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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

I want to flip things around in this review and open by talking about the great narration of Forever.  I listened to this on CD, and I'm so glad I did!  First, there's four narrators.  Each of the main characters are read by a different person, so it's easy to immediately identify which point of view the reader is hearing.  And here's the big, exciting part:  Maggie Stiefvater herself reads the part of Grace!  She does a great job.  How cool is it that you get to have the author right there, reading to you?  All four readers really give this book life.  The cadence is nice and even, even with switching between multiple actors.  The tone is steady; I never had to fiddle with the volume knob, even with the changes between male and female readers.  Overall, a fantastic audiobook.

Now on to the story itself.... In Shiver, Sam was a wolf and Grace was a girl; how could their love survive against those odds?  In Linger, Sam is a boy but Grace becomes a wolf; can their love continue to endure this shift?  Now, in Forever, Sam faces incredible odds as he tries to save the girl (sometimes a wolf) that he loves, and the rest of his wolfpack, as the town calls for a major hunt to eradicate the wolves from Mercy Falls.  He'll face these challenged head-on with Isabelle and Cole beside him. You'll notice the overabundance of the word "love" in my previous paragraph... if you're into romance, especially star-crossed romance, this is definitely the series for you!  Sam and Grace are so sweet together.  I love how they always tighten ranks to face adversity together; they never let rough circumstances or outside influences mar their devotion to each other.  Their relationship develops at a realistic pace too; they're teens, so it's a little quicker to get deeper than a more reserved adult relationship, but it's very much within the realm of possibility among young adults.  The fact that the characters are older teens, and that these books are aimed at teens, means that the shows of affection are mostly chaste.

All four of the main characters are very well-rounded by the time the reader gets to this third book.  One thing that I personally love in a book is dry, snarky humor.  Isabelle Culpepper delivers!  I love her sarcasm.  She's so confident and strong, and never hesitates to tell Sam and Cole exactly what she's thinking!  On the flip side, she's also fiercely loyal to Sam, Cole, and Grace, even to the point of going against her parents' wishes.  And we already know from the previous books how loyal Sam and Grace are to the rest of the group.  Their devotion to each other doesn't decrease in any way the time that they give to their friends.  And finally Cole... possibly the most complicated character that I've read in awhile.  On the one hand, he's a crazy rockstar living a rockstar life; on the other hand he's a quiet, introspective, and inquisitive guy.  Maggie Stiefvater does Cole very well; he is complex, but you never feel like he's bipolar.  He's just very multi-faceted.

The narration and the characters kept me interested in Forever through to the end, but I did feel like I had a bit of a rough start at the beginning of the book.  I felt like there was no plot, no development of conflict, throughout the first third of the book or so.  You know how books always have a build-up toward a conflict, then resolution?  At the risk of a bad pun, I thought it took forever to get to the plot point of Forever.  Never fear!  Be reassured: we definitely do get to a point eventually.  And perhaps I missed a hint or two earlier in the book; I was listening to this while driving.  I do not regret sticking to the book at all, and do plan to read Sinner before I leave the world of Mercy Falls.

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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