Review: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Published by Scholastic
Released July 12, 2011
386 pages
Where I got it: ARC received from publisher at ALA Annual
Rating: 3 stars

The hunt is on for the wolves of Mercy Falls.  The legislation has been passed, the helicopters are hired, and Isabel’s father is ready to go shooting.  Sam, Cole, and Isabel are in a fight against time to figure out a solution to getting the wolves to safety.

Forever closes out the series that began with Shiver and continued with Linger.  Sadly, I felt that this was the weakest book of the three.  Shiver managed to create a feeling of the race against time, and the encroaching coldness of Minnesota closing in.  It had the most atmosphere of all three books, and it was nice to be introduced to a different werewolf mythology.  Linger added a new danger and sense of urgency to the series, and took the focus in a different direction. Forever should have been the most intense book, but it really fell flat for me.  I stopped caring about the characters, because I stopped connecting with them.  It seemed like a constant rehashing of teen angst without actually accomplishing much.

One of my frustrations with Stiefvater’s writing was that each of the four narrators sounded the same.  Each chapter begins with the name of the person who is speaking. If you’re going to divide narration like that, you should try to distinguish the voices through the writing, not the chapter heading.  Even so, I got very confused while reading a later chapter. I flipped back, and sure enough, I was reading with the wrong character in  my head.  Sadly, I was about halfway through the chapter before I even realized something was amiss.

The book ends on a bit of a question.  I’ve seen other reviewers refer to it as a non-ending, and I agree to a point.  I think it’s more of an open ending, that lets the reader either decide for him or herself what happens, or leaves you ever wondering.  I didn’t have a problem with it.

If you’re a die-hard lover of this series, definitely read this book.  I was always a bit indifferent to it, so take that into consideration when you think about my opinions on the story.  If I had been more in love with the books overall, I may have held this one in higher regard.

That said, the presentation is beautiful as always.  I love the color themes they’ve chosen for the binding/typography, and the overall cover design, including the embossing. They’re very attractive books.

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