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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review: LINGER

I really wanted to love this book as much as I'd loved SHIVER.  I mean, when I read SHIVER, I went around telling everyone that I'd found the next TWILIGHT.  I mean, I freakin' loved that book.  So I guess it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that the sequel didn't meet my expectations... seeing as how high they were and all.

My main complaint about it was how slow and anti-climatic it feels.  SHIVER was full of mystery and danger and hard choices.  LINGER just sort of, well... lingered. We see more of Sam & Grace's puppy-love and get introduced to some new characters (who are actually more interesting), but it all just seemed very "middle" novel for me.  Like it's the set-up for the third book that could have been done in much less pages, but then you wouldn't have a book.

I had also read a scathing review of SHIVER suggesting that Sam and Grace basically had the same voice. So when I read this book, I was tuned into it.  And there's some merit to that critique.  The new characters who get a voice in this book (Isabel and Cole) are very distinct, but Sam and Grace just aren't.

I must say though, that even though the book was written from four points of view -- a staggering undertaking to say the least -- the chapters were seamless.  They flowed one right into the other, thoughts of one picking up where the last left off.  Stiefvater shows her talent for writing in the ease of transitions between narrators.

Still, I kept waiting the whole book for something to happen, and that didn't come until the very end.  When I pulled the picture off of Amazon, I also glanced at the review there, and it pretty much sums things up:

The wolves of Mercy Falls return in this sequel to Shiver (Scholastic, 2009), and familiar characters mingle with more recent recruits into the Minnesota werewolf pack. Sam, now cured of his werewolf affliction, is adjusting to year-round life as a human. His girlfriend, Grace, suffers from headaches and other symptoms that may be related to a childhood wolf bite. When her parents discover Sam sleeping in her bed, they ground her and threaten to keep the two apart permanently. Tremendous angst and declarations that parents just don't understand ensue. Meanwhile Isabel, whose brother did not survive the meningitis cure that saved Sam, feels a strong connection with Cole St. Clair, one of the newest members of the pack. In his old life, Cole was the lead singer of a rock band. This volatile bad boy is a welcome foil to Sam, who is sulky this time around. The addition of Isabel and Cole as narrators dilutes the intensity of Grace and Sam's relationship, and the spark between Isabel and Cole remains underdeveloped. The tantalizing possibility of Cole's true identity being exposed also deserves more exploration. The cliff-hanger ending suggests that the author will cover this territory in a future installment. Still, Stiefvater's slow-perk style of crafting suspense builds to a satisfying boil in the final pages. This novel works better as a sequel than as a stand-alone read, but it's still highly recommended for fans of Shiver and the blockbuster supernatural romance genre.Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA
All-in-all, I unfortunately can only give LINGER two out of four Greek coins -- a mediocre ICBW rating.  Here's hoping that FOREVER delivers on all those promises LINGER made at the very end!


Ezmirelda said...

I read this book too and it was a big let down compared to Shiver--which I'd liked very much. ICBW was a very suitable rating.

Jessie said...

phew - glad to know I'm not the only one who was disappointed. :( I hate writing reviews like this, but I'm starting to think that I just don't like middle books in a trilogy. Another (similar) review to come.

salarsenッ said...

I have yet to purchase Shiver. I need to do that. I do, however, have two copies of Linger. *Sigh* I will read both, though. Thanks for your honesty, Jessie.

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