Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2011: Forever is a fitting finale to the lovely Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater (after last year's Linger). This time, the stakes are higher than ever: while Isabel’s father plots to wipe out the wolves once and for all, Sam and Isabel search for ways to save the pack, and Cole races to find a cure for Grace. But the real centerpiece of the series is the romance--between Sam and Grace, of course, and between Cole and Isabel--and Stiefvater’s luminous, poignant writing does not disappoint. Sam and Grace steal breathtakingly sweet moments together between Grace’s unpredictable transformations, and Cole and Isabel struggle to melt each others’ icy exteriors. Readers will melt, too, and find a satisfying, but not too-perfect, ending to this bestselling saga. --Juliet Disparte
Brenna Yovanoff and Maggie Stiefvater: Author One-on-One
Brenna Yovanoff is is the author of The Replacement and has published in various journals. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Recently she sat down with Maggie Stiefvater to discuss Stiefvater's Ballad and The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Read the resulting interview below, or turn the tables to see what happened when Maggie interviewed Brenna.
Brenna: Even though we all know that characters are not authors, we also know that characters sort of are their authors (at least a little bit). Which of your characters would you say is most like you as a person?
Maggie: Well, most of my characters are delightfully single-minded, because that is what characters do. So if I were arguing a high-level thesis paper, I’d probably declare that, in fact, all of my characters are really me, just exaggerated, stripped of gray areas and less than crystal clear motivations. Even the evil ones. Maybe especially the evil ones. >br/>
That said, I’ve been told I’m quite like Isabel from the Shiver [Wolves of Mercy Falls] series and James from Ballad.
Brenna: If Cole from the Shiver trilogy and James from Ballad had to fight each other in a snark-off, who would win?
Maggie: James, I’m afraid. Cole has learned to rely far too much on his appearance to win these things and sometimes, my friends, a finely crafted chin will just not get you ahead in life.
Brenna: When your characters are romantically involved, they’re willing to fight desperately to be together, often against seemingly insurmountable odds. Like when their significant others turn into wolves and run away into the forest. Where do you stand on the topic of true love?
Maggie: I’m a fan/ believer/ proponent of true love. I think it’s worth waiting for, and I also think it’s worth fighting for once you’ve found it. I’m one of those madly in love people who just doesn’t understand why anyone would stand for anything less. I also find long-term dating confusing. I was engaged after a month and a half because, like Grace in Shiver, I am bad at shopping. I just see what I want, and then I go and get it.
Brenna: Cole St. Clair’s band Narkotika is, understandably, not a real band. However, if it were a real band, what would it sound like?
Maggie: Well, I think that Narkotika, like love, is in the eye of the beholder. It’s supposed to be an edgy, hard, slightly unsettling band, and that varies depending on what you listen to. Also, it was originally an electronica band (think Blaqk Audio). These days I go through life thinking that possibly they would sound like Ringside. Or Korn. Or Carolina Liar. Or Three Days Grace. I realize that these bands sound nothing like each other. I have no good explanation for that.
Brenna: What would you say to all the woefully optimistic girls out there (i.e., me) who want to know if Cole would date them? What if they said please?
Maggie: Oh, Cole would date you. I guarantee you he would date you. If by “date,” you mean “make out with you in a dark hallway, remove some of your clothing, completely avoid giving you his contact information, disappear, and make you have a resulting existential crisis about why you date boys who treat you badly.”
The please wouldn’t be necessary.
Praise for Shiver
#1 New York Times Bestseller
"A lyrical tale of alienated werewolves and first love... Stiefvater skillfully increases the tension throughout; her take on werewolves is interesting and original while her characters are refreshingly willing to use their brains to deal with the challenges they face." — Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This novel is perfect for Twilight fans or a Romeo and Juliet list. It is sensuous, intense, riveting, and so very satisfying." — Voice of Youth Advocates
"Readers will be able to enjoy Stiefvater's fast-paced storytelling and dedication to the old-fashioned art of creating a believable and enduring romance. Shiver is beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages." — Bookpage.com
Praise for Linger
#1 New York Times Bestseller
"This sequel's poetic prose skillfully captures the four teens' longings for love, forgetting, remembering, righting wrongs and life itself. The riveting ending will leave readers panting for the next sequel." — Kirkus Reviews
"This riveting narrative, impossible to put down, is not only an excellent addition to the current fangs and fur craze, but is also a beautifully written romance that, along with Shiver, will have teens clamoring for the third and final entry." — Voice of Youth Advocates
"Leaves readers hanging in anticipation for the next installment." — Booklist
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