Why is this post written in green ink, you ask? Read the book.
I probably don’t need to say much about Linger’s plot. This book is the second of a series, the first book being Shiver. This book is about the romance between Sam and Grace. It’s about wolves, too, and there’s a life or death episode at the end that provides some tension and suspense. But, for me, this book was about the characters and the writing.
Sam and Grace are exceptionally written. They each have their own personality, and after getting inside their heads as they deal with some really complex issues, the reader knows them so well they are like good friends that we can fully empathize with. My only complaint about the main characters is they almost seem too grown up. The maturity of their relationship is hard to believe, given that they are teens in their first romance. However, we can perhaps explain this maturity given the fact that these two have been through A LOT to be together, and that they’ve pretty much always had to fend for themselves, which forces one to grow up quickly.
My favorites are the secondary characters. Cole is interesting, and there is still much mystery surrounding him and “where he’s coming from,” but that’s intentional. Sam is trying to figure him out too, so it makes sense that there’s more development of his character to come.
Rachel is our comic relief. Anytime she’s in the picture, I’m laughing. She’s a great, supportive friend and adds much to the story.
Isabel is my favorite. What a snarky, sassy teen she is. Maybe because I’ve raised a couple of them, and I work with them every day, but the scene that she calls the “Culpepper Show” (pp 60-63) had me in stitches. I could HEAR that attitude and those words coming out of the mouths of some of the teens I deal with.
Dad: Where were you?
Mom: Student assembly.
Dad: I didn’t ask you, I asked our daughter.
Mom: Honestly, Thomas, does it matter who answered?
Dad: I feel like I have to hold a gun to her head to get her to speak to me.
Isabel: Is that an option?
I’ve seen the writing described as “poetic” in several places, and I think that’s accurate. The way Stiefvater describes the changes that Grace is experiencing caused me to feel pain. The horrible act that Cole has to perform in the woods brought me to tears, it was so sensitively described. For every description, the reader can bring a vivid picture into their head:
She was so interesting looking that she actually traveled through ugly to someplace on the other side that was almost as good as pretty: huge, beaked nose, sleepy-looking dark brown eyes, and sharp cheekbones. Her black hair was pulled up in a half a dozen interconnected braids coiled on top of her head, like a Mediterranean Princess Leia. (pp 246-247)
Even if you don’t like YA paranormal, fantasy kinds of books, this book is worthy of your attention. I believe it can be enjoyed by a wide variety of readers, and I can’t wait for book number 3! (Forever, July 12, 2011.)
Pages: 360 (counts towards my 350 Page Book Challenge!)