* This review contains spoilers for the previous books in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series.
By Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Buddy Read with Micheline of Lunar Rainbows Reviews
To Sum It Up: Sam is still human, but Grace has finally shifted into a wolf at a time when all of the Mercy Falls wolves face imminent and grave danger. As the all too few minutes tick by, Sam, Grace, and some unlikely allies work to find a way to save the wolves. What does become clear is that Sam needs to lead them, but he may have to become one of the pack again for the rescue plan to even have a sliver of hope for success.
Review: Oh man. Where to start talking about this book?
I feel like I’ve already used all the words, especially superlatives, to discuss Maggie Stiefvater’s The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Forever continues in the brilliant footsteps of Shiver and Linger with compelling characters, exquisite storytelling, and insanely beautiful prose. I can’t get enough of the latter; it’s terribly addictive. It’s writing that makes me look forward to the next word on the page. Whether she’s describing the wolves or the Mercy Falls weather, animate or inanimate objects, the abstract or the concrete, Stiefvater does so with such effortless grace (no pun intended). She always selects the perfect word/perfect phrase for every scene and finds a story in even the most seemingly ordinary details of everyday life.
Sam and Grace have absolutely become one of my favorite YA couples. Ever. “Epic” doesn’t even begin to cover the depth and strength of their love for each other. It’s impossible to imagine Sam without Grace and Grace without Sam; they are truly as one.
Sam’s mettle really gets tested in Forever, as of course first, he must cope with Grace shifting and the growing suspicions of the Mercy Falls residents that he’s responsible for her disappearance. He also finds himself increasingly questioning how well he actually knows Beck, the man who’s in all essence been his father for most of Sam’s life. Finally, a huge threat looms over the entire pack, and with Beck no longer shifting back to a human, it falls on Sam’s shoulders to take action and save the wolves, including Grace. Sam is far from comfortable with this role, which frustrates Isabel, who goes through her own struggles in Forever (most of them Cole-related). Sam’s troubles are all interconnected, and when they converge, reading this becomes simultaneously heart-shattering and heart-pounding. I had about fifty pages left in the book and very, very stupidly thought I could read just a few more before leaving for work. Well, naturally I had to pry myself away from the book at a most inopportune point. Trust me, you do not want to read Forever in stolen moments here and there; you need to be able to spend quality time with it.
I must gush for at least a sentence or two about my other favorite couple, Isabel and Cole. They’re technically not a couple here, but they so are in my head! Forever sees Cole find a purpose, one that is integral to the wolves’ survival. Isabel finds that she’s really grown to care for a certain handful of people. Come on, Sinner: please let Cole and Isabel now find that they belong together!
I have devoured every book in this series. While I know that it’s not quite over yet and as much as I’m dying to jump into Sinner (GAH—more Cole and Isabel!), I’m going to miss Mercy Falls. A lot. Sam and Grace sent my heart spinning in every possible direction, and I loved every single minute of it.
All in All: There are no more words that adequately convey all the things Forever made me feel: happy, sad, fearful, and whatever adjective that best captures how you feel after reading some stunningly gorgeous writing.