From the author's website:
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.
I recently succumbed to all the rave reviews and read Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver; it blew me away (review here). I was thrilled when I received a copy of the 2nd book in the trilogy, Linger, for review. For some reason, it took me a bit to get into Linger, but once I did I was hooked. I'd say Linger has two storylines going on: Grace and Cole.
Linger picks up a few months after Shiver left off - Grace and Sam are still together and things are pretty much in a routine. Grace goes to school, Sam works, and at night the sleep together in Grace's room, unbeknownst to her parents, and Isobel is now a part of their small circle of friends.
Grace has started getting headaches and then fevers and nosebleeds; which would be a regular part of life except that she's never been sick before. She feels strange, and is pretty sure she knows what the problem is - she has the same strange scent as the dead wolf she found in the woods. Sam is starting to accept the fact that he has a future, and won't acknowledge that Grace is sick. Together they spend a large part of the book ignoring it. Grace and Sam finally admit to each other that there is a problem, and the solution is iffy at best.
As far as Cole's story - I didn't like Cole at first. He was self-absorbed and irritating. As the story progressed and he spent time with Isobel, I began to like him a bit more. It's weird how two egocentric characters could bring out sympathy in each other. I'll be curious to see how (if?) both of their characters grow in the next book.
Linger felt a bit more fragmented then Shiver, but I think this may have been the author's intention. One of the things I liked about Shiver was that Ms. Stiefvater titled the chapters as temperatures, conveying the sense of urgeny in the story. In Linger, that's not an issue anymore; it's almost like instead of urgency you feel almost a sense of resignation? defeat? inevitability? at both Grace's illness and Cole's attempts to escape his demons.
So, all in all, I enjoyed Linger very much. I love the way Sam thinks in lyrics and poetry; it's one of my favorite facets of the book. Although the events at the end of the book were not a surprise to me, the way the book ended was a surprise - and now I am anxiously awaiting the third book, Forever (out in July 2011).
I enjoyed Linger and give it 4 out of 5 fleur-de-lis:
This book was provided to me free of charge by Scholastic in exchange for an honest review.
Join Linger author Maggie Stievfater and Kristi of The Story Siren for a Twitter party Thursday, July 22, between 8:00 and 9:30 p.m. EST!
~Be sure to follow Maggie @mstiefvater and Kristi @thestorysiren before the party!
~Join the fun! No one expects you or your tweets to be perfect; we’re just happy you made it to the party!
~Anyone who tweets during the party using #Linger is entered to win a limited edition Linger tank top!
~Watch for questions from @thestorysiren and win awesome prizes including an iPod Touch, Maggie’s artwork and gift cards!
~To join the party, you can use our official party tweetgrid or just search #Linger on Twitter.
~Ask Maggie questions or chat with other partygoers—just use the tag #Linger in all of your party tweets! (This is added automatically in TweetGrid.)
~Please don’t post any spoilers and don’t forget to pay attention to the time zones, the party starts at 8:30pm EST.