Book Review: Linger

Rating: Fire star-1991908_1920star-1991908_1920star-1991908_1920star-1991908_1920

Linger is the second book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, and just as great. One thing I love about the trilogy is while each book is part of a series, it also tells it’s own story and is not just setting up all the action for the last book. I love how the characters become even more developed in this one (with the addition of a new one!). Also, in Shiver, the narration was just Sam and Grace, but this book opens up the narration to Isabel and Cole (the new character) as well.

*Slight spoilers since this is a part of a trilogy*

“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.”

In Linger, the plot is more complex. No longer is it just about keeping Sam human. Grace rebels against her parents for the first time ever. Beck created a new generation of werewolves, and Cole is one of them. Sam and Cole have to take on the responsibility of humans watching over the werewolves, since the leaders have no more human shifts. Isabel and Cole start to form a new, interesting relationship. And lastly, Grace is sick with a mysterious illness, and all that is known is her illness is somehow related to the wolves, and may kill all of the wolves. The perspective of the trilogy has shifted from just Sam and Grace to the entire werewolf community, including those who are human and non wolf.

“Once upon a time, there was a girl named Grace Brisbane. There was nothing particularly special about her, except that she was good with numbers, and very good at lying, and she made her home in between the pages of books. She loved all the wolves behind her house, but she loved one of them most of all.
And this one loved her back. He loved her back so hard that even the things that weren’t special about her became special: the way she tapped her pencil on her teeth, the off-key songs she sang in the shower, how when she kissed him he knew it meant forever.”

My love for Grace and Sam grew in this book. Their love became even more real, but not as euphoric and careless as in the first book. They had struggled with real, difficult demons, and it isn’t over yet. Grace and Sam are also both becoming stronger. Grace learns that she doesn’t always have to do what her parents want if it is wrong. She grows into herself, in a way, and starts to accept the consequences of her actions in a larger sense. She starts to see the bigger picture. For Sam, it’s hard to accept that his favorite people are now wolves forever. Taking on the responsibility of the house is a big step for him, because it is accepting that they are truly gone. 

“I 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.”

And the introduction of Isabel and Cole as main characters was also such a smart move. Sam and Grace are sweet, star-crossed, and always on the same page. Isabel and Cole, on the other hand, balanced them out well. They were fiery, temperamental, at odds with each other, and yet always drawn to each other. Also, Isabel and Cole were more complicated than Sam and Grace. Like I mentioned in my previous post, Isabel is snarky and seemingly doesn’t care about anybody. But she has a big heart, and intense loyalty to those she cares about, and is brutally honest with Sam and Grace when they need it. And boy, do they need to be nudged sometimes. Cole is a tortured rock star, at first too cocky and arrogant to care about others. But especially when Grace treats him real, you can see that he is endearing, and there’s more to him than we thought. He’s a genius, and a really crucial part of the story.

Also, agh, I hated Grace’s parents so much in this book. They were borderline neglectful, and suddenly are trying to act like real parents and set limits for Grace. You can’t just let Grace do whatever she wants for the majority of her life because you don’t have the patience or will to care for her, but then turn on the parenting act when one bad thing is done. To make things worse, both parents thought they knew Grace and understood her. They acted like they knew what was best for her, and I just wanted to shake them and scream “No you don’t! You’d actually have to spend time with your daughter to know what is best for her!” My perspective on Grace’s dad slowly slid downward until it was unredeemable at the end. As for her mom, she stayed constantly low with some spikes of intense anger and contempt toward her.

“This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf, and a girl who became one.

I won’t let this be my goodbye. I’ve folded one thousand paper crane memories of me and Grace, and I’ve made my wish.

I will find a cure. And then I will find Grace.”

The one thing I would say about this book is that it is different from Shiver. Even though Grace and Sam knew that what they had would eventually end, the tone was still one of a puppy loveLinger is a lot more hopeless and desperate. *spoiler* Sam had just been healed, and now Grace was sick? They just seemed destined to fail.*end spoiler* Also, what Sam and Grace had on their plates was larger than both of them, and they knew it. This book was incredibly real in the fact that the main characters recognized that they were still teenagers, and didn’t know what to do to try to save themselves. Also, the pace was slower, which allowed for the in-depth characterization Maggie Stiefvater does with Grace, Sam, Isabel, and Cole.

My one complaint is that some characters in Shiver became unimportant in Linger, seemingly for no reason. Olivia and Rachel, for example, are just not mentioned. I understand that new characters were introduced and the plot was focused on them, but it felt like a sudden drop of these characters and I was still missing them. But overall this book is a great second installment. The writing style develops, the characters are all so lovable and I want to protect them all, and the plot thickens (gosh that was so cheesy of me but the words just came to me and I’m going to keep it).

Have you read this book? What did you think? Who is your favorite character?

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