Friday, July 29, 2011

Me on Forever

Title: Forever
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic

In Forever, Maggie Stiefvater gifts us with the final piece of her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. The time has come for readers to learn the end of Grace and Sam, the girl who loved watching the wolves behind her house, the girl who fell in love with a wolf. But now Grace is the wolf, and Sam is the boy who must save her before all the wolves in Mercy Falls are killed. 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 takes nothing for Maggie's prose to sweep me straight into the strange and magical world she's created. So moving and powerful, so honest, so compelling.

As I read this book, I could feel something coming to an end. I just didn't know what it was. It felt like the end of an era. After Forever, there would be no more books of Mercy Falls, no more Grace or Sam, no more of the wolves who shift when the temperature drops.

This book tears as me in more ways than one. I understand the feelings of some, that it was wonderful and romantic and emotional like Shiver and Linger. I understand the feelings of others, those who felt it dragged in spots, that the pacing was off, that it took too long to get to the point, that they have issues with the ending.

One of the things about literature that I love is its subjectivity. The parts that some people love can be the very same parts that others hate. Some might see this as a book of survival, about fighting to stay alive, no matter the cost, and others might see it as an impossible romance that somehow became possible, that stretched and shifted and warped as Grace and Sam changed. Some might see it as a struggle for life, that being the wolf is both death and another form of life, that becoming the wolf condemns you to death like it did with Jack (in Shiver), that through the experiments and injections they were holding death back to give Grace and Sam a chance to live. Some might see Beck's gathering up and changing others into wolves as a way to keep him from being lonely, to find others who don't quite fit in so they can all be a family. It might be a journey towards self-discovery, for Sam to figure out who he is without being a wolf, for Grace to discover how she is as a wolf, for Isabel to learn that life sucks and you have to hold onto the good parts, and for Cole to finally figure out what he wants in life.

The end has come, and yes, I'm sad to see it come, but I can imagine what might come next for Grace and Sam. Where they will go, how they'll get there, what they'll do. If they'll ever become wolves again. If they'll stay wolves. Their story might be out of Maggie's hands, but that doesn't stop readers from wondering what happened, from proposing their own ideas and suggestions. That's what makes literature wonderful: the fact that you keep thinking about it minutes, hours, days, even weeks after reading it.

Dearest Maggie, thank you for Grace and Sam. A hundred thank yous. A thousand.

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