Title: Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: July 12th 2011 by Scholastic Press
**May contain minor spoilers. Read with caution!**
Summary: "The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stiefvater
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.
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.
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."
Thoughts:First off, I have to tell you what a HUGE fan I am of Shiver. The top question people tend to ask most readers and bloggers is, "What's your favorite book?" Such a simple, yet complicated and loaded question. When people ask me this, I tend to give them a list of about five books. Some of the books have changed though out the year(s), but Shiver? Always on that list. Shiver was one of the first books I read before I became a blogger. It's a book I've recommended to so many people and THE book that got me back into reading. Now, with that said, I can't help but express my utter disappointment after reading Forever.
The story starts off roughly three or so months from where Linger ends. I will say that the story starts off with a bang. Shelby's back and more fierce than ever. Not the good kind of fierce either. That girl could scare zombies back to the grave.
Grace is dealing with the consequences and inconvenience of being a wolf. Remember that "I can't hold on to my skin because it's still cold outside" thing Sam dealt with in Shiver? Now it's Grace's turn to deal with it. Poor dear. For the first 140 or so pages, it was about Grace transitioning over and over and neither Sam nor Grace catching a break. Other than that, during this time, Isabel expressed her concern for the other wolves. Her father is arranging to have all the wolves in the woods assassinated and the only people that can stop him are also the ones that have more on their plate than they can deal with as is.
The main issue I had with the first half of the book is it felt like everyone was spending all their time worrying rather than doing anything. Even Isabel was annoyed by this but still did not do anything. It all seemed a bit counterproductive. I think the reason for this was so the reader could be scared for each of the characters. Suspense! I just wish something else would have happened rather than this.
The last half of the book felt really rushed. The funny thing is, I thought I'd be more invested in Sam and Grace's story (yay, they're together but for how long?), but I ended up caring more about Cole and Isabel. I still hoped for all the best things when it came to S & G. Please let someone find a freaking cure! PLEASE! But their story wasn't half as interesting as Isabel and Cole's. I love their dynamic and intense relationship/non-relationship. Honestly, it's what kept me reading.
Also, the emotional roller coaster factor. I bawled like a baby in Shiver. I shed many tears in Linger. But Forever? I didn't cry once. I couldn't. For some reason, the connection I felt with the characters drifted somewhere between pages 200 and the end.
Oh, the ending. The ending wasn't an ending at all. I felt like some things were resolved but the main thing was still left hanging in the air. I guess it's so each reader can picture what happens and end it the way they want to, but it was just too abstract for me. I needed an answer. I needed facts, a conclusion, not "what do you think happened?". I think that's where my main problem with Forever takes place. I'm sorry, but I have issues with the last book not feeling like the last book. Will there be a short story some time in the future, letting us know what happened? I sure hope so because otherwise, I am less than satisfied with what I was hoping to be the epic conclusion to one of my favorite trilogies. Part of me wishes Shiver was a standalone rather than a trilogy. Shiver had an ending. Forever doesn't.
Now, I will say that there are many, many people out there who enjoyed, LOVED Forever. I'm sad to say I was not one of them. I think maybe my hopes were too high. Maggie still writes with the same finesse, charm and grace that only Maggie can write. That I loved. I just wish I loved the book as much as I wanted to.