Monday, November 17, 2014

The unexpected fourth book

In the forward of this novel Stiefvater states that she never expected to write another book about the wolves of Mercy Falls. With the romance and drama between Sam and Grace settled, there was no need. But when the idea of this book came to her it was too interesting to pass up. 

At the end of forever there are many dead, Isabel Culpepper’s brother being one of them. Isabel wants nothing to do with wolves ever again. Nor is she interested in pursuing a relationship with Cole St. Clair, the train-wreck of a rock star who stirs her senses like no one else ever has. She moves to LA with her mom to begin a new life, well away from the cold Minnesota climate that reminds her too much of everything that has happened.

Cole doesn’t see things in quite the same way. He doesn’t understand Isabel’s reluctance. He’s clean these days, and she’s the only girl he cares about. He needs her. She makes him whole. He has to convince her that he’s changed. He takes his time and lines up a gig in LA as an excuse to move there and see Isabel. But the gig may be the very thing that destroys his chances for a real relationship with the girl he loves.

sinner is a different story than the rest of the Shiver trilogy. For one thing there’s a lot less wolf. Cole shifts a few times, but the focus of the story is on him, Isabel, and their seemingly doomed romance. The mostly realistic tale is told in Steifvater’s signature writing style, the words flowing easily and elegantly across the page. As in the rest of the series this novel allows the two main characters to speak in alternate chapters, and hearing both Isabel and Cole’s sides of the story brings the reader a deeper understanding of the characters, their motives, and all the reasons the should/shouldn’t be together.

If you haven’t read the rest of the series, there may be a few confusing moments - all related to shifting and characters who are referenced but don’t actually appear in the story. I encourage you to read Sinner, but recommend reading shiver, linger, and forever first to develop an understanding of the characters and the pain and loss they bring to sinner.

Stiefvater, Maggie. Sinner. New York: Scholastic, Inc.: 2014. 4 stars.

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