Stiefvater leaves the faeries of Lament and Ballad for a lyrical tale of alienated werewolves and first love. For years, Grace has been fascinated by the yellow-eyed wolf that saved her from its pack when she was a child. Sam, bitten by a wolf as a boy, is that wolf. Long obsessed with each other at a distance, they finally meet after a wolf hunt (inspired by the apparent death of a local teen) sends a wounded and temporarily human Sam into Grace's arms. Their young love is facilitated by Grace's hands-off parents ("Once upon a time, I would've leaped at the rare opportunity of curling up with Mom on the couch. But now, it sort of felt like too little, too late," Grace muses), but threatened by two linked crises: the fact that Sam will soon lose the ability to become human and the instability of a new lycanthrope. Stiefvater skillfully increases the tension throughout; her take on werewolves is interesting and original while her characters are refreshingly willing to use their brains to deal with the challenges they face. Ages 13-up. (Aug.)[Page 46]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Gr 9 Up--Grace, 17, loves the peace and tranquility of the woods behind her home. It is here during the cold winter months that she gets to see her wolf--the one with the yellow eyes. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the ensuing years he has returned each season, watching her with those haunting eyes as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party decides to retaliate. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows and intensifies, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him back into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever. Told from alternating points of view, the narrative takes a classic Romeo & Juliet plot and transforms it into a paranormal romance that is beautiful and moving. Readers will easily identify with the strong, dynamic characters. The mythology surrounding the wolf pack is clever and so well written that it seems perfectly normal for the creatures to exist in today's world. A must-have that will give Bella and Edward a run for their money.--Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY[Page 138]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.