Posts tagged ‘maggiestiefvater’

July 12th, 2010

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Linger

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Published: July 20th, 2010 by Scholastic

Number of Pages: 383

Rating: 4/5

Review Sent to Scholastic*:

Linger, one thirds gripping, poetic, and lovable, will surpass Shiver fans’ expectations and hopes. Character development and voice are at their best, and the magnificent number of facets in the characters’ personalities shine beautifully under the light of a fantastic story. Maggie Stiefvater’s prose is poetically beautiful, weaving words into images that will mesmerize readers. Even more riveting than the first in the series, Linger left me pining for more. Fans and nonfans of Shiver alike are bound to be surprised.

Review:

I enjoyed Linger far more than Shiver. The voice of every character was amazing. I’m so thrilled that these books alternate between POVs because I couldn’t get enough of anyone! The moment Isabel’s segment was over, I was dying for more, but the moment the Grace’s was over, I was left yearning for more time with her. I feel that I got an immaculately clear view of these characters’ personalities.

In this sequel to Shiver, we’re propelled back into the wolf-related drama of Mercy Falls, Minnesota. After all the trouble Sam and Grace went through for him to hold onto his human skin, everything seems to be turned upside down. (It’s a sequel, remember?) While Sam struggles to rely on his cure, Grace finds herself struggling toward the same thing. Not to mention the fact that Grace’s parents have a new outlook on her relationship with Sam, and it’s far more foggy than the last.

Amidst this trouble, Cole emerges, adding a splash of trouble all his own. And Isabel, Queen of Composure, starts to lose her bearings.

Linger surprised me in so many ways. I couldn’t believe how much I grew to like and respect Isabel. She becomes more and more incredible throughout the novel, and I was glad to see that the spotlight shined on her story as often as it did on Sam and Grace’s.

Enter, Cole. Cole is one of the new werewolves that we “met” near the end of Shiver, and he plays a key role in this novel. His dark and dreary past doesn’t immediately recommend him as a great guy, but it’s clear simply by his voice that he’s a very misleading character in so many ways. It was enjoyable to be caught by surprise along with the other characters as he gradually revealed new bits of his personality. It was literally as though Maggie was pulling off a cloth and saying, “Ta-da!” I never knew precisely what to expect from him, which is intriguing, particularly when you’re reading from his POV. I loved feeling apprehensive when he was met with certain situations.

Grace and Sam are… well, Grace and Sam. Their characters develop less than Isabel’s and Cole’s. Actually, I haven’t counted, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a larger portion of the book was devoted to Isabel’s and Cole’s perspectives. This is very much their story – the beginning of it. Grace and Sam’s story is already in motion.

I’m going to step into spoiler territory: In this book, Grace’s parents find Sam with her at night and freak (understandably). There’s a huge fuss throughout the entire book due to this, and I have to say that I have mixed feelings concerning the way Grace handled the situation. Yes, Grace and Sam seem more like a married couple to me than nearly every YA couple I’ve read about, but the thing is: They’re not married. They’re really not. And that’s her parents’ argument. I also understand Grace’s side of things. However, when it came to the actual, verbal arguments with her parents, I thought Grace sounded immature and disrespectful. There were certainly better ways to deal with the situation.

Grace also had problems with her parents stepping into “parent mode” after being “roommates” for years. I really didn’t understand that argument. Sure, I think they should have paid more attention, but, honestly, they’re her parents. They have a right to step into parent mode when something calls for it. And they have the right to be listened to.

However, when the chaos began near the end of the book, I felt that her parents might have let loose a little. I mean, I wouldn’t let her sleep with him either, but couldn’t he watch TV with them in the house? It was the total Sam-Prevention-System that they had going that pushed Grace over-the-edge. In the end, I don’t know what I would’ve done (as the parent. If I were Grace, I wouldn’t have been sleeping with Sam at all anyway). It’s one doozy of a dilemma.

Exiting Spoiler Territory.

The end of Linger is a jaw-dropper. I can’t believe that I have to wait so long for more. Actually, I half-regret reading the ARC and prolonging the wait! I’m sure that everyone who reads this book will be left breathless, simply because the end screams of the unknown. So few of the problems are resolved. The last novel in the trilogy, Forever, is going to be phenomenal. I can sense it.

I recommend that people whose feelings for Shiver were mixed read Linger. I think it was better than the first book. The writing is top-notch, the characters are amazing, and the end will leave you tearing your brain apart with anticipation.

*Thanks for the ARC!!

May 14th, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Shiver

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Published: August 1st, 2009

Number of Pages: 400

Rating: 3/5

Quote:

I’d found heaven and grabbed it as tightly as I could, but it was unraveling, an insubstantial thread sliding between my fingers, too fine to hold.”

Review:

I know, I know. This is one of those books that I should have read months ago. I feel like it’s been out forever, though it was only last August that Shiver, the first book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, first swept the nation.

I ultimately enjoyed the book and feel incredibly impatient for the sequel, but I realized along the way that, to me, this book was Twilight reworked. Albeit, Twilight done better (perhaps I’m just sick of Twilight), but still the stories seemed remarkably similar, not to mention the main characters. Grace was independent because her parents were a bit neglectful in the father/mother ways, and learned to cook well because she makes dinner so often, etc. All the same, I liked the characters in Shiver more. Grace, so far, has proven to be quite less annoying than Bella, and I absolutely loved her mother. (Did anyone notice that Paul and Sam were also names of werewolves in the Twilight series? Just an observation.)

Grace, as I said, is a strikingly independent character. She has a small group of close friends, but her most loyal friend is the wolf in her back yard. The one with the gold eyes.

As a young girl, Grace found herself being nuzzled by a seemingly enormous pack of wolves. Bloody and bitten, she was in too much of a daze to struggle against the ravenous and rough hounds. The one with the gold eyes, though… he wasn’t threatening. He sniffed at her – and the rest is sort of a blur. One thing’s for certain however: The bond between Grace and her wolf is so strong that it’s virtually unbreakable.

And then Grace, under unlikely and frightening circumstances, finds herself face-to-face with her wolf, now a boy, with the same familiar and unmistakable eyes. Unfortunately, Sam has to struggle wholeheartedly to remain human, and the warmth of fall is fading to be replaced by a cold winter, which, for Sam, may never end – leaving him a wolf forever.

I was happy to find that Sam is an admirable character, for the most part. I loved his timidity and wolf-i-ness, and his love for words and books even more. The fact that Grace didn’t seem to relinquish her individuality for her love was also heartening. I think that far too often, the women (and occasionally the men) are portrayed as slaves to their love.

The plot moved forward splendidly, unfolding at a steady pace that kept me turning page upon page upon page. I read this book very quickly and enjoyed [almost] every moment. The ending was also quite original, and the end of the end done in an expert way that was extremely fun and artistic. I finished satiated yet starved for the next book (Linger, which comes out later this year).

Spoiler Alert. I was disappointed that Sam and Grace had sex. I read the scene that lead to that event (the book is clean, ultimately. They don’t show much.) in my class and felt like throwing up simply because I was mad, disappointed, and shocked simultaneously, which, by the way, is quite nauseating. She’s seventeen for goodness’ sake, and, yes, I am aware that teenagers have sex (although, for the record, not all of them do), but my greatest worry was that Grace didn’t seem to think about it at all, before or after. She never pondered over the decision – and let’s face it, it was a big one. I know that lots of people wouldn’t be fazed a bit by this plot development, but I could have done without it, and I would have a greater respect for the characters. End of Spoiler.

I liked Maggie’s tone and voice, which seeped through everything. Some of the minute details that she included made the book so much more than it could have been. I love running into something that’s simply special. There was a particular scene in a candy shop that was delectable (forgive me the pun – although, I’ll admit, it was kind of intended).

The alternating points of view were done very well. I was hardly ever confused as to whose POV I was reading from, and even at those rare times, my confusion was short-lived. Both characters had distinct and relatable voices that I could immediately connect with. Particularly Sam. I loved his chapters.

Overall, I can easily see why this book has become immensely popular, and I liked. There were scenes and comments that I could have done without, but the book an enjoyable page-turner that I would instantly recommend to a majority of YA readers. It’s Twilight done better, in my opinion, and (don’t shoot me), Twilight wasn’t all that bad.

It’s time for a confession. I feel that this review has led me to this moment purposefully.

Yes, I was a stinkin’ lovin’ Twilighter. I was incredibly obsessive and read sentences at a time between assignments in class. I read all night. They were some of the first books I read while walking down the hall (a habit of mine, now). I read them before the big Twilight boom. I read them before people even talked about Team Edward and Team Jacob. But I read them. And I loved them. I made my mom read them as well, and just about everyone I could convince. I realize that the books weren’t all that great in the long run, but you’ve got to admit: They were pretty darned awesome for a while there.

Now, that I’ve got that off my chest: Happy reading to all!

P.S. I’m sorry all my posts have been book reviews lately. I have no idea what to blog about. Any ideas?