Well, I think I’m going to set this series aside for the time being. Linger was a bit harder to swallow than Shiver, so I’m unsure how to approach the third book, Forever.
While I enjoyed the new PoVs, I think there was handful of…questionable content and heavy topics, too. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but I’m glad I’m reading it now than say…12 years ago. With that being said, this book deserves at least two trigger warnings, 1) talk of suicide and 2) is a bit harder to define without spoilers, but as a fully recovered self-harmer, I’m going to tag this with self-harm content, despite the said injuries not being self-inflicted, but rather an area of the body self-harmers may use.
Title: Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: July 30, 2010
Genre: Young adult, paranormal, romance
Length: 360 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “the longing.
Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.
Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being a human.
For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life a constant struggle between two forces–wolf and human–with love baring its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?”
Sam is now human. He and Grace can now have a fairly normal life together. Reading and digesting Sam’s mixed enthusiasm and wonder knowing the cold will not change him was quite delightful. But things can never be easy. Beck, the former “leader” of wolves has not been seen in months, leaving Sam to take his place. But Beck left behind three wolves, one in particular named Cole St. Clair who brings an entirely new dynamic to all of their lives.
Cole was an…interesting character to say the least. I’m not sure I like him. I listened to this via audiobook, and I struggled with the voice actor, only because he seemed too old to voice Cole, which skewed my view of Cole in the first place. Now with the book finished, I don’t know what to make of him, only that he tried to be this really badass character and put up a front, but it felt incredibly fake, like he were putting up a mask to hide his deeper feelings. …Okay, maybe that is the point but still. I definitely wasn’t sure what to make of his relationship with Isabelle either, the sister of the wolf who died in the previous book.
The parent/child(ren) relationship in this book is basically non-existent, and we see that play a bigger role, especially for Grace and her parents, in this book. Normally, I don’t really take notice of this, but this book is one of the few I read where the parents are just…meh. I definitely think Grace’s anger and resentment toward them is justified. I hate how they treat Sam, and how they don’t seem to trust their own daughter. But honestly, they have no one else to blame but themselves.
I enjoy Maggie’s writing style. While The Raven Cycle continues to be my favorite of her works, The Wolves of Mercy Falls also has this lyrical, thoughtful prose. However, I want to highlight the following sentence, which made be raise an eyebrow and want to stop listening to the audiobook altogether:
“She was so interesting-looking and pretty that she actually traveled through ugly to someplace on the other side that was almost as good as pretty…”
These words coming from Sam! This isn’t in regards to a main character, but it was still weird to read. And it’s one of the reasons why I’m not sure I’ll continue this series. Nothing much is keeping me attached to them. Sam and Grace refer to themselves as less of an obsession, and their relationship as progressed into each one thinking about marriage (Grace is 17, Sam 18). I don’t really care much about that, as I personally know some “high school sweethearts” who are very happily married).
Cole and Isabelle seem to have volatile, progressing relationship, and the whole scene where she tells him off and shifts to a blowing conversation about suicide is just…wild. I thought that could have been handled better, but I’m not sure what to expect from two teens coping with traumatic events in their life.
Anyway, the ending wasn’t a surprise, but it’s definitely a twist. I’m interested to see how it will all come together, but I wouldn’t mind just Googling it to find out. *shrugs*