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Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 2) Hardcover – July 13, 2010
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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)
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
I liked Shiver because it was a love story about two people overcoming incredible odds and accepting each other for exactly who and what they were. Both Sam and Grave were alone in their own ways and finding each other in human form filled some missing part that had been there for the six years since Grace had been attacked by wolves.
I like Linger for different reasons. There is still the hopelessly sweet love between Sam and Grace that is simple and complex and always filled with that great sense of against all odds and forever. I enjoyed seeing them through the eyes of the two new characters POVs as well.
-- “He'd only been gone two seconds, but the room got brighter when they were together, as if they were two elements that became brilliant in proximity. At Sam's clumsy efforts to carry the vacuum, Grace smiled a new smile that I thought only he ever got, and he shot her a withering look full of the sort of subtext you could only get from a lot of conversations whispered after dark.
But I also really like Cole. Sam is the sweet do anything for you boy and Cole is the exact opposite all angst and anger, selfishness and self-loathing. I totally believed the reasons he gave for wanting to become a wolf.
-- “Once upon a time… there was a boy named Cole St. Clair, and he could do anything. And the weight of that possibility was so unbearable that he crushed himself before it had a chance to.”
As the story of his past unfolded I understood parts of why he was so dark and the mistakes that led him to that moment when he decided that being a wolf would be everything the drugs didn’t bring to him anymore. The way Cole meets Isabel is one of my favorite scenes and I like the stark contrast of the relationship they share as compared to the one that Grace and Sam have.
“Aren't you afraid?'
'Of losing yourself.'
'That's what I'm hoping for.”
The metamorphosis of Cole in this story is huge. He comes a long way and I completely enjoyed his view of the other characters in the story. He has an interesting perspective and his perception of how each interacts really amazed me. Cole is beyond broken and even though his past is full of douchbaggery I really was pulling for him to start over and be a better version of himself.
Isabel is the ‘tell it like it is’ girl. She says the hard thing unfiltered undiluted and sometimes it is needed to shock the characters into an action of some sort. She has no pity for those in her group and yet I find that I like the friend that she has become to Sam and Grace. Her interactions with Cole are not what he expects and I love how that totally throws him of his game.
I would have loved to see more Rachel in this book. She gets some of the finniest lines and I love how she refers to all the other characters. She has a catchy name for each and it really added some comic relief to some of the tension. Rachel always refers to Sam as The Boy and her names for Isabel are creative and fitting.
-- “Or even tell me it's because you could not live without The Boy's stunning Boyfruits for another night..."
Sam's face was twisted into a weird shape at the mention of his Boyfruits.”
Sam and Grace are still the main draw for me and it will be interesting to see what happens in forever after the ending to this one. I hated Graces parents a little for being gone for her life for so long and now finally taking an interest and trivializing her relationship to Sam. Normally I’d say yeah your seventeen what do you know about love. But I ship them so I don’t care how young they seem, Grace saw him when he was another species and loved him then for six years so I’m going to cut them some slack and call it an epic destiny.
Sam is a great beta boy and Cole is an interesting addition as the bad boy. Now that they will be living together it will be interesting to see how they affect one another.
Side Note: I listened to this on Audiobook and loved it. I have loved all MS’s books on Audio so far, The Scorpio Races the most though. There was a different narrator for each POV and that made the story all the better for me. I highly recommend this series on Audio as well there is just something about MS’s writing style that lends itself beautifully to being read out loud.