Paperback, 493 pages.
Release date: July 13th 2011
Rating: 4½ out of 5.
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.
Other Books in Series: Shiver [Rating 4/5], Linger.
Overall Series Rating: 4 out of 5.
Sam has always loved Grace. As a wolf, he watched her from afar. As a boy, he held her in his arms.
Now facing the possibility of a life without her, he will do anything to keep her safe. Even if it means facing his demons. Even if it risks everything he has.
Anything, as long as their love can survive...
Please note: There are spoilers for previous books in the series in this review. Do not read this review if you haven't already read Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) or you will find out very bad things!
And so it’s time to say goodbye as Forever concludes Maggie Stiefvater’s much loved Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, the bittersweet tale of Sam, the boy who must become a wolf each winter, and Grace, the girl who loves him. As readers, we’ve been on an emotional journey with these two, and while I couldn’t wait to see how their story ended, after my lukewarm reaction to Linger (Mercy Falls #2) I decided to put off reading this one until the time was right. I’m glad I did.
If its been a while since you read Linger, you might need a little refresher before reading Forever. I know I could have used one. This book opens on an unexpected note, which left me feeling slightly off-kilter, but for anyone who’s hazy on the details and needs a quick recap, Forever finds Sam and Grace in a role reversal with Sam living his life as a boy, while Grace is spending her days in the woods in wolf form. There’s Cole too, in something of a saviour scientist role, and our fourth narrator, the girl you love to hate, Isabel, is also back, trying in vain to deny her growing feelings for that bad boy rocker turned scientific genius.
With the wolves under serious threat from Isabel’s father who’s seeking revenge for his sons death, the race is on to try and save the wolves of Mercy Falls before they are driven from the woods in the worst possibly way. Will carnage ensue, or can Sam and Cole come up with a plan to save the wolves before it’s too late?
It seems that with Forever Stiefvater has divided fans of this series. I know that some of you won’t like this one. A lot of you won’t like the conclusion which is left open to interpretation. For those of you looking for complete closure, you’re not going to get it here. Strings are most definitely left untied. This is what I meant when I said I waited until the time was right for me and Forever. When I got around to reading this, I knew that it would be a slow-burning book and this time, I wasn’t looking for a quick fix. I rushed into Linger, and I regretted it, but this time I was determined savour every word, to curl up with the book on a cold night, and not let it go until I was done. This, for me, is the right way, the only way, to read Stiefvater. Her prose, as always, is spellbindingly beautiful in Forever, but she does something extra special here, as she takes us inside the minds of the wolves, letting us see through their eyes, letting us run alongside them as they try to escape their tormentors, and its all so well done that it’s really something to behold.
And then there’s Cole. To love this book, you possibly need to love Cole St. Clair. Thankfully, I love him lots! Fans of Sam and Grace might not appreciate how he steals the limelight from them. They are constantly vying for attention in a four-point narrative where Cole gets all the best lines and pretty much steals the show. He’s such a big personality, and I felt this way about him in Linger too, that it’s hard to see past his presence at times. Sam and Grace are also separated for long periods in this book, which means there’s not as much romance as before, and, for once, that was OK by me. I can appreciate their relationship, and I really like them both, but all the forever love gets just a little too sickly sweet for me at times. Cole on the other hand, well, I just can’t resist the snarky bad boy rock star types in YA books. I’m a total sucker for them.
Grace’s parents make a brief appearance in Forever too. I kind of wish they hadn’t. I’m so not a fan of those guys.
Overall, I loved Forever. Yes, it’s a slow burner, but it packs an emotional punch that made me tear up at least once. It also contains one pretty disturbing scene which made me rather sick to my stomach, but enough of that. And the conclusion. For me it was realistic. It rang true. We don’t get all the answers in life. Yes, maybe I would have liked to know more, to know what happened next and maybe I just didn’t want to say goodbye to those characters, but I do know that when I closed this book and said my goodbyes, I did so with a satisfied smile. I couldn’t really have asked for more than that.