Plot Summary from GoodReads.com – The amazing, haunting Shiver trilogy is complete! Sam’s not just a normal boy – he has a secret. During the summer he walks and talks as a human, but when the cold comes, he runs with his pack as a wolf. Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house – but never dreamed that she would fall in love with one of them. Now that they’ve found each other, the clock ticks down on what could be Grace and Sam’s only summer together. Can Grace and Sam last? Each will have to fight to stay together – whether it means a reckoning with his werewolf past for Sam, or for Grace, facing a future that is less and less certain. Enter Cole, a new wolf who is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human. For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is harrowing and euphoric, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But can it be enough?
Spoilers may follow… depending on how you define spoiler… because in actuality I don’t know enough to spoil anything… confused yet? Read on.
Let me start right off by saying I loved this series as a whole. Shiver, I thought, was very good. Linger faltered a bit, but Ms. Stiefvater reeled me back in with Forever. Until the last page. While I can’t say that the last page made me hate the whole series, I certainly felt… angry, disappointed and ripped off.
Here’s the thing. As most of you know by now one of my biggest pet peeves is that every book is now part of a series. I’ve talked about this over and over, ad nauseam. I’ve started to learn how to deal with it, look past it and still enjoy books that happen to be one of a set. Here’s the thing. With a single book, where the story starts, happens and ends all between one pair of covers I can find the charm in leaving a story with some loose ends for the reader to fuel their own imagination with. It adds an air of whimsy to a book and the chance to think of it even when it’s over and wonder, with fondness, what those characters are up to now.
That said, I have LESS THAN ZERO patience for a story that takes three books to tell and then? Doesn’t tell you what happens. If you’re going to make me forge through three books, you’d better stinking tell me what the outcome is. Even if it’s gut-wrenchingly, ugly cry sad… tell me. what. happens.
It isn’t even as though “Forever” leaves some loose ends. The entire story is a loose end. The reader is left with no idea. You know what is going to be done. But you don’t know when, you don’t know if it’s going to be successful. You have no clue. I find that unacceptable in a scenario where you’ve rambled on for three books.
I’m not saying for one moment to not read this series. I liked it very much, I felt for the most part it was very well written and in Linger I even grew fond of the rapid shifting amongst the characters as to who was giving the first person perspective. I liked it very much. I hated the open-ended-ness of the end. Do I wish I’d never read it? No, of course not. It was a good story. Would I have read it knowing that I wouldn’t know how it all turns out? Nope. If it was just one book, yes… but not three.
It’s just… mean.
That being said, I do recommend the series. Just not if you want absolute answers.
Oh and I felt cold while reading all three books. It’s just the nature of the story that does it. So if you read them curl up with a throw and grab some hot tea.
I give the whole series four out of five whole-hearted howls at the moon. And one deep growl for not telling me how it ends.