Author: Maggie Stiefvater
UK Publisher: Scholastic
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.
Review: Linger continues on from Shiver, where Sam was cured of being a wolf. Now he is the only member of the pack who hasn't changed with the cold temperatures, and he has to come to terms with his new role and the loss of no longer being a wolf. Grace meanwhile has to face the returning threat that will soon change her life forever.
Whilst it is not a hugely action packed plot, there is a lot of suspense around what is happening to Grace and the new pack members. The story is however more character-orientated, focusing on the thoughts and feelings of the characters as well as the developing relationships. The narrative is split between the four main characters: Grace, Sam, Isabel and newest member of the wolf pack, bad-boy Cole. Despite being told from four distinct characters' perspectives, the story flows really well with the poetic quality of the writing buoying you steadily along.
Sam is such an adorable character - caring and thoughtful, he must deal with the changes of not being a wolf. I really love the way he thinks of everyone else, and has overcome his past. This is in contrast to Cole, who took his life to the excess with alcohol and drugs and not letting anyone in emotionally, but you do see some rare moments of change in him. Isabel develops more in Linger, and we see a more caring side of her. Grace has to stand up to her parents - in Forever hopefully we will see more of her as she faces up to the changes that have taken over her body. All of these characters have had different relationships with their parents, generally in a negative way, but are all dealt with in a very real and sensitive way.
Maggie Stiefvater's writing style is beautiful, flowing and very poetic. Sam's narrative is infused with little songs and rhyme and the plot encompasses lots of little 'moments' that happen in real life and make the story feel so real and alive. They are really only tiny little details, but I found myself thinking, oh yes I do that, and it made the story so much more intimate and real.
I did get a little frustrated knowing from the start that Grace would change, but having to wait to see what exactly would happen and when. The 'science' behind this however is interesting, and I really enjoy the refreshing way the whole series takes a very different approach to the were-wolf scenario. In fact you certainly wouldn't call Linger a were-wolf story, and this is down to the focus on the characters and the fact that the shapeshifting is more transformational and emotional, more natural rather than dramatic like most wold stories.