Monday, August 30, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
published July 2010 by Scholastic
362 pages (hardcover), YA

If you haven't read Shiver yet, please leave. Not because I don't like you anymore but because it's the first book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, and I'm writing about the second. You've been warned.

Linger picks up a few months after the end of Shiver. Sam is just Sam, even though the winter has nearly passed. Grace and Sam are still very much in love. And we're introduced to the new wolves that Beck made, one of which is a leading voice in this book, Cole, a burned-out musician at the ripe, old age of 19. Told through four alternating perspectives (Grace, Sam, Isabel, and Cole), we learn more about the wolves and why they are the way they are because the four almost-friends have no choice but to figure it all out. Why does Sam get to stay Sam? Why do some wolves change more often than others? Why did Grace get to stay Grace? But really, who cares about all the stuff that happens in this book? I think the plot is just fine, but my love is for the characters and the writing.

I wasn't too keen on the addition of two narrator voices, I won't lie. I didn't care much for Isabel in Shiver, and I wasn't happy about a new character. But after the first few chapters, I was glad for the break from the sickeningly sweet Sam and Grace story. And I found that I really liked Cole and Isabel. Separately and together. Cole's bad boy lifestyle is quite the match for Isabel's self-pity and self-loathing. These two balance the truly-madly-deeply couple-in-love nicely. Minor characters kind of fell away in this book (and Grace's parents were just annoyingly normal parents for once), which I didn't mind at all, especially having to keep four perspectives straight. I'm not one for large casts of characters, but I felt like I did get to know Grace, Sam and mostly Isabel better while catching up with Cole's life story.

Do I even need to say how much I love Maggie's writing? Great characters. Good plot. Amazing words and flow. It's not even about putting together a fantastic scene, but really putting together a fantastic sentence and then stringing a bunch of those together. I wish I took note of them, but alas the library would not appreciate my sticky notes. And Sam's songs! Beautiful. Makes me want to read poetry again. I don't know what else to say about it. I'd like to go buy a copy and read it again.

So, I thought I'd hop on the rating bandwagon and add my own. I already do on GoodReads, but I never shared it here for some reason. It's absolutely subjective - not all fives are equal, that's for sure - but it's something people enjoy, I suppose. Anyhow, Linger gets five purple crayons.Which means that I love love loved it. Will buy it (gasp!) and definitely read again. Perhaps at the same time next year before the release of Forever, the final book in this trilogy.

Other people said:
Presenting Lenore; Jen Robinson's Book Page; Teens Read and Write; Pure Imagination; Bookworming in the 21st Century; Tattooed Books; All About {n}; GreenBeanTeenQueen; Book Crazy; Parajunkee's View + many more



Peaceful Reader said...

I skipped reading this but just wanted to tell you I love your new rating system! I need to get my hands on a copy of Linger. I liked that you reread Shiver-I may do the same.

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