Notice: This review is completely subjective, bias, and is written by a total Morganville fangirl.
There's tr**spoiler alert** Actual rating: 4.5 stars
Notice: This review is completely subjective, bias, and is written by a total Morganville fangirl.
There's trouble in paradise - or rather, Morganville - which is just about as far from paradise as you can get. Nevertheless, things have been going well for Claire and her housemates. Sure, Frank, her boyfriend Shane's once thought dead father is really alive - and Claire's forced to keep the secret from Shane by none other than Frank himself. But things could be worse, in a town like Morganville. But as Claire knows all too well, things are never easy going in Morganville for very long. Everything starts getting shaky again when a boy from her science class is found murdered, Shane starts acting strangely violent and aggressive, and a new pay-per-view internet show featuring vampires vs. humans in extreme fighting hits the Web - and Shane is one of the humans.
I'll admit that it was hard reading about Shane getting lost in the fights and in Glory's eyes. That bitch. I apologize for the language, but there really is no other way to describe Glory. My homicidal tendencies always come out when a female character comes into the picture in a series only to screw up everything between one of my favorite couples. And that's exactly what Shane & Claire are - a favorite couple. I've been rooting for their relationship since Shane called Claire a "kid" in chapter 4 in Glass Houses. (Yes, I remember that far back.) (Okay, fine - I looked it up. BUT, I still remembered him calling her that. ;)) The thing is, I was really anticipating reading from Shane's POV because I expected a lot of sweet, awww-worthy thoughts about Claire. But Shane's head is in such a bad place through the majority of this installment that it ended up being a lot of resentful, cruel thoughts and there were even some instances where he was verbally mean to Claire. A lot of it is glamour-induced, but Shane does seem to have some issues with Claire and her relationship with Myrnin. He isn't buying that it is strictly platonic and therefore he has doubts - and everyone knows that doubt is the #1 relationship killer (that and financial problems - but that's only if you're married). I just hope that his issues don't ruin things for the next two installments.
The thing that really pleases me about this series is the characters; I love 'em. They're characters that I can imagine myself being friends with in real life (Clare). They're ones I can imagine doing unspeakably naughty things to that are too inappropriate to list in this review for fear that a child might happen upon it and get a much too early education in the fine arts of naughtiness (e.g. Shane, Michael, Myrnin, and, yes, even Oliver. Oh, don't look at me like that - I realize that he was turned in his fifties but I still love him). They're ones that make me laugh and cry (yes, I am sappy) at the most unexpected times.
"We're getting married!"
"Are you in the car that's almost caused three accidents on North Vance?" Hannah asked. "Because I'm following you with my lights flashing, and whoever's driving isn't pulling over." "Let him go," Claire said. "Trust me. You aren't going to get him to stop." "Oh, God. It's Myrnin, isn't it?" "Tell that police lady to stop chasing me," Myrnin said, annoyed, from the front seat. "Really, I'm not that bad at this."
(The scene where Myrnin drives is HILARIOUS.)
"I pulled back my fist for another punch, and he didn't flinch. He didn't look away, either. He just said, "It's not your fault, man. I don't blame you."
So you see, my friend, this series is definitely a favorite of mine. And when it eventually ends, like all good things do, I will be heart broken. But that's all right. Much like watching reruns of your favorite shows after they've left the air (Buffy, Friends, Moonlight, etcetera, etcetera), I'll reread this wonderful series time and again.
And for those who've been living on another planet, Last Breath comes out later this year in Nov and what is expected to be the last installment (*sobs*) is set to come out in April of next year. It is currently Untitled.
In the second installment to the Wolves of Mercy Falls series: Sam is having trouble believing in his cure, Grace is acting strangely and feeling likeIn the second installment to the Wolves of Mercy Falls series: Sam is having trouble believing in his cure, Grace is acting strangely and feeling like she doesn't fit into her own skin anymore, and a new wolf is in Mercy Falls: Cole, the once lead singer of a popular rock band, NARKOTIKA, is dealing with the issues of straddling the line between man and wolf. But honestly? He'd rather stay a wolf than deal with the problems that come with being human. Meanwhile, Isabel, the girl who had to deal with losing her brother twice, believes she is falling for Cole.
Maggie has said in interviews that she meant for Cole's character to be the complete opposite of Sam's. Well, in the beginning of Linger she succeeded and because of that I wasn't able to empathize with Cole upon first reading Linger. For personal reasons I've never been empathetic with drug addicts, and Cole was no exception. In Linger Cole tells Sam that he is just as bad as him, just as damaged. He is referring to Sam's issue with bathtubs. But the difference between Sam's problem and Cole's is that Sam had something terrible done to him by his own parents, whereas all of Cole's problems have been brought on by himself. Despite all of this, though, I truly liked Cole a lot more this time around than my first time reading Linger. For me, the best thing about Cole is that he's very redeemable. And if you look carefully enough, he has what I call "bright spots" where you can see that he is human – even though he doesn't want to be – and that he does care for others, even if it is an imperceptible degree. And the reactions and emotions Cole has towards the end of Linger give me hope that I'll like him even more in Forever.
Linger is quite different than its predecessor, Shiver – what with Sam now being human and the introduction of a new character, Cole. Plus, Isabel steps out of her former role as side character and into the forefront with her own POV – and what an interesting POV it is. Some may not like Isabel, and I can understand why, but I like her just fine. She's kind of . . . unconventional – especially when compared to Grace – but she's not bad. One thing is for sure: Isabel's definitely the perfect match for Cole. And then there's that pesky wolf smell wafting off of Grace – that can't be a good sign. You see, lots of things are different in Linger, which is probably why so many don't like it as much as they did Shiver. I will admit to liking it a minuscule degree less than Shiver, but that certainly didn't hinder me from enjoying it. In fact, I believe I enjoyed it even more the second time around. And Linger's ending is just as sad if not more so than Shiver's.
And besides – if you ever see me give a book with Sam Roth in it anything less than five stars, know that it is a clone and the real Lora has been taken by aliens.
FAVORITE QUOTES: "I'm trying to remember who I was before I couldn't stand myself." – Cole
"I wasn't sure if I admired him for feeling everything so hard and fiercely, or if I was contemptuous of him for having so much emotion that he had to spill it out every window of the house." – Isabel
"I was suddenly overwhelmed by what an incredible person this boy was, standing in front of me, and by the fact that he was mine and I was his." – Grace
"I wanted to take her hand and lead her upstairs to my bedroom and whisper, Stay. Just stay." – Sam
As cheesy as this may sound, I really do cherish these books. My copies of them still smell like the store I bought them from – that's how well I've taken care of them.
When I made the decision to reread Shiver and its successor, Linger, in preparation for this trilogy's conclusion, Forever, I honestly got little buttWhen I made the decision to reread Shiver and its successor, Linger, in preparation for this trilogy's conclusion, Forever, I honestly got little butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. I originally read Shiver back in October of '09, and it hit me like nothing had before — and nothing has matched it since. Shiver mixes some of the sweetest, most realistic and heartwarming characters with a wonderfully chilly and melancholy atmosphere and it is written with stunningly lyrical prose. If every author wrote like Stiefvater, I dare say I'd get nothing else done save for reading.
What is there to say about Grace? I feel like if I call her strong it will seem unoriginal, but that is just what she is; there is really no other way to describe Grace. She holds it together even when Sam is emotionally in shambles. Even when hope seems as far away as ten light-years, she keeps her wits about her. I can't help but love Grace any more than Sam can.
And there really is no other male character quite like Sam Roth; he is one of a kind. No other boy would turn away out of respect when a girl is scantily clad; no other boy would unabashedly sing to the mother of said girl; no other boy would treat a girl with as much respect as Sam shows for Grace. As I said, Sam is one of a kind. And he's definitely my kind of guy, if you know what I mean. (Oh! how I wish there were boys/men/male specimens like him in real life! But if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. *sigh*)
Moving on . . .
Just as with anything that is popular, not all people will enjoy Shiver. I think some people read the synopsis and expect a werewolf blockbuster — but that isn't what Shiver is; at its core, Shiver is a love story. The meat of the plot is simply Sam and Grace constantly fighting this physical transformation that is hell-bent on keeping them apart and stealing Sam's humanity. The only complexity in Shiver is the mystery behind what makes the humans turn into wolves - Stiefvater leaves the old-fashioned lore to the dogs and creates her own mythology — I, personally, have never read any "werewolf" story like Stiefvater's, and that's a large portion of why I love this series so much. Rather than
In the old days werewolves were men that were forever ruining their clothes and having to buy new ones — and all because of that blasted full moon. Stiefvater reimagines what makes these bitten but, in truth, innocent humans change form. And, to top that off, they don't get to keep changing. Eventually, they will stay in their wolf forms for the rest of their lives, thereby unwillingly having to give up their human life, loves, and wishes — forever. By writing it this way, Stiefvater has taken what was once a horror story and made it something beautiful and sad. And this reader can't help but love that.
This review would simply be too long if I added all of my favorite quotes (although you can read them all below), but if I had to choose just one it would be this:
FAVORITE QUOTE: "I fell for her in summer, my lovely summer girl From summer she is made, my lovely summer girl I'd love to spend a winter with my lovely summer girl But I'm never warm enough for my lovely summer girl
It's summer when she smiles, I'm laughing like a child It's the summer of our lives; we'll contain it for a while She holds the heat, the breeze of summer in the circle of her hand I'd be happy with this summer if it's all we ever had.
Between reading this and watching Becoming Jane the other night, my tear ducts are like dried sponges. And since I'll be reading Linger and Forever next, I felt that I should prepare myself; I had this sent to my house yesterday:
Never let it be said that I was unprepared in life.
I hear people say things about their favorites like, I've read this so many times I know all of the lines by heart. But I don't ever want it to be that way for me and this book; it is such a special read that I never want to read it and feel as if I've gotten all I can out of it. I want to start Shiver each time with the sense that it is both new and old to me, but always a favorite.