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Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 2) Paperback – May 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Author Maggie Stiefvater

Q: Shiver and Linger center on werewolves, yet your previous books were fantasy novels focused on the world of faeries. What draws you to the fantasy genre in the first place and what inspired you to switch from faeries to werewolves?

Stiefvater: Oh, I’ve always been addicted to contemporary fantasy--fantasy set in the real world. I’m thinking Diana Wynne Jones was possibly the one who first made me fall in love. But I remember all of these great middle grade books that were magic in the real world . . . The Girl With the Silver Eyes, The Castle in the Attic, The Indian in the Cupboard. All of the Narnia books. Mmmm. Now I’m wanting to re-read! I still have most of my favorites.

I guess I just love that feeling of otherness. Of moreness. That you could turn the corner and bam, something strange would be there. I was never drawn so much to a complete fantasy world. The appeal was slipping something fantastic very cleverly into our world. So werewolves . . . I happened on them by accident, when I was looking for something bittersweet to write about, something about losing your identity. I don’t think you’ll see werewolves from me again after this series. My next books are about other magical things altogether.

Q: What do you enjoy most about writing for young adults (and for those of us adults who can’t resist a good YA read)?

Stiefvater: I love writing for such a passionate audience. They’re not afraid to feel completely, to believe in true love, to want to be incredible people who may possibly also be astronauts or rock stars. Young adults want something more and that, in a nutshell, is what I like to write about.

Q: In Shiver, the narration alternates between Sam and Grace. In Linger, you add two more voices—Isabel and Cole St. Clair. What were the challenges (and joys!) of doing so?

Stiefvater: Oh, it was insane. The hard bit was keeping everyone’s voices straight and consistent of course. They had to sound distinct while still sounding like they belonged in the same book. Each had a distinct vocabulary. Sam, for instance, says “amongst.” The others can’t say amongst. Isabel has her own particular brand of swear words. Cole has his own way of describing the world. Grace sees action in a particular way. The challenge was picking which character narrated each scene; who saw what I needed the reader to see? They were all so different. Of course, that was the joy as well. Hard to get bored that way . . .

Q: At the end of Shiver, Olivia changes—a lot. What do you think she is doing right now?

Stiefvater: Something spoilery that I’m not going to tell you about.

Q: We read your blog and know you love music. If you had to pick one song each to represent Sam, Grace, Isabel, Cole, and Beck– which would you choose?

Stiefvater: First of all, thanks for reading my blog! And yes, I’m crazy about music. Okay. Songs for each character?

Sam: “A Message” by Coldplay. The sound is great, more acoustic than Coldplay’s usual stuff, and the lyrics are very appropriate for Sam.

Grace: “Winter Song” by Ingrid Michaelson & Sara Bareilles. It’s a song about wanting things, but it’s also a peaceful song, which I think speaks to Grace -- she’s very solid in who she is.

Isabel: “You’ll Find A Way” by Santogold. Isabel’s a very . . . noisy character. The mind at war with itself.

Cole: Oh man, Cole is difficult, because he’s so . . . volatile. He changes a lot over the course of the trilogy, but at the end of Linger, I’ll go with “Gutter” by Paper Route.

Beck: Oh Beck, you complicated thing you. Can I have two for him? Can you stop me? He’s many things to many people--most of all to Sam, and a big part of the series is Sam coming to grips with all those sides of him. I’m going to go with Bjork’s “Vökuró” and Gravenhurst’s “Black Holes in the Sand”.

Q: Who would you rather spend a Saturday afternoon with—a faerie or a werewolf?

Stiefvater: A werewolf. Just so long as it was warm and they weren’t a Pearl Jam fan.

(Photo by Kate Hummel)

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up–The wolves of Mercy Falls return in this sequel to Shiver (Scholastic, 2009), and familiar characters mingle with more recent recruits into the Minnesota werewolf pack. Sam, now cured of his werewolf affliction, is adjusting to year-round life as a human. His girlfriend, Grace, suffers from headaches and other symptoms that may be related to a childhood wolf bite. When her parents discover Sam sleeping in her bed, they ground her and threaten to keep the two apart permanently. Tremendous angst and declarations that parents just don't understand ensue. Meanwhile Isabel, whose brother did not survive the meningitis cure that saved Sam, feels a strong connection with Cole St. Clair, one of the newest members of the pack. In his old life, Cole was the lead singer of a rock band. This volatile bad boy is a welcome foil to Sam, who is sulky this time around. The addition of Isabel and Cole as narrators dilutes the intensity of Grace and Sam's relationship, and the spark between Isabel and Cole remains underdeveloped. The tantalizing possibility of Cole's true identity being exposed also deserves more exploration. The cliff-hanger ending suggests that the author will cover this territory in a future installment. Still, Stiefvater's slow-perk style of crafting suspense builds to a satisfying boil in the final pages. This novel works better as a sequel than as a stand-alone read, but it's still highly recommended for fans of Shiver and the blockbuster supernatural romance genre.Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls / Shiver Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545123291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545123297
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (444 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hello. After a tumultuous past as a history major, calligraphy instructor, wedding musician, technical editor, and equestrian artist, I'm now a full-time writer living in the middle of nowhere, Virginia, with my charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, four neurotic dogs who fart recreationally, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

I'm also an award-winning colored pencil artist, play several musical instruments (most infamously, the bagpipes), and recently acquired a race car.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#88 in Books > Teens
#88 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on July 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In the last weeks of winter, Sam has stayed human, much to Grace's joy, but the cold still haunts him. Grace is just happy to be with him, even though she knows that their problems are far from resolved. As spring approaches, the new wolves are changing back, even though one of them, Cole, would like nothing more than to lose himself in his wolf form, and Isabel's father is more than willing to help eradicate the wolves in the forest completely. And through it all, Grace is keeping a secret, something that could change everything.

Linger is a beautiful, elegant, and searing sequel. It contains all of the drama and romance of Shiver, but also possesses a new urgency as secrets are kept and tensions rise. Linger opens up Sam and Grace's world to include Cole and Isabel as narrators, and divulges even more about the wolves and how they live. Stiefvater reveals some wonderful character growth for each of the four narrators as well; Sam is still trying to get used to the fact that he is fully human and has a future ahead of him. Grace is feeling the stress of keeping secrets from her parents and Sam and her anger at her parents' constant absences. Sharp-tongued Isabel suffers from guilt at her part in her brother's death, and even though she'd like to stay away from the wolves, she can't help but be drawn to Cole, a sardonic boy who chose to be a wolf to escape the problems in his human life, but is finding that being a wolf is actually making him confront the things he has tried to bury.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By W. Burke on July 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Linger, (the sequel to Shiver) the story picks up as life resumes for Grace and her love Sam who appears to have been cured of the werewolf curse. Having made it through the last days of winter and now entering spring, Sam and Grace are on the watch for early shifters especially those newly created like Cole St. Clair.

Cole is restless, dark, damaged. He chose this life; wanted the escape. So why was he in human form and why couldn't he shift back into the wolf? Unfathomable to Sam, who risked death to become perpetually human, Cole tries everything he can think of to make his shift into wolf form permanent. The last thing Sam needs to be worrying about is a loose canon like Cole when his entire life is on the precipice of unthinkable change.

Something is wrong with Grace. A strange illness awakens within her, depleting her body and leaving her weakened and afraid. As she slowly deteriorates, Sam who's been ordered to stay away from her after being discovered in her room one night, fears he's about to lose the only girl he has ever loved.

Not quite as riveting as the first novel, Linger has some seeming errors in logic (see spoiler alert below) that I found rather distracting. Those detractors aside, Stiefvater delivers a compelling and sometimes poignant continuation of the storyline and I look forward to the next sequel in the series.

Spoiler Alert: The following paragraph contains information that may giveaway certain details of the stories mystery or suspense...

A few problems: In Shiver Grace is 17 and in chapter 3 reflects on her wolf attack experience 6 years ago, which would have made her 11 at the time of the attack. In Linger, Grace is still 17 but she is supposed to have been originally bitten over a decade ago.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Book Obsession.. on February 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
At the end of Shiver, Sam and Grace got their wish for Sam's cure to work. Now however, they have new problems. Turns up his cure wouldn't instantly solve everything. Sam is having a hard time truly believing in his cure and the ability to have a future, so he is basically stuck in limbo. Grace on the other hand is ecstatic, but has problems she must come to terms with herself. Her parents decided to step in after being "absent" for as long as she can remember. She's also hiding a terrible secret, one that could rip apart everything she and Sam have worked for. Meanwhile, Isabel is still broken inside from her brother's death and finds herself drawn to Cole, who may just be more broken than she is.

The relationship between Grace and Sam didn't have the same dynamic or impact as is did before. Perhaps that is because of all the issues they were facing, which is understandable, but I found myself missing it all the same. I did enjoy the budding relationship, if you could call it that, between Cole and Isabel. I'm glad they didn't just fall instantly with each other, as that would not have worked well with the amount of "damage" they are both carrying. Perhaps in the future they will be able to overcome their own turmoils together, but I have a feeling that is going to be a very bumpy road.

Grace's parents absolutely infuriated me in this book, in fact I feel their behavior really detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book. Now, as I am a mother myself, I can say that the "incident" that spurns their behavior would greatly upset me, but I also do not and will never have the same type of relationship with my children as they have with Grace. Their parenting skills can be called nothing short of neglect, and were very lucky that Grace turned out as responsible as she did.
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