Linger is the second book in Maggie Stiefvater's The Wolves of Mercy series. If you haven't read the first book, Shiver (my review), and you hate spoilers, jump down to the last paragraph. This review contains no spoilers for Linger.
Even as spring makes a start in the northern Minnesota woods, Sam still cannot get used to being in his human skin. How many years will it take before he stops cringing at every icy breeze? Grace is truly happy for the first time in her life. That is, until the day she and Isabel find the dead wolf in the woods behind her house. Now Grace is beginning to fear she may not have a lifetime of love with Sam.
Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater, begins several months after Shiver ends. Sam has made it through his first winter as a human in almost ten years. He loves Grace, but he also misses his wolf family, and he has trouble imagining his future. Moreover, as the snow melts, the burden of his responsibility for the pack weighs on him.
Grace has only twelve weeks until she's eighteen. She has spent an idyllic winter dreaming of her life with Sam, of going to college, and of setting up her own household. By the time spring hits, however, Grace is beginning to sense that all is not right: It seems she is never without a headache. She isn't sure what's wrong with her, but she keeps her fears to herself.
Unlike Shiver, two additional characters narrate the chapters of this novel. Isabel and Cole keep us focused on the secrets of Boundary Wood and the larger story. They offer a welcome contrast to Grace and Sam, who are mostly concerned with their own problems.
The love story between Grace and Sam verges onto the obsessive, which is always a bit uncomfortable. The love between any two people should not be the sole source of happiness for that couple. As with Shiver, the adults in this novel are generally absent or unreasonable or resort to violence. Of course, teens will disagree with their parents and no parent is right all the time. On the other hand, there should be some kind of middle ground.
The ultimate outcome of Linger is not much of a surprise, but the book sets the stage for future entries in the Mercy Wolves series. Linger takes the premise set up in the first novel and expands it in a way that allows Stiefvater to keep the overall plot both complex and exciting. Not all story lines from Shiver have been resolved, new characters are explored, and the ending leaves you wanting to know more.
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Published by Scholastic Press, July 20, 2010
Source: Review copy (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)
I am so excited that Scholastic has offered me the chance to host an absolutely terrific giveaway.
One lucky commenter will win autographed copies of both Shiver and Linger! That's two autographed books! All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment telling me the names of one of your favorite literary couples. Also, be sure to leave your email address. If I can't get in touch with you, you can't win. Good luck.
This contest is open until July 12. I'll pick a winner on July 13. I'm checking to see if the giveaway is open internationally. In the meantime, go ahead an leave a comment. I'll let you know. EDIT: I've heard back from the publisher and this contest is open to U.S. and Canadian mailing addresses only.
EDIT: Blogger is having problems with comments: please be assured that I am receiving your comments even if they don't show up on the blog. You ARE entered if you comment, your comment appears in my email inbox.
For more on the books, be sure to check out Maggie Stiefvater's website. Linger goes on sale on July 20.