Title/Author: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater.
Narration: Dan Bittner and Emma Galvin.
Publisher: Scholastic Audio.
Synopsis: Everybody thinks they know Cole St. Clare'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 have 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? ~Goodreads.com
Midnyte Musings: Sinner continues the story of Cole St. Clare and Isabel Culpepper from the Mercy Falls Trilogy. While it had some paranormal elements, I felt that this story was mroe of a contemporary. I'm usually not interested in the Contemporary genre, but I absolutely loved this book. It had everything to do with the characters. I could probably read about them napping because I want to be in their world so much.
Cole is basically on a comeback track and has moved to Los Angeles and signed up to be on a reality show with a controversial producer known for making her stars break down, or implode, or explode on camera. With Cole's shapeshifting condition he is a reluctant candidate, but somewhat desperate to find himself, or rather, be happy with himself, which is something that has never happened. He is terrified that he'll slip back into his self destructive ways, yet it seems that part of him wants to. For the escape and for the high. He carries guilt for Victor's loss, for dropping out of existence for a year causing his parents to question if he's dead or alive and for hurting other people in his life. He is a quintessential bad boy, rock star. The kind of person that people want to be near and know or conversely the kind that some people never want to see again. His main reason for going to L.A. however, is Isabel.
Isabel also deals with the problems she encountered in Mercy Falls. The death of her brother, her guilt in playing a role in it, her parent's separation and her own relationship with her parents. She is a cold person, hard to get to know, very jaded and I want to be just like her. She is smart, clever, driven, astute and fearsome. Not a typical sweet-girl protagonist, she is bitchy and a mean girl, but not for any self fulfilling reasons. It is just her way and she has little patience for stupidity and deceptions. She has trouble trusting Cole and trusting herself with her own feelings for him.
This story could have ended up as a cliche. The two main characters love each other but can't admit it, can't come together. This plot usually frustrates me but in Stiefvater's hands, the book is magic. I think that both of them want to jump into this relationship, but both of them navigate it on tiptoe. Isabel because she doesn't want to get hurt or look like a fool and Cole because he is afraid to scare her off. Or maybe because he is afraid that if she sees the real him, she won't love him.
The supporting characters are wonderful too. Isabel's cousin Sophia brings out the protective side of Isabel and Cole's driver takes on the role as kind of a big brother. This man wants nothing from him and that is why Cole is so drawn to him. I loved seeing their friendship take off.
Narration: Dan Bittner and Emma Galvin return to reprise their roles as Cole and Isabel and they make the book come alive. With the writing and the narration combined, these characters jump off the page. Cole is a bit more animated, maybe less insolent in Sinner and Isabel still has her caustic observations but also shows vulnerability.
Starstruck Over: Everything. I didn't want this book to end.