Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Lizzie     Sep 7th, 2010     Paranormal, Reviews, Romance     0 Replies

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (July 13, 2010)
Source: ARC received from author
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545123283
ISBN-13: 978-0545123280

The Longing.

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

The Loss.

Into their comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He 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?

*Note: This review contains no spoilers of Linger but may spoil Shiver if you haven’t read it.

As a lover of all things young adult fantasy, it was no surprise that I found my way to Shiver, the first novel in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, by the multi-talented, superwoman Maggie Stiefvater. Originally, my friend picked it up at Borders, loudly proclaiming, “I MUST read this!” Several months later, I bought her Shiver as a belated birthday present, but not before reading it myself. Immediately, I fell in love. I was obsessively tweeting about it, listening to songs and thinking, “Sam and Grace, aaah!”, it even inspired my Twitter name! My friends became very annoyed with me, amusingly so. ;)

The cliffhanger ending frustrated me beyond belief, because I assumed that Shiver was a standalone novel. Boy, was I happy when I finally found out that there were actually two more books to follow. I quickly dedicated myself to finding out more about Maggie and her work. That was when I discovered the Linger ARC contest being held on Maggie’s blog back in February. I entered, with little hopes of winning, considering the nearly three thousand entries. Yet, somehow, I did win one of five ARCs of the novel. Can you imagine my excitement at midnight when the winners were announced? You truly should’ve been there.

In Shiver, Grace always watched the wolves behind her house from her tireswing, silently wondering about the yellow-eyed wolf that watched back. When she meets Sam, she becomes entangled in his struggle to stay human. Together, they discover a cure for the lycanthropy that shattered his humanity every winter. In Linger, finally settling into their new lives together, Grace and Sam are on top of the world, no less together. Sam struggles to accept that he is firmly in his skin, while Grace knows that she is not. I’ll admit—I had absolutely no idea what the opening line meant. “This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one.”

Because of this, I had no idea where the story was going. It was, of course, by my own stupidity. I was on edge with every turn of the page. Regardless of whether you understand the opening line or not, you’ll surely be on edge as well. All your favorite characters are back—including the introduction of a new character. Cole’s old life consisted of touring with his band NARKOTIKA, bedding girl after girl, downing colorful handfuls of pills, and living recklessly. When he’s turned by Beck, who happens to be Sam’s surrogate father, he finally escapes from his hollow life, to a new one full of possibilities and opportunities.

Cole’s daredevilness, good looks, and complex personality had me from his introduction. I absolutely loved his clever lines and utter confidence. I’ve loved Sam and Grace from the beginning, but Isabel, who lost her brother, a newly-turned wolf, in the previous book, took some getting used to. She had always struck me as the snobby mean girl who had everything and it wasn’t until Linger for me to see through that nasty exterior, to the empty girl inside who only wanted a real friend to lean on. When Cole and Isabel meet, I was always laughing my head off at the acid they shot at each other, while knowing exactly what they were actually thinking, which was completely opposite of the things coming from their mouths.

As I raced hungrily through this book, I found myself enveloped for hours at a time admiring Maggie’s lyrical writing. Her style is soft yet packs a punch where necessary. I’m not big on fluffy, comfortable romance but in Linger, there’s nothing comfortable about these lovers. Always in the back of their minds is a lurking, unsaid danger, and you, as the reader, can feel it too, even if you don’t know what it is (if you’re like me, that is). The fluffiness, however, just so happens to work in these books.

When I finished Linger, I actually, truly cried. It wasn’t full-on bawling but there were definitely tears. I cried at the end of Shiver as well, but not as hard as this one. I can only imagine what my tears will be like at the end of Forever, the final book in the trilogy!

So, in all, I enjoyed this one just as much, if not more than the first book. Even the littlest details will leave an impression on you by the end. And if I were you, I’d be prepared for tears so keep a few tissues on hand—or a whole box if you’re emotional. ;)

Linger is now in stores!

I apologize for the lateness of this review! Keep checking back as I add more things to the blog. Also, very, very soon, I’ll be holding my first ever contest and it’ll involve swag from authors like Michelle Zink (Guardian of the Gate), Sophie Jordan (Firelight), and maybe a signed something from the Smart Chicks at the Cincinnati signing. This’ll probably happen when I reach 25 followers or so.

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