Forever (Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)
When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their loved moved from curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.
That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be kill in one final, spectacular hunt.
Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment - a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.
The book is well written and flowed more smoothly than Linger did. It allows for some of the less endearing characters from the previous books to redeem themselves and some of the story's questions get answered but not all. I still have a few.
Grace is a wolf at the opening of this book and Sam is still a boy. She shifts sporadically but not for very long and narrowly misses Sam each time she does. He's at a loss for how to keep her safe. (We are heartbroken for the both of them.) Everyone in town blames him for her disappearance, assumes she's dead at his expense, including Grace's parents. When another body of a missing girl shows up, the livelihood of the entire pack hangs in the balance as the massive hunt to kill them all gets under way.
Sam and Grace as well as Isabel and Cole all have issues to work out not just within themselves but also within their respective relationships. This final book in the trilogy has love, romance (I can't remember the last time my husband brought me home a gift he saw in a window that made him think of me- and the way it would look on me and all the thoughts that go along with that. That could be because he knows if he came home with the wrong size, it would go badly for him.) passion (just the kissing alone...sigh) and loss (characters die...sniff).
I do have a few unanswered questions though like:
Chapter 58? What is up with Isabel and Cole in that one? I kept waiting for Stiefvater to go back (in a few pages, like usual) and explain what that conversation was about but she didn't. I was really confused.
Grace's Mom, Amy. In Shiver, it said that when Grace was attacked by the wolves, Sam shifted back into a human and carried her to her mom. It also said that when Grace introduced Sam to her Mom for the first time, she seemed to recognize him. I thought for sure this would be addressed somewhere in Forever, maybe when Amy invites Sam into her studio to discuss Grace's missing.
I would have really like to have seen an Epilogue that showed a few years down the road...Cole and Isabel working together on a wolf disease cure. Sam and Grace definitely married, finishing college or perhaps already graduated and caring for little Sam's and Grace's. Sam's music career?!
First, the writing. Stiefvater's writing is what first pulled me into Shiver and caught me again in Linger. It's the sort of beautiful writing that just takes your breath away and leaves you wondering "why can't I do amazing things like that?" There were pieces in Forever that completely recaptured that feeling and others that just felt a bit...odd. Sometimes the characters seemed to say things or talk in ways that simply didn't fit. The teenagers talked and used words I couldn't even hint at the meanings of. And Officer Koenig talked in a formal way that I couldn't put with my image of him.
I still quite enjoy the science behind the wolves instead of the simple "BAM! And then he was a wolf." I liked getting a little more into the science with Cole this time. I almost wish I could have learned more about. Speaking of Cole. I kept hearing everyone talk about Cole and he was so awesome in this one. I never payed much attention since Cole was always give or take for me. But seriously. I'm not in love with Cole or anything, but I absolutely loved reading about him and all the bits from his point of view. He was an awesome character. If you pick it up for nothing else, pick it up for Cole.
I have to say that Sam and Grace have the type of love everyone should aspire to. They're comfortable like an old married couple only they still get those butterflies (and, you know, those sexy-times urges). I hope to have a Sam and Grace love for the rest of my life.
I'm quite sad there's nothing left for us in Mercy Falls. I'm also quite sad that the ending left me feeling a little unfinished. Not a happy camper did this ending make.
Final thoughts: While Forever wasn't the best of the Mercy Falls books for me, it's still worth the read. There's a little bit of action with a good dash of love mixed in and all the different points of view make for a fantastic addition to the reading experience.
I love the characters, and I thought it was great that Maggie let us read in more than one character's point of view, it really gave a sense of connection to all the characters.
At the start of the book, Grace is the wolf watching silently from the woods and Sam is the one waiting for her to shift back into human form - to become Grace again. She shifts back a few times, as they do when they are unstable, and narrowly misses Sam each time she does. Back at home though, everyone is blaming Sam for Grace's disappearance and, when a girl mysteriously dies at the hands (nope, maybe paws) of a wolf (Shelby), the wolves' lives hang in the balance as a massive hunt gets underway.
As I said before, it was a beautiful ending to a beautiful series, but the ending made me kind of sad, with all the goodbyes, and I had a couple of questions at the end. Like: did the cure even work? I mean it probably did but I wasn't really sure. And another: so what happened afterwards? And another: So what happened to all the wolves?
I wish Maggie had made an epilogue at the end to show us what happened afterwards, maybe with Cole and Isabel (definitely together) working together to protect all the wolves, or just... being together. And maybe something to show what would happen to all the wolves. And what happened to Sam and Grace, like maybe they finish college together, Sam pursues his music career, with Grace by his side. Forever.
But those are just trivial things really. I mean maybe Maggie wanted us to fill in the gaps with our imagination. This is one of those books that will keep you thinking about it for ages after you've finished. Everyone should read it.
The characters are great, and since you read in more than one character's view, you got a great feel for what was happening. I felt that all the characters were amazing in the own way, and I wish that all books are just as good as this. My favorite character was Cole. I liked him a lot. Even though he was super smart and super weird, I felt strangely attached to him.
I loved this beautiful conclusion to The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. I wish that all the other Maggie Stiefvater's books were as good as this one, not that they are bad. I thought that the Scorpio Races was pretty good, but I loved this the most out of all of them.
The best aspect was that the characters were fully realized in forever--made you really see them as real people, which I've found few authors can do, despite being great writers.
The one thing I noticed that may be a mistake is when Grace thinks of Shelby as 'the one responsible for Cole's death': I thought it should be 'the one who had three deaths on her hands', as she was the one responsible for Beck and Cole's deaths, as well being the one had who killed Olivia.
All in all, a pretty good read, if with a slow start...I give forever a 4.87, linger 4.15, and shiver 3.
-sam's lyrics: LOVE, Cole's not bad, either
-unexpected insertions of prose