Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review: Linger

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Published:July 13th 2010 by Scholastic Press
Word Count:91,396
Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls, book 2
Source: library hardcover book

My Grade: A

Synopsis from 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.

Disclaimer: This review is a bit raw and unfinished because I started writing it a few weeks ago and never finished, and now the book is not as fresh in my mind. Ah well, that's what comes of a super-busy over-stressed crazy Thanksgiving holiday while trying to write grad school applications at the same time. Anyway, here it is....

I love love love the fight Grace and her parents have over her relationship with Sam. It hits it's mark so well and does what it is supposed to. I could really feel the injustice Grace felt at her parent's disapproval of spending time with Sam and the urge to rebel from their unfair treatment. Also, I had read some criticism about the unrealistic nature of the absentee parents in Shiver and I wonder if Maggie took that into consideration by deciding to get the parents more involved in Linger. But I just read on the Mundie Mom's LiveChat with Maggie yesterday that she based the parents on some real families she knew who were like that, and she did that because she wanted there to be a reason why Grace was so independent. I think it's awesome when authors can incorporate real-life situations into their stories. Sometimes, as in this case, real situations seem even stranger or more 'unrealistic' than something completely made-up.

I like how Stiefvater avoids the love triangle temptation (although she hints at it ever so slightly, but maybe that is only a product of Cole's unlikely jealously) and instead widens the scope of her second Mercy Falls book by focusing on the lives of two separate couples. While Isabel and Cole's story is bright, shiny and new and the one most bloggers and fans of the books are talking about, I still saw Sam and Grace's relationship as the main focus of Linger. Then main story arc, the climax, and the open resolution leading to the third book all have to do with what is happening to Grace and Sam. Cole and Isabel only supplement this main storyline. And that's fine. In fact, while Cole is a complex and intriguing new character, I expected his relationship with Isabel to develop more throughout the book, based on the excitement with which others have talked about it. So I guess I was a little underwhelmed at what actually happened with them in the story, but perhaps my expectations were too high. By the end of the book Isabel and Cole are not really a couple. They might not even become one in the next book. I do enjoy the uncertainty of that, and also how their relationship is built on shared pain under a facade of phlegmatic confidence they are both pulling off only by the skin of their teeth.

Find it on Amazon: Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 2)

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1 comment:

  1. I thought the first installment, Shiver, has was sooo perfect that I've delayed reading Linger. However, based on this and a few other reviews I've read, I may have to go ahead and just do it. It sounds great and I'm definitely curious!

    Poetry to Prose


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