By Maggie Stiefvater
Published 2009 by Scholastic Press
So, I've been interested in this series ever since it began, and despite many pleas by friends to read it, I just couldn't find the time. However, having recently returned from ALA with an ARC (advanced reader's copy) of the third title in the series (set to be published July 12th), it got bumped up on my to-read list.
Grace has always watched the wolves in her backyard. Especially the yellow-eyed wolf who saved her once upon a time. Sam desperately wants to remain Sam, though the struggle to change from wolf gets more difficult every year. What happens when these two finally meet? I don't know why, but it's always more difficult for me to talk about books I like than books I didn't. I can't really put my finger on why, but I definitely enjoyed this. Perhaps partly it's because the comparisons to Twilight are so easy and this is such a better executed supernatural romance. Grace is a stronger, more clearly defined heroine than Bella. Sam's struggle for humanity is much more believable and sympathetic than Edward's. The secondary characters don't feel like they exist as excuses for exposition. This book is populated with interesting characters who all feel like they serve a purpose. The action is well-paced and the plot goes in some directions I definitely didn't expect but that definitely proved far more interesting than I could have imagined. The romance here is sweet, not scary and I actually want to root for Grace and Sam rather than punch them in the face. I really got sucked into the emotional world of this novel - I teared up along with Grace and I felt exhilarated at the novel's conclusion. That being said, I'm a bit skeptical of this as a series - I felt like this book was nicely concluded and left you wanting more, but not so that you would die without finding out what happens next to these characters. Sometimes I think authors have forgotten that occasionally, it's okay to leave unanswered questions. But, I'm willing to give it a shot and see where it goes. I can only hope it doesn't go crazy, ridiculous Breaking Dawn on me.