Published by Scholastic Press on July 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.
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?
Another Maggie Stiefvater book to rave about
Indeed she said Sinner is the truest novel she’s ever written. I found that to have a dual meaning for me personally. In that it was the closest to straight contemporary fiction as well as it showed me deep truths about it’s characters. Lately I’ve been finding many YA books coming across as shallow. So it’s refreshing knowing Maggie’s got the goods right here.
Young adult, Contemporary Reality TV drama with a pinch of Paranormal
You heard me right – Sinner may have a paranormal element because of the fact that Cole is a werewolf but ultimately that is not a key part of the book to me. Substitute any other substance abuse or ‘recreational stress relief’ tactic in it’s place and this book would in no way be a paranormal fantasy. What it really is, is a contemporary drama. But a damn fine one at that! There are no qualms here. Just don’t go in expecting the wolf business to be a huge part of the story because at least in my opinion it was not. I think this ties into a letter that the author writes to the readers at the beginning of the book – which I notice is only in the ARC version and not in the published version because of course you know I snagged a final version as well. The last paragraph of the letter to her readers goes like this:
It’s also, despite the shape-shifting, the truest novel I’ve written. I hope that those who don’t need the truth in it will see only the werewolf, and I hope that those who do need the truth will see only the human.
I see your truth Maggie and it’s moving. We’re all a little bit broken and this novel lets you see those beautifully broken bits about the characters and how they strive towards mending themselves and how more often than not you need to allow others in to help with the mending. I know I’ve heard it said before that you can’t love someone fully until you learn to love yourself but I don’t believe that’s true – I think sometimes, you need someone to love you, to believe in you – to realize that there is something in yourself worth loving after all. Alright I’ll stop being all sappy and soggy. On with it!
Hot and Cold, In and Out – someone glue their asses to the floor
Probably some of the most fun in this book I had while reading was wondering – “when will the bitch switch flip next?” That’s right. Isabel is more hot and cold than any other character I’ve ever seen. She wants reasons to fight what she’s feeling for Cole. I think normally behavior like this would piss me off but I love Isabel’s character and I enjoyed seeing the struggle she goes through. It read real and not contrived – so I didn’t have a problem with it at all. It is indeed one of the biggest themes in the book, so keep that in mind if that sort of thing bugs you. If so, then you might want to bugger off of this one. *wink*
Secondary characters worth their salt
You know when the secondary characters are just thrown on there as the necessary window dressing to complete a story? That is not the case here. I cared about both of the main secondary characters. Though it’s told from the dual perspectives of Isabel and Cole you still key in on the people that are important to them and they in turn become important to you. Isabel and Cole are extremely selfish, self centered people, but despite that I care about them and I didn’t get angry with them because of their behavior (as I am often want to do when I find a character selfish). Perhaps it’s because you can see underneath their selfish exteriors to the good underneath they are so used to ignoring. They invest time in people like Sophia and Leon and that proves they aren’t as selfish as we or they themselves might think they are. And in the trend of broken characters these two also have something about themselves that is unique to them that makes you want to invest your feelings in them as well.
And everything changes while it all stays the same
Does the core of a person every fundamentally change? Who the hell knows. I mean really do Isabel and Cole have these earth shattering changes to their persons making them into bright shiny new people? You’ll have to read Sinner to find out your own perspective and it is most certainly well worth the read.