Review: Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)

Title: Forever

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic

Pages: 386

Date Read: February 13-17, 2013

then.

When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their love moved from a curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.

now.

That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.

forever.

Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment–a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.

Characters: Honestly, there are no new characters! The same characters as the last one.

Conflict: Remember how Tom Culpepper was always trying to kill the wolves? Well, yeah, he is actually going to do it this time. Like, really do it. This time it is organized, and Grace and Sam have exchanged places. WHOA.

Things I Liked: I liked that Sam and Grace were in different places. I fell in love with Sam when he described the books on the shelf in the bookstore, and it was nice to hear more things from his point of view. It was also nice to hear from a less calculated and obviously more animalistic Grace. Stiefvater really is a good writer, and I just like the way her words flow, but it’s always nice to toss up the characters and their roles every so often.

Things I Didn’t Like: Sometimes Cole doesn’t quite seem real. The stuff he feels and says aren’t like the personalities of any other characters I have ever read before, and I can’t always understand the feeling behind was he says. I don’t think this is always a bad thing, because it is nice to be introduced to different types of characters, but Cole just didn’t seem completely cohesive or believable to me.

Overall: I did like the book, I liked how heartfelt the ending was, and how emotionally invested the characters, and even some minor characters, were in the problem. Obviously it was a life-or-death kind of thing, but I enjoyed reading it.

Cover Art: I have said this about the previous covers, but I love this one too. The covers for this trilogy are simple, but telling and I love the elegance of it. I also really like that the color of the ink is the same as the color on the cover, but again, this is nothing I have not expressed before.

Rating: 4 stars

Cardial Vasectomy

Just kidding, there is no such thing as a cardial vasectomy. However, I recently watched one of my favorite movies- Stick It– and Joanne is just hilarious.

In other news, I have been neglecting you guys. (The select few that keeps tabs on my blog- I am suddenly reminded of that scene in Yes Man when Munchausen’s By Proxy takes the stage and thanks their followers, by name, for attending.) I know that I have had a pretty shoddy week when it comes to blog posting, but I have been working like a maniac these days. It’s amazing how many hours poor people will pick up, am I right? But, although I have not been blogging, I have been reading. A lot.

I built up a little bit of a stockpile of reviews to post, but Demonglass was the last in my arsenal. But, thanks to my favorite hobby, I have 7 more books to review for you guys. In the future, you guys will see reviews of:

1. Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall, #3)

2. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)

3. Indigo Spell by Rachelle Mead (Bloodlines, #3)

4. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Caster Chronicles, #1)

5. Wither by Lauren Destefano (Chemical Garden, #1)

6. Matched by Ally Condie (Matched, #1)

7. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles, #2)

The reviews for Scarlet and Indigo Spell will probably be informal reactions, though, because I haven’t reviewed the previous books in the series on my blog. But, I still want to talk about them!

This leads me to my next point: I think I need to reevaluate my Goodreads reading goal for this year. Last year, I aimed for 50 books and fell short by 2. This year, I have also set my goal for 50 books, but I am already 11 books ahead of schedule… and it’s only February. Last year’s swing and a miss can be attributed to George R. R. Martin and his epic saga, but this year I am just flying through books. I LOVE IT.

How seriously do you guys take your Goodreads reading goals? Do they push you to read more? Is that pressure helpful, or does it just make you speed read?

So many questions.

Also, I wanted to tell you guys that I was nominated for the Liebster Award! Kristianne over at msnoseinabook nominated me! I am going to have to go through and answer a bunch of questions and nominate others, though. Although I’m tickled that she thought to nominate me, I just don’t know if I have the time for that. 😦 Ain’t nobody got time fo that. We will see how my so-called life progresses this coming week.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and if you want to comment with your heartfelt answers to my Goodreads questions, have at it!

I will leave you with this gem I found on Pinterest the other day:

Review: Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)

Title: Linger
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Date Read: January 27, 2013

the longing.

Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.

the loss.

Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human.

the linger.

For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces– wolf and human– with love baring its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming, As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?

Characters: I am only going to add one here, since he is pretty much the only new major character. Wait, I lied, one more!

Cole- At first, I hated him. Absolutely hated this haughty man-boy. But, like so many other things, he really grows on you. I really liked him by the end, but that really only came from him having to convince everyone else throughout the book (subconsciously or not) that he was worth liking. It’s hard to like someone that wants so badly for you to like them! Although if Cole were real, he would deny that wholeheartedly.

Isabel- I suppose Isabel is a lot like Cole, but we have known her longer. I loathed her at first, too! But I really think that Stiefvater meant for that to be the case. Books aren’t as good when there is nothing to hate! In the first book, we really didn’t get a whole lot of Isabel, because she really wasn’t too important. But certain events bring certain people together, so here she is! She grows on you, too. It always seems that there is more behind a person than we anticipate, and Stiefvater does a good job showing us that in these books.

Conflict: It’s a complete flip-flop guys. We don’t really miss things until they’re gone.This book is exhibit #2… and the first one is exhibit #1. You may not understand what I mean about it being a flip-flop unless you have read the first book, but I don’t want to explain it to you because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone that hasn’t read the first book!

Things I Liked: I liked the introduction of a brand new character. Too often, you see whole series progress without ever seeing a new character emerge, and I usually dislike those books. Cole was a pleasant surprise, and the conflict was something that kept you paying attention! I liked that Grace had a secret problem to deal with, I know that sounds awful, why would I want a character to have to deal with a sucky problem all by herself? Well, because it proves what that character is made of! Grace is tough stuff and I really like when there are legitimate problems that prove that. Notice that I said legitimate problems. One thing I really dislike is when the main character loses grip on a situation that was really entirely preventable and only serves to muddle in the actual story line.

Things I Didn’t Like: I guess I just didn’t like that I didn’t get enough. Every time the viewpoint changed I was like “ughhh” because I wanted to keep reading about that one particular person and what they were going through. That is just an angsty thing though, so I suppose it doesn’t really belong in this category. However, I am reviewing this a little late and I didn’t jot anything down, so I can’t remember any issues popping up along the way. At least not any that stuck with me.

Overall: I like these books a lot. After I finished the first one, I went right ahead and ordered the next two from Amazon. I ordered this one on Amazon Prime, so I got it in a couple days. But, I went without for Forever (the third in this trilogy), and it took forever to get here. It also didn’t come with any tracking information so I just about went crazy waiting for it. I am probably exaggerating about the snail mail in this instance, but the mind remembers what it wants to remember… Anyhow, I was pumped to read these, and this one lived up to my expectations, so on to the third!

Rating: 4 stars

**Cover Art: I am not sure if I want to make this a category for all of the book reviews I do, but I am doing it for this one, so here goes: I liked that this cover was so much like the first one, but that it gave a little hint about what was to happen between the covers. The cover for Forever does the same thing, too! Also, even though it isn’t cover art, I think that the color of the text is worth mentioning. All of the covers in this trilogy are a certain color, and the text is the same color as the cover color. At first when I was reading Shiver, I thought I was going crazy. But, alas, this book told me I wasn’t and Maggie Stiefvater is just clever.

Review: Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)

Title: Shiver

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic

Date Read: January 21-23, 2013

“the cold. Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf- her wolf- watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn’t know why.

the heat. Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace… until now.

the shiver. For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it’s spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human- and Grace must fight to keep him- even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.”

Characters:

Grace- Grace starts out seeming a little fantastical, but she ends up being a more cut-and-dry kind of person that starts to let her emotions bubble up at the end. She practically raises herself, and has had a few encounters with the wolves in Boundary Wood. She has a particular attachment to one particular wolf, Sam. Her attachment to Sam only intensifies and that is when  you really get to know the real Grace.

Sam- Sam is wonderful. As a slightly nerdy girl in love with books, I can’t help but love him. He is a tortured soul of sorts, and you find yourself really hoping things turn out okay for him. Unfortunately, you can’t always get what you want! Sam’s double life starts to catch up with him, and you are really sitting on the seat of your pants as you wait to see what this kindhearted, romantic, perspicacious person is about to do (or get into) next.

Conflict: The main conflict here is Sam’s double life. His wolf-self threatens to come out at any moment and will tear him away from Grace. Sam can’t bear to lose himself, almost as much as he can’t bear to leave Grace. Other conflicts arise concerning the future of the pack. A new wolf poses a threat to the whole pack by being conspicuous, but another seasoned wolf throws Sam into a tailspin when he seems like he is making some morally gray decisions.

Themes: Temperature. Helllllooooo temperature. Every chapter tells you what temperature it is, and that is important. At first, I was like “what in the world is this?” I could not figure out why the temperature was so important, but like most things, it was explained in due time. Everyone seems to favor one season over another, but that tension is amplifies times a zillion when you realize what the simple changing of seasons means for the main characters. It’s all a bit stressful, you find yourself checking to see what the temperature is, and cursing the changing of the seasons.

Things I Liked: I liked that the author made a point to say that this wolf thing was not magic- it was science. Although there is no explanation of how exactly it is science (something I did’t like), I liked the distinction. I liked how sincere Sam seems to be- ALL THE TIME. I liked specific sections of especially creative wordplay. One of my favorites was :

“As the hours went by, the afternoon sunlight bleached all the books on the shelves to pale, gilded versions of themselves and warmed the paper and ink inside the covers so that the smell of unread words hung in the air.” -Sam, Chp 4

Also, I liked the ending. Although some people might think that it was a little too distressing, I liked that it forced you to feel. That sounds so corny, but I was genuinely sad for the characters toward the end. Even the ones I didn’t like so much. I was reading this at work, and I almost cried. But, you should know that I am a big softy when it comes to books. I think it’s because I read such large chunks of them at a time. I’m fully immersed in their world, and I develop more of a connection with the characters. It’s both lovely and awful. When I read Shadow Kissed (part of the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead), I couldn’t even tell Chris about it without starting to cry. Ugh, such a softy.

Things I Didn’t Like: I didn’t like the overly-stoic nature of Grace. Once she finds Sam and really starts to open up, it isn’t such a problem. But in the beginning, she seems like she is just floating through life doing exactly as she’s told. Maybe that is what the author was going for, but I wasn’t the biggest fan. I’m also not sure how I feel about Sam always composing song lyrics in his head. I’m sure that for some people, it’s endearing. However, that wasn’t entirely the case for me. Don’t get me wrong, some of the lyrics are beautiful, but I felt like sometimes they were unnecessary and made it seem like Sam wasn’t really focused on the here-and-now but was pulling a J.D. (from the show Scrubs) and just staring off into space.

Overall: I liked this book quite a bit. When I finished it on Goodreads, I looked at the reviews and the first few were awful. I felt like I was just a sappy person that enjoyed a sappy book that nobody else cared for. BUT, then I actually read the reviews. These reviews seemed to be written by the sarcastic know-it-all types that I really don’t like. People couldn’t actually explain in a clear why they didn’t like the book. Half of them didn’t finish it. And that is one of my biggest pet peeves- DO NOT REVIEW A BOOK IF YOU CAN’T EVEN BE BOTHERED TO FINISH IT. Ugh, it just really gets to me. Some people drew parallels to Twilight, which I guess I can see, but it didn’t bother me. All in all, I liked this book and the poetic nature of it, and I would recommend it. Just not to the jerks that like to talk badly about a book they were too lazy to finish. I thought that it set up good family dynamics, and made you want to read the next one.

Rating: 4 stars. I rated it 5 stars on Goodreads right after I finished it, but upon evaluation, I think it is more of a 4-star. Still good, though!

Other Works by Maggie Stiefvater: The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Boys, The Scorpio Races, Books of Faerie.

 

What Next?

Alright, so I have finished reviewing the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, and now I’m not sure what to do. I have a couple options, but I am hoping for some feedback from you guys. I have read the first three books in the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, and I  can definitely review those. I am also about halfway through Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and I plan on reviewing that, but I don’t know if you guys would prefer I review that before or after the other series. Should I not review all three of the Heroes books one right after another? Or is that okay?

What do you think?

So, How’d It Go?

As you guys can tell, I posted my first book review yesterday. I am eager to hear what you guys thought of it! Did you like the format? My husband helped me figure out which bases need to be covered when I do a review, and I think we did a pretty good job. Was there anything else that you guys thought I should add, or did anything seem extraneous to you? If you guys think I should change something, let me know and I will definitely take it under advisement! These reviews are as much for you as they are for me, and I want to fill you guys in on the aspects you think are important. I will also be posting a review for Behemoth (the next book in the Leviathan series) either today or tomorrow. 

In other news, I got some books in the mail today! I’m currently around halfway through Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, but I’m still deliberating which book to read next. My choices are:

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

Need by Carrie Jones

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1) by Rachel Caine

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

What are you guys reading? Are there any new authors that have caught your eye?