Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Book Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater.



Product details:
Publisher: Scholastic UK.
Paperback, 416 pages.
Release date: July 20th 2010.
Ages: Young Adult.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls.


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...


I was all prepared to fall in love with Linger, the second book in Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series, and while I ultimately found it to be a worthwhile read, I encountered more than a few stumbling blocks along the way…

Just like Shiver, I found Linger to be quite slow moving. This worked for me in Shiver as I loved getting to know the characters of Sam and Grace, and seeing their relationship develop, but I felt as though the storyline dragged a little here. Linger unfolds through the voices of four different narrators, so along with Sam and Grace, we now hear the voices of snarky Isabel Culpeper, who also featured in Shiver, and hot newcomer, rock star turned werewolf, Cole St. Clair. These two are pretty strong characters, and while I liked the four-person viewpoint, and felt it was very well handled, I thought that Sam and Grace were pushed into the background a little due mainly to the introduction of Cole. I found Cole to be an extremely compelling character - he’s an edgy bad boy with a dark past, and for me, I’m afraid, Sam seemed a little mundane by comparison. Sam is very sweet, but I always like those bad boys!

Sam and Grace didn‘t work for me in this novel like they did in Shiver. I found that most of the time, those two did not act or speak like a teenage couple in love. They are saccharine sweet to the point where I almost fell into a sugar coma. While their relationship was quite passionate in Shiver, they now talk of poetry, coffee pots and marriage. Yes, I understand why focusing on the future is very important to them with the struggles they are facing, but ultimately their behaviour in this book was not endearing to me. The pair’s behaviour then doesn’t explain why Grace’s parents, notably laidback and bohemian in the first book, now decide to become ultra protective of her, while at the same time taking an intense dislike to Sam. This was one of several plot holes in the book that I wasn‘t happy with- another being that Cole is presented to us as a famous rock star, and yet goes largely unrecognised by the teenage trio of Sam, Grace and Isabel.

If it sounds like I’m nitpicking, I’m not. I had high expectations for this book, and I’ve seen a lot of five-starred reviews for it, which led me to believe that I would fall in love with it too. I’m very fond of the first book in this series, and while I also enjoyed reading this one, due largely to Steifvater’s special way with words, at times the storyline just did not work for me. I found it very predictable in parts, and I personally feel that it was just missing that something special. That said, the ending of the book does present some surprises, and sets things up nicely for the final book in this trilogy Forever, released 2011, which I am looking forward to. I think this will be a good one, where Stiefvater weaves everything together beautifully. One things for sure, it’s not going to be an easy ride for Sam and Grace from this point on!

12 comments :

  1. Brilliant review! I still have to read Shiver and I've heard mixed things about it but hopefully I'll enjoy it :)

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  2. Totally agree with your thoughts on Linger. It certainly was no where near as good as Shiver. Hopefully the next book will have me enthralled again. Great review.

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  3. What a fantastically honest review. I have to admit that I too have a weakness for bad boys and from what it sounds like, I can already say that I'll probably end up liking Cole. You know, after reading your review, I've decided that I'm actually going to wait a while until the hype dies down. My colleague and I were actually discussing this whole notion of high expectations surrounding books. We call it the book du jour syndrome. And often we find that what happens is that everyone raves about the book and insists that you read it with the same expectation that you'll also love the book as much as they have, not realising that sometimes because of these very high expectations surrounding the book, that the book may just actually not live up to it's predecessor or the actual hype - regardless of whether others have loved the book to death. This is why I, to this day, refuse to read Shantaram.

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  4. Great review. I have been nervous to read this one b/c of the mixed reviews. I thought Shiver was good, but I didn't think it was AMAZING like some other bloggers....so I am not sure how I will feel about this one either. I love that you said "sugar coma"- I totally know what you mean...it drives me nuts. Thanks for being honest!

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  5. Amazing review! It's so nice to read a bit of criticism for once... I'm still not sure if I'd like the series, though! Not a huge fan of the werewolf stuff, but I'd be willing to give the first book a try.

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  6. Great review! I've heard some people loved the book and some didn't as much. I'm super excited for it though.

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  7. I really like your honest review. I'm looking forward to reading it. I'm in the US, but purchased the UK edition. I think the covers are absolutely lovely.

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  8. I think I've heard some of reviewers saying the same thing of it's a little bit drag and slow.But i love to give it a try since i love werewolf too.Great teaser!

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  9. I wasn't 100% convinced with it either for many of the same reasons. I didn't feel like it had the same magic that Shiver had. x

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  10. @Tammy - I know exactly what you mean about the hype. It's happened to me a few times too. Now I'm trying not to read too many reviews of books I really want to read so I don't get too excited about how great they are only to be let down.

    It's interesting to see that not everybody enjoyed this book - I had seen so many 5-star reviews of it around.

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  11. your reviews are always so good. love talk that does not ring true drives me bonkers. i have not read shiver so i might start with that.

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  12. I have 2 read shiver asap!

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