Amelia, the pragmatic idealist's Reviews > Linger

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
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Jul 24, 10

bookshelves: 2010, ya-kids-teen, scholastic, own, paranormal
Read from July 14 to 17, 2010

While reading Linger, I kept thinking, "Wow, I really like this. This is awesome. But I still like Shiver better..." And I kept that sentiment up until the last few chapters. Then it ended. And now, I have to say that I like both books EQUALLY. I agree, Linger's ending isn't entirely out of the blue, and I actually had my suspicions that the story *would* end "that way," but my reading experience was still enjoyable and engrossing.

I do think it's fair to say that the tones of Linger and Shiver are a tad different. Linger (in my opinion) didn't seem quite as urgent and while I still felt a sense of foreboding, it wasn't quite as strong as with the preceding book. For me, Linger was like a cool-down lap around the track: the story moved at a steadier pace, and that enabled the reader (me) to examine characters a little better and focus on other parts of the story that took a back seat to the main upfront obstacle of Shiver. I hope that makes sense. I will not say that Shiver was 'exciting' and Linger was 'boring,' because that's not true. But Linger was...well, "lingering."

I was actually very impressed with the characterization of this story. Yes, there are 4 perspectives here as compared to only 2 in the previous book. Isabel is now a main character, and a new character named Cole is introduced. I was a little wary going in to Linger about this setup, and in all honesty, I was prepared to skim the I&C segments, just because I had already told myself that Grace and Sam "were the important ones." Well, I quickly changed my tune. I loved how Maggie incorporated all 4 narratives into the overall story, and I think it was a really smart move story-wise. Isabel and Cole are more complex than Sam and Grace, even though all 4 characters have dysfunctional elements (do you guys notice that pretty much all of the main characters come from varying degrees of crappy families?). What made characterization of this story so enjoyable to me was a the delicate balance of similar and contrasting behaviors - Isabel and Cole are not such polar opposites from Grace and Sam that they have nothing in common. Rather, they compliment each other well: where one is weak, the other is strong, where one is impulsive, the other is cool and controlled. The only little "thing" I had with the 4 narratives was that sometimes perspectives would change multiple times throughout a single chapter, and it made the transitions really abrupt. Like from what I can remember in Shiver, Grace and Sam for the most part alternated by chapter. Here, there were some occasions were each of the 4 perspectives would be featured in a single chapter, and so the transitioning was just kind of abrupt. But to the author's credit, I always knew who was speaking, and I don't just mean because at the top it said "COLE" or "ISABEL." The voices were so distinct that I quickly got an idea of who was now narrating.

Also what I liked about the characters (and I'm emphasizing Isabel and Cole more) is that while they were all complicated and flawed, they never really used their flaws as crutches. Well, Cole does a little bit, but (without dropping spoilers) he eventually makes himself useful and actually starts to give a wang about other people. So that was interesting to watch him grow. And Isabel is just about the coolest character since Thalia: I LOVED her so much because while she is snarky and a little on the bossy side, she's a very hands-on, take charge kind of girl, and she was exactly what Sam and Grace needed. I love Sam and Grace, but even they needed a little nudging here and there. Isabel's strengths are balanced by her anxieties, and that made her seem real but also inspiring. I like characters you can not only relate to but also look up to, and there's a lot to be learned from Isabel (in particular).

And now it's July 2010 and I've got a whole freaking year until this series comes to a close! Agghh! So in a nutshell: Linger was just as enjoyable and exciting as Shiver, and fans of the first book will NOT be disappointed. Figure skater Maggie has earned another gold medal with this one :)
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Reading Progress

07/15/2010 page 15
4.0% "megillah! 4 perspectives!" 6 comments
07/16/2010 page 136
38.0% 2 comments
07/16/2010 page 250
69.0% "almost done... then will have to wait a WHOLE YEAR for the last book! eek! :S" 1 comment
07/17/2010 page 273
75.0% "think I might read GONE (Michael Grant) next. It'll distract me from having to wait till FOREVER. :)" 4 comments
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Jillian -always aspiring- Ah, I empathize, Amelia. I hope you can improvise somehow. (Also looking forward to your review. :) )

Afton Nelson Looking forward to getting this one from the library--I'm #20 out of 45! Any day now. ;)

message 3: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess five stars!?!? Must be good :)

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist hey Jessica! This one was more of a 4 star up until the last few chapters. Then it just really blew me away. I didn't think so at first, but after the way it ended, it's probably just as good as SHIVER! :D
(still not sure, though. I think I still like SHIVER better just for nostalgia's sake)

Amber Hey Amelia! I'm glad you liked Linger! I don't know. This book was a little harder to get through for me. Anywho, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I know I'll be waiting for FOREVER to come out. (:

Jillian -always aspiring- The characterization and the prose, for me, are definitely what make these books gems -- and I adored Cole and Isabel in Linger. All of the characters really seemed to be suffering in their own ways, and I felt that was very realistic given all their individual circumstances.

I have to say that I personally enjoyed Linger a tad bit more than Shiver, though.

Erin "Here, there were some occasions were each of the 4 perspectives would be featured in a single chapter, and so the transitioning was just kind of abrupt. But to the author's credit, I always knew who was speaking, and I don't just mean because at the top it said "COLE" or "ISABEL." The voices were so distinct that I quickly got an idea of who was now narrating."

I completely agree with this! That's how I felt too. I definitely heard each character and didn't get them confused like I have in other books.

message 8: by Sophia (new)

Sophia This was a wondeful review for a wonderful book. You said exactly what I was thinking! Your very talented.

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist Thank you! Very much appreciated.

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