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Forever: The Wolves of Mercy Falls    by Maggie Stiefvater order for
by Maggie Stiefvater
Order:  USA  Can
Scholastic, 2011 (2011)

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

This is the third book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. They should be read in order. The earlier two episodes follow the romance between Grace, a high school senior, and Sam, a werewolf who spends the summer months as a human working in a Mercy Falls bookstore. In the winter, he lives as a wolf with his pack in Boundary Woods. Eventually, his time as a human will lessen and he will no longer be able to return to the human state.

Forever is the final book of the trilogy. Grace is wolf and Sam has been cured. When Grace disappears from the hospital where she's been fighting a mysterious illness, everyone in town believes Sam murdered her and hid her body. Now it's Samís turn to wait through the winter for Grace to return to human in the spring. If the pack lasts through the winter.

Grace's friend Isabel is one of the few people who realize what the wolf pack really is. She and Cole St. Clair, the newest member of the pack, share a tumultuous relationship. In his former life, Cole was the lead singer in the band NARKOTIKA. Suicidal and filled with self-hatred, he is eager to become a wolf when Beck, Sam's adopted dad, recruits him. Cole is also a genius. His father is a renowned scientist. While fans world-wide mourn his disappearance, Cole is working on a permanent cure for the werewolf affliction.

The entire wolf pack is at risk. The ticking clock is the wolf hunt set into motion by Isabel's father, who believes the wolves killed his son. The four teenagers push to find a way to save the pack.

If you're looking for a thriller, the slow building suspense in Forever is the best of the trilogy, but the romance suffers by Grace's separation from Sam. Cole St. Claire and Isabelle's attraction never really has a chance until the end of the book.

With Forever, we say a final good-by to Mercy Falls. The love story between Sam and Grace is beautifully written, poetic and sweet. For three years it's been one of the best fictional romances for young adults on bookstore shelves.

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