By Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Buddy Read with Micheline of Lunar Rainbows Reviews
To Sum It Up: Isabel and Cole have both left Mercy Falls for Los Angeles, where she’s determined to move on with her life and he’s determined to win her heart. Even with his prodigious Cole St. Clair charm, Isabel won’t be easily swayed, especially since Cole also happens to be in California to star in his own reality show. She needs to know that he’s there because of her, but returning to the spotlight may supply one too many distractions—and temptations—for Cole to remain focused on why he followed Isabel to L.A.
Review: Isabel Culpeper and Cole St. Clair—what have you two done to me?!
Seriously. I’ve loved Isabel since Shiver and Cole since Linger, but I still was not prepared for the brilliance that is Sinner. As much as I adore Sam and Grace, and I adored them heaps throughout the previous Wolves of Mercy Falls books, Cole and Isabel refused to release their iron grip on my mind and my heart. Their chemistry is explosive; if either of them struck a match, everything within a fifty mile radius would ignite, too. I am eternally grateful to Maggie Stiefvater for deciding to give these two their own book because not knowing what the hell ever happened to them would have gnawed at me for an absurdly long time.
Sinner is an absolutely perfect novel about two imperfect people, and it’s all the flaws that make Cole and Isabel so damn real and their story so damn addictive to read. Maggie Stiefvater is unparalleled at taking the nuances of everyday life and examining them under a microscope: every word, every gesture, everything. Sinner often feels like a contemporary novel, propelled by two characters with equally towering page presences. There is not a weakness in either POV, and whether they’re in the same scene or separate ones, Cole and Isabel play off of each other’s narration seamlessly.
What more can be said about Cole St. Clair that he hasn’t eloquently said about himself already? He wears his ego like a badge, and on anyone else, it would come across as arrogance of the insufferable kind. But Cole also knows how to work a crowd, and did I fall hard for charming Cole. He’s a smartass to boot, a trait that I hold in very high esteem in my fictional characters, and so I found myself laughing maniacally at his Cole-isms. Because I never knew when the next outburst of cackling would occur, I nixed the idea of taking this book to work to read during lunch.
While Cole’s unique perspective on the world and Isabel’s snark amused me very, very much, Sinner did not hesitate to put my heart through the wringer, too. I felt anxious for Cole, who’s back in the public eye and surrounded by all of his old vices, some even provided by the producer of his new reality show because disasters make for compelling TV. I just felt for Isabel, so guarded with her heart, especially in light of witnessing her parents’ marriage in its death throes. Isabel isn’t the type of girl who wants anyone’s pity, though, and I love her for that. So too do I love how Stiefvater waves that magic wand of hers and convinces you unequivocally that Isabel and Cole are the only two people who truly know the real Isabel and Cole, the ones behind the ice queen and rock star exteriors.
Although the werewolf aspect isn’t as much of a focal point as it was in the previous books, it still surfaces at key moments. I’ve always marveled at the effortless way in which Stiefvater weaves the supernatural through stories that could otherwise fall under contemporary; her slight touch of paranormal in Sinner is particularly well done.
I’ve totally written an ode to Sinner and to Cole and Isabel instead of a review, but it wasn’t possible to do anything else but gush about how much I loved this book in its entirety. Maggie Stiefvater could not have written a more perfect conclusion to a fantastic series, and now I can proceed with life because I have my Isabel and Cole epilogue.
All in All: If you haven’t read Sinner yet, you MUST! I savored every single word of it, and it’s easily one of my favorite books of 2015.