Thursday, July 10, 2014
Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.
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?
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Source: ARC provided by Scholastic Press at BEA
Review:I’ve been wanting to read something by Maggie Stiefvater for a long time. I almost started the The Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver trilogy) series so many times but then everyone keeps giving me conflicting thoughts. The consensus is to read Shiver (book #1) and stop. But I’m not good at stopping – I need to know what happens so I’ve just avoided it all together.
Then I saw Sinner at BEA – a stand alone companion novel based on the Shiver trilogy. I’ve also heard a lot of great things about Cole and Isabel so I took a chance and grabbed a copy.
So now I get it. All the waxing poetic about Maggie’s writing. To be honest, she had me at the letter she wrote to readers before the story ever started.
“As I wrote the hot-cold relationship of two people who took turns being the sinner and the sin, I puzzled out how a place like L.A. could both destroy a person and build them into something impossible and new.”
The writing is so…so…I don’t know – the words reach in and grab you and force your full attention to their meaning. I would be reading a sentence and just stop, like it slapped me in the face. I could feel the words. Not a great description, I know, but that’s the only way I can describe how I felt reading this.
“Here was the thing: I was in love with Cole.
Or had been. Or was going to be. I couldn’t tell the difference.” pg. 21
Cole and Isabel were such fascinating characters. They’re really f*cked up. Aggressive yet scared – they love with everything they have yet consistently throw up walls. L.A. was the perfect backdrop to their story. The choice to veer into the darkness or into the light that the city offers is a constant struggle, especially for Cole.
Now this book is advertised as a stand alone and it is. Sinners is self contained with a solid conclusion – yet – I really felt like I missed a substantial part of Cole and Isabel’s past. I got a vague sense of what happened but not much in the way of a recap. Also, Isabel was much less developed here than Cole. It’s a testament to Stiefvater’s writing that I loved this book as much as I did with virtually no background. It also makes me think I should reassess my stance on not reading the Shiver Trilogy.