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Forever (Shiver, Book 3) (Wolves of Mercy Falls) Hardcover – July 12, 2011
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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 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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Top Customer Reviews
Shiver was written so beautifully. It was a slower paced, descriptive novel, which I enjoyed. I felt like I really connected with Grace, the main character. She was independent, curious, organized, and also a little alone. Her family was very self obsessed, focusing more on their careers and social life, leaving Grace to fend for herself often. Grace’s curiosity about the wolves, especially one she vaguely remembered from her attack as a child, seemed a bit weird at first, but not in an unbelievable way. I was drawn to the story in Shiver. I couldn’t help it because of the way the author writes and the way she creates a sort of magic between the characters, the setting, and emotions.
The thing about Shiver is that I’m so in love with the writing and the connection between Grace and Sam. It is beyond what I expected. Which is weird because the plot didn’t ever really grip me and that’s probably why I put off reading it for so long. When I hear people talk about Shiver, especially those who didn’t like it, it sounds horrible. A girl who fell in love with a wolf before she knew he was actually a person? That’s so weird. Absentee YA parents? Aggravating! Another introverted quiet girl? Boring! But for all of the things that make Shiver a run of the mill YA paranormal story, there are twice as many things that make it different, unique, and not at all annoying.
Honestly, I think the only bad thing Shiver had going for it was the timing. It was released post-Twilight at a time when people were either craving more of the same or scoffing at the idea that a YA romance should even be a thing. The scathing reviews I see for Shiver are typically written during that awkward post-Twilight time period that I think was really hard for many YA authors. People either hated it because it was too much like Twilight or not enough like Twilight and I think that’s a real shame.
I liked Shiver because it was elegant and gripping. I cared about the characters in ways that I think sometimes only Maggie Stiefvater can make me care. I rooted for them. I understood Grace and her parents and the way her circumstances shaped her. I understood her curiosity for the wolves and I even understood how she felt protective over the wolf before she ever knew he was more than a wolf.
I think it’s been long enough after Twilight that YA authors and novels don’t have to be compared to it. I think YA has come into itself and if ever there was a time to pick up Shiver, it’s now when you can fully appreciate it without silly expectations and comparisons. If you are a fan of Maggie Stiefvater’s writing, I don’t see how Shiver will be a disappointment, even if wolves aren’t your thing.
A Note About The Negative Reviews: Some of the reviews that aren’t positive mentioned that the author’s prose was too much, the characters were too mature, Sam was too poetic for a teenager to be, and Grace was a terrible friend because of how she let Sam take precedence over her previous friends. I only mention these because I couldn’t disagree more. When I was a teenager, I loved the sort of style that Stiefvater used in this novel. All of the books I read over and over again were similar in tone. I connected to characters like Grace. I was poetic like Sam (and so were guys I went to school with, so the idea that guys can’t be poetic just infuriates me. While I’ve never been romantically drawn to these types of guys, to assume they don’t exist and having characters like that is unrealistic is ridiculous). I hate the idea that YA novels are judged half the time for having characters who are too mature and then half the time for having characters who are too immature. I think people ought to remember that, while teens tend to have similar characteristics, they are quite different from one another, too. Not only would Shiver have been probably one of my favorite books as a teen, but I think in many ways Sam and Grace were like me. And I felt like Grace’s friends took her for granted some of the time and didn’t always let her be fully herself and Sam did. And we should all remember how often we let new people who we connected with more have the front seat in our lives as teenagers, leaving some of our old friends in the back, forgotten. None of this things seem unrealistic to me at all.
Sometimes I feel like people read YA even though they are too closed minded and they stick too much to their own preconceived notions of what teenagers feel/want/need/like/should be to really enjoy it.
I highly recommend Shiver. It’s a great book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
The book is told in four unique viewpoints: Sam's, Grace's, Isabel's and Cole's. Each one shades the story through their perceptions and together we get a complete picture.
When the story begins, Sam is "cured," Grace is spending most of her time as a wolf, Cole is desperately trying to find a "cure," and Isabel is dealing with her feeling for Cole, grief for her brother's death, and her friendship with Grace.
Things are getting hard for the wolves as Isabel's father is determined to get the wolves removed from protected status and organize a helicopter hunt to exterminate them. Sam is coming to terms with his relationship with Beck as he learns things that change what he thought he knew. I really liked getting to know Cole better through this story. I also really liked Sam and Grace's romance.
Though the ending is somewhat ambiguous, I am going to believe that Sam and Grace live happily ever after.