Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy, #2)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: July 13, 2010
Other Books In Series: Shiver, Forever (coming 2011)
Pages: 368
ISBN #: 978-0545123280

**Be sure to keep reading past the review to the fantastic interview Maggie was kind enough to give, and the details of our contest where YOU can win a copy of Linger!**

Without skipping a beat, we are brought from the uncertain end of Shiver, back into the complex world of Mercy Falls. Shiver introduced us to Grace, Sam, and the local wolf pack, and left us holding our collective breath, hoping for their “happily ever after”. Linger begins with the result of the risky experiment to keep Sam human. I don’t think it’s giving away too much to say that it appears to have worked.

Sam finds himself reluctantly filling Beck’s role as the guide and leader of the new wolves during their human shift. Grace encourages him with this, and helps him find the confidence to start making plans for their future together. Unfortunately, while Sam is coming to terms with his new life, Grace is experiencing some problems that ring an alarmingly familiar bell.

Isabel becomes Grace’s confidant and “go-to” girl. She hasn’t changed much from her time in Shiver, and adds some much needed snarky commentary to the story. Nothing gets her snark going like Cole, one of the new wolves. Cole’s got a whole load of problems of his own and gives as good as he gets. The banter between these two is fantastic, even if it is based in sadness and pain.

One of the things I really loved about this story is that Grace and Sam are “Grace and Sam” and it’s NEVER questioned. Too often the lead romantic relationship is tested and manipulated throughout the story. I loved that them being together was simply a truth. That’s not to say they didn’t have problems, Grace’s parents proved to be a thorn in their side, but I never believed it would be enough to tear them apart.

Speaking of the parental units. This story is full of “too little, too late” when it comes to familial relationships. Both Grace and Isabel have parents that are so wrapped up in their own issues and lives that they leave their children to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, in both cases, when they decide to start acting the part, it’s unwelcome and ends up causing more harm than good. The exception to this trend was Sam and Beck. We get to see flashbacks of Beck’s attempt to be a father figure as Sam tries to take the reigns.

I really love the way Maggie writes this story. The flow of things is so natural, despite the unusual circumstances. The dialogue is easy and interesting, but it’s really the descriptions that draw you in. It’s the emotion that ties you to the wind rushing through the woods, the connection made between two pairs of eyes, the smell passed along through the slightest touch. These are the things that wrap you up and usher you along with Sam and Grace on their journey.

The same thing that I love about the story, however, is my biggest problem with it. The emotions are so encompassing, but there’s a constant feeling sadness and anxiety. There are plenty of really great one-liners. The main characters fall and STAY madly in love. There are some incredible things that happen that should have been cause for celebration. But there were very few times I laughed or smiled about things, simply because I couldn’t shake the feeling of impending doom.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the story, and I’m very interested in how it will all end. (Of course, this book has an even more powerful cliffhanger than the last one did.) I just hope that with the end in sight I will feel less “something unhappy just around the corner” and have more reasons to smile. (I think I’ll start making some of Sam’s cranes, I bet I can get to 1000 before Forever comes out next year!)

I’d like to thank Maggie for taking time out of her crazy busy schedule to answer these questions. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did!

1) You’ve composed music for some of your storyline/characters. Is there a song that describes your life? If not, who would you want to write/compose one for you?

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears. Without all the petty criminal angsty subtext in the lyrics. I’m not sure if it describes my life, but I think it’s a mission statement.

2) If you could spend one day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do all day?

I find this question very difficult to answer because I basically do spend every day with my characters, writing their days for them. So if I were to choose to spend a day with any of them, I guess it would have to be the characters from my Secret Novel that I’m working on when I get a spare moment, because I am deeply in love with it. Unfortunately I cannot tell you what they are doing. Or who they are. Or, basically answer this question. Am I being a difficult interviewee?

3) What’s you’re preferred writing atmosphere? (alone or with crit group, office or coffee shop, ect.)

Anywhere with my music on, and usually with a chat window for Tessa Gratton, one my critique partners, open, so I can suddenly chat at her: I <3 this book! or I hate this book! or WHY IS MY PLOT TRYING TO KILL ME?

4) What was your favorite Halloween costume (or other dress-up occasion/party costume)?

Morticia Addams. I identify strongly with her and Wednesday Addams.

5) What record would you like to set for the Guinness Book of World Records? (Remember… they recognize all sorts of interesting talents… Some world records include *fasted 100m sprint, barefoot, on ice = 17.35 secs… *fastest pumpkin carving of a face = 24.03 secs… *longest distance pogo stick jumping = 23.11 miles).

*longest time in print for a young adult book.

I’d like to write a classic. I don’t ask for much.

6) What is one thing you never get asked about, but would love your fans to know about you?

 Where does Maggie post free short fiction every month, along with her critique partners? www.merryfates.com.

You can find information about Maggie and her books in these places, as well:

SHIVER series site:
http://www.maggiestiefvater.com/shiver/

Maggie Stiefvater ’s blog:
http://m-stiefvater.livejournal.com/

Maggie’s Twitter:
http://twitter.com/mstiefvater

Maggie’s Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maggie-Stiefvater-Really-its-me/412830324465?v=wall

Maggie Stiefvater’s Linger Book Trailer:

Scholastic.com official Shiver page
http://www.scholastic.com/shiver/

Now… if you haven’t read Shiver (first of all, this review was too spoilery for you… what were you thinking?? LOL) you need to do so BEFORE you read Linger. If you’d like to win a brand spankin’ new copy of Linger, with it’s pretty cover and green ink (that’s right, Shiver has blue ink, Linger has green… how cool is THAT??) just follow the directions in the video below to make an origami crane like Sam was doing in the book. It’s soooooo easy, it’ll just take a couple of minutes. Then write your name on the wing or somewhere so I know it’s YOUR crane, and either post the picture, or post the link to see the pic, along with your first name, last initial, and email address to reach you if you win. I can’t wait to see all the pretty paper memory keepers you all create, and maybe we’ll collect enough to make a wish on 🙂 Contest ends on Sunday, August 8th, at midnight eastern. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my notification. GOOD LUCK!

Video Instructions From YouTube.com for Japanese Paper Crane

Thanks, again, to Maggie and her partners at Scholastic for including us on the blog tour, and for offering the copy of Linger that we’re giving away here!

4 Comments

  1. Comment by Angela Z:

    thanks for the giveaway! very creative 🙂

    my crane: http://twitpic.com/2bvwpz

  2. Comment by Faith A.:

    Thank you so much for the giveaway 😀

    http://twitpic.com/2cxc96

    E-mail: (just in case) m.a.chasebooks@gmail.com

  3. Comment by palmcoasttwilightbookclub:

    **THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED**

    Thanks to those who entered. The winner has been emailed and has 48 hours to respond with their full name and mailing information. The copy of LINGER will be coming from Scholastic directly.

    Feel free to comment on the review or any of Maggie’s interview. I’d love to hear what you thought of the book!

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