Associate Links: Amazon/IndieBound
A note: You can buy signed copies of this book (like I did) from the author's local indie on this page.
- Why I picked it up: Sequel, love the author's online presence
- Disclosure: Preordered a signed copy from the author (paid full jacket price)
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 Isabelle, 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.
First of all, this book is pretty. Yes, I try not to judge books by their covers, but who could resist the haunting green silhouettes of the cover illustration; thick, soft, heavy, reassuring binding (the real reason e-books will never cut it for me); or the unusual but undeniably attractive green ink the text is printed in? From the minute I opened this book, it felt like a bestseller, and as much as I try to let the writing sell me and not the design, it was a heady experience. This book is worth purchasing almost on that merit alone.
Secondly, with the introduction of a second starcrossed couple - Isabel, a supporting character from the first novel making a reappearance, and Cole St. Clair, a troubled musician whose werewolf state is a blessed escape - Maggie Stiefvater proved she is an expert at juggling multiple first person perspectives. Yes, four was a stretch, and it didn't flow as smoothly as Shiver by any stretch of the imagination, and I really, really hope we don't end up with a third couple in the mix, but Isabel and Cole provided the perfect foil to the occasional saccharine sweetness of Sam and Grace. Tell you the truth, Grace drives me up the wall, and Sam drives me up the wall both for loving Grace and for being so fragile all the time. Not a character judgment, or anything, but I can tell you how fast he'd end up in my friend zone. (All right, maybe I still have a mini literary crush on him. But he still drives me up the wall.)
I'm not saying Cole was a great guy to crush on, either, but he and Isabel were like the zingy chili peppers to Grace and Sam's marshmallow filled milk chocolate, and the juxtaposition of them both made the book that much better. I was not particularly fond of the cliffhanger ending, as I didn't relate to the characters quite enough for it to keep me up at night (which is kind of fun), but certainly enough to be mildly annoyed (which is kind of annoying). And don't talk to me about how redundant that sentence was.
I could go on with both criticisms and praise. I've gone from a concept-over-writing kind of gal, to writing-is-art, to sales-over-art, to characters-make-the-book. This book is kind of a mash up of all those literary preferences. High literature it is not, but entertaining, yes it is. And sometimes the imagination needed for entertainment from the written word is the most important gift books can give us.
The Final Verdict: Supernatural romance fans will have a lot to love, and fans of the first book will not be disappointed. And even if you were less than pleased with the first novel, I'd still recommend you give this one a shot. Edgier and more complex than the first, I'm pleased I bought it, despite gaping plot holes. Four out of five stars.