By Maggie Stiefvater
Grace is a normal high school girl. Her parents, while loving, are lax in the parenting department and and she’s learned to raise herself. She’s a good student, has friends, and a thing for the wolves in the backyard — specifically the one with yellow eyes. As a child, she was attacked by a pack of wolves and she’s convinced the yellow-eyed one saved her. Now, she spends many nights in the backyard trying to befriend him. When a student from her class is attacked, the town sets out to destroy the wolves and Grace is determined to stop them fearing her wolf will be hurt or even killed.
After trying to stop the culling, she returns home to find a naked boy on her back porch bleeding. Oddly, he has the same yellow eyes as her wolf. Grace takes him to the hospital, and when he reveals his miraculous healing ability, she takes him home. Sam, her wolf, has been in love with her since the day he saved her and knowing this will be his last year to become human, wants to spend every waking moment with her. Grace, knowing she has finally found her wolf, refuses to let him go even when it might mean death.
Werewolves are now it for me. I don’t know why I haven’t been reading more all along. Or maybe I’ve just been reading the wrong werewolf books.
Either way, while the werewolves were fascinating, the relationship is was what really hooked me. Yes, the boy is a wolf, but somehow when Grace and Sam are together, you believe these two individuals belong together and the rest of the cold, cruel world fades away. You don’t want to see them part and when the inevitable happens, it’s heartbreaking and somehow very real.
I had to remind myself that I was reading a young adult book in a few places. The romance is pretty tempered, they are high school kids, but intimate in many ways I didn’t expect. After I finished the book, I felt I would have liked to know more about the wolves, how they came about, and a little bit more about why they changed. The ending felt a tad out of place for me but that’s really my only criticism here and it didn’t hit me until after I had finished. I was so into the book that at the time it seemed plausible. I plan to check out more of Stiefvater’s books. I really like her style and way with characters.