I was so excited about this book when I finished Shiver. I just could not wait for it to come out. By the time it got here, a lot of the excitement had worn off. By the time I actually started reading I had to remember what was even going on in this story. None of that is really bad. I just said that to say that it took me a little bit to get invested. I’ll blame part of that on the beginning of the book too. I found the first half a little boring.
The addition of Cole was a wonderful decision of Stiefvater’s part. Without him, there wouldn’t be much of a story. Since Sam and Grace are already together it took a long time for me to get really interested with their part of the story. I wasn’t sucked into what was happening with them until the last sixty pages or so. Cole helped keep me in the book until that point. He’s a great character. I’m eager to see more of him in the next book. He’s the guy you love to hate, but it’s so difficult when you can see into his tortured head. He really loathes himself and it’s so sad. I want him to get better so very bad.
It was also interesting to see inside Isabel’s head. After finding her rather unfeeling in the first book, I like her a lot now. I got to see what’s on the inside and I feel similar to the way I feel about Cole. I really want her to face her problems and get better. She’s become crucial to the story line as well. I’m so glad there’s more to this book. I was a little worried about what this book would be like.
Again, I really like Stiefvater’s writing. She takes some great cues from Rilke and all the other poetry she loves. She paints some very lovely pictures, and sometimes some very sad pictures. This book felt a little less lyrical though. It seemed a little more real and gritty and I think Cole and Isabel had everything to do with that. Especially Cole, whose the grittiest character in the book. He really brought something new to the story. But, I’m talking about writing right now, not Cole. I admit, inShiver, I was sometimes a little overwhelmed by the lyrical passages. I didn’t feel that way about this book. The writing stayed out of the way a little more.
I have to give props to Stiefvater for not ending things quite the way I expected. I mean, I saw what was coming. I just didn’t expect it to happen the way it did. It was a little twist that made the book much more interesting to me. Now, the characters are faced with a whole new plethora of problems that I really need the answers to. That’s what a good plot is. Reel us all in, then leave us hanging on the last words so that we’ll be begging for the next book.
It didn’t blow me away, like I expected it to. I did really enjoy it though. This is a great series.
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.