Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: Linger

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Wolves of Mercy Falls #2
Published January 1st 2010 by Scholastic Press

The longing.
Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.

The loss.
Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of a human.

The linger.
For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces--wolf and human--with love baring its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?
*Buddy-read with Lee of Rally the Readers*

Linger is the second book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy and considering how impressed I was with the first book, I was dying to continue with the series! So I bet you're wondering if the sequel fell victim to the dreaded 'second-book syndrome' or if the goddess that is Maggie Stiefvater managed to avoid that altogether and impress me even more. Well, let's have a look shall we?

I have to apologize in advance here because this next paragraph will be on the vague-side but I want to avoid any major spoilers for the series. Ok. So Linger opens up with Grace and Sam, coming to terms with the big changes that went down for Sam at the end of Shiver.  Beyond that though, there are some not-so-subtle hints that there's something going on with Grace as well. I remember reading reviews where people complained that Grace's problem was too obvious but here's my take on it: I think it was supposed to be obvious. We were meant to guess what was up with Grace's predicament before she did. It seems clear to me that Stiefvater wrote it that way.  The true mystery here is the 'when?' and the 'HOW?!'. To me, that was just as engaging as anything because it opens up a whole other issue with the Wolves - not to mention the clear heartbreak that will no doubt ensue...when things finally hit the fan ...

After reading the synopsis for Linger, I was worried that a love triangle might have been looming here but Stiefvater deftly avoided that predictable outcome. Instead, she introduces two more POVs, one for Isabel, a character we met and that I grew to LOVE in Shiver. Win. Her friendship with Grace was unexpected but it's also like the best thing ever. We also get introduced to a new character: Cole.  Cole isn't what you'd expect going in and as the story progresses, he managed to keep surprising me. Needless to say, I adored the new POVs - I felt as though they very much added to the story and to the whole family within The Pack. The four of them all have page time with one another and seeing how they interacted with each other, for better or for worse was seriously enjoyable.

Beyond that though, each character has their own rich background, issues and heartache to deal with, which only added depth to an already richly layered story, with it's inherent sadness and atmospheric setting. Sam as always, has the soul of a poet and he made me swoon with the random song lyrics that run wild in his mind and pop up at random intervals.  We got to see a more rebellious side to Grace, which could have come off as petulant but instead, I felt that she was warranted in her behavior.  Together, Sam and Grace are the best. The way that they know each other so intimately is beyond romantic. ♥

Moving on to Miss Maggie Stiefvater's glorious writing style. Well, in Linger she literally showed that she can make breading chicken strips sound like a work of art. I kid you not. Her prose reads like air: effortlessly. The pages seem to turn of their own accord. There's a sort of wild, primal tone to this series and with Stiefvater, not only can you see the things she describes with crystal clear precision, you can also feel them, smell them...hear them as if you were right.there. Sigh.

Needless to say that by the time that the ending rolled around, I was pretty much covered in FEELINGS, which made those last pages all the more poignant.  Knowing how Linger was going to end didn't reduce its emotional impact - not by a long shot.  I was left broken, but cautiously optimistic. I'm crossing my fingers that Forever will offer up a happy ending for all of my beloved characters. It seems unlikely, but I don't think that my heart will survive if I don't convince myself that a happy ending is possible.

16 comments:

  1. I like what you say about this author's writing style, moving this series up my to-read list ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome :D I can't wait to see how you make out with the series!!

      Delete
  2. I love the fact that it didn't go there with the love triangle. I remember loving the two other characters and their POVs in this one. I can't remember everything that happened but I do know that it definitely makes you have to know what happens. Fantastic review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I.DO.TOO! I was worried for a bit but I should have trusted Maggie Stiefvater ;) Isabel and Cole were GREAT additions and yeah I definitely NEED to know what will happen next! Thanks Jaclyn ♥

      Delete
  3. I agree with EVERYTHING you so wonderfully said here! ♥ Sam and Grace's relationship makes it very clear that their love for each other is genuine, and not fleeting infatuation. I LOVED every Cole and Isabel scene, featuring some of Stiefvater's sharpest dialogue. What more can be said about how phenomenal her writing is? She takes everyday life and and makes it so REAL. As always, it's so lovely to have someone to gush over her books with! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww thank you Lee^^ Sam and Grace's love is so deep and poignant, it makes me feel like I'm in love with their love LOL! Cole and Isabel were indeed awesome, and I know we've talked about them throughout reading this but I can't get enough XD I have no words left for Stiefvater's GLORIOUS writing style, all I know is that I want MORE. I'm absolutely adoring being able to gush about this with you every.step.of.the.way ♥♥

      Delete
  4. one day ill get to read this series, awesome for the author to avoid the dreaded love triangle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I hope you will Lily^^ And I agree, I was worried there at the start but was relieved to see that it didn't go that way at all :)

      Delete
  5. I have yet to read a Stiefvater book - I know, I need to get with the program! These sound right up my alley, so I don't know what I've been waiting for.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eeeep! YES Nicole, you MUST read something by Stiefvater ASAP! Of course, I'll be curious to compare notes if/when you do ;) Thanks for stopping by^^ xx

      Delete
  6. I really grew to like Isabel, and by the end of this book I might have even preferred her to the two main protagonists, if you can believe that! She definitely became the highlight of this series. :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When Isabel was introduced in Shiver, I figured she'd just be your typical trouble-maker, so when that turned around as early as the first book, I was a fan. But now, she's easily a favorite - I love her sass and sharp tongue XD

      Delete
  7. Ooh, I'm so excited, I've got to start this series soon! And thank goodness for no love triangle. I think it will be so interesting to see Stiefvater's writing in this one, since it's a little different from everything else I've read by her. Nice review :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was worried that there would be a love-triangle but honestly, I figure that if anyone COULD make me dig a love-triangle, it'd be Maggie Stiefvater XD I'm SUPER curious to see how you'll make out with the series Alise!! Thank you ♥

      Delete
  8. I'm so happy you loved Linger, Micheline! This series is so well done, and I loved this installment, too. I agree with you about Grace and her predicament... us readers were supposed to figure it all out before Grace did :)
    I hope you're having a fantastic week.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more Lexxie^^ this series is astonishingly well done! Linger turned out to be my favorite of the lot I think :) Yeah, I saw a lot of people critical of how it was 'so obvious what was going on with Grace...' well, it was supposed to be! That's what made it so intense! The readers know what's up but WHEN will Grace, Sam and the rest of the gang figure it out?! Thanks Lexxie! ♥

      Delete

I LOVE comments & do my best to return every one a.s.a.p. ♥
This blog is an award-free zone. I appreciate the thought but I can't invest the time needed.