Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Reading Level: 14 and up
Last March, I wrote a review for Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver. One of my favorite aspects of the book is it's unique layout. The cover is blue-gray ink on a white background, with blue-gray lettering on the inside. The next in the series, Linger, is similarly made. Instead of a blue-gray color-scheme, Linger has green lettering and a green cover, which is much more appropriate for the warmer weather featured in the story.
Okay, enough about the cover! Here's the synopsis from Goodreads:
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past…and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves… and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.
What I enjoyed about Linger is that it kept all the good parts about Shiver and improved upon what I would consider weaknesses. The plot was interesting with new surprises, including the introduction of two new viewpoints. While readers met Isabelle and Cole (briefly) in Shiver, their viewpoints were not expressed. I found their voices refreshing and clearly distinguished from Sam and Grace. The character development of all four teens was well-balanced throughout the story.
In Shiver, I found the pace to be a little off. For my taste, it was too slow in the middle. However, I did not have this experience with Linger. The addition of the new voices helped keep the story flowing. Also, I did not enjoy Grace's viewpoint as much in the first book. With the second story, I realize the reason I don't like Grace's viewpoint is that I could not connect with her. I still had this same feeling in Linger, but the multiple voices distracted me from this issue.
Overall, I think Linger is a great story for anyone who enjoys YA romance and fantasy. I can't wait to read the third installment, Forever, to be released July 12, 2011.