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review 2014-07-20 14:12
Sinner (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5) by Maggie Stiefvater
Sinner - Maggie Stiefvater

I have been away from Mercy Falls for three years now, which equates to something like two decades in wolf years, right? Or is it the other way around? I can't remember. Either way, it's a really long time with a couple hundred books thrown in to muddy the waters of my bookish brain where Cole St. Clair and Isabel Culpepper are concerned.

I started SINNER, knowing full well I wouldn't be able to blast through it because Maggie Stiefvater is an author whose writing intimidates me in the best way possible. Once I made it about a third of the way through, I stopped, and had to go back to where it all began. I ended up downloading both the digital and audio copies of SHIVER, LINGER and FOREVER and proceeded to binge read/listen to them all within a span of 36 hours before finishing SINNER. 
Maggie has said she considered herself finished with Mercy Falls when she wrote, FOREVER, and there is a part of me that wishes she had been, or that she had been able to publish SINNER before now. Why? Well, on the one hand, it does gives us the "what happened after" story with Cole and Isabel, but on the other hand, SINNER really is it's own story and almost feels like it has no place within the series at all. Had I not read the other books first, I'm not sure I would have been as fully invested in Cole and Isabel like I was.

Cole is Cole. Witty. Engaging. Awesome. He's one of those characters that is virtually impossible NOT to love, but Isabel is the opposite. She's cold and harsh and unless you know her back story, have watched her experience the pain and heartache that has made her the way she is, it can be difficult to care about her at all.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed SINNER, I did. It makes a great addition to the other books and there is definite closure, but, I don't know...I think I missed the paranormal element that was so prevalent in the other books. 

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review 2013-06-20 00:00
Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls Series #1)
Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls Series #1) - Check out Scott Reads It for more reviews! I think Shiver is the most surprising book I've read all year. For years I have seen Shiver literally everywhere: bookstores, libraries, Goodreads, book recommendations, and so many other places. Yet despite the fact that Shiver is a literary sensation, I wasn't too interested in picking it up. I was kind of afraid of not liking it and being disappointed due to all the hype. Shiver surprised me completely and exceeded all expectations I had for it. This book is one of the most moving and emotional novels I've read in such a long time. Shiver is the story of Grace and Sam who meet under extremely unpleasant conditions. Grace has always watched Sam in the forest with his yellow eyes. One day Grace meets Sam in human form and everything changes for better or worse. Sam has to struggle to fight the wolf inside of him to be with Grace and it's not going to be easy. Shiver is unlike any paranormal book I've ever read and probably will ever read. It tosses out everything you know about werewolves like the full moon, how silver is their weakness, etc. Instead of using the classic mythology, Stiefvater creates her own new rules that govern the werewolves and their ability to shift. They can't shift on command or shift only on the full moon like most werewolves in the media. Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver is beautiful, emotional, and truly heart-breaking. At the end of the audiobook I was listening to, Stiefvater said she wrote Shiver to make readers emotional and cry. I felt like Stiefvater wrenched my heart out and shattered it a thousand times. The last time I was so attached to characters in a novel was Clockwork Princess and that ended in a waterfall of tears. Maggie Stiefvater turned me into an emotional wreck and she plays with a reader's emotions at so many points in this book. The protagonists, Sam and Grace, are two characters I got extremely attached to. I felt this connection with them and I understood how they feel and why they acted the way they did. I definitely think it's because I'm kind of a mixture of both Sam and Grace. Rarely is an author truly appeal to capture what being a teenager is truly like and the cavalcade of emotions that flood through you. Stiefvater hit the bull's eye with her chapters from Sam's POV and they sounded exactly how a guy would think. Grace's chapters were distinctly different from Sam's yet they were also executed perfectly. I loved Grace's snarky attitude and humor which contrasted Sam's more serious, grave situation. Stiefvater helps the reader understand why Sam and Grace act the way they do with their rich, developed backstories. I think a writer has succeeded writing a fantastic novel, when the reader can empathize with the writer's characters. I didn't just empathize with the characters, I felt like I was living through the pages feeling Sam and Grace's pain, love, and joy. It sounds crazy but it's so true. Authors can't only write fantastic protagonists, they have to write also superb supporting characters. Stiefvater created such an interesting bunch of supporting characters and I also felt this tugging connection to them. The supporting characters were so lifelike and they reminded me of people I went to highschool with. Even though Stiefvater makes her characters read like high school students, she manages to avoid all the cliches that usually come with these types of characters. Stiefvater even made characters who didn't seem so likeable like Isabelle Culpepper evolve and change into characters I admired. Stiefvater's writing style is very poetic and helps the reader immerse the reader into the world of Mercy Falls. Her descriptions are well-written and helped paint vivid pictures in my mind of what was happening. Stiefvater knows how to write a compelling story and she left me longing for more of Sam and Grace. I felt this need to immediately pick up Linger and Forever, and read them back-to-back. Shiver is a deep, emotional, profound novel that I could read again hundreds of times and I probably would find new things to obsess over each time. This book perfectly explores what it means to be human and how easily our humanity can be torn away from us. Shiver is a thought-provoking, and meaningful novel that is nothing at all like Twilight despite the fact that the two books are constantly compared. This is a book that I probably wouldn't have appreciated years ago when I first saw it in stores, I'm glad that I read Shiver at this point in my life. I could re-read this book many times in the future and I definitely can imagine doing so.
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review 2013-05-21 18:42
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls Series #1) -

I saw this book on a list a long time ago and didn’t think much of it for a while. I figured I’d get around to it eventually. I’m very glad I did. Stiefvater’s wonderful prose was the first thing to draw me in. It’s very melancholy, but beautiful. Once I began, I couldn’t make myself stop.


I’m not sure that I found a theme to this book. Obviously, Grace and Sam are in love, so love is an important aspect. But their love is the intense kind that is complicated and rarely found in real life. It’s an unconditional, constant love. It’s as if they’ve been together for years. They fit together like pieces to a puzzle. But I think the conflict is what is more important in this story. Will Sam be able to keep himself from shifting? If he shifts will he be able to shift back the next summer? Is there a cure that will allow him to stay with Grace? This is what comes to me when I think back on this book. A simple plot with a simple conflict: can they overcome their obstacles to stay together? If there’s some deeper message to this book, I haven’t found it.


As far as characters go, they’re wonderful. Grace is relatively level-headed and responsible. She’s nearly more of an adult than her parents. She’s mature and handles some of the strangest and most difficult of her situations with a cool head and determination that I admire. Sam is gentle, sensitive, and terribly romantic. He’s the type of guy little girls dream of finding when they grow up. I like him better than all the troubled guys of most young-adult novels because he’s not so broody. His sadness is reserved and genuine. He bears through his struggles with a sincerity you won’t find in many other characters. I feel like I’m not explaining him very well, but that’s the best I can do to put it into words.


There wasn’t much character development in this book. They’re all pretty static. It’s definitely plot-driven, but that didn’t really bother me.

Source: www.owltellyouaboutit.com/posts/shiver
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review 2013-04-03 00:00
Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls Series #1)
Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls Series #1) - I had been looking for something to read and saw that a friend was reading this so I thought I would give it a try. Not bad! Amazing writing, almost like poetry most of the time. I'm going to keep going with the series if only because I bought all 3 at once. Haha
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review 2013-03-25 00:00
Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater Wolves. High school. Poor parenting. A bit like Twilight, but better written. Maggie Stiefvater wrote this series prior to the very excellent The Scorpio Races, and it shows. The dialogue is cringe-worthy at times, and the plot is loosely held together by the merest threads, but it was entertaining enough to read the next two installments. Take this young adult offering as the pleasant diversion it is, then read The Scorpio Races for beautiful prose and an engrossing storyline.
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