Summary (from Goodreads):
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?
This was one of my top 3 books I had to get my hands on at BEA. Thank you Scholastic for dropping these ARC’s. I waited in an unofficial line for an hour to be able to pick up this copy. And it was worth every second of line-waiting. It comes out at the beginning of July, so no one has much longer to wait, but still…I needed this book.
This sounds weird, but every time I read a Maggie Stiefvater book, I forget how unbelievably talented a writer Maggie Stiefvater is. Like how does a person forget this? Does my brain under-praise her so then when I get to her next novel, it will be even better than expected? Seriously, every time I pick up one of her books, I have to read certain passages out loud to myself. Her writing is just that good. Her characters are fascinatingly real.
I thought I was done with these characters. But, clearly I wasn’t. And clearly Maggie wasn’t either. And then of course I got into the book further, and I was like, “how can I ever be sick of Cole and Isabel?” Along with the rest of the world, they were my favorite characters from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. They are both such complex people. They are flawed in such obvious ways. Both have lost someone important to them. Cole was known for wanting to always escape his pain with substances and then with being a wolf. And Isabel was all about hiding her pain –coming off as kind of a terrible person, but at least a terrible person who didn’t show emotion.
I thought it would be hard remembering things because it has been so long since I’ve said goodbye to this werewolf series. But, I guess with excellent characters, it’s not hard to remember things. They speak, they live, they feel, and it’s like I was never apart from them. Maggie Stiefvater writes characters in a way that makes you feel like you are never really apart from them. I feel like I know them. I wish I knew them for real. And I certainly feel everything they feel. It wasn’t hard to get into the story, and I never really felt like I couldn’t remember something important.
This definitely read more like a contemporary though than a werewolf novel. The wolf thing is a part of it; how can it not be? But, I feel like it’s a small part. It’s more about coming to terms with loss and finding love. And the love/chemistry between Cole and Isabel is so ridiculously strong. I found myself smiling at every scene that involved the two of them together –even the hard to read scenes that were painful and sad.
It’s so easy to ship these two. I so badly needed them to be happy. And while I loved the side characters in this story (like the rest of the band and Sofia), no one could hold my focus like the two stars. There’s some interesting stuff that happens plot-wise. There’s a reality tv show, a scary fire, some family drama, a lot of dark snip bits about Cole’s past, some references to other loved characters from the earlier series, parties, and pain. But, like a lot of other books by this author, this was more of a character-based story than an action-based one.
I really got inside Cole’s and Isabel’s heads. And if I didn’t love them before, I certainly do now. This book is for everyone who wanted more Cole and Isabel. It’s for people who like character driven stories. It’s for people who love exquisite writing. And it’s for people who don’t mind a little darkness with their romance. I give it a 10/10. And I know I will need to own all the books this writer will write. I’m so glad for this chance I had to get to know Isabel and Cole better.