Confession:I have to admit—when I first heard about Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series (Scholastic), I was not planning on liking it. I was done reading the slew of paranormal romance that came out after the success of the Twilight series. I had heard good things about these books though, from my friends and others, so I decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did.
Review: The Shiver series revolves mainly around two characters: Grace and Sam. [Note: Not a spoiler, I promise.] After being attacked by the wolves that live in the forest near her house as a young girl, Grace develops a fascination with the creatures, especially the wolf that saved her from being killed in the attack. Through a sequence of events, she discovers that the wolves that live in the woods of Mercy Falls are werewolves. These werewolves do not change at the full moon though; they change when it gets cold outside. In the summertime, the wolves are regular people. When Grace comes across the human form of Sam (the wolf that saved her) they begin a romance that is complicated with some obvious problems.
Forever is the last book in the series, and in my opinion, the best. Stiefvater alternates first-person perspective of multiple characters throughout the books and the characters are at their most developed in this final installment. Strangely enough, my favorite character is not the main hero or heroine, but the former drug addict and musician Cole St. Clair who struggles to find a scientific cure for his lycanthropy. Stiefvater has more range than just writing about two teenagers in love—although she does that skillfully as well, so that people who are less than romantic can handle it. In Forever Stiefvater faces head on the problems that Grace and Sam encounter as a teenage couple. Will they split up when Grace goes to college? How do they convince Grace’s parents that they are seriously in love? Is their relationship strong enough to last forever?
This series offers escapist fantasy that is definitely worth your time if you’re in the mood for romance and adventure. However, one issue I do have with Forever is something incredibly picky, but bear with me. The text in the book is not black, but instead, a glaring red to match the front cover. This distracted me from the story at times and I felt it was too much of a gimmick. Yet the story managed to draw me in, even with all my preconceived notions about werewolves and romance. So for those of you looking for a love story or just a unique twist on classic werewolf lore, check this out.
In the meantime, I’m going to start working on those college applications—Grace’s worries about going to college next year have made mine even worse.
If you would like to contact Maris with any suggestions or questions about books please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
PS Thanks to author/NYJB reviewer Connie Goldsmith for the recommendation!