I’m doing another “Where are they now?” Book Buzz post for a book that was released just over three months ago. As it was the final book in the series, I didn’t want to wait too long after release to see what people are saying.
If you’re like me and love to avoid series ending books, this is a tough one to see end, but at least Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races is out now to keep you entertained.
Forever is the final book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, a paranormal young adult story written by Maggie Stiefvater. It was released on July 12, 2011.
Loved it or Hated it?
I loved it. Not the cuddly, happy smiles, warm fuzzies kind of love, but the haunted, pining, aching, hollowed-out kind of love. The kind of love where you feel like a part of you is torn away. Forever.
The Early Buzz:
I was definitely around for the early buzz, if not the earliest. But I was stalking this book long before it turned up at BEA, so I definitely feel like an early buzzer.
Everyone was dying to find out just how the author would end this trilogy. Once the shock wore off that there would be no more Sam and Grace after this book’s release, people were desperate to find out if their story would have happy a ending or not. With the way Maggie Stiefvater wrote the previous two books, it was very much up in the air as to just how this book would end.
Adding to the chatter was the book’s description. Talk about a teaser. Bigger stakes, wolves being hunted, lives in jeopardy and death right around the corner. That alone sent everyone into a mild panic.
And when photographs from around BEA started showing up with those Forever ARCs in the hands of many a blogger, the excitement for this book and jealousy toward those who had one, grew pretty significantly.
Fizzle or Sizzle:
The overwhelming majority say “SIZZLE” with the biggest divide being about the ending.
The Goodreads average comes in at 3.96 and Amazon comes in at 4 (since they don’t round).
On Goodreads, 70% of the 10,265 people who rated the book were evenly split between 4 and 5 stars and 23% gave it 3 stars. Amazon had far fewer reviews, but the percentages pretty much broke down in the same way.
Beautiful writing. Poetic. Haunting. Realistic. Gut-wrenching. Heart-breaking. Bittersweet.
Slow pace. Anti-climactic. Character disconnect. Unresolved issues. Dissatisfying ending.
I hadn’t heard too much talk around the blogosphere about Forever, which has been out for just over three months, until the chatter started up for the recently released The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
As is inevitable with any new book by an author following a very popular series, comparisons will be made. Good or bad, they certainly help to bring the author’s writing into the spotlight. And so the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy is being talked about by bloggers once again.
But the reviews have been consistently pouring in for Forever, even if the bloggers haven’t kept the chatter going. And the readers on Goodreads are still discussing that ending and the hopes for a Cole and Isabel spin-off.
What’s Left to Buzz About?
The ending. How can anyone who read this series not want to talk about the way the story ended. Whether you love it or hate it – and there were definitely a few who downright hated that ending – there’s a lot to talk about. And while the majority of people loved it, the detractors were right when they said there are things left unresolved.
The characters. From the first book to the last, many readers fell in love with Sam and Grace. Their relationship was different, unusual and heartbreaking, but also filled with hope. Even for those who didn’t make that character connection, their relationship is still worth talking about, even if the conversation isn’t all positive.
Then there’s Cole and Isabel, the secondary characters who play a large part in this last book. Whether readers love their story more than Sam and Grace’s or less, their story is one to buzz about.
And of course there’s Beck. Throughout the series he was so deeply woven into the fabric of Sam’s life. And just as there was no Sam without Grace, there was no Sam without Beck, either. There are fans of the series who made their strongest connection with him and would love to keep the buzz on Beck still going.
The writing. I don’t think there’s anyone who couldn’t continue the conversation about Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. Her writing is just that beautiful and different and haunting. Whether readers loved or hated the pace, they all are pretty clear in that they love her writing.
Absolutely. Whether you loved or hated just how this series ended, there are still so many questions about the characters’ futures that will give readers plenty to buzz about.
And the fact that this series was so unique – unlike any other werewolf tale – makes this truly stand out as a buzzworthy book.
Buzz factors – A haunting and potentially heartbreaking love story. Beautiful, poetic writing. A tense build-up to a dramatic conclusion. And an end that isn’t quite “the end.”
What do I say?
This is a story and series that I loved. I am a huge fan of that ending, though at first I wasn’t. It took sitting with it for just awhile to make me fall in love. But regardless, I couldn’t wait to see what everyone thought of how it ended for Sam and Grace and for Cole and Isabel.
The love-hate factor about that ending boils down to just how much unfinished business can the reader live with? As much as I hate incomplete endings, I don’t mind open endings. And this one, while for a moment it felt incomplete, it was actually simply just open-ended. As is life.
Because, no matter how a series ends, even if it’s wrapped up in a perfect bow, once it ends there will always be things left up in the air. Unless the author writes more, we’ll never know what happens that next day to the characters. They could get trampled by a herd of elephants for all we know. Nothing is certain. But in Forever there was nothing so disquieting that readers will toss and turn and lose sleep. (Not like that ending to Demonglass.)
I say this book, and especially this series, is one I will remember for a long, long time. And I can’t wait for the chance to read all three books in a row, to experience it without that long wait in between each read where I become distanced from the story and have to fall in love all over again.
But if you’d like to know what I really thought, here’s my review for Forever.
Buy it, borrow it, pass on it?
For this book, I say it depends on whether you’ve started the series or not.
If you have read only Shiver or both Shiver and Linger you have to follow this series to its end. And I say “BUY IT.” Complete that collection. Even if you may not end up loving the very end of this book, it is far more unfinished if you stop after book one or book two.
If you haven’t started the series, go into it with the understanding that the word is unique, the writing is beautiful, the pace can be slower than in other stories, you may not make a connection with the characters and the series will have a somewhat open ending. So, for those of you who haven’t read the first book yet, I say “BORROW IT.” If you love the first book, then you have to read this story to its end and then I say “BUY IT.”
But what do you think?
Any item related to this book is up for discussion. Just because I haven’t mentioned it here doesn’t mean you can’t bring it up in the comments.
And feel free to discuss any points of interest from reviews that you’ve seen and would like to talk about. But please talk about them in general terms and don’t point out specific reviews unless they are my reviews or your own.