Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Pages: 390 (hardcover)
Published: July 2011 by Scholastic
Recommended for: anyone who enjoyed the previous books, or anyone who thought Shiver was just okay and wondered whether the series was worth finishing
Thanks to: Liz for letting me borrow her copy :)
Warning: very mild spoilers follow
Forever picks up soon after Linger left off: Grace has finally become a wolf and is now running through Boundary Woods along with the rest of the pack, most of whom will never again get to spend their summers as humans. Meanwhile Sam longs for the days when his Summer Girl will get to stay with him. As the weather warms up and Grace occasionally changes back to her human form, he finds that losing her so soon and suddenly is perhaps as painful as never having had her at all. Cole St Clair, jaded-with-the-world young rockstar, is experiencing the sudden changes from wolf to human, too. But for once he finds himself struggling to remain himself. He sets out to control the scientific circumstances which force the change from human to wolf, using himself as a test subject. The standoffish and lovably haughty Isabel Culpeper is still uncertain about her feelings for Cole-- and indeed everything else. But as her father, who loathes the Boundary Woods wolves for causing the death of her brother Jack, gears the small town of Mercy Falls up for one last extermination of the pack, Isabel knows one thing for certain-- she must stop him at any cost.
Forever is a fantastic conclusion to the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. Since Shiver, the characters have grown so much, and yet they are at heart the same people we fell in love with. Isabel is still the smart-ass; Cole is still eccentric and jaded; Sam is still the slightly melancholy, ultimately lovable teenage boy. Of all the characters, Grace has changed the most, having defied her negligent parents and given up all aspects of her old life. Yet, for me, it was Cole and Isabel who stole the show. I'm not personally a fan of love-at-first-sight sorts of stories, though Sam and Grace's relationship is more real than that. But Cole and Isabel's is a very different, darker brand of love-- a practically unrealized love, at that.
The lyrical prose and slower pacing of the last two books is familiar here, yet the pace is slightly faster, since the most immediate major plotline of the series-- that of the wolves being hunted by the town and Isabel's father-- is finally coming to a shattering realization. Yep, it's finally happening. I would like to take this opportunity to say, while my random brain is replaying the awesomeness that was that final climax scene, that I hate Shelby. So, so much. Anyway, I would say that if, like me, you enjoyed Shiver but didn't love it enough to read the next book, that it's a fair bet you will end up loving the rest of the trilogy. Shiver is good; Linger is great; Forever is even better.