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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Review: Linger

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Release date: UK 21st July 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance, YA
Target audience: 12+

Summary from Amazon:
In 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 dangerous secrets. For Sam, it means grappling with his werewolf past ... and figuring out a way to survive the future. But just when they manage to find happiness, Grace finds herself changing in ways she could never have expected...

Warning: Spoilers for Shiver in this review

Oh, Linger, you have left me with a broken heart. How witheringly sad can one book possibly be? I mean that in the best possible way. Linger is like the twisting branches of a Yew tree. It just weaves you into its story of tender love and broken dreams.

Sam returned to Grace and there should have been peace for love’s young dream in the town of Mercy Falls. But the weather is changing and with it brings the revelation of the new wolves that Beck initiated into the pack. Sam is the leader now and he must find a way to cope with the cyclical loss of his family and the responsibility of keeping them safe.

Linger is told through a four person split narrative which works remarkably well. I think it takes real skill as a writer to keep moving perspectives and yet manage to keep the overall flow and tone of the book so that the transition is seamless. Maggie Stiefvater’s writing reads like the ripples of water on a lake. It is so lyrical and embodies the earthy quality of the woods where the wolves of Mercy Falls live.

When I first began reading Linger, I thought I had completely forgotten Shiver because I had no idea where Cole had come from. I asked my adorable friend Caroline from Portrait of a Woman and she reassured me that he was a new character and so I was relieved! After a while Cole’s journey to Mercy Falls became clear to me and as the layers of his character uncoiled like the sharp membrane of an onion, I discovered that I am quite a fan of Cole. I do love characters that kiss the dark side and have a tormented soul.

At the heart of this book there is obviously the change from human to wolf. There is still so much that Grace, Sam, Isabel and Cole do not understand about the disease. As I took a moment to pause in my reading, I had the bizarre notion that the change from man to beast was a metaphor for insanity. It seemed to me that the willingness to give yourself up to an animal state was a way of saying goodbye to all that makes you human: your identity, your thoughts, your self-worth.

However you interpret the condition of transformation, you cannot fail to see anything other than a beauty in the love that is written between the pages of Linger. It is soft and gentle and yet agonisingly painful. Such an amazing book!


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

What an amazing review! I have yet to read Shiver. I kind of forgot about this series with so many books I have to read, but your review totally brought it to life for me again. " Linger is like the twisting branches of a Yew tree. It just weaves you into its story of tender love and broken dreams." What a beautiful simile! WOW.
Thanks for sharing! I will make sure to push this series up on my wishlist.

Jo said...

I haven't read your review completely just in case, as I haven't read Linger yet. But is it better than Shiver? Because I didn't like Shiver. Please tell me it's better, so I can actually look forward to reading it. Lol.

Caroline said...

Technically we do see Cole in Shiver for a brief moment (in the trunk of the car at the end) but he doesn't have enough space to be clearly "a character" in the first book :)
And thanks for the adorable compliment, right back at you ;)
I really love how poetic your reviews are, especially when your lovely comparisons match the atmosphere of the book *sigh* You wouldn't want to be a writer by any chance? ;)
The story is very sad, but not in a depressing kind of way... It gave me the same feeling Autumn gives me when it arrives.
It is different from Shiver and I like how it introduces other themes.
Oh dear, I think I am babbling too much!!!
Amazing review as always Becky :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Gorgeous review. I love Maggie's work.

Dwayne said...

I wanted more of Sam and Grace here but it's a good book regardless. Lovely review!

Splendibird said...

This is such a beautifully written review. I also loved Linger but find it heartbreaking. The writing is haunting and the characters memorable in their individuality - just brilliant.

Lauren said...

Lovely review, Becky. I love all the metaphor you've used, it definitely evokes the kind of writing I can expect in Shiver. I should really get to this one, right? Sounds gorgeous.

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Beautiful review, Becky! This is one of my favourite series'. Though I definitely second that it's an agonisingly painful book.

brizmus said...

ohmygosh, what a BEAUTIFUL review to go with what I am sure is a beautiful book! I haev GOT to read this! I'll have to wait until I'm in need of a good cry.

Cupcake said...

Great review!!

I've have also awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award.

Copy and paste the Link to view:


I Want To Read That said...

Oh god! Agonisingly painful? - now I'm scared to read this.

Great review - reminded me of how much I loved Shiver:)