I am a werewolf in L.A.
Telling you that you should read Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater means I am also telling you that you need to read the first three Wolves of Mercy Falls books--Shiver, Linger, and Forever—but it’s an endeavor worth undertaking. Sinner is the fourth book in the quartet, and while an argument could be made that it stands alone, there’s more of an emotional payoff to be had from getting to know the characters first as they appear in the other three books. But Sinner is the book I’ve read three times. Sinner is the book on which my hand lingers when I pass by the library shelf where it sits. I cannot definitively say that Sinner is my favorite of the four books, but it is the one that has stuck with me the most, and I think, in the end, that’s the more important thing.
All of the Wolves of Mercy Falls books are written with a lyrical sort of prose. It’s like music, which when you actually read the books, makes a lot of sense. Music plays a large part in the characters’ lives and also in Stiefvater’s. But there is something slightly different about the musical quality of Sinner. It’s more eclectic, it’s louder, but it’s no less poetic and no less beautiful for it. If I were to describe the books in a color scheme, I would say that their covers are pretty apt--the first three books are muted: white and ivory and pale blues and grays and greens. Sinner is another beast entirely--it is orange and yellow and loud, loud, loud. Shiver, Linger, and Forever are the books you curl up with in a cabin on a crisp winter morning when you hold a steaming cup of cocoa; Sinner is the book you take to the beach, the book you stay up with into the wee hours of the morning, feverishly turning pages because you can’t stop, you don’t want to stop.
Stiefvater has said before that Sinner is a book about addiction. The book itself is an addiction; it is addicting. It is hot and fast and exhilarating and it is a book I cannot seem to stay away from. I’ve just downloaded it from the library to read on a short flight, even though I have numerous books in my To Read pile that I’ve not even read once. I haven’t bought my own copy yet, because I’m almost afraid that I’ll just keep reading it over and over and never get to anything else. It’s not an exaggeration when I say I could read this book cover-to-cover, then open it right back up again and start from the beginning. I could wax poetic about this book for ages (I’ve done a post over on my Tumblr about it before, which can be found here), but I’m going to control myself and sum it up by saying: read the Wolves of Mercy Falls books. Experience the music. And if you, like me, get addicted to Sinner, maybe we can start an Anonymous group for ourselves--although I’m not sure this is an addiction I’m willing to quit.