Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2009)
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As a child, Grace was stolen by a pack of starving wolves and dragged into the woods behind her house to become their supper. But a yellow-eyed wolf saved her. Ever since, she has been haunted by her wolf and has become obsessed with him. They finally meet after a wolf-hunt (undertaken to rid the town of the wolves who have apparently killed a local teen) that sends a wounded and suddenly human Sam into Grace’s arm’s.
Sam had two lives; the one he lives with his pack and the one that sees him watching Grace from afar. When he is wounded and finds himself with her, finally, after all these years, he is desperate to cling to his humanity and put off the inevitable transformation back into a wolf. As they cling to each other and their fragile love, they also have to contend with others who would see Sam put down. Permanently.
Yes, yes, yes! This is yet another tale about a supernatural type being falling in love with a human girl. I KNOW. I have to say though, and I hope you will believe me, that Stiefvater has done so much more with this story of two misfits finding each other and falling in love despite unusual circumstances. Her transitioning from the regular world to a world where men turn into wolves is seamless. It is told in the alternating voices of Sam and Grace, which can be jarring, but here it works. Each character has a very distinctive voice and I think if you didn’t watch the chapter titles to know who was speaking, you would still be able to tell. The characters are well written and I really liked Grace. She’s a strong, intelligent, brave young woman which is so important to have in YA literature. Steifvater is also great with showing, not telling; you can see the chemistry between Grace and Sam without them saying “I love you” every couple of pages.
I read Lament after it first came out and really liked it, but I am even more impressed with Stiefvater’s growth as a writer between the two books. She is definitely a YA author to watch and I can’t wait to read Ballad, and the next book in this series.
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I received this book from the library because they were sweet enough to buy it for me.