Review: LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater

I am launching a book review section to FanNook sometime next month, but this book was easily one of my favorite books of the year and I couldn’t wait until the site was up to tell you about it.

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Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you have not read this series and do not want to know what happens prior to doing so, please stop reading now.

-About the Story-

Sam is finally human and while he seems to be skeptical in the cold, he remains human. And Sam being human means having a future with Grace. That is until she starts to realize something is happening to her. Either she is finally becoming the wolf she never was or she is dying, which one she is unsure of until the end. Unfortunately their fight to be together in “Shiver” has only shifted roles in “Linger.”

Also, if their dramatic love story isn’t enough to entertain you… Add in ex-rocker Cole, who spends at least 70% of his time naked (Hey, he is a shifting wolf after all) and Isabel, who is still dealing with the death of her brother. These two are immediately attracted to each other, but their arrogance makes them clash at times. Isabel doesn’t seem to know whether she wants to kiss him or ignore him altogether most of the time. (You’ve got to love beautiful cocky people who really only find comfort in each other because of the demons in their past.)

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If you loved “Shiver” then reading “Linger” is a must. Here are some reasons why:

-Writing Style- Maggie Stiefvater has this innate ability to draw character voices so perfectly that she was able to give us four in “Linger” each of which were so very different that she could easily jump between them sometimes several times within each chapter. Her writing never feels forced, it feels like your own thoughts or like you’re actually part of this world she’s created and these are people you really know. I sometimes refer to her writing as being “like a song in your ear.”

-Cole St. Clair- He was a really nice addition to the story line and not just because of his good looks and musical talents. Beyond that cocky exterior was someone far deeper than I was expecting, someone who was actually more genius than even he himself wanted to admit. In the book there’s a lot of question as to why Beck chose Cole, hinting that maybe he pictured him and Sam becoming friends because of their mutual love for music. But near the end of the book I found myself wondering if Beck knew all along that Cole might be able to see the hows and whys of the wolves because of his scientific intelligence. His transition from the person you meet in chapter 2 to the man he becomes by chapter 52 was really well done. Character growth is always important and I think Maggie nailed it with Cole.

-Isabel Culpeper- When I read “Shiver” I remember thinking a person like Isabel might annoy me if I knew her in real life. And I still felt that way once I started into “Linger,” but reading from her perspective this time around gives you a deeper insight into why Isabel is the “bitchy princess” she is and by the end of the book shows us how much inner strength she actually has. If it wasn’t for her pushiness towards Sam and Cole, the ending may not have even been possible.

-Grace & the Brisbane’s- I heard that Maggie got a bit of criticism when “Shiver” came out for depicting Grace’s parents as uninvolved, as if these sorts of parents don’t actually exist (believe me they do). So it was interesting to see her parent’s attitude towards her in “Linger” change drastically. Suddenly they are over involved or at least they try to convince themselves that they are. The best part of this change in them though wasn’t that she finally had parents that seemed to give a crap, it was the fact that Grace finally stood up to them and put them in their place. Of course, they still wouldn’t admit to the very valid points she was making, but it was nice to see her say she was sick of it for once and even better to see her completely defy them by basically running away to Sam. (Go Grace!)

-Sam Roth- Sam is still very emotionally damaged, maybe even more so now that he doesn’t get those few months off to be a wolf and not have actual memories. He seems very dependant on Grace being part of him now, but not in a way that’s suffocating, more in the other half to a whole kind of way, which I find endearing. He struggles with the idea that he is now Beck and accepting that role is difficult for him at times. I don’t necessarily think it’s because he doesn’t want the responsibility either, I think it’s more acceptance of the fact that he’ll never see Beck again as a human – the closest thing he had to family until Grace came along. Outside of his responsibility, we finally get to see deeper sides of Sam as a serious musician, as a lover, and a dreamer.

-Green Text- You wouldn’t believe how much of a difference this made, but it did. First, I’m a sucker for unusual features in a book and green text certainly qualifies as one. Second, green is my favorite color so naturally I’m drawn to it. Third, as someone who’s eye sight is failing her these days it was incredibly easy on my eyes. (FYI – There is actual proof that green is the easiest color for our eyes to register.)

-Other Awesomeness- Paper Cranes, White Christmas Lights, Casual conversations in the nude, red coffee pots, and “The Boy.” You’ll understand all of that once you’ve read the book!

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Usually at this point there would be a list of things I didn’t like, but this book was so good it feels impossible to come up with anything negative. I’d say the only slightly disappointing thing about “Linger” was that I missed the temperatures at the beginning of each chapter. I think that was a really neat thing to keep in mind when I read “Shiver” and felt like it would have been equally as cool to keep in the back of your mind for “Linger,” but it didn’t break the story that’s for sure. Other than that, I just didn’t want it to end, but I’ve found with really great stories this is always the case.

So how long must we wait for “Forever” now? July 2011, I know it feels so out of reach right now. I can’t wait to see what Maggie does to bring this trilogy to a close. I’m hopeful that it will end with a “Happily Ever After” even if it’s in the form of fur.

P.S. Maybe I should warn you that I cried for about the last 30 pages, but not necessarily sad tears. I’d be interested in knowing if I was the only one.

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5 Responses to "Review: LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater"

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  1. edgyauthor

    July 22, 2010 at 1:16 am

    Darn it, you’ve convinced me to read this! LINGER sounds like it’s a lot better than SHIVER. (Which I’m sincerely hoping it is, ’cause as you already know, I’m not that big of a fan of it, despite loving Maggie’s writing.) I’m especially eager to see Isabel’s perspective–I love her character!

    • SarahWhisted

      July 22, 2010 at 1:29 am

      Hehe – I hope you like it when you read it. As much as I loved “Shiver” I really liked “Linger” more which surprised me. And I think you will love Isabel’s perspective and how different of a feel Cole’s adds to the story. They are such polar opposites from Sam & Grace in a perfect opposites attract sort of way.

      • SarahWhisted

        July 22, 2010 at 1:32 am

        P.S. I know you’re a fan of parental roles in books – I have a feeling you’ll like the parental show down in this 😉

  2. anaceci

    July 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    NICE JOB!

    perfect book review! i love it ,you express every part of the book even better than others! i love it! good job!

    with love anna!

    • SarahWhisted

      July 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm

      Re: NICE JOB!

      Thanks Anna 😉 I’m glad you enjoyed it. Have you read Linger yet?

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