Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Release date: 3rd July 2014
Reason for reading: COLE AND ISABEL
Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?
I was one of those people that was happy with the end of Forever. I liked not fully knowing what happened, getting to imagine my own reality. But when I heard Maggie was writing this standalone novel focusing on Cole and Isabel, I knew it would be the book I didn’t even know I wanted.
And it is marvellous. It is everything I love about Maggie Stiefvater; it is raw and polished all at the same time, it is full of feeling and heart and soul but it is never cliché, the characters are beautifully imagined and what characters they are. Cole and Isabel were always my favourite, and to have a book focus on their story is such a treat. From the very first page I felt at home in this world, with these characters. I wanted to crawl inside the pages and never leave. I wanted to wrap the story about myself like a comfort blanket and snuggle into Maggie’s beautiful prose.
Isabel is one of my favourite YA characters. She’s prickly and mean, she can’t handle emotions and is so, so broken. She is completely real and mesmerising, she lashes out, she closes down and maybe, just maybe, she’s starting to thaw. Likewise Cole St Clair. The boy with 2 sides: his public persona and his true self and we saw much more of both. Cole’s public self is in LA to record an album while starring in a reality TV show, but his real side is here for Isabel and their relationship throughout this novel is electric, tumultuous, and completely engrossing.
Seeing Cole and Isabel drawn together, torn apart, both of them fighting every step of the way (though fighting different things) was completely mesmerising. The plot was almost secondary to me; I just wanted their interactions. The way everything came together, the way it ended how it began, yet differently, is sheer Stiefvater perfection. That woman is a true artist.
TL;DR: The Wolves of Mercy Falls novel I never knew I needed but fell completely in love with. Cole and Isabel are electric and the story evoked nostalgia and a whole host of emotion. I need to go and reread the trilogy now.