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.

9 thoughts on “Review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. LOL Logan, "middle book syndrome"!Good one. Well, I have this book, but I haven't read it exactly because of the reasons you talked about. Granted I didn't know about the four narrators thing, which, really, WTH, but I LOVED Shiver, and really felt that the story should have just been a stand alone. Stiefvater's writing was like magic to me in book one, and if she deviates from that with the middle child, I can't help but feel weary. Though I do think it is interesting that you say you liked Linger better. I will ponder on that.

  2. Hey Logan! I'm about to start book one of this series and I fought reading it for so so long! But I finally caved and got it at the lib last week. Do you think it's a series worth starting? I'm still fighting it a little, as you can see! I've read so many conflicting reviews, I just don't know! And I have so many others in the ol' TBR that I don't know if I should push this up or what! So confused, haha…

  3. who is this sexy new Cole guy i've been hearing so much about? i need to hurry up and get to this book! oh, and i totally know what you mean about something missing in the execution…. i been feeling the same way in regards to various books lately! hopefully the author steps it up a notch in Forever :)Diana

  4. @Missie – I definitely agree that the writing in Shiver is beautiful, particularly in the beginning chapters. She has a very specific cadence that I found quite lovely. And I, too, thought Shiver was great as a stand alone. I don't think you'll be disappointed with this one, though, especially if you liked the first one so much.@Emma – I think I'm pretty squarely in the minority on this one. It had its moments, just overall wasn't OHMYGOD awesome…but it was for many, many people. I would say read Shiver since you have it, but if you don't totally love it, you don't have to finish the series. Shiver ends really well.@Diana – Cole is really awesome, and he was a big part of why I liked this book. I'm still looking forward to reading Forever.

  5. "Middle book syndrome": I know exactly what you mean by that! And four narrators does seem like a bit much. Still, I will probably read this series, eventually, for myself just to see if I like it.

  6. Great review. I really liked the breakdown you gave. I gotta say that not know which character was narrating was part of my problem with Shiver. At times it seemed like Grace and Sam's voice were almost the same–so I'm not surprised to see it happening in Linger.Thanks for the review!My Booking It Through Thursday

  7. Hahaha @ "middle book syndrome" I love it! I love when an author can effectively pull off multiple narrators, but I really dislike it when they all sound the same. Ugh, what's the point? I think it really highlights if an author does a poor job developing distinct and real characters. I am curious about Cole, but Shiver bothered me so much I don't think I'll be reading this one.

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