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Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: Forever

Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 3)Title: Forever
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Page Count: 390 pages
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: young adult, paranormal romance, urban fantasy
Copy for review provided by Around the World Tours in anticipation of an honest review

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.

I knew going into it that Forever was going to be unique.  I'd read mixed reviews of the book prior to reading it myself, and I was interested to see not only how the trilogy would wrap up, but who would be left standing, so to speak, at the end of it all. Personally, I wasn't disappointed.

The phrase "coming of age story" gets thrown around a lot, to the extent that just about anything can be painted with that brush.  I have to say, though, that this is the first true coming of age story that I've read in awhile, in that the characters all have to decide who they truly want to be and what they stand for, even if that means pissing people off or standing alone.  Sam, Grace, Cole and Isabel all have to do that throughout the course of the book, and who they are at the end isn't who they are at the beginning.  That's the way for all of us though, isn't it?  Growing, changing, making choices. Even not making choices is still making choices.

The pieces were in place at the start of Forever: Sam and Grace had to fight for their relationship, Isabel and Cole had to figure out what they were to each other, and through it all the wolves of Mercy Falls are in mortal peril from Isabel's dad, who's still apoplectic over the death of his son.  Time is running out in every respect.  By the end, all the conflicts are resolved; whether or not one is satisfied with each resolution is a highly personal decision.

I applaud the author for not backing down from previous conflicts in the series; the best example of this is Grace's strained relationship with her parents.  It would be a lot easier to have everyone be all huggy and kissy upon reunion and have everyone say they were sorry and give a group hug.  That isn't what happens, and I appreciate that- leopards don't change their spots and I appreciate Grace handling the situation like she did.  Her parents made their choices; she made hers, and when they tried to throw their muscle around, she called their bluff eloquently and succinctly.  Bravo!

I understand now why reactions to this book were so mixed.  It takes guts to end a series to begin with, and at the end there will always be someone who's not happy.  At the end, I liked the ending, and the mood was ultimately one of hope- hope for relationships and hope for the future.  Who could ask for anything more?

Overall Grade: A
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