Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: August 1st, 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Synopsis:Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.
My Thoughts: I love love love loved this book! There is this thing I do, that pretty much tells you on a scale what I thought of the book, I don't even do it consciously, but at the same time, I am aware that I do it. If I finish a book and just plop it down beside me, I didn't care for it much at all, or am even relieved to be done with it. If I hold it and look at it for a little while, I liked it - it was a good story. I always sit and think about a good book for a few minutes after I finish it. But here's what I did in this case, and this is what I do when I really, really love a book: I close it, and I hug it! Seriously, don't laugh, when I love a book, I hug it when it's done, like I am trying to absorb the awesomeness of the story into me, or bring myself even close to the characters I fell in love with. So here I was at 2am laying in my bed, clutching this book to my chest and re-imagining all my favorite parts of the book. This can last for a little while. Then I had to convince myself to go to sleep rather than go upstairs and grab the second book, Linger, off my shelf. If I didn't have three little munchkins that love to wake up early I assure you I would have proceeded to the next book without hesitation!
So as you know from reading the summary, it's a love story between a girl and a werewolf. I really enjoyed the werewolves in this story. They are essentially the same as we commonly read of them, with their own few unique additions that make them stand out to you, along with the rest of the story. These wolves only turn when it's cold, so they are only wolves in the winter time, and human the rest of the year. They only get so many years of changing back and forth before they stay wolves permanently. They are also unaffected by all that stuff from lore, like silver bullets and such, and they have rapid regeneration. And of course you are turned by being bitten.
The two characters in love are Sam and Grace, and I love both of them! Typically for me, in love stories, I tend to love either the male or female role more. But in this case, I loved them both in large equal amounts. Grace is amazing, independent, strong, determined, and very compassionate about those she loves, mostly the wolves and namely, Sam. Sam shares these same qualities as Grace, but they are also almost opposites. Sam is artistic, creative, musical, all those things that go hand in hand, whereas Grace is very logical, straight-forward, put order into things type of person. Together they create this amazing pair that you can't help but feel attached to. They have a connection that is so incredibly sweet you will get a toothache haha. Some of the times, I feel this can be overdone, and almost ruins the effect of how connected these people are supposed to be. In this case however, I felt it was done perfectly, with little touches here and there, wonderfully detailed, and pieced together perfectly. Their love is really wonderful. They both have parental issues. Sam's is very much more intense than Graces, but they share this nonetheless and I think it plays a part in their bond. Grace's parents are just pretty much non-existent. They run around and do their own thing like they don't even have a child, which pretty much leaves Grace to raise and fend for herself. But it also leaves room for Grace and Sam to not be hindered by parental supervision ;). Then there's Sam's parents, when they discovered him shifting as a young boy, after being bit, they reacted in the most horrible way possible. They tried to kill him....You will have to read the story yourself for the details on that!
Of course, their relationship can't be easy! This is a YA paranormal romance after all, we all know it can't just be happiness all the time! So Sam's a werewolf, and he's pretty sure that this will be his last year and when he changes this winter, he will remain in that form forever. So the story is mostly about Grace and Sam and their struggle to spend as much time as possible together, to try and fight him becoming a wolf for as long as possible. They obviously have some real rough patches in trying to fight the inevitable and I found myself in tears three times while reading this.
But that is not all that happens in this story! A teenager is turned to a werewolf and doesn't handle the situation so well, and the entire pack is at risk of being exposed. Sam feels it's his duty to protect his pack, but how will he do so when he is trying to fight becoming his wolf self? Sam also discovers the man who essentially raised him after he became a werewolf, may not be the amazing person he always thought he was. Grace's friends who are aware of her obsession with the wolves, begin to distance themselves when her obsession becomes even deeper than usual. And a female werewolf in the pack, who had already assumed Sam was going to be her mate, decides to put up a fight.
I absolutely recommend this book! If you are a fan at all of paranormal, YA, romance, get your hands on this book! I am so glad that I got the entire set at once so I don't have to wait to continue on. If you couldn't already tell, this book is being added to my favorites!
Also, I forgot to mention, I am in love with the cover of this book, as well as each one in the series, it's what drew me to them at first. Beautiful covers!!!