Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Review: Linger

Maggie Stiefvater
Young Adult Fantasy
Wolves of Mercy Falls/Book 2
July 2010
Library Book
*Spoilers for 1st Book*

From the inside cover ~

the longing.

Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. for Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.

the loss.

Into the world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human.

the linger.

For Grace, Sam , and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces - wolf and human - with love baring its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?

I really enjoyed the first book in the Mercy Falls series, Shiver so I was happy to get Linger from the library. The way Shiver left off felt incomplete. I knew it wasn't the end, both because it's a trilogy and because it just didn't feel finished. Grace and Sam were at the beginning of their story and we still had to find out how it would all play out and how it ended. Linger is a continuation of Shiver so you definitely need to read this trilogy in order.

The story opens with Sam and Grace adjusting to Sam being human - all human, all the time. It's written is four different POVs. Each time the POV changes, it is noted which characters POV it is at the being of that chapter/section. I liked how Stiefvater wrote the different POV, sometimes giving more than one POV for the same scene. We find Sam working at the bookstore again and simply enjoying being in his own skin. Grace going to school and basically raising herself because of her absentee parents. Sam does spend his nights at Grace's house. They are only sleeping together - strictly sleeping. With everything they've been through they need that closeness.

It's still cold enough that the wolves are still wolves but the newer wolves could start changing into humans at any time. I liked how Stiefvater had Grace and Sam in a sort of us-against-the-world situation. The only other person that knows about the wolves is Isabel and she's not going to tell anyone. And Isabel is sort of on Sam and Grace's side but I think it would be going too far to say that they are friends. It's more of an association due to circumstances. The circumstances being that Isabel's brother had been infection with the "wolf virus" and that's how Isabel found out about Sam and the wolves.

One thing about Linger is that it's sad. There's some happiness but it's fleeting, small moments in between the growing unease that has settled over Sam and Grace. In spite of that I liked it and understand why everything happened the way it did. Why Grace and Sam must go through so much pain and sadness before they can get to anything close to a happy ending. But even in that sadness Stiefvater's lyrical prose comes through to lighten the mood. To give such beauty to such sadness.

Graces' POV ~

When I was younger, I had imagined being a wolf. Running away with Sam the wolf into a golden wood, far away from my distant parents and the clutter of modern life. And again, when I'd thought I would lose Sam to the woods, I'd dreamed of going with him. Sam had been horrified. But now, finally, Cole had told me the other side of the coin. All that matters is that moment, and being with the other wolves, and just being a ball of heightened senses. page 284

Sam enjoying cold weather ~

This time I locked the back door, picked up my guitar case, and went out the front, sliding a little on the ice coating the threshold. I pulled on the skullcap that Grace had bought me in a failed attempt to make me look sexy while keeping my head warm. Stepping out into the middle of the sidewalk, I watched tiny flakes float down onto the abandoned street. As far as I could see,there were banks of old snow pressed into stained sculptures. Icicles made jagged smile of the storefronts.

My eyes smarted with the cold. I held my free hand out, palm up, and watched as snow dissolved on my skin.

This was not real life. This was life as watched through a window. Life watched on television. I couldn't remember when I hadn't hidden from this.

I was cold, I had a handful of snow, and I was human. pages 54-55

All four main characters: Sam, Grace, Cole and Isabel are well developed and give different perspectives to the story. Isabel is a character with that dry, snarky humor that I adore. She's not a happy camper since her brother Jack died. She really wasn't exactly happy before that but now she's got this huge load of guilt dragging her down. Her parents are jerks and she blames herself for her brother's death and... well, that's enough! But I do like her so very much. She's taken up the task of trying to find a cure for the werewolves. She's smart and at times, comes off as cold, but she does have feels, she just has a hard time showing them. I think she's afraid of showing any vulnerabilities because of this feeling of aloneness that sits with her. It's like she can't depend on anyone but herself. We should get to see more of her in Forever.

Since this is a trilogy, you should read the books in order and Linger does end with a cliffhanger so consider yourself warned. And one cool thing - the text is in green. It's very easy on the eyes. I'm completely enjoying this trilogy and can't wait to read the final book, Forever, next summer. *sob*

Rating: A-

My review of Shiver


  1. I *LOVED* this book.
    I was a little wary of Cole and Isabel in the beginning, I thought I'd want more Grace & Sam... but by the end of the book I was invested in all four perspectives and storylines.

    Stiefvater is such a gorgeous writer. I can't wait for 'Forever'.

  2. I love Stiefvater's writing. She does indeed have such poetic yet natural and earthy story telling voice. She taps into your senses so easily.

    I just got Linger from the library this week and can't wait to read it. Gotta finish HP7 first...

    I also love the change in POV. She does that with her Faery books as well. Have you read Lament and Ballad? I can't remember if you have. If not, you should! I loved them both!

  3. Danielle ~ I was unsure of Cole too. I thought he might be a destructive force but he came through in the end.

    Christine ~ Stilling reading HP7? LOL Hurry up cause I think you'll love Linger.

    I haven't read Lament or Ballad. They're on my list but no time right now.

  4. I'm on page 30 or something like that.

    HELP!!!!! LOL!

  5. Leslie, your review of Shiver made me place that book on a to buy list, and now Linger. *g* Well... I read Lament since then (have Balland on the old TBR) and I do love Stiefvater's writing.

    Since this one ends on a cliffhanger, I'm thinking of just getting the trilogy all at once. I'm going to wait for Forever and read them all! Great review.

  6. Christine ~ LMAO - You need help. *grins* Isn't it like 700+ pages?

    Hils ~ I don't blame you for waiting, a year is a long time to wait after a cliffhanger. :)

  7. 759 pages to be exact.

    But now I'm on page 93, so things are looking up! LOL
    I really want to finish it by the end of the weekend, but I've got a lot going on ... wish me luck! :)