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Friday, September 3, 2010

My Review of "Linger" by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (July 13, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545123283

I read the first book in the series, "Shiver" several months ago. Unlike almost every reader out there, it was just an OK book for me. It was good enough though to want to read the next book in the series. I looked forward to reading the second book in the series, "Linger".

If you don't know anything about this series let me give you a little back ground on the first book, "Shiver"....

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
Shiver begins the story of the wolves of Mercy Falls.

"Linger" continues on with Grace and Sam's story. The thing I liked more about the second book is that Maggie brings in two new voices, Isabel and Cole. The book goes back and forth between the four characters. I found that this made the story more interesting and more complex. In an interview Maggie explains the
challenges of writing a book with four distinct voices.

Q: In Shiver, the narration alternates between Sam and Grace. In Linger, you add two more voices—Isabel and Cole St. Clair. What were the challenges (and joys!) of doing so?

Stiefvater: Oh, it was insane. The hard bit was keeping everyone’s voices straight and consistent of course. They had to sound distinct while still sounding like they belonged in the same book. Each had a distinct vocabulary. Sam, for instance, says “amongst.” The others can’t say amongst. Isabel has her own particular brand of swear words. Cole has his own way of describing the world. Grace sees action in a particular way. The challenge was picking which character narrated each scene; who saw what I needed the reader to see? They were all so different. Of course, that was the joy as well. Hard to get bored that way . . .

Here is more about "Linger"...

In 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 Isabel, 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.

Now for the ironic thing, I am one of the few people out there that liked "Linger" better than "Shiver". Some have said that it is slow moving and think Grace has turned into a whiner like Bella in "Twilight". I have to disagree with the "Others" and say that I like "Linger" better than it's predecessor. It was an intriguing read and very exciting at the end. I also love Maggie's writing, so beautiful and poetic. The story just seems to flow, not choppy at all.

Another telling sign for me, was that I was almost done with "Linger" when my copy of "Mockingjay" came in the mail. I tried to start reading "Mockingjay" but could not get "Linger" out of my mind. So I finished "Linger" first and then I picked up "Mockingjay".

If you are someone who likes this kind of book filled with teenage angst and falling in love with non-human creatures, give this series a try. The final book in the trilogy, "Forever" will be coming out in 2011.

One more thing, I would recommend this book for older teens and adults. My twelve year old daughter will not be reading this series for many years. There are many adult things that happen that tweens should not be reading about. Read it first and use your own judgment here, but this is what I will be doing with my daughter.

I will be reading this book again next year before the third book comes out. I do not own my own copies and have borrowed them from the public library.


  1. THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME! With Mockingjay I mean, but I caved and read Mockingjay first. I wasn't too far into it, only a couple chapters when Mockingjay came, so I felt justified :) I loved your review, but I didn't like Linger as much as Shiver. I didn't enjoy all the perspectives, sometimes, I had to go a couple pages back to see who it was telling the story. I do see why she did it, though, to bring in Cole, and tell his story. But, I still liked the story and cared about the characters and will read Forever. I thought the last few chapters were really good.

  2. And, I completely agree about not letting my 12 year old read it, too mature for younger YA readers.