On to the review!
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: July 13, 2010 by Scholastic
Synopsis: 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 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. (from Goodreads.com)
However, Linger didn't quite live up to my expectations. I was hoping for more of that beautiful love story from Sam and Grace. I wanted to hear and feel their darkest thoughts and desires. That I didn't get, that was what the book was missing.
Don't get me wrong, it was still a very good book, but not what I had been waiting on bended knee for.
Linger is told from the 1st person point of view of 4 different people; Sam, Grace, Isabel and Cole. This I still love. This being able to get into the heads of all these different people. The only problem with it was there were so many different stories going on for such a short book. I didn't get a grip on all the characters till a little over halfway through and by then, the book was almost finished. I missed the feeling that Shiver had in it, the dire longing and love that you could feel exploding from Sam and Grace. I didn't quite feel that until 2/3 the way through and even then it was repressed somehow.
But, even with the addition of 2 brand new voices, Sam and Grace were still my favorite. Sam is such a beautiful character. So full of love and empathy for the people around him. Always feeling what others do and wishing he could help. He seems to radiate comfort and warmth and I love that about him. How he doesn't have to be told, he just knows.
Grace is still Grace, just as in the first book, but in this one, towards the end she breaks free. Yes, she is 17 and according to the world still a child, but Grace hasn't really been a child for so long. She is more responsible than her own parents, but they don't see, they never do.
All of that brings me to my favorite character listing, because although Sam and Grace's relationship is my favorite, I would say my favorite character was Isabel. She is strong and tough and says it like it is. She doesn't judge or let people push her around and I love her for that. Yeah, she may be a bitch, but it seems so many of the good ones are. I know that may sound silly, but she is strong and I love strong female characters.
That being said, that just leaves Cole. His story was interesting and the glimpses into his background were actually bleak and impressive. Yeah, he was a total jerk off, but at least he wasn't a poser. You gotta love that about him.
There was so much to love about this book, like the paper cranes and the beauty of Sam's character. The poetic prose still swimming throughout covered with green ink to match the cover. The epic twists and turns that float through the story making Maggie a little evil for making us readers suffer like that.
So, to summarize, I think this book was missing a little bit of feeling and some development of the 4 stories, but this beautifully written book of poetic fiction was still fun and disturbingly bleak and bittersweet. It showed us so much more of the world of the wolves and of real life and that sometimes, you can't just pretend it isn't there. You have to suck it up and face it full on and if it pushes, you push back. And giving up and taking your life is not the solution, standing on your own two feet and saying "Get the hell out of my way" and meaning it is what will get you to those little moments. Those moments of warm arms around you, paper cranes floating above you and love surrounding you. The moments where the pain and worry are carried off by the wind and all that is left is joy.
When we got to her parents' house, Cole deftly backed her car into the driveway while Grace leaned over and kissed me. It started off as a chaste kiss and then my mouth was parted and Grace's fingers held my shirt and I wanted to stay, oh God, I wanted to stay--"(Sam)
So this was Cole St. Clair. I'd never met a rock star before. I wasn't really disappointed, either. Even holding a broom and dustpan, he looked like a rock star, unreal and restless and unsafe.(Grace)
"Why did you lie to your mom?" Cole asked. "Would you have done that if I'd been a paunchy real estate broker turned werewolf?" "I doubt it. Kindness isn't generally my thing." What was my thing was the way that stretching his arms above his head bunched his shoulder muscles and tightened his chest. I tried to keep my eyes on the arrogant curl of his lips. "That said we ought to get you some clothing."(Isabel) His lips curved more. "Eventually?" I smiled nastily at him. "Yeah, let's get that freak show covered up." He made a little whoo shape with his lips. "Harsh."