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 human.
For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is 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?
I am so, so happy with this book. Linger is an absolutely fantastic emotional journey from start to finish, and I couldn’t put it down. Reading about Sam and Grace again was catching up with friends from out of town who you only see once a year.
Sam is finally human, seemingly forever this time. Grace is ecstatic, but getting sick for the first time in a long time – very sick. Isabel, still coping after her brother’s death, is looking out for the wolves that roam into her backyard and gets tangled up in the life and history of one new wolf. Cole is trying desperately to leave his human life behind, a life that could bring intense media attention to Mercy Falls if Cole is recognized, but can’t seem to stay a wolf. Sam and Grace thought they were safe to be together, but everything is changing.
I see book one, Shiver, as Grace’s book. Linger felt very much like Sam’s book. Sam is learning how to be human year-round and dealing with all the responsibility that comes with that. He’s suddenly in charge of the wolves, including Cole – a newly turned wolf that can’t seem to stay a wolf. And there there’s all the normal things Sam has to cope with. Grace’s parents are wary about their relationship, and Grace herself is sick with something that no doctor can identify. For a character that can be so damaged, Sam is incredibly strong. He rises to the challenges presented to him, and will do anything for Grace. Grace is such an independent person, very strong. Suddenly dealing with her absentee parents who now seem to care, on top of her sickness throws her for a loop, but she struggles through. Cole is definitely damaged. At the beginning, I was so unsure about what I thought of him. By the end of the book, I wanted to know so much about Cole’s past, where he and Isabel are heading and what he means for the wolves. It was great getting to see more of Isabel as well. She’s tied to the wolves, and to Cole. She has so much guilt, but is quite a bit stronger than she guesses.
The depth that Maggie’s characters achieve is amazing, and they are all so distinct in their voices and mannerisms. But it’s her writing that really makes the story wonderful. There is so much emotion conveyed through the words that you get swept away into the plot, and you care about what happens to these characters you’re reading about. The flow of the words and the lyrical quality they assume is at times raw, passionate, hopeful and hopeless, devestating and yet so full of love and wonder. There is so much heartache for Grace and Sam, but you just know that they can get through it. It may not be all happiness and light in the end, but maybe bittersweet is the way to go. Linger has all the makings of a tragic love story but there is still that feeling of hope woven through it all. The ending fairly blew me away. I tend to read the last pages of books first, but I didn’t this time, and I am so glad. I was heartbroken for Sam and Grace, but so proud of Sam and the way he handles everything going on. There is so much determination amidst the heartache of the last chapter – it left me wanting the sequel Forever immediately. I’m so worried for Sam and Grace.
Linger is a beautifully written, wonderfully realized and character driven story. The world of Mercy Falls is constantly evolving and becoming more complicated than just trying to get Sam to stay human. You just know it’s all leading up to one big finale, where anything can happen and no one seems safe. One of the best books for having you emotionally invested in the story I’ve read in a long time, Linger (and Shiver!) is a must read.