Dual Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Shannon & I are huge fans of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater and when we found out last fall that this book was happening we both pretty much flipped our shit! Not only is it more amazingness from Maggie, it was COLE & ISABEL’s story! Well we both decided to review the book as each of us both have different perspectives! Our ratings will be listed with each of our reviews. Thank you to Scholastic Press for the review copy, we received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, no compensation has been given and all opinions are our own. Hope you enjoy our basically spoiler-free reviews and if you haven’t read this series…highly recommend you rectify that like right now!
Sidenote: Goodreads list Sinner as book #3.5 in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I disagree with this as the halves indicate to me that I am looking at novellas or short stories; Amazon lists it as book #4, which is better, it is a stand alone companion/spin off novel that has characters from the original trilogy but not the original main characters of Grace & Sam. So the blurb information below is from Amazon.
Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy.
Cole St. Clair has come to California for one reason: to get back Isabel Culpeper. She fled from his damaged, drained life, and damaged and drained it even more. He doesn’t just want her. He needs her.
Isabel is trying to build herself a life in Los Angeles. It’s not really working. She can play the game as well as all the other fakes. But what’s the point? What is there to win?
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls
*images link to amazon *Series Goodreads
Shannon’s Review & Rating – (contains minor book & series details)[book rating=4.0/5.0]
As I closed the last page of Forever the third book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I had conflicting feelings. The series ended kind of ambiguously and it left my favorite couple, Cole and Isabel, unresolved. Never before have I so gravitated to secondary characters like these two head cases. I kept thinking this can’t be the end of these two. When I heard about Sinner I almost passed out, thank you Maggie I thought, thank-you for realizing that these two characters needed no demanded a story of their own.
As we pick up Sinner, Cole has shown up in the City of Angels to record an album and woo back the prickly Isabel. At first I was ecstatic to be immersed back in the mind of Cole, he’s got an easy wit and a devil may care attitude. These were the things that had me gravitating to him over Sam in the WoMF series. In this book he really got to shine, in particular his childlike spontaneity and sexy chemistry are reasons why he will always be one of my top book boyfriends. I found myself loving him up until the point that his parents showed up then I just felt confused by his lack of empathy. Beyond that issue, it was really interesting to watch Cole struggle to be the man he wanted to be while battling the mistrust of those who never believed he could pull his act together. It’s similar to what I am sure many addicts deal with after coming clean.
However, it was Isabel that I had the real problem with, I asked myself at several points, Isabel wants to be a doctor? She should know about Paxil. I couldn’t for the life of me understand how her attitude could never thaw towards anyone or anything. This was Isabel 2.0 with the bitch factor turned up to 10. I really wanted more growth from Isabel. She never really softened or gave an inch until the very end.
Still, it’s Isabel, and you know beneath those black rimmed eyes and stiletto’s is a girl hurting on a profound level. Luckily, Cole, was undeterred and continued to fight for his ice princess.
Still, while their flaws were magnified and their growth was slow going, I still cared and rooted for them until the last page. I honestly wanted more (no really, more kissing please). I finally had my favorite couple, who for the most part came to peace with their bullshit, please don’t let this be it.
For a couple of underdogs, I am happy they got the HEA they deserved.
Kelly’s Review & Rating – (contains minor book & series details)[book rating=5.0/5.0]
I loved that The Wolves of Mercy Falls was such a different kind of werewolf book. I loved the lyrical writing and unique dialogue. So much depth for teens who are struggling, it just so happens they turn into wolves. It’s not action packed like most paranormal books. It’s just teen life & then throw in the constant torment of the wolf and it becomes just the most beautifully written book/series. So another book & COLE ST. CLAIR! I flailed.
Like the previous books, this is written in dual point of views between Cole & Isabel and to get inside both of their heads for an entire book is just glorious, albeit damaged but glorious damage!
Cole is magnetic, gorgeous and determined. He is a rockstar. He is an ass. He is an addict. He is however, decidedly sober and plans on staying that way. He cannot live his life without music, so LA was the logical place to go in order to start making music again. But really it was the fact that Isabel Culpeper was living there that drove him to jump back into his rockstar life. Cole & Isabel both went through some really awful shit in the previous books (which you are continually reminded of), but you absolutely love them together.
Isabel is beautiful, nonchalant and misanthropic. On the outside. Really she is lost, lonely and kind of crazed. She has serious family issues and it seems her entire family isn’t much better. She ran away from her past and is doing her best to keep everyone on the superficial level. Not the hardest thing to do in LA, right? Right up until Cole St. Clair decides he can’t live without her. She does her best to keep things with him light, but ultimately the brawl between “He is bad for me” and “No one else can have him” won outright. But it took time.
The book started out very playful and you can’t help but smile at all the silly things that are going on in LA and the scenarios Cole is being dragged through for his ‘reality’ web series whilst he is trying to make a new record. THEN you realize the book has gripped your heart in a vice and all you can do is FEEL. ALL THE FEELS. The book turns into a beautiful struggle of emotions. RAW. Not just Cole & Isabel but every single character in the book STRUGGLE. Again, isn’t that what life is…the venture to get better. Choosing to fight for what we want and hopefully finding some good in between all the shit.
There are some issues I have with this book, some of Cole’s addiction parts were painful to read and experience, some of Isabel’s cold as ice persona were annoying, but ultimately I think it was perfect for what they were both going through and made complete sense. Is it wrong that I wanted so much more? Please, give me one more book! A less depressed and more happy loving with these two fascinating characters?
This book deals with a lot of mature topics, I know it’s YA but I would say it is for a 16+ crowd. I would personally list it as New Adult, and the themes are right on par with NA. Also, if you are looking for a werewolf book, you might as well not read this book. The wolf is there, but remember, TWoMF is all about trying to NOT be a wolf and this book isn’t much different. Much more contemporary than paranormal.
This book can be something different to each reader. To me is was perfect. It fit right into one of my all time favorite quotes, A Princess Bride by William Goldman “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.”
5 stars of perfection
New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.
All of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.