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all hearthfires & holocausts

eating books. bleeding words.

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R.J. Palacio
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Forever - Maggie Stiefvater I just don't know. I feel like I'm betraying myself by not loving this book more. To say I was disappointed in this book, the conclusion to one of my favorite series (okay, really just book, as I had a really hard time with Linger), is almost giving it too much credit. Disappointment carries with it some emotion, and the problem I had with Forever--much like I did with Maggie's latest, The Scorpio Races--was that I just didn't feel much of anything from it.Sam Roth has been my number one book crush for almost two years now, and after Linger crushed my heart into a million pieces on his behalf, I swore up and down I wouldn't read Forever until someone who loved him as much as I did gave me the all-clear. I just needed to know if this book was going to rip out my soul and crush it into dust. It didn't.But it also didn't make me feel much of anything else, either. Maybe my wariness to read translated into a distance from the characters, but even Sam Roth felt like a pale shadow of the boy I'd fallen in love with in Shiver. There was just no substance behind him. Everything he did and felt and said was muted. Even his interaction with Grace was understated to the point of complacency. I didn't need any burning passion between them--that's not their style or the reason I fell in love with them in the first place--but I wanted to feel some strong emotions. I wanted to feel their need for one another. Something more than just Cole telling me their love was more real than anything in the world. Show me that it is. Don't just tell me through someone else's perspective.And speaking of perspectives... the alternating points of view. What purpose did they serve? Cole is an interesting character and played an important role in the plot, but he would have been just as interesting and important through either Grace or Sam's POV. Same goes for Isabel. I like their characters, but their narrations were at best distracting, at worst completely unnecessary. The constant shift in point of view added a lot to my feelings of distance from the story. It felt as though every time I finally started to settle into a character, get my bearings, the tone shifted again. And after three hundred pages of talk, the action was short-lived and didn't even bring full resolution--very few questions posed through two and a half books were answered. What was the point in spending three hundred pages to figure out how to make Beck shift, if we weren't even going to get any answers to WHY he chose Sam, why he brought him into an existence he never wanted? Why have Sam so wrapped up in the angst of it, questioning the only father he's ever known, if in the end he was just going to shrug and say it didn't matter? SO FRUSTRATING. All in all, a very disappointing end to a story that probably should have ended with the first book, anyway. Shiver took my heart, Linger crushed it, but Forever hardly even touched it.