Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Review: Linger

Title: Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication Date: July 13th, 2010
Genre: YA, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Do not read this review if you haven’t yet read Shiver and do not want to read any spoilers.

In Shiver, Grace and Sam fell in love, even though they believed that their time together was limited. Now, Sam no longer transforms into a wolf after contracting meningitis. Sam and Grace are finally able to be together and plan their future. Now that Beck is permanently a wolf, Sam is in charge. The lives of the wolves are complicated when Cole, an angry and arrogant recruit of Beck’s, arrives in Mercy Falls. Cole wants to be a wolf permanently so that he can forget about his life as a human. For him, being a werewolf is an alternate to suicide. Cole begins to bond with Isabel, who is struggling with her guilt over her role in her brother’s death. Together, they delve deeper into the mysteries of werewolves. Is it really the cold that triggers transformation? What is it that killed one of the older wolves? When Grace gets sick, her and Sam both fear what her sickness could mean. As she gets worst, her love for Sam might not be enough to keep them together.

At this point, I know a lot of people are sick of Paranormal Romance. Apparently at some bookstores they have a whole section in YA dedicated solely to the Paranormal. However, I have barely read any books from the genre so it doesn’t feel overdone to me. If you are sceptical or tired of Paranormal Romance, I wouldn’t read this book. Although some books I’d recommend to people even if they hate the genre (like Harry Potter for people who hate fantasy, or a great number of books to anyone who hates YA,) Linger just isn’t good enough for that. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. But it certainly wasn’t great. Like Shiver, Linger has little plot. Most of the book is centred around the characters and their pasts and relationships. The mysteries of the wolves do not come to the forefront until the end of the novel. The ending was the best part of Linger, and the only part I couldn’t put down. The last few chapters were fast paced and managed to up my rating for this book by .5 stars. The rest of Linger was slow moving, since it is primarily character driven, not plot based.

While Sam and Grace narrated Shiver, Linger is also narrated by Isabel and Cole. And thank God for that. I love Isabel, and found her perspective refreshing, compared to Sam’s melodrama. I was very curious about Cole, and was glad to be able to glimpse into his past. One of the interesting things about Cole as a narrator was being able to see Grace and Sam from someone else’s perspective. Sam was probably the thing I disliked most about this book. I have no idea how his poetry didn’t bother me throughout Shiver (maybe I was in a good mood when I read it.) An example of Sam’s poetry: "One thousand ways to say good-bye/ One thousands ways to cry/ One thousand ways to hang your hat before you go outside /I say good-bye good-bye good-bye/ I shout it out so loud/ Cause the next time that I find my voice I might not remember how." I love Stiefvater’s prose, but I can’t stand Sam’s poetry. While some of his lyrics might sound lovely in his songs, they are awkward in this context. He is very melodramatic and begins a section with “I was an open wound.” In Shiver, I assumed that Stiefvater could not write from a boy’s perspective, since Sam’s voice doesn’t sound like a teenage boy’s. While Sam’s sections in Linger often made me roll my eyes, Stiefvater has shown through Cole that she can write from a male perspective. Despite the fact that he annoys me, I still think that Sam is great with Grace. They are completely different, but they compliment each other. You can see why they are attracted to each other. Their relationship is the focal point of Linger, and despite the flaws of the novel I still found myself hoping that they would be together in the end.

Linger was slow at times, but the ending was worth it. At that point, I couldn’t put this book down. Adding Isabel and Cole’s narration to the novel was a great idea, and the new perspectives added a lot to the novel as a whole. I think that Maggie Stiefvater writes beautifully, although her descriptions are a lot stronger than the story itself. Like Shiver, I’d say Linger is worth a try if you like romance and are open to Paranormal Romance.


"Once upon a time, there was a girl named Grace Brisbane. There was nothing particularly special about her, except that she was good with numbers, and very good at lying, and she made her home in between the pages of books. She loved all the wolves behind her house, but she loved one of them most of all.
And this one loved her back. He loved her back so hard that even the things that weren’t special about her became special: the way she tapped her pencil on her teeth, the off-key songs she sang in the shower, how when she kissed him he knew it meant forever."

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