Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Finished: January 21, 2012
Pages: 362 (Paperback)
Add It: Goodreads
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls (#2)
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Purchased

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 their 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 bearing 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?

May contain spoilers for book one of the series: Shiver.

Quote: "Hers was a memory made up of snapshots: being dragged through the snow by a pack of wolves, first kiss tasting of oranges, saying goodbye behind a cracked windshield.

A life made up of promises of what could be: the possibilities contained in a stack of college applications, the thrill of sleeping under a strange roof, the future that lay in Sam's smile.

It was a life I didn't want to leave behind.

It was a life I didn't want to forget.

I wasn't done with it yet. There was so much more to say.”

Cover Love: The covers are pretty simple for this series but lovely. They each have a color theme to match the season the characters are experiencing. For Linger it is a nice forest green for Spring. I love the fact that the text color inside matches as well.

Thoughts: It had been quite some time since I read the first book in the series, Shiver, before I picked this up. I'm not sure why I waited so long. I suppose the end was satisfying enough that I didn't feel the need to move immediately forward. It could also be that besides really loving the sweet and quiet story and Maggie's writing, I just wasn't in love with the first book, at least not enough to care to continue it immediately. Whatever the case, one night I found myself yearning to continue Sam and Grace's story, so the next day I went out to the book store and procured the lovely paperback with its green writing, and prepared to lose myself to the sad story of the wolves again.

Unfortunately, this book did not deliver for me. I get the appeal of a quieter story not filled with action, but does this book really move the plot forward at all? Do the characters develop a lot at least? For me, I don't think so. Sam and Grace are just as in love as before (and dare I say a little co-dependent...) and Sam is still the creative and emotional one to Grace's more logical personality. Other than Grace standing up to her parents there was no real development for either of them. The focus of this story is Sam and Grace just trying to hold on to each other. Grace is sick and her absentee parents have finally decided to step in and try to keep them apart. Most of the novel is spent between the two of them just wishing they were with the other. I wish they had been able to at least form deeper bonds with other characters in this book, but they didn't. Grace kept Isabel at a distance and Sam was distrustful of Cole from the start. This is slightly resolved in the end at least, but it didn't have the impact that it could have had if there had been a bit of build up to it, and Sam and Grace had been at least a little more open to other relationships throughout the story.

I thought the addition of Isabel and Cole's perspectives was kind of messy. I didn't really like or care about Cole until the end. I've never been a fan of the bad-boy-who-just-doesn't-care. It was nice to see a different side to Isabel though. I don't normally mind switching perspectives but I wish they had been contained to chapters. Often we would witness a scene through one character's eyes and then move on to another character's perspective a few paragraphs later. It was hard to keep track of who was who, and it caused me to feel like the characters were kind of losing their distinct personalities, and merging into one voice.

Maggie's writing is still nice here. A little purple-y during Sam's random lyrics, but otherwise just as lovely as ever. The somber tone to the story, of these humans who turn into wolves and lose themselves, who still come to witness funerals and watch over the sick, is simply beautiful. I also like that Sam isn't a jerk, always nice to see in a YA book. I'll probably wait to read Forever when it's in paperback so it can match the other two books I already have. I'm not dying to read it after reading this but I will be reading it. I do want to see how Sam and Grace's story ends.


Two out of Five Coffees

Linger is on sale now in paperback. You can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository and other retailers. The third book, Forever, was released in hardcover July 12, 2011.

Extras: Want to read some different perspectives on this book? Check out reviews at The Diary of a Bookworm and The Geeky Beach Babe.

Looking for other books similar to this one? You might also like Firelight and Unearthly.


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