Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Review Day and Giveaway Winners!!

The winners of the Sci-Fi and Steampunk Giveaway are:
 Christie the Teen Librarian
Cassandra Cruz
Teressa Oliver
Allyson Nobles
Congratulations guys!

This is the order the winners will pick their books as well. The first winner has already been contacted and chosen her books. The rest will also be emailed in order. Thanks for entering!

Now for my SPOLIER-FREE review of...

Written by Maggie Stiefvater
Publication date: July 12, 2011
Released in Hardcover, paperback, Kindle, Audio CD and ebook
390 pages

4 1/2 stars
Synopsis: In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

My Review: First, let me say that this book is very appropriately titled, because it literally takes forever to read! The book has 78 chapters!! Seventy-eight chapters is a lot and no matter how much I read in a night, I still didn't make any progress. I would be on chapter 14 and only a centimeter through the book! That's crazy!

The book starts off with a bang! A short intro with a cliffhanger right in the beginning. Maggie Stiefvater knows how to suck you in with great descriptions and analogies, then she hits you with the unexpected and your mouth is left hanging open.

As you know from the end of Linger, Grace has finally shifted into a wolf. She's just off...in the woods...doing wolf things. It's unbelievable! It's Spring in Minnesota - which sounds like an oxymoron to me! Still, Spring is Spring and the season can be fickle; sometimes warm, sometimes cold. Not good for the skin...or the pelt, for that matter!

So in this story, Sam and Cole are in some pretty dark places, for very different reasons and to different degrees. They both have their own unique ways of expressing themselves. Especially Cole! Sam is trying to cope with the comings and goings of Grace while fending off the police and their questions regarding Grace's mysterious escape from the hospital. Sam finds an ally in an unexpected person. With the whole town believing Sam is guilty of such terrible things, it's really sad. Sam is so innocent, fragile, docile, and seeing these people treat him like a psychopath is painful to watch. Cole on the other hand is struggling with some inner demons and a major turning point in his life. Isabel is indeed a factor in this change, so you definitely have that to look forward to!

Back to poor wolf-Grace. I couldn't help but think that now she was able to experience what Sam was going through all those years. Struggling to keep the two halves of his life together yet apart - Sam the boy and Sam the wolf. With the wolves of Mercy Falls in the danger of being wiped out, Sam, Cole and Isabel must figure out a way to get Grace and all their other wolf friends out of the woods before it's too late.

There is a tear-jerking moment near the end and I wish I could say more about it but I promised no spoilers! I won't say much about the ending either except that it wasn't what I expected.

Maggie Stiefvater makes a Jungle Book reference!! I love it!!
One consistent piece of this series that I enjoyed throughout were the woods. It often reminded me of times when I was young. I loved playing in the woods behind my house. If I went back deep enough there was a small stream and I would sit and just listen to the noises around me. There wasn't anything cool in those woods, like wolves that were really cute boys, but I still enjoyed it!

Overall: I have to say, an unfortunate thing about this series is that the sequels don't hold a candle to the first. Shiver was so good, so beautiful, magical and romantic that I think readers thereafter expected the same out of Linger and Forever. I know I did. Where Shiver was full of mystery and excitement and suspense, it's followers were more full of story and banter. I just wanted exciting stuff to happen! I think the only reason I was able to push through Linger to get to Forever is because I'd already become invested in the story, I had to see it through. I'm pretty sure the huge cliffhangers at the end of each book had a lot to do with, too.

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