Last year I put a moratorium on all books werewolf save this one. There’s something about the werewolf theme that bothers me when most authors try to write it – alpha dominance struggles, aggression and fighting, and running… lots and lots of running ad nauseam. If I have to read one more werewolf book where the character spends two-thirds of the book riotously glorying in the run I think I will commit seppuku. Hence the moratorium.That said, I was beyond thrilled when Forever by Maggie Stiefvater turned up this week. Thrilled and privileged. This has been one of my favourite series that the young adult world has going for it. It’s bittersweet to see it end.
Forever opens with Sam trying to locate Grace, who has been missing since the final events of Linger. Grace has shifted to wolf form and summer is nearing. Sam pines for her even as the locals make a gruesome decision – the wolves of Mercy Falls must be taken care of, particularly when the body of a young human woman shows up.
I remember that when I initially read Shiver I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Beautiful writing, but did I like it? I thought about it for a long time and realized it was one of the books that stuck with me the most. When I read Linger I sobbed and sobbed. Stiefvater has this uncanny, preternatural ability to wring out the most emotion from her words. It’s unsurprising that Forever made me cry in the first thirty pages. Twice.
Stiefvater has really created something with this series. Her writing has an almost petrifying elegance to it, and Forever proves no exception. This book is achingly beautiful. Stiefvater’s prose appeals to the artist in me. I see her images as if composed on a canvas; off-center and complimentary colours and focal points. She’s the only writer I can think of whose scenes should be viewed through picture frames. I like to imagine her stalking the paper like a panther, like Pollock, all determination and skill. She constantly reminds me of what real writing is and what many authors merely play at.
No spoilers, but here’s a few scenes to mull over until the book releases – Grace in two very different dresses, Sam hyperventilating, twenty voice mails on Isabelle Culpeper’s phone, playing guitar in the bathtub, hands clasped under the northern lights, burned concoctions in kitchen skillets, syringes next to clothing heaps…If that doesn’t whet your appetite for this book I don’t know what will.
5 out of 5 stars.
*Forever releases July 12, 2011.
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