Friday, August 26, 2011

Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: June 13th 2010
Publisher: Scholastic
Page Count: Hardcover, 360 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Good Reads: Link

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other.  Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack.  And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget. - Good Reads

I wasn't sure how Linger would start out or be about since I felt that Shiver had a sufficient enough wrap up to be a stand alone novel. I could see some potential conflict though and I trust Maggie's writing and, of course, I wanted to see more of Grace, Sam and Isabel, so, obviously choosing to read the second book didn't require me to think twice.

The writing is just as beautiful as in Shiver. I still love Maggie's way with words and like in Shiver, she still was able to capture the atmosphere and emotions in such a real way. This book left me feeling very lonely and depressive though. In Shiver, I felt an anxiety about the cold, in Linger, it's more of a gnawing feeling, a depressive gnawing. Grace and Sam's happiness was overshadowed by the issues that you knew had to be faced. And it was nerve-wracking waiting for those issues to arrive. It very much reminded me of the boogeyman in the closet when you're a child: you know he's sitting there, but he never makes an attempt to come jump out at you, so you just wait and wait and wait anxiously for him to. Luckily for us - the problems do jump out, just not quite when and how you expect them.

Linger is written in four separate and alternating viewpoints: Grace, Sam, Isabel and the new addition to the pack: Cole. I personally like alternating viewpoints. I like being able to see in each persons head, though sometimes it makes me a little slower at reading, because I sometimes have to double check who's head I'm in. This didn't effect me as much in this book, because I think the characters have distinct enough personalities. Only once in the beginning of reading did it affect me, and it was because I didn't realize that I was in Cole's head and I thought to myself, "this doesn't sound like Sam at all". But I caught on easily after I noticed. It was my fault for not paying attention to the chapter heading in the first place or I would have known it was Cole right away.

The addition of Isabel and Cole made the book move much better than it could have otherwise, I think. Things between Sam and Grace were a little slow and there is more physical distance between them in this book. I felt Isabel and Cole made up for that and I was especially interested in their storyline together. We saw a little bit of a vulnerable side to Isabel in Shiver, but in Linger we get to see a little more, but we also get to see her strong side. The side, I think, that ended up "saving the day" in a way. Without her the story would have never been able to move forward. Cole also helped in this role as well, but Isabel, I think, was a big deal in this book. At least to me. In some ways she may seem like a cold, hard bitch, but she has guts and feeling too. I don't know, I liked her character in Linger and I can say she is one of my favourites.

The romance in this book was shockingly low-key compared to it predecessor. At times it almost seemed as if Sam and Grace were.... an old married couple. Not something I'd expect from two teenagers in love. I think that is something that usually grows over time in a relationship, at least it did in mine. That quiet love where you just accept and love without everything having to be dramatic or physical. So, honestly, there isn't a lot of hot romance in this book. There are a few scenes between Isabel and Cole, but this book is romantic in a much different way than the last.

Overall, there was a heavy sense of foreboding throughout the book. A lingering (<-- see what I did there harhar) melancholy. But I liked it, just in a different way than I liked Shiver.

If you loved Shiver, then this is a must read. I'm eager to read Forever and see what happens, because there was a big BIG CLIFF HANGER. So have Forever armed and ready!


  1. This is one series I've just never been able to get into, but I agree that Maggie's writing is beautiful. I love alternating viewpoints as well, though like you, sometimes I have to go back and double check who's head I'm in! Beautiful review:)

  2. *whose* not *who's* - I'm challenged today:)

  3. Isabel is my favourite character in this series - I have a real soft spot for female characters who are icy on the outside, but vulnerable on the inside. I agree that Grace and Sam are like an old married couple but I'm glad Maggie Stiefvater allowed them to stay happy and together in the second book and not split them up like in Crescendo or New Moon. I thought the couple of Isabel and Cole scenes we got were hot! Let's hope there's more of them in Forever.

  4. @Jenny Thank you - I definitely could see this appealing to some people and not to others. The pace of the book is very slow, if I do say so myself.

    @TG I completely agree with you on both points! I loved Isabel. And I completely agree with you - one of my worries was that this book would turn into a Crescendo or New Moon with a breakup. Though New Moon was actually my favourite book in the Twilight series. I think that's because I liked Jacob. I really hope to see some more of Isabel and Cole in forever! I'm about to start it right now! :)

  5. I see *so* many raving reviews for this series, I'm so sad I haven't started it yet! I feel like I'm missing out.

  6. @Jinny I just finished the last book and I have to say overall I felt it was a really good series! You should check it out! I'm glad I started this after all the books came out. :) No waiting!