Release Date: 13th July 2011
Other Titles in the Series: Shiver, Linger
“Grace,” I whispered. “This isn’t how it ends.”
Sam has always loved Grace. As a wolf, he watched her from afar. As a boy, he held her in his arms.
Now facing the possibility of a life without her, he will do anything to keep her safe. Even if it means facing his demons. Even if it risks everything he has.
Anything, as long as their love can survive...
*There may be a few spoilers for those who haven’t read Linger, but there will be no Forever spoilers.*
I really have no idea how to start this review because Forever was such a tidal wave of emotions that I can’t even begin to sort out.
But I guess, as with the entire trilogy, the first thing that I thought when I began reading Forever is how absolutely stunning Maggie Stiefvater’s writing style is. She has a way with words that woman. Her prose is so soft and enchanting that I fall in head first and don't even glance back; she lulls you into her world and traps you there. And it’s partly through this skill that I fall head over heels for all her characters with each book.
One of my favourite things about Shiver was the dual narrative switching between Sam and Grace, and then in Linger this moved on to include chapters from Isabel and Cole which continued into Forever. I wasn’t too keen on this in when it first appeared but I grew to love it in this instalment. Isabel is a difficult character to get to know, and then it’s sometimes even harder to like her, but I loved getting to see the fire trapped underneath her icy exterior in Forever and I grew to be very fond of her. I remember not really being able to recollect who Cole was for a large portion of Linger as he was a new addition and not initially crucial to the storyline that I was most invested in: Sam and Grace. But he really came into his own this time round. There’s way more to him than meets the eye and he became absolutely essential to Sam, Grace and the rest of the wolves. And I sort of fell in love with him a little bit.
But as with, I expect, most readers of the trilogy, what I was reading Forever for was Sam and Grace. And for the most part, their story is agonising. They spend the first 180 pages of the novel separated; Sam lonely and heart-breakingly empty and Grace as a wolf, grasping at snatches of fleeting human memories that don't quite fit her form and a longing for a boy that she can’t quite remember. It was literally soul destroying. But when they are together, it’s so right! Their love is the type that little girls dream of (and big girls, for that matter) and that anyone would be lucky to have. And my final impression of their love was not from the story, but from Maggie’s author’s note. It’s hopeful and beautiful:
‘Many, many readers have written me asking wistfully about the nature of Sam and Grace’s relationship, and I can assure you, that sort is absolutely real. Mutual, respectful, enduring love is completely attainable as long as you swear you won’t settle for less.’ (‘Author’s Note’, p.439, Scholastic UK)
Forever is a stunning, emotional and evocative finale to one of my favourite trilogies and if I’ve managed to convince at least one more person to delve into the world of Sam and Grace, then I’ll be happy.