Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Book: Linger
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: July 13, 2010
Source: Borrowed on Kindle

Summary: (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 Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

First impressions: If there’s one thing Maggie Stiefvater can do, it’s write a good intro. I liked the tone of the prologue, setting us up for a not-so-happy ending. When the actual story begins, we pick up soon after the first book left off, and I thought things got going right away.

Lasting impressions: Even though I could see where the story was going, I really didn’t want it to happen. This book suffered from “middle book syndrome,” where there’s enough of a story arc to get us through, but no real conclusion. Instead, we’re left to decide whether we care enough to find out the end of the saga in the third book.

Negative impressions: Though I liked the introduction of the new character, Cole, I found the four narrators to be a bit much. I often found myself uncertain who was “speaking” and would read several paragraphs before realizing I was in Cole’s head and not Sam’s. Everything in these books reads exactly the same way, in exactly the same voice, which does not lend itself to two narrators, let alone four.

Overall impressions: In some ways, I actually liked this book better than Shiver. Grace was less annoying, but perhaps only because with four narrators I spent less time in her head. Sam became much less interesting in this book, but Cole was exciting and fresh, and his dark attitude brought something different.

The story changes a bit in this one, with the wolves less able to control their shifting, which leads to Sam, Grace, Cole and Isabel trying to figure out what’s going on. When the book ends, they still haven’t found a solution, and instead the ante is upped even farther, setting up the need to solve the problem in the last book, out this summer. I have to admit that curiosity is convincing me to give Forever a try, though the fact that I find these books only mildly interesting may change my mind. Stiefvater is great at thinking up interesting plots, there’s just something missing in the execution.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Want a different perspective? Check out this five star review by Annette’s Book Spot or this four star review by Book Couture.

Writing Wednesday (4) – Q1 goals

Writing Wednesday 2

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Welcome to Writing Wednesday, my weekly feature where I discuss my works in progress, project ideas, editing struggles, or anything else related to the world of writing. Feel free to grab my button and post your own thoughts on writing! Leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll stop by.

After seeing nothing but reading challenges, I finally stumbled across a writing challenge! Hosted by ShadowKissed, it was designed for folks who can’t fit NaNoWriMo in their busy schedules. Instead the goal is to write 10,000 words per month, every month in 2011, for a final manuscript of 120,000 words. Here’s their official blurb:

Ever heard of NaNoWriMo? Did you sign up, get really enthusiastic about it, then fall flat on your face half way through realising there was no way you could cough up 50,000 words in a month? I know I have.

I still really love the idea behind that though, but know it is really hard for me to juggle with my real life commitments. So Mandy and I came up with the awesome year to spread it out over a yearâ?¦ and make it 120,000 words, rather than 50,000. The goal is to clock in at 10,000 words written per month.

Now, we are starting a little late on this, so if you want to join up, youâ??ve got until the 20th of Jan 2011 to let us know youâ??re going to join us on our quest to complete a 120,000 manuscript in 12 months. It can be any genre, any writing style â?? just let your imagination run wild. Itâ??s more about getting a finished story, because that is the hardest part of writing.

To officially sign up, just email me (Katie) â?? before the 20th of Jan to let us know youâ??re participating. Weâ??re starting up a thread on the forum where you will be able to find support and suggestions and other cool stuff.

I look forward to you joining us on our 2011 writing adventure, and good luck!

I need challenges like this to keep me motivated. If I don’t have a deadline looming, I will never complete anything. So I think it’s time I set some concrete goals for this year.

The official NaNoEdMo starts in March, so I think I will do a warm-up and set a goal to log 20 hours of editing in February. NaNoEdMo requires 50 hours in March, which seems like more hours than I will have time for, but I will give it the old college try. I need to quit ignoring my manuscript and do something with it.

To recap:

January 2011 – Write 10,000 words.
February 2011 – Write 10,000 words. Edit manuscript for at least 20 hours.
March 2011 – Write 10,000 words. Complete NaNoEdMo.

I’ll evaluate my progress and set some new goals for the second quarter of 2011 later on. Until then, I’d best get writing!