By: Maggie Stiefvater
The sequel to Shiver follows the story of Grace and the wolves of Mercy Falls.
Maggie says: "It's about after. What happens after you discover there are werewolves in the wood, after you've fallen in love for the first time, after you've lost what you think you can't live without, after you've become someone you can't live with."
This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one.
Just a few months ago, it was Sam who was the mythical creature. His was the disease we couldn't cure. His was the good-bye that meant the most. He had the body that was a mystery, too strange and wonderful and terrifying to comprehend.
But now it is spring. With the heat, the remaining wolves will soon be falling out of their wolf pelts and back into their human bodies. Sam stays Sam, and Cole stays Cole, and it's only me who's not firmly in my own skin. (from maggiestiefvater.com)
I got this book as an Adavanced Read Copy- so fair notice- this book doesn't officially come out until July and although I'll try to avoid spoilers, if you don't want to know what happens until you can actually pick the book up in your hands, then I'd stop reading right now.
I loved Stiefvater's first book, Shiver, and was definitly waiting not so patiently to read Linger, so of course when I had the chance to read a fellow Book of the Month'er's ARC, I jumped at the chance. I read it about a week ago, spead through the book in one night (so I could forward it on) and then sat on this review since then. There was so much to digest that I couldn't justify just jumping on and posting a review without really taking the time to think about the book. Of course, as expected, Linger was fantastic.
As in Shiver, the chapters alternate between characters, this time following Grace, Sam, Isabel and one of the new wolves, Cole. Sam is still reveling in his new life, spending each day, even the frigidly cold ones, with Grace. Cole, who wanted to become a wolf as an escape, finds that he is unable to stay one, despite the cold. Isabel is looking for some sort of human contact, and finds it in an unlikely place, and soon finds herself inexplicably linked to Cole. And Grace, finds herself being torn apart at the seams, falling ill from a sickness that no one can diagnose, but which they all know is somehow linked to that day she was bitten by the wolves, and the mysterious way the wolves of Mercy Falls meet their own fate. On top of that, add in the fact that Grace's parents have finally decided to, you know, be parents and you have an increadible moving book about trying to hold it all together when the world seems to be falling apart.
Some things I loved were that despite the kind of heavy material that filled this book (you will want a tissue box handy) there were some great light moments, especially in the form of Grace's best friend Rachel. Rachel, to me, is hysterical- I love how she refers to Sam as The Boy and that she is always there for Grace, regardless of how crazy the issue. I also kind of loved to hate Cole in the beginning, and then in the end, just loved to love him. He was great character, who even though he isn't the main focus, managed to make quite a leap from being the tortured, druggie rock star who just wants to get away, to the guy who is willing to put in a huge effort to try an save Grace.
As far as Grace and Sam are concerned, Linger really sees them coming into their own. Sam, although somewhat reluctantly, steps into his role as Beck's replacement as the wolves begin to emerged from the woods as humans again. For her part, Grace takes a stand against her parents, who, now that they see Sam as a more permanent fixture in Grace's life, decide to actually attempt something like parenting. In Grace's opinion (and I agree), it's too little, too late- you can't only decide to be a parent when it suits you, imposing new rules and then leaving, so I was ecstatic to see Grace stand up for herself and her relationship with Sam.
In the end, great second book in this series- I think that it will serves as a great bridge between Shiver, where everything was all new, and the third book, Forever, where we will hopefully see Sam and Grace find a way to their happily ever after. Of course the biggest issue with reading Linger as an ARC is that I now have to wait longer for the next book, Forever, but that is totally okay!
For anyone following the BOTM stuff, Linger is on for July, and in the mean time, go check out Stiefvater's website which is chock full of awesomness :)