Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater | Book Review
Updated: Mar 20
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Out of Boundary Woods and into LA, Sinner takes readers on a wild ride with Cole as he tries to win back Isabel. Cole struggles to become a better person. Instead of escaping into drugs or alcohol, he is one syringe away from becoming a werewolf. On the other hand, Isabel fights against the emptiness that is beginning to consume her. And as alluring as Cole is, she dreads being attached to someone who may simply cast her to the side.
Filled with complex emotions, Sinner is a battle between ice and fire. Isabel and Cole are at constant odds, and when they are on the pages together be prepared for sparks to fly. The tension between them is intense as they trade sarcasm and witty comebacks. But as much as their back and forth was entertaining at first, the repetitive nature became somewhat draining to the storyline.
Years ago when I first read Sinner, the amount of drama between Cole and Isabel entertained me. And while it engaged me as a reader in my twenties, now that I am revisiting the characters in my thirties, I wondered why they continued to try. I also recognize that I am no longer part of the target audience for Sinner and am now looking at this from the approach of how this book fosters unhealthy relationships.
The fantasy elements that originally drew me to The Wolves of Mercy Falls are also almost nonexistent. I did think it was a creative twist to have Cole addicted to becoming a werewolf, instead of using drugs, but this made the fantasy more of a plot device than actual context. Sinner focuses heavily on relationships, drama, and addiction. Would I recommend this for young adults? Yes, I think it does hit the right marks for older young adults due to its content. But I think this one will be just for young adults.
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