Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

I'm not one who writes book reviews often because I personally think other people deliver it better than I do. Still, I want to write a review for this book because I love it so much. I even finished this book in 3 days, guys. THREE DAYS. When was the last time I finished a book that fast? Years ago. It's a nice accomplished feeling to finally feel that spark again. Long story short, let's do this.

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Series – The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2
Genre – young adult fiction, romance fantasy
Preceeded by Shiver, followed by Forever
Published by Scholastic | July 2010 | 360 pages
Goodreads | Amazon

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.

Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of a human. 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?

Since this is a direct sequel to Shiver, I highly recommend reading the first book to give yourself a thorough introduction on the setting, protagonists Sam Roth and Grace Brisbane as well as other major and minor characters. This review may contain some spoilers and pieces from the first book.

I read Shiver when I was still in high school and that was, what, 7 years ago? Time has passed and I've decided to pick the sequel up to relive and experience the story again. In my opinion, Shiver was an enjoyable read filled with heartwarming romance, potentially lovable characters and well-written prose. When I was first introduced to Grace Brisbane, I did not fall in love with her in a blink of an eye but I did not hate her either. I was curious about her, her story and her development and I wanted to see her grow. Grace herself did not start off as a mary sue, special snowflake kind of heroine we often see in most young adult series; in fact, her childhood was spent neglected by her parents which then shaped her for what she is now – an independent and determined teenager.

In Shiver, Grace was bitten and attacked by wolves at the age of 11. Thanks to that incident, she met Sam, a yellow eyed wolf with whom she shared a deep connection and fell in love with. The first book was written from both Grace's and Sam's perspectives and in my opinion, served as a decent introduction to a bigger picture, the whole series. Fast forward to Linger, the story has developed a tone that is more than just a romantic relationship between a lonely girl and a wolf boy. We also get two more narrators, Isabel Culpepper, Grace's sarcastic and fierce friend who first appeared in the first book and Cole St. Clair, a new wolf in training. The decision to add two more characters as the book's narrators was a good choice because a). Isabel is a personal favorite of mine and b). it isn't all about Grace and Sam's love life. We also get to see Cole's personalities, why he behaved in such a way or what his previous life looked like prior to the change. More than just a story about two teenagers trying to stay together, Linger also tackles each of its character on a deeper level such as when Sam faced a dilemma between regretting his decision to stay human or missing himself as a wolf. Another problem arises when Grace's life was put to the test as she got infected by an unknown illness, throwing up blood and tasting copper in her mouth.

The book itself has an average pacing. It's not too fast but it's not too slow either. I've heard some people say it's too slow but trust me, I've read a book that goes way slower than this one. The writing itself feels dreamy and sweet, poetic but sad and foreboding. It's sweet without being too overly cheesy, it's romantic and dreamy without making you gag and it's definitely not one about a girl and a boy so hungry to be all over each other, no. If I were to describe the relationship between Grace and Sam, it's all about finding comfort and each other amidst the cold, the worry and the loneliness. This book has given me the feeling like I'm surrounded by snow and tall trees in the woods, lonely but secure while I listen to solemnity.

The Ending

I'm 50/50 with this. The ending, I have to say, is a cliffhanger and while it's quite annoying, it's also a smart way to make you read the third book just as fast. That's the thing about Maggie Stiefvater's writing: it leaves me wanting to know more. As I'm typing this review, I'm still thinking about Grace's fate after how Linger ended and I can assure you that I'm going to pick the last book ASAP.

Overall, this is a perfect book if you like a young adult read that is well-written, sweet and a little bit sad but the breathtaking kind that leaves you yearning for warmth during the cold winter. However, if you are someone who's all about the "cotton candies fluffy rainbows" kind of happy and hate bittersweet endings or plot then this might not suit your colorful heart.

The wolves in the woods are strangers now that I know the secret of the pack. Beautiful, alluring — but strangers nonetheless. An unknown human past hides behind each pair of eyes; Sam is the only one I ever truly knew, and I have him beside me now. I want this, my hand in Sam’s hand and his cheek resting against my neck.

But my body betrays me. Now I am the unknown, the unknowable.

This is a love story. I never knew there were so many kinds of love or that love could make people do so many different things.

I never knew there were so many different ways to say good-bye.