Forever: the final installment in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series and the final story of Grace and Sam.
‘And then I did laugh, even though the future was a dangerous place, because I loved her, and she loved me, and the world was beautiful.’
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 killed 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.
“It was a little after midnight, and I was trying to sleep mostly out of self-defense.”
My initial rating for this book was 4.5 stars. Then, while I was trying to write a review (I say trying because all my attempts have been pretty unsuccessful by my standards), I just went ahead and changed it to 5. It felt like the right thing to do. I suppose it would be easy enough to start pointing out flaws, complain about this and that, compare this book to Linger and especially Shiver, but I don’t want to do any of that. Not to Forever. The truth is, even if it didn’t have as many breathtaking moments as the two books before it, I was still very happy with how it was done. Besides, Maggie Stiefvater deserved better than that. What she gave me with this trilogy cannot be measured in stars. It cannot be taken apart or put into words. I’d always believed that there’s nothing beyond language, but this time, words really are inadequate.
Maggie Stiefvater has a way of making me see beauty in the simplest things. She doesn’t create it, she just uses her words to point out what was already there and show it in a completely different light. Never before have I stopped to notice the quiet sadness in the most mundane, repetitive moments but it doesn’t surprise me at all that it was Stiefvater who pulled that particular heartstring and woke me up. And I do feel awakened, at least for now.
All these characters started as one thing, and ended up as their true selves. People keep talking about Cole and how much he’s grown in Forever, but Grace did too, just in a less obvious way. Cole found purpose, Isabel found softness, Sam found determination and Grace found completion. Honestly, what more can you ask?
“It was like I’d unfolded all my paper crane memories and found something unfamiliar printed on them. Somehow along the way, hope had been folded into one of those birds. My whole life, I had thought that my story was, again and again: Once upon a time, there was a boy, and he had to risk everything to keep what he loved. But the real story was: Once upon a time, there was a boy, and his fear ate him alive. I was done being afraid.”
Despite struggling profusely with this one there is no denying this was still a beautifully written story. Maggie’s writing appears flawless and effortless… the words simply flow.
The Bottom Line
As you can see by my rating, Forever didn’t leave me with the warm fuzzies I had after Linger and especially after Shiver. It was too jumbled for me and a bit lacking in overall focus. I think that this is primarily due to the multi-POVs that didn’t work for me this time around even though there were just about as many in Linger… it just made the story feel all over the place.
Too much time was spent focusing on Isabel and Cole when I desperately needed/wanted more about Grace and Sam. It also seemed like there was too much extra information being doled out that was distracting from the main storyline. Bottom line: it felt very forced.
I didn’t feel the strong connection that I was used to between Grace and Sam (view spoiler) And I found it strange how Grace/Sam would be thinking about how much they loved him/her or how much they missed him/her when separated yet they never really showed it. I realize that it was done so in a way to show that they both know and understand each other so much that actions aren’t required but being a bite more vocal about it would have brought back the warm fuzzies for me. 🙂
Despite my issues I’m still glad that I finally read these stories and experienced Maggie’s writing firsthand. Even though Grace and Sam’s story is officially over it will be hard to ever forget it.