Book Review: Sinner

Book Review: SinnerSinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4
Published by Scholastic Press on July 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 357
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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?


It’s been a very long time since I read a book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series, and reading Sinner made me want to go back and read them all over again.


Cole St. Clair: damaged rock star bad boy. Good at heart. Always putting on a show, unless he’s with Isabel, when he can truly be himself. How much do I love him?

But let’s be honest, he can be a complete idiot, which he was for a good portion of this book. Sinner was sort of a marathon of how much can Cole and Isabel take before they implode. Cole at the beginning of the book was so certain that he could handle anything L.A. had to throw at him, but of course, the reader knows better. It just came down to what would finally break him.

Isabel Culpepper: Poor Isabel. She’s also damaged, but in a different way than Cole. Cole is ravaged by a past with drugs and alcohol and meaningless sex, whereas Isabel has parental issues. Her family is dysfunctional with a capital D. She hates everyone (except for Cole. Sometimes) and she is careful to pretend to not care about anything. She has mastered the art of being an ice queen.

There were some fun side characters here: Leon, a driver that Cole frequently calls in the middle of the night to accompany him to find food or see the sun rise over the ocean;  Jeremy, the bassist from Cole’s old band NARKOTIKA, who has matured into a stable adult, and knows Cole better than anyone. We even get snippets of Sam and Grace, whom Cole calls occasionally.


There honestly wasn’t much paranormal stuff here; Cole only shifts to his wolf form when he is craving a release and he refuses to turn to drugs. That’s really the only paranormal stuff going on. Most of the plot is focused on Cole and his music, the reality show he is stupidly on, and his relationship with Isabel. The reality show angle was a little painful since I was just waiting for something horrendously terrible to happen.

It seemed a little naive for him to think that the producer of the show wasn’t out to destroy his life, since that would make for good television.


I loved Cole and Isabel’s relationship. The only time Cole has peace is when Isabel is around. They have great snarky dialogue, and of course, lots of sexual tension. But I especially love that they get each other. They are always putting on a show for everyone else, but they can see right through each other.


This may be a tad different from the rest of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, since there’s not much werewolf business, but Cole and Isabel’s story is immensely entertaining, certainly for fans of YA Contemporary’s such as Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series.

4 Stars

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