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Stranger Than Fiction

Linger

Linger - Maggie Stiefvater Call me an idiot, call me stupid, call me any bad name you want, if there's one thing you can't call me it's Inconsistent. By now, I've grown accustomed to investing more time in series when I said I'd be stopping at book one. The Mercy Falls Trilogy I set myself to believe, would be the exception. I can't tell you the exact moment I decided to pick up Linger By Maggie Stiefvater but I can tell you WHY I fell back in. See, Maggie Stiefvater has talent as a writer. I enjoyed how Shiver was written, not so much the story itself and one day I was looking through series on Goodreads in search of something fluffy to read and lo and behold I found Shiver. Indulging myself, I lingered on the reviews and reminisced on some of the more problematic details of the story. While Shiver wasn't as bad as some other YA paranormal, it wasn't anything to sing home about. It was boring. I've read reviews on the other two books a few years ago and saw some pretty mixed feelings. So while I was sifting through Mercy Falls reviews, I saw Maggie Stiefvater had another book coming out.... for the Mercy Falls series... after she said she was DONE with the Mercy Falls series. Apparently it's something fans have been begging for, a story about some guy named Cole and Isabel, a secondary character in Shiver. I felt... annoyed, peeved. Why does this happen every time? Why is it so trendy to write trilogies and then revisit it with another trilogy a year or two afterwards? Whether it's the fact authors can't let go of their characters or all for the money Sinner is not why I'm here. Well, actually it kind of is, because if I'm to understand why Sinner is in the works, I'm going to have to read Linger.

So lets get some of the Con's out of the way.

Grace and Sam are still the most boring couple ever. They spend more time in blissful almost marriage then any couple I've ever seen in real life or fiction. this was one of the problems I had in Shiver. Sam's family was being hunted, Jack Culpepper was running amok and Sam and Grace are Eskimo kissing in the loft above the bookstore. This continues into the squeal, even as Grace is falling ill and Mr. Culpepper making plans against the wolves, Sam makes spending time with Grace paramount instead of getting to the root of the problems. Rarely does he ask if Grace is feeling well. It's book two, 8 months into their relationship and the two are still honeymooning without much thought to the outside world.

Really though, aside from much of the books problems being bogged down by that relationship, I felt Linger was a vast improvement to it's predecessor.

In some aspects Sam and Grace did get better, and it was a nice change to see Grace act more like a teenager then a nesting woman. The conflict with her parents was realistic to boot.

I didn't think the drastic change her parents took in Linger would be handled well, that they would be made out to be the villains and while they were vilified to some extent, I feel by having them drive the couple apart, it allowed the two to awaken to a few things. You also can't tell me that her parents were completely ignorant to their entire relationship. Maybe I'm forming too much of my own head canon here, but I'd like to believe her parents were being lenient about having him over so much because she was a good kid and when she woke up screaming that one night, regardless of sickness, it didn't look so good with Sam in bed beside her. Many of the scenes involving Grace and her parents read like a perfectly normal child and parent problem. I'm disappointed that the parents weren't a little more fleshed out in book one.

Then there's the two reasons that brought me to picking up Linger and I'll just lump them together here. Cole and Isabel. They struggle through mutual attraction and the demons that haunt them and the played off each other well. When the wolf science didn't apply to Cole, he sat down and started to think about it.... something I felt that Sam should have been doing instead of playing husband. With Isabel's help they came up with some 'Crap Science' to explain away the original Crap Science and did so in a way that didn't break the characters or the mythos, but added to it like it should have.

The ending was to be expected and I liked it. It makes me look forward to book three Forever Long story short, I wish I read Linger years ago as I feel like it patches the problems in Shiver and I hope that Forever cements them into place. Thank you, Maggie Stiefvater.