Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater & Giveaway

***This review contains spoilers if you have not read Linger (Mercy Falls #2).***

Sam and Grace thought they'd found peace at last -- but their moment was fleeting. In a cruel twist of fate, wolf has become boy and girl has become wolf, leaving them in the same impossible situation. But this time, one thing is devastatingly different: girls are turning up missing or dead, and the human citizens of Mercy Falls see only one solution to the mounting threat. The wolves must die.

Maggie Stiefvater brings the forlorn powerlessness of the werewolf disease front and center in this final installment. They are unnatural creatures living in an unbelieving world, where they will get no sympathy for a situation that is far beyond their control. This feeling of helplessness pervades the novel, breaking hearts and devastating lives at every turn.

It is fascinating to see the supernatural through Grace's highly rational eyes, a parallel perspective that brings a tragic symmetry to the series. It is somehow sadder, when Grace clearly has something to lose -- life and love and a bright future, unlike Sam who had nothing and no one before the pack. Grace's smarts mean nothing in the woods, highlighting the wrongness of all that lost potential. Forever forces readers to face these harsh realities, and gives them an hypnotic look into a foreign world. Grace's new life as a wolf seems so surreal and distant, time slipping by meaninglessly, like sand through an hourglass, building an almost unbearable sense of desolation and urgency. Their new commonality, the reversal of roles, forges an unparalleled understanding between Sam and Grace. What was hard for Grace in Shiver is now devastating for Sam. The longing and emptiness never seem to fully go away, and it's heartening to see a YA couple fighting to stay together, rather than willing themselves to part.

The small, simple touches convey the most meaning in this relationship -- Stiefvater is a master of subtlety, weaving the crystallized details of those secret gestures into her powerful, stark prose. It is the simple moments, when they're just being themselves, together, that make it all seem real and powerful and right. The delayed gratification makes it all the more satisfying and sweet. They're so comfortable, like they've been together a lifetime, yet they still experience the thrill of first love and never take each other for granted. They have something deep and abiding, something that makes it easy to believe in forever.

Compared to the intensity of Sam and Grace's tragedy in motion, Cole's utter lack of inhibition is refreshing and somewhat awe-inspiring, even if he has a tendency toward self-destruction. Stiefvater seems to be universally insightful, getting at something inside us all that we can't even fully name, a glimpse of the shadowed corners of our humanity. Cole lives large and free, more unrestrained as human than as a wolf. He's like a naughty child that a parent just can't bring themselves to punish because he's so flamboyantly unrepentant. He is a perfect foil for Sam, whose bewilderment at this foreign species of chaos provides some levity in the almost unbearably intense finale.

Stiefvater makes the sheer impossibility of the whole melancholy situation immediate and wrenching, building a twisted universe where the whims of fate play cruel tricks on those most deserving of happiness. The horrible irony and injustice of it all defies description. Just when it seems like the situation can't get any more dire, it does. It can always, always be worse -- but even in the darkness, there is the barest shimmer of hope that pulls readers forward. The drama begins on page one and careens wildly out of control, never pausing for breath. The twists and turns are truly unpredictable, and it's impossible to tell whether this story will end in tragedy or triumph until the final page. Stiefvater brings her world alive with love and death, hope and despair, and readers will be sorry to leave behind the beautiful, vibrant characters who have come to life before their very eyes.

Rating: 

Disclosure: I received an ARC of this novel at BEA. This did not affect my review in any way.

This novel hits shelves today! Click here to purchase Forever by Maggie Stiefvater.


GIVEAWAY


There was a Forever ARC in my This is Teen goody bag, and since I had already snagged one at BEA that means I have an extra. So, one lucky reader will received a SIGNED ARC of Forever by Maggie Stiefvater!

To Enter:
  • Leave a thoughtful comment on this review (i.e., prove to me that you read it.)
  • Fill out THIS FORM (extra entries are available)
  • Following is not required, but greatly appreciated
  • Open Internationally -- because I'm sure everyone wants this one.
  • Ends 7/19/11 at 11:59 pm EST
  • Please review my giveaway policy
Good luck!

58 comments:

Evie said...

I'm so looking forward to reading this series, you don't even know! I just received an ARC of Forever from Scholastic (it came as a total surprise!).. but akhm.. I didn't read the first two books yet and so I have some catching up to do now :)

Great review - as always!

Vidisha said...

I have so many good things about this series.. i just recived Linger and shiver. i am about to start on them ...

ashelynn hetland said...

I am *so* afraid to read this book. I want to, but again, terrified because of what happens. With Stiefvater, I'm scared for her characters... what might happen.

"What was hard for Grace in Shiver is now devastating for Sam." I like the thought of that it's flipped and it's the end of the trilogy. Like as a whole it's wrapping it up.

Your review does make me want to camp out next to my mailbox all day long and wait for my copy to show up. Hopefully it does today. Hopefully. *eyes mailbox*

Thank you so much for the giveaway! Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors and I would love to have anything signed by her.

Kt said...

Your review makes me desperate to read the book. Sounds like I am going to be on the edge of my seat the entire time. I was worried that it may not be as good now that Grace and Sam's roles were reversed, but I can just picture Sam's devastation as you said and I can't imagine how compelling this will be to read. Thank you so much for the giveaway!

Gothical@Gothical's Book Review’ s said...

I love your review for Forever, sounds like I am going to like the last book of the series. thank you for the giveaway as well.

Kelcie Bentley said...

Wow, it seems like Forever is a lot more intense than the other ones! great review, i am soo excited to read the book...

Margaret said...

This series intrigues me. Not my usual cup of tea but it sounds like such a great story. It sounds like it's complex which is also not what I would have expected. I'd love to read this one! Thanks!

Kate said...

Okay I read the first paragraph and had to stop. I realized that I don't want to spoil the series for myself, I've only read half of Shiver. But I'm really excited to read the rest of Shiver and the rest of the series. I've heard such good things about Linger and Forever. Thanks for the giveaway!

Mikki Mano said...

OMG, I can't wait to get my hands on Forever. Maggie is one of the greatest authors I've ever read from, and the world of her wolves is so special, I immediatelly fell in love with it and the characters. Grace and Sam's story is full of emotions and I couldn't hold back my tears at the sad scenes. I lved Shiver and Linger, and I'm pretty sure I will love Forever, too :)
Thank you so much for the giveaway,
mikki-mano@hotmail.com

Phanee said...

I thought that might be the case... What we saw Grace experience in the first book, how she coped with the whole situation of Sam being a wolf; it's now time for Sam to experience it.

Being a wolf will definitely be completely different from Grace's perspective. She is a very different character to Sam, so experiencing everything from her eyes will definitely give some new insight into what it feels like to be a wolf.

I loved Cole in Linger. He was what you might call a breath of fresh air. A completely different character to both Sam and Grace, he gave a different feel to the story.

Thanks for the chance to win! :)

barmybex said...

I am desperate for this book. Been trying soo hard to get a copy,

thanks for making this international - you rock.

Forever sounds amazing!

brookea_2006 said...

I'm so looking forward to reading this book. I've always loved Sam and Grace, and I'm so happy to hear that their wonderful relationship, the simple unique love that they have is still there in spite of the struggle they'll face with Grace being a wolf. I'm a little nervous though, because this book sounds intense and nervewracking.

Novels On The Run said...

Hi there,

I have read Shiver and really enjoyed the romance. My girlfriend absolutely LOVES Sam. I have Linger on my bookshelf but held off reading until I get Forever as I know I wont be able to stop reading once I start Linger. Forever will have to be staright after, no breathing space inbetween. When I saw you had spoilers I had to just skim bits of your review.


Michelle A
tintinbrains@bigpond.com

TheGirlOnFire said...

I loved the first to books in this series. I have been waiting for this book for what seems like forever( no pun intended) ;). I am so even more excited after reading this review though. There is nothing better to me in a book then when it is unpredictable, I just love when it makes me gasp! Thanks so much for this review!

Ashley Suzanne said...

I have started the first book, but I have yet to finish. I would love this book to complete my series :]

I am a new follower and I would love if you came and followed me back at Ashley Suzanne!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I can't read your review because of the spoiler alert (thanks for that, though). I did scroll down to your five-star rating, however! :) I have this series on my to-buy list for my Not-So-Bebe-Girl Autumn's combination graduation/college send-off/birthday party, so it would be awesome to get a signed copy for her! Thanks for the chance to win!

knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com

stilettostorytime said...

I hated to see this series end as well but I did feel like Stiefvater really closed it on a strong note. Great review!

Erinberry said...

I can't wait to read this book and your review makes me want to read it even more! I really like that Sam and Grace's roles are switched with Grace now having to deal with being a werewolf. Thanks for the giveaway!

LilMissMolly said...

I'm so happy this book is finally out. I loved both Linger and Shiver and especially how the characters developed. Can't wait to read this one!!
lvsgund at gmail.com

Karen Roth said...

Great review! I could imagine how Sam feel I mean hi so different in that way to Grace... I can't wait to read, because your review makes me wanted more..

=D

Krystal said...

I have been dying to read this book. I loved the first two! I want to find out what happens to their romance :) Thank you so much for this awesome giveaway!

blackplume said...

I'm waiting for this last book so I can marathon the whole series. Glad that the last book is out.

Vivien said...

OMG I really can't wait to get my copy in the mail. I absolutely loved the first two. I have been hearing mixed reviews, but you made it sound promising. Being unpredictable is hard to do nowadays, but that's what we're all looking for.

Bree (The Magic Attic) said...

This sounds much more intense than the others. Great review - you made me really want to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway!!!

Ronyka7 said...

I love this books, cant wait to read the final one, Forever, is sad because is the end. but I want to know how all endd. Great review.

Maidenveil said...

Wow, I can't believe Forever is already here! I haven't finished reading Linger yet. AAAHHHH!!!

Kaye M. said...

Oh God, I'm terrified at the idea reading this book, and terrified at the idea of waiting to read it. ><
Clearly I have some serious issues.

Your review just highlighted what another friend told me about the "tragic aspect" of the story - and I'm starting to feel worried about what that possibly could be.

Book Sake said...

I love a book with twists and turns so you never know where you are going to end up. That's one of the aspects that keeps me interested and turning the pages!

Carol M said...

My granddaughter and I are really enjoying this series! I would love to win this book for us! I like to talk about books with her. :)
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Angela said...

I can't wait to read this book and your review just made me want to read it more.

Tasha said...

I skimmed your review because I have not read book two yet. I'm on the waitlist at the local library... I look forward to reading this one

buddyt said...

Interesting idea to switch the problem around from boy to girl and get new insights into the wolf's life and problems.

Should be a good read.

Please enter me in the giveaway.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

I follow via GFC (buddyt)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I loved the first two books and have been waiting for this one. The role reversal in this novel is intriguing. Looking forward to seeing how it works. As an animal lover, I'm always on the side of the werewolves.

A great review.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Wow, amazing review. You have a wonderful way of writing. I'm so excited for this one...loved the first two.

-lauren

Syki said...

Thank you for this review... I can not wait to read Forever!

Syki
sykorova.p@gmail.com

The Lovely Getaway said...

Love your review! I am soexcited for FOREVER. I'm barely on book 2, but I can't wait to finish... I LOVE Sam and need more of him :)

Diana

Kerry-Ann McDade said...

WOW! Bits of your review made my heart melt, The way you descibe there relationship is what everyone dreams off. The way you say Sam and Grace and comforable around each other when they are themselves.

I have to say I've never read a review such like yours. It's amazing the way you talk about the characters being brought to life and them being vibrant. You made me want to read this very much! Great Review.

Ria said...

I've got access to the first books in the series, and I keep hearing a lot of good things about them even though I haven't read them yet. Great review; it makes me want to read them even more!

Nikki said...

I have read a few reviews on the series and they sound wonderful. Your review made the book sound even more promising.
viajeradelmar@aol.com

ElfRenee said...

I'm really looking forward to this book, because I loved the first two! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

Teril said...

So looking forward to FOREVER. Great post and thank YOU! for the giveaway.

Angelica Joy said...

Thank you for the giveaway it's very generous. I'm from Australia so not many authors come out for signing in our neck of the woods, so I'm so very excited and grateful for such an opportunity.

Your review has certainly done this series great justice! It's intense, detailed and poignant without spoilers, a perfect review!

Looking forward and crossing my fingers for this giveaway, once again thank you for your generosity.

kristina shields said...

Great review! can't wait to read this book and hopefully it wont be as sad as it seems :(

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

@Evie & @Vidisha -- I hope you love the series! I thought Shiver was just beautiful. *dreamy sigh*

@ashelynn -- It is definitely intense! I took breaks between each of the books because my heart just couldn't take the pressure! haha

@kt -- I thought it was really neat how Stiefvater reversed their roles. It really showed different sides of them both.

@Kelcie -- The whole series was pretty intense, but I think this one really took the cake O_O I may have yelled at the book a time or two...*cough*

@Margaret -- I think this series really defies categorization. Yeah, it's kind of paranormal/scifi, but more than anything it's a love story, and a beautiful one at that =)

@Mikki -- Maggie is definitely one of my favorite authors too! Have you read her blog? She cracks me up =)

@Phanee -- I am a HUGE Cole fan. Compared to Sam's utter lack of venom, Cole's abrasiveness was refreshing lol. Maybe that's just because I'm more like Cole than Sam lol.

@brookea_2006 Steel your nerves before going in! It's quite the emotional roller coaster O_O It's rare to find a book that makes you feel so strongly. I don't think I could take it all the time, but I still love it.

@Novels On the Run -- Good call waiting for Forever before reading Linger! There's quite the cliffhanger at the end of book 2 O_O

@TheGirlOnFire -- Those Forever puns are just too easy - I couldn't resist a few myself in my readathon posts lol ;)

Amy said...

I am SO incredibly jealous of everyone who got an ARC! I've been itchign to read Forever... forever1 I am really looking forward to, as you say, Cole being Sam's foil. I sensed that part of their relationship as soon as they met in Linger, and I'm excited to see it fully developed in Forever.

Plus, the role reversal of Sam and Grace from Shiver to Forever; I can hardly imagine how intense it is, for both of them. Ack, I need to read it!

Thanks for offering this giveaway! So generous of you. :)

Kailia Sage said...

I really need to get my hands on this book. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about this one but it's good to know you liked it.

whitewolfreads said...

Thanks for the review! I'm really anxious to read this book. People have either loved the ending or didn't like it so I'm kinda worried about reading the conclusion to such a great series. Hopefully like you I will love this book as much as I loved the other two books in the series.

Lieder Madchen said...

I am reading through the series for the first time and loving it. I completely agree that Maggie Stiefvater is a master of intensity and emotions, I can hardly wait to read this book. Thank you!

Fi-chan (Bookish-Escape) said...

I didn't read your review because I haven't read Linger and I don't want spoilers, but thanks for the warning! And thanks for the giveaway! :D

Carla said...

I can't wait to read this one and find out what happens.

Thanks for the review. :)

mbreakfield said...

I'm glad that Sam and Grace fight to stay together. This sounds like a very emotional read. thanks for the review and giveaway
marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

Valia Lind said...

Great review! Im actually reading Shiver right now and I can totally see the longing and the struggle you talk about. Im in love with Maggie's writing! I cant wait to finish this series! :-)

Tristan said...

This sounds extremely intense, I'm starting to question whether or not I'll survive this. Series Enders are usually hard to deal with but your review jas officially increased my anxiety!! Great review though ;)

Cara said...

Ah, you've made me so much more excited for this book. I'm really interested in seeing more of Cole and I also thought he was the perfect foil for Sam while reading Linger! Thanks for the review! :)

nicolesender said...

I look forward to reading Forever. I enjoy a book that has many twists and turns and keeps the suspense up to the very end. I also like books that offer you characters that stay with you long after the book is finished.
nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

I confess I only read your review with half an eye closed as I didn't want to happen upon any spoilers (I still have to read the previous book), but based on everything I read I can't imagine starting Linger without having Forever on hand, don't want the torture of finishing Book #2 and having to wait until I can get Forever in my hands and read on :-D

I am intrigued by how you say Maggie Stiefvater conveys melancholy and despair so heartwrenchingly. Her poetic storytelling is amazing!

Thank you for the chance :-)

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Lyssa said...

I love your blog! Aren't books grand? :)

Micaella Lopez said...

This was a good finale to a great series. I had hoped for a little epilogue detailing what happens 20 years later, but that did not happen. All in all, I have enjoyed this series a lot and liked the characters. I recommend it.
Lake LBJ Real Estate

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