Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic Press on June 13 2010
Page Count: 360
Genre(s): YA, fantasy, paranormal, romance
Format: Hardcover, library copy
Would I recommend? Um…I suppose so, if you’re a fan of the first book. I did have some issues with it, but the writing style is really beautiful and the story is still pretty enjoyable.
Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.
Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being a human.
For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life a constant struggle between two forces–wolf and human–with love baring its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?
“She made her home in between the pages of books.”
Linger was a book I had super high hopes for. I mean, how couldn’t I? I absolutely fell in love with Shiver last year, and I’ve been desperate to get my hands on the sequel ever since. I had read some pretty mixed reviews on Linger, but my expectations were still through the roof because of how Shiver left me. Unfortunately, I was left disappointed and underwhelmed.
Don’t get me wrong; Linger isn’t a bad book. I mean, I’m still convinced Maggie Stiefvater is an absolute genius and can do no wrong. Almost everything was there that I normally look for in a novel: a gorgeous writing style, fleshed-out and realistic characters, a unique concept, a slow-burn romance. Which pretty much leaves out one thing: the plot. Which, in my experience, is a pretty important part in a good novel. Some say that it’s the most important thing, which I agree with, after the writing style. This is the area that I found Linger to be a little lacking in.
Our story is introduced right where Shiver left off, except this time there’s a new character introduced: Cole. I wasn’t a huge fan of the new POVs that were added in (Cole and Isabel) in addition to Grace and Sam. Also, the book sometimes changed POVs in the middle of a chapter, which really bugged me. I definitely preferred Shiver‘s format and the way it changed POVs every chapter.
“This is a love story. I never knew there were so many kinds of love or that love could make people do so many different things.
I never knew there were so many different ways to say goodbye.”
Cole kind of bugged me for the majority of the novel, but he kind of grew on me by the very end of it. I guess my main problem with him was that he wasn’t relatable at all, and I couldn’t fathom anyone thinking about or doing some of the things he did. I suppose Stiefvater was going for some major character development, but frankly, I just found it annoying and unrealistic. I guess that’s why I ended up not hating him as much in the end: he seemed way more….well, human.
My main issue with this book was the plot. I’m just going to be outright with my opinion on this: throughout the entire 360 pages, literally nothing happens. Stiefvater uses romance as a convenient way to get the nearly nonexistent plot rolling. And trust me, I’m not saying that I’m against romance – I love myself a good slow-burn romance. I loved Sam and Grace’s romance in Shiver because they were just getting to know each other and they were so adorable together. I was looking forward to learning more about the world Stiefvater created and also to having some of my questions answered, but I was pretty let down in this aspect.
Another part of this book that kind of bugged me was the predictability of it all. We were literally told what was wrong with Grace within the first couple of chapters, and then we were expected to be shocked by it at the end after the “big reveal.” This aspect didn’t taint my enjoyment of the book too much because it isn’t one of the main things I look for in a book, but it is an area that I think Stiefvater could have improved on.
“And some days I just can’t live with that. But I do. Because that’s life, Cole. Life’s pain. You just have to get over as much of it as you can.”
Alrighty, enough with the negativity! I may have emphasized a little too much on my negative opinions on this book in the first part of my review, but honestly, 3 stars is still a pretty good rating. Although I did definitely have some things that bugged me, it was an enjoyable read overall. There were many parts of this book that I absolutely loved. Like, for instance, Cole and Isabel’s relationship. While I wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of either of these characters individually, their relationship was quite adorable and pretty realistic. Also, Stiefvater’s writing style was as beautiful as ever. Her prose reads so smoothly and beautifully; it’s almost like poetry.
Similarly to Shiver, I also really appreciated Stiefvater’s unique take on the whole werewolf thing. I haven’t really read any werewolf books unless you count Twilight, but I really liked how she incorporated the paranormal aspect with her lyrical prose and her extremely character-driven plot, which isn’t something you see too much of it YA fantasy.
Overall, a solid and fairly entertaining read but not too memorable for me. I will definitely be finishing up the series, but my seemingly-endless TBR pile might fall over and squash me in my sleep before I ever get to that point – oops.
Rating: 3/5 Stars