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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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Productive? Yay or Nay?

So while I’ve only worked on my book once so far since the 7th (which is bad), I have been getting quite a few others things tackled. Whether they are getting accomplished because I’m avoiding my own book or because I’m really trying to stay dedicated to my monthly goals, I do not know, but nonetheless they’re getting done. Now if only I could get back to my book… :(

Anyway, here’s where I’ve been for the past couple of days: FanNook

I finished reading “Linger” by Maggie Stiefvater and completed my review. Since books.fannook.com will not be launched until at least the middle of August I will share this book review here tomorrow and re-post there when it’s up and ready. It was easily one of my favorite books of the year and I’d be surprised if many others can knock it off its pedestal. You will see why tomorrow.

I also finished writing my review for “Hex Hall” by Rachel Hawkins, but I will save that for the site launch. Even though I was only aiming to have 2 reviews completed this month in the way of goals, I’ve already finished one more than necessary and I’m thinking that there should be at least 5 on the site when it launches so it doesn’t look empty. So I’ve been working on reviews in my down time at work a lot.

In addition to the reviews I’ve also been plotting design ideas and sketching like a fool. I have 4 different header designs I’m playing with right now and I know what kind of script I’m looking for; I just need to find it (which means possibly hours of searching through wordpress templates – boring!).

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In other news, I called a gazillion doctors last week and finally found one today that was accepting new patients & takes my insurance (you wouldn’t think it’d be that hard, but apparently it is). My apt. is next Wednesday. I also scheduled a dentist apt. because it occurred to me that it’s been a while since I’ve seen them too. I figured if I was on this health kick I might as well go all out. That apt. will be in the beginning of August.

I also started reading “Need” by Carrie Jones. I haven’t gotten far into yet, but that’s because I’m trying to be strict with myself and only allow myself to read it in “free time” like lunch, while I’m waiting for dinner to finish cooking, etc… If it takes me all week to read then oh well.

Now, a great deal of my time this last weekend was spent trying to work around my cat, Tay, who is either way too cute not to notice and/or trying to fit in inappropriate places (ex: places she doesn’t belong, places she doesn’t fit, places that make working impossible, etc…). Getting her to move from these types of locations always results in a war of some sort and a lot of back talking on her part (she thinks she runs the show in this house apparently). She’s lucky she’s so cute, otherwise it would drive me mad.

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And last but not least. Wanting this makes me a total dork, right? Oh well I still want it.

Description from Amazon: The Merriam-Webster Vocabulary Builder allows you to enjoy informative and entertaining discussions of English words derived from Greek and Latin roots–and expand your working vocabulary at the same time. Words that share the same root are grouped for easy study. Quizzes let you test how much you’ve learned.

Peace – Sarah

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Weekend Round-Up

Aside from book buying last night and reading “Hex Hall” I did actually accomplish some of my “to-do” list for the month (well parts of it).

I got a jump start on FanNook and scheduled content every other day for the next two weeks, hopefully I will be able to scrounge up some more when those two weeks run out so it won’t be a failure like last month. Either way, it’s nice to have it partially out of the way and two of those posts are reviews, one of which can be used on the book portion of the site when I launch it.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Movie Review
Click HERE

Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
Click HERE

Alright, knowing my LJ friends neither of these things will interest you, but I said I’d post them when they were complete and so I am. Now onto finishing “Hex Hall” so I can start writing my own book again tomorrow. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Peace – Sarah

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Doing everything except what I should be doing… typical

Boy was it a trying week. Seriously my job is pushing me to new extremes. I’m bound to lose it at any moment at this point. Heath came up with this awesome quote this week that I feel like represents almost everyday I faced at work this week.

“What did you put in your tea this morning? Some sugar and a splash of stupid?”

I was so heated by the time today ended I couldn’t even sit still without sighing heavily at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. Thank God the week is over. Hopefully the Lord will grant me more patience next week, when I’m guaranteed to be faced with the same, if not more, annoyance. I tell myself, “At least I have a job, right?” *Remember this Sarah*

Anyway, work isn’t worth losing sleep over so let me fill you in on all of the other things my week involved. I watched three insanely good movies and since it’s been a while since I’ve given much attention to my first love (movies) I feel the need to tell you about them.

“The Lovely Bones” was beautiful, sad, imaginary, and suspenseful. I wish I had read the book first – I had initially intended too – but I will definitely still read it regardless because my theory is: the books are always better. I love Saoirse Ronan, who plays the main character in “The Lovely Bones”. She also plays the main character in another book series-made into movie that I loved, “The City of Ember” and this girl is Irish. I have a special place in my heart for the Irish 😉

The next movie was also a book first, “Shutter Island” staring Leonardo DiCaprio, whom I swear I hate, but I honestly can’t tell you a movie I didn’t like of his. I don’t know what I have against him because he is a truly talented actor. Anyway, this movie was super intense and kept you guessing until the last minute. Even at the end you aren’t completely positive what to believe. It was very well done and another one I wish I had read first.

But the best of all three movies was “From Paris with Love” starring John Travolta. Easily his best film in years, in my opinion. And there was this “Pulp Fiction” reference which I’m such a sucker for considering I love Quinton Tarantino. Everyone keeps calling this the new “Pulp Fiction” but I don’t get it. While the movie was uber action packed and completely bad ass I wouldn’t call it close to the likes of a film like “Pulp Fiction.” Anyway, this one was so great that I actually didn’t want to watch it, I wanted to be doing other things on my “to-do list,” but it was impossible to take my eyes off the screen. This one I will own one day, no doubt about it.

– Moving on –

I tried VERY hard to focus on the goals I set in the last post this week and I met some of them. I worked on FanNook three times this week, prepping content for at least two of the sites. And I wrote like 6,000 words total of re-writes for my book. That wasn’t as much as I’d hoped to achieve, but at least it wasn’t completely lost to me. Of course, tonight instead of working on those first few chapters I’ve revisited another chapter later on in the story where my main character gets drunk and crosses the lines in their relationship. I don’t know why, but it’s one of my favorite chapters and somehow I intend to make it even better than I already think it is. I know I have no business meddling with chapters I’m not supposed to be focusing on right now, but I can’t help myself. At least I’m working on it, right?

In other writing news, I started a short story this week completely out of my nature about a wife’s plot to murder her husband, inspired by a Beyonce song entitled, “Why don’t you love me?” It’s pretty scary that I can envision such things as chopping up your husband and feeding him to the dog, but I am for this track. Anyway, hopefully I’ll wrap that up soon and post for your amusement.

Three of my seven new books arrived this week and it was very hard to not read at least one of them, I was disappointed in one of them though. The description said “New,” but I don’t consider a cracked binding and bent corner “New.” I would have sent it back, but it was one of the Diana Wynne Jones books and it’s pretty much out of print so I will accept it as is. I was really hoping “Betwixt” would have arrived this week *What’s going on Amazon, you’re never this tardy?* I wanted to read that before I read “The Overton Window” which I know will arrive Wednesday guaranteed, but if it doesn’t show up by then it will take second place in my reading queue for the month because I am ridiculously excited for “The Overton Window.”

And so I leave you for the night jamming out to new music, even though I said I wouldn’t buy new music this month. *Blame m-stiefvater, it’s her fault* I hope to have a super successful and fun-filled weekend and I hope you all do too 😉

Much love – Sarah

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Nothing witty for a title today

I’m not sure why I’m even posting. Nothing truly spectacular has happened since my last report, but I feel like reporting something.

I failed miserably at “I won’t read another book until I finish those edits” and started reading “The Law of Nines” by Terry Goodkind again (since I’d only made it a couple of chapters into it the first time). I raced through “As you Wish” far faster than I expected, but it was surprisingly good and a nice quick read. Still I wanted to read more and the fact that I already had a book that needed to be read in my possession made it impossible to say no to myself.

I do not like all of this failure surrounding me though. I must reclaim myself after this book. I can’t be detached from writing for too long. Things aren’t pretty when the breaks drag on. I don’t want to back track.

I learned today that I must take my glasses with me everywhere now because my sight is rapidly taking a turn for the worse. Between staring at a PC screen 24/7 and reading almost constantly these days, adding something like trying to decipher itsy bitsy text on a sketch of a Walmart that I had to draft today threw me over the edge. My head was pounding so hard by the time I got home it felt like my eyelids would collapse without my permission.

I actually updated two of my FanNook sites yesterday for the first time in Lord only knows how long. I really want to get back into the groove of this site because it was so nice when I launched it and I want to add book reviews, but I refuse to do that if I don’t stick with it again because that would just be wasting more time. So we’ll see I suppose.

Wow… I started almost every paragraph with I expect the intro. Ridiculousness.

Peace – Sarah

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