Friday, April 2, 2010

Book review: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Linger Cover Large
When I heal I’m a shape shifter: I’ve soared with angels, died with soldiers, walked in the energy of a thousand souls, and I’ve run with wolves.
***
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 Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget.


Comes out in stores everywhere July 20th. Pre-order here.

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I think sequels are tough; the number two spot in a series is always under pressure, especially when the first book has spent an arctic day on the best seller list. I never doubted that Stiefvater would deliver another best seller, but I wasn’t expecting to stay up all night like a teenager txting ‘hi girlfriends’ to her entire contact list.

I woke up cuddling my pillow and lying suspiciously in the I-want-my-blanky position. Linger is on the floor with my heart, some I wanna-bes but never quite made its, and the t-shirt I used to wipe my tears.

Stiefvater’s strength is in her characterisation. You cannot help but emphasise with, be annoyed by, or fall in love with all her characters. I’m not sure if I want to be Sam or have the chance to groom him with my tongue.

The prose is hauntingly familiar. These are the things I felt growing up: the dreams, the fears, and the mistakes I have made as a teen and a parent. There were lines that hurt me and others that reminded me to dream. I believed Stiefvater had written this just for me. How did she know what to say?

The attention to detail and scene building is astounding, and all my senses were stimulated. If this was a movie, nail clippings would have won best supporting scene stealer. I usually always know the ending of a book, but not this time. I’m sorry loyal fans, but you’ll get no spoilers from me. I’d advise reading Shiver before you tackle Linger. Drop the kids off at your sisters, lock yourself in the bedroom, snack food, hydrate, and have a lover on standby.

Disclaimer thingy: A large corporation hasn’t sponsored me, there’s not a new Land Cruiser in my driveway, and a resident of the middle of nowhere in Virginia didn’t send me preservative free cookies. I did win an ARC of Linger, in an all you have to do is comment competition, and every time I hear the phrase, ‘follow your dreams,’ I cry.

“Come on Linger it’s bedtime.”

“I don’t want to go back on the book shelf.”

“Oh?”

“I don’t want to sleep beside the Carrie Ryan. She bites.”

“Okay. I’ll put the Carrie Ryan with the Christine Feehan’s.”

“Thank you. You smell good tonight.”

“Did I leave you in front of the air conditioner again?”

“...”

“You know those un-proofed imperfections are kind of sexy.”

“...”

“I love you Linger.”

For more Soul Healing, visit simonhay.com.au.