"I feel the weight of the pack's gaze...
Grace and Sam must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping dangerous secrets. For Sam, it means grappling with his werewolf past...and figuring out a way to survive the future.
But just when they manage to find happiness, Grace realizes she's changing in ways she could never have expected..."
Linger is the second book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series from Maggie Stiefvater. I made no secret of my dislike of book one, Shiver. I barely got through it, and then just about everyone who was reading it around the same time was loving it and I was wondering what the hell I had missed. It wasn't bad exactly, but it was all romance and nothing else. Sometimes, I can deal with that, but I didn't like Sam. He was too sappy and soft. I didn't like Grace much more, so between them, I had no interest in seeing if the relationship would work or not. I think, had Maggie not been coming to the UK, not been taking part in a joint talk about writing werewolves with Jennifer Lynn Barnes (author of the awesome Raised by Wolves) this weekend one town over from me, I wouldn't have bothered reading Linger. But she is, and as such I felt I should probably read book 2 before I go. To say I'm surprised in my opinion of Linger would be an understatement. I liked it. A lot. Verged on loving it at times. *shakes head wryly*
Linger continues Sam and Grace's story, but it involves two other characters as well: Isabel, and Cole one of Beck's new wolves from Shiver. So instead of being from two different view points, the story is told from four. I could very happily have read a book solely from Isabel and Cole's POV's. I still don't like Same or Grace very much, they grated on my nerves several times, but when ever it switched to Cole or Isabel, I struggled to put it down. Both characters are, to me at any rate, far more interesting, with a much bigger story to tell.
Isabel is obviously dealing with the death of her brother still. While Cole is, well, more than a little damaged for many reasons. But unlike Sam who is kinda lost in sadness a lot, Cole is a straight up asshole who makes it clear right from the start. Damaged, werewolf, being a total jerk because it's easier? Help. I totally fell for him. And Isabel with her issues and often less than warm personality I also liked. I a lot. I felt I could actually connect with these characters, get involved in their issues. I wanted to fight for them, hug them when they needed it and slap them when they deserved it as well. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that there is a little romance between the two. But what surprised me, was how little there was between them in that sense. Unlike Grace and Sam who have only ever had romance between them, these two have a whole lot more going on with them. Thank goodness. I don't mean to sound harsh saying that, but for me, it's needed. It's the whole reason why I liked this book so much.
And, I confess, I did like some of the story with Grace and Sam as well. It played well in to the rest, fitting with Cole and Isabel. Actually, there is more focus on Grace and Sam still, but I paid less attention to them. I wish there had been more of Isabel and Cole, more of their story, because while I am now interested in what's going to happen with Grace and Sam (something I really didn't think I could care about), I'm still far more interested and invested in Isabel and Cole's story.
I found Shiver pretty predictable, and because I didn't care enough about the characters, I was happy to skip to the end and see if I was right about it (which I was). Linger was similar, not in plot, but in how early you can figure out the outcome. I guessed early on what I thought would happen, but unlike Shiver, I wanted to see it unfold for Cole and Isabel, I didn't want to skip over anything. I wasn't wrong in my predictions, although there were a couple little things I hadn't guessed, but they weren't a surprise either. I'm already predicting the outcome of the final book, Forever (out 2011), but I am looking forward to it now, I want to see how it unfolds. I think my biggest disappointment with this book (which, admittedly I'm not too disappointed with cause hey, never expected to even like the book) is that while I felt Sam and Grace's story kind of got to a suitable 'stopping point' for the end of this book, I didn't feel the same about Cole and Isabel. I felt they got a little forgotten at the end when Grace and Sam's story took over completely again. But, like I said, I didn't expect to like this, so I'm not that disappointed really, just would have been nice to have more of them. Overall, very pleased with this book and while I don't think I can really recommend Shiver (plenty love it, I'm sure my best friend who has it but hasn't yet started will adore it) because of how much I didn't enjoy it, I would certainly recommend this. The internal conflict both Isabel and Cole face, and the way they play off each other, Sam and Grace, is very well done and makes for a very interesting story I found oddly hard to turn away from.