Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: August 2009 by Scholastic Press
My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Werewolves | Series (Book One)
Includes: Violence, Brief Profanity, Sexuality
First Lines: I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in.
Sam, ever since he was bitten by a wolf as a boy, is a werewolf. During the hot temperature of summer he is human, but during the frigid cold of winter, he transforms into a wolf. But this year is Sam's last year of being human, and as the winter comes closer and closer, the young couple must fight to prevent him from turning back into a wolf. Even if it means risking their lives.
I didn't really know what to expect for this book. Besides the Twilight saga, this is the only other werewolf book I've ever read. Maggie Stiefvater's writing was beautifully written. She detailed every paragraph, easily letting me visualize the story in my head.
From Page 280
I closed my eyes, flared my nostrils, and let the scents flood in. Peppermint swirled into my mouth, sharp as glass, then raspberry, almost too sweet, like too-ripe fruit. Apple, crisp and pure. Nuts, buttery, warm, earthy, like Sam. The subtle, mild scent of white chocolate.
The novel is told through both Grace and Sam's perspective. But what I loved about the book was that both of their characters were so distinctive, that I was able to tell who was telling the story even without reading the chapter titles (which told which character's POV it was in.) It wasn't distracting at all, and included more incite into their character. Sam was an amazing character - he had such a kind, innocent, and friendly personality. But at times, I almost wanted to find a fault in him. I don't like it in books when there is the "perfect and flawless" boyfriend who every girl obsesses over and wants for themselves. Sure, that'd be great, but we must remember he's fictional! Only once in the book do Grace and Sam have an argument, and it only lasts one page - until Grace forgives him because of the sad look on his face. I mean, really?? Sorry, but that's not realistic at all. Especially since we're talking high-school teenager couples.
From Page 302
"I don't want to let you go like this." His eyes were pleading with me, their absolute saddest. I looked at the goose bumps raising on his arms, and the slight tremble of his shoulders in the cold draft. And he had me. He reached out and touched my cheek. "I'm sorry." I caught his hand and tangled his fingers in mine, fixing my gaze on his face.
I really liked Grace's strong and smart character. She stood up for herself and didn't take no for an answer. Sam and Grace complemented each other, and were made for each other. Their love was refreshing, and the author wrote it very descriptively. Each kiss they shared was written differently, and felt right, not awkward like some romance books do. They had great chemistry.
The ending was very abrupt. I actually kept reading even after the "acknowledgments" and "about the author" pages, looking to see if I had somehow missed a page. I kept going back and forth the last chapter, re-reading pages, to see if I had missed something. I wasn't satisfied with the ending and had MANY unanswered questions. This book begs for a sequel, and I'm pretty sure this is going to be a series. So that's a good thing - because this ending was very unsettling.
The cover? GORGEOUS. It's one of my most favorite covers, and I love the different shades of dark blues, not to mention the hidden wolf in the bottom corner! (I actually didn't even see it at first since it blended in so nicely.) And it wasn't until after I read the book that I understood why there was a drop of blood for the letter 'i' in the title. That was a nice touch.
Overall I enjoyed the novel. Maggie Stiefvater's flowing, almost poetic, style of writing was so descriptive and the characters were beautifully written. The plot dragged at times, and I was ready for something new to happen, but after awhile that wish came true. There were some great twists, and I'll definitely be picking up the sequel - Linger, which comes out in 2010, I believe?