Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

"This is the story of a boy who used to be a wolf and a girl who was becoming one." The first sentence of the prologue pretty much sums up the second book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I enjoyed the first book, Shiver, but am less enthusiastic about Linger.

I know that part of my antipathy is because of the audiobook narrators [Scholastic; 10 hours, 40 minutes]. Usually I like it when alternating character voices are interpreted by different performers, but not this time. Three of the four - Dan Bittner, Pierce Cravens and Jenna Lamia - spoke so slowly that it drove me nuts! They sounded like dimwits. Only Emma Galvin, as Isabelle, sounded like a normal person.

Isabelle is attracted to a new werewolf, Cole, whose personality is as prickly as hers. That worked very well. The lovey-dovey relationship between Grace and Sam proceeds as it was laid out in Shiver, but Grace's parents have made an odd about-face. In the first book, they were negligently oblivious. In Linger, they do everything possible to keep Grace and Sam apart.

The change in Grace's parents seemed so out of character that I pondered this after finishing the book. In the end, I concede that they may have been shocked by what they saw as a breach of trust by their daughter and that's why they over-reacted. They continued to be bad parents. At the core of the story is the theme of breaking free from expectations and fulfilling your own destiny. Bad parents provide a better foil for this action.

A nice aspect of the audiobook is the inclusion of original music composed and performed by the author. You can hear it while watching the lovely trailer Stiefvater created using paper cutouts and stop motion filming.

Linger ends in a cliffhanger, but even without that, I am curious enough about the final outcome to plan to read the final book in the series, Forever.

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