Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2
Published by Scholastic on July, 2010
Genres: Romance, Werewolves / Shifters
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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, 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 being a human.
For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life 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?
Delving deeping into my re-read of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I am delighted to find that Linger is still a solid continuation to it’s predecessor, Shiver. Instead of suffering from ‘second book syndrome’, Linger introduces new elements to the Sam and Grace saga as well as giving us everything we loved from the first book.
“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 goodbye.”
Now that Sam is ‘human’, he and Grace seem to have their future together spread out before them. It would be easy to get comfortable in this sense of security, so Maggie Stiefvater makes sure things stay interesting. Something’s not right with Grace, and we learn that her body is struggling under the weight of never having shifted, despite being bitten all those years ago. Grace’s little problem starts out small – something she can hide – but soon becomes something that almost takes over every scene she’s in. Maggie Stiefvater does a great job of making you wonder ‘will she’ or ‘won’t she’, slowly heightening the tension throughout the book.
Sam and Grace’s relationship is as sweet and vanilla as they come, and continues to be so in Linger. They have an easy sort of existence when it’s just the two of them, almost melding into one another. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – their relationship is one of the most realistic and effortless ones I’ve read in YA to this day.
â€œDon’t give me that look. I’m not trying to find out who you are. I don’t care who you are. I just want to know why it is you are the way you are.â€
Isabel Culpeper is a more prominent character this time around, too. After the death of her brother Jack in Shiver, she’s firmly cemented within the group and becomes an ‘almost-leader’, taking it upon herself to tell Sam the hard truths that come along with being responsible for the wolf pack now that Beck’s become a wolf permanently. It was great to see Isabel step up. No longer are the chapters dominated by Sam and Grace’s narratives – we have whole chapters from Isabel, as well as new wolf, Cole.
Ah, Cole. Where to start? I remember the first time I read Linger, it was actually via audibook. The voice actors for Isabel and Cole really injected life into the characters for me and I’ll never forget how much I fell in love with them. Cole is the most messed-up mess of a person, making him the perfect wolf. It isn’t until he gets what he wants (mindless oblivion) that he starts to doubt his choice about running away from life. Bad boy, rock star and overall bad influence, he starts to question himself when given a role in the group by Isabel and Sam.
â€œI had this feeling that he and I , in this moment, were a car crash, and instead of putting on the brakes, I was hitting the accelerator.â€
Cole and Isabel’s relationship is such a highlight for me in Linger. They have such a strange one – one they dive into headfirst without really knowing what it is. Act now, think later. It’s not until after they’ve kissed a few times (purely out of need and escape) that they start to really get to know one another. It’s falling in love all backwards! They both want what Sam and Grace have, but both of them don’t know if they deserve it or even where to start.
Grace’s parents prove to be horrendous once again. I actually felt as if I were yelling everything Grace was yelling right back at them during their numerous fights throughout the book. Completely unreasonable and maddening, not even the stoic Grace can keep her cool around them anymore. Every time I felt a fight coming on, I could tell it was going to be BIG.
â€œThis is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf, and a girl who became oneâ€
Linger mirrors its predecessor’s beginning, in the way that it ends with Grace being a wolf and Sam being a human. You could either find it very poetic or extremely irritating. Although I have read Forever, I remember reading Linger for the first time and being completely on the edge of my seat, only to be gifted with the mother of all cliffhangers and a ginormous wait for the finale.
Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is on point all throughout Linger – no surprises there – delivering beautifully descriptive and lyrical prose. I could melt away in her descriptions. This woman makes salt shakers and crumb-covered diner tables seem fascinating.
The re-read continues, onto Forever next…
Recommended to: If you enjoyed Shiver, you will love Linger. The second installment gives us everything we loved about the first book, with an extra topping of characters and an all-new romance.