Title/Author: Linger and Forever by Maggie Stiefvater.Midnyte Musings: While I did think that Shiver was a practically perfect book with a perfect ending, and didn't need any follow up. I absolutely loved the sequels.
Narration: Linger - Dan Bittner, Pierce Cravens, Emma Galvin & Jenna Lamia. Forever - Dan Bittner, Pierce Cravens, Emma Galvin, Jenna Lamia & Maggie Stiefvater,
Publisher: Scholastic Audio.
Synopsis: Linger - In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.
Forever - When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their loved moved from curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives. That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt. Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment - a moment of death or life, farewell or forever
Now I totally understand all the Team Sam and Team Cole graphics. Both are totally swoonworthy, interesting and complex. Each damaged in their own unique way and trying to fight their way into a new and hopefully, improved future. Sam and Grace are the "sweet" couple. They have issues with their families, yet are grounded and have dreams and goals as long as they include each other. While they easily could have wandered into Mary Sue territory, Stiefvater's portrayal of them ensures that they don't. I do appreciate the friction between Grace and her parents and it adds to the plot of the story and the character development. The rational part of me thinks that her parents have the right to impart their rules, but the emotional part of me is on Grace's side. In Linger, the two protagonists are dealing with Grace's parents, Grace's new mysterious illness and Sam's newfound responsibility. His father, Beck, has brought new people into the pack and Sam is thrust into a new role.
Isabelle and Cole are the second couple in this story. They are the typical oil and water yet so perfect for each other. I love these characters in Stiefvater's hands. Again, these two could have been so cliched if written by a less talented author, but they are just perfection. Isabelle is basically a wealthy, mean girl traumatized by the death of her brother. She is pulled into the wolf world by this event and therefore into Cole's world. Cole is a damaged, self-centered rock star. Or former rock star. He is too deep for his own good and filled with angst. He is in escape and self destruct mode. Yet his child prodigy intelligence just may be the key to finding a cure for Grace's illness and for the virus that turns them into wolves.
In Forever, the last book in the Mercy Falls series, Sam has to deal with Grace's absence, the suspicions that surround him regarding her disappearance and the foreseeable destruction of the pack. His pack. His life was perfect for a while. He seemed to be cured of his wolf side. He loved his job. He loved making music and most of all, he loved Grace. But when Grace turned into a wolf his world changed. Again. Now, he and Grace have to deal with the new changes in their lives and more changes that threaten their world.
Cole is still struggling with his own existence and unhappiness, although he is more likable than in Linger. He and Sam remind me of two alpha wolves circling each other, but they have to find a common ground to solve their problems. Isabelle struggles with her home life and the feelings she harbors regarding the death of her brother. She and Cole also have to deal with the feelings they have for each other and maybe through their relationship they can figure out what they want and who they are.
Narration: Perfection. All the performer's voices fit the characters so well, it's uncanny. Grace and Sam are young and sweet, earnest and honest. Cole and Isabelle a lot more world weary standing out with their portrayals. Isabelle sharp and cold, and Cole insolent and arrogant. I was upset at first, because I loved the way that Jenna Lamia, portrayed Isabelle in Shiver. But it took no time at all for Emma Galvin to win me over with her portrayal of Isabelle.
Oh! And also Maggie Stiefvater wrote the music on the audio. WHAT? So much talent in one person seems so unfair to me. But she is awesome and wonderful.
After I listened to Shiver, I went right back to the library and took out Linger, Forever and Sinner. Now I understand the hype for this series and I agree with it wholeheartedly. This is a series that I absolutely adored.