and filled with emotion. I love it.There was one huge twist in the middle of the book that made me cry. It was intensse and completely unexpected and I was so upset by it, but understanded why it needed to happen. You'll see when you read it. Maggie Stiefvater was so talented in spinning this particular twist because it shocked me and I realized that I could have known the answer all along about what happened.The characters are brilliant. Cole and Isabelle are the poor, misunderstood characters who have to deal with deaths close to them, angst, and the gritty ideas of popularity and fame. They added a perfect support to the characters.Sam is just amazing; when I read the previous books, I used to imagine that I was that Grace (no making fun of me! You all know that you wish it was true!). Musically talented and emotionally invested in all the things he does, he loves Grace wholeheartedly and will not rest until she is back with him.This book explored more of the scientific and the political aspect. It was more of finding the cure and how people reacted to the wolves, especially Mr. Culpeper, whose son Jack was turned and killed.I liked reading about Grace. She's a wonderful heroine, serious and not very relaxed, but fully in love and causes many things to happen. Her love for Sam is pure and I liked hearing about her and her parents in previous books. Her personality isn't the brightest or loudest (that award probably goes to Isabelle) but I like her. And not just because she shares my name.The addition of lyrics is something that I love. Sam's compositions are great to hear, especially from his point of view and in his thoughts. They go from sweet to raw, heartbreaking to warm, and back again. It's definitely one of the highlights of his point of view.I really enjoyed the plot this time. It was fast-paced, filled with twists, and with a nice solid ending. I liked how the ending wasn't completely closed off...there were a few questions that you still wondered, but not in an annoying way. More in an implication that the story still goes on after the book ends. It was the perfect ending.There was fierce action towards the end, emotions ran high, and the book was intense while still capturing the soft lyrical prose that is Maggie Stiefvater's trademark.I loved how it was completely different from Shiver and yet they both worked so perfectly. Shiver showed Sam as a wolf, and the slow process of them falling in love. It focused mostly on description and was lovely and slower. Forever was more action-packed, but now Grace is the wolf. They were completely different and yet the series wouldn't be the same if it were any other way.I must admit that when the book ended, I cried. I think my copy of Forever will forever have blurred splotches of ink where I cried. The end of series always depress me. It's a bittersweet goodbye. If you are ever a fan of amazing writing or werewolves, please please please read this book. Heck, you don't even have to be a fan! You just have to read it!Recommendations to come later.Book club questions to come later.