A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this is a werewolf story, there's more romance than horror. It's a love story between a boy and a girl; the boy just happens to be a werewolf. The passion between the characters grows throughout the story, and they do have sex once in a tastefully written fade-to-black scene. Compared to other paranormal romances like the Twilight saga, this novel stands out in the genre. The writing is fresh and lyrical, and the characters well-developed and credible.
What's the story?
For years, Grace has watched the wolves outside her Mercy Falls, Minnesota home every winter. She is particularly drawn to one with stunning yellow eyes. She is certain that it is the same wolf who saved her from its pack who attacked her when she was a young girl. When Grace meets the wounded and temporarily human Sam, she knows from his yellow eyes that he is her wolf. Immediately drawn to one another, they fall in love during their first encounter. Sam leads two lives. He is human in the spring and summer, but he turns into a wolf when the temperature turns cold. The problem Sam faces is that the longer he remains a wolf, the less time he spends in human form. A time will eventually come when he will not change back and will forever be a wolf. That time is coming soon...
Is it any good?
Elegantly written, Stiefvater's story offers a unique and interesting take on werewolf lore. Grace and Sam, the two protagonists, are mostly defined by their love for each other, but the author avoids brooding melodrama by injecting a fresh and playful sense of humor in their interactions. They have great chemistry. The characters are appealing, intelligent, and well-defined. Their willingness to use their intellects to deal with the challenges they face is refreshing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it is that makes Grace and Sam so drawn to one another. When Sam transforms from human to wolf, will he retain what it is that makes Grace love him?
What is unique about humans that sets us apart from other animals?
What can we learn about ourselves from observing and interacting with animals?
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