There are no spoilers for Linger if you haven't read it yet,
Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.
Cover: I didn't really like these covers at first, to tell the truth. I first saw SHIVER's and I thought the monotone of the blue wasn't really that appealing. After reading, however, the covers have grown on me. I understand how they fit now into the bigger picture of the novels themselves. Now I wonder how FOREVER is going to fit it's cover?
Plot: I love the plot of these books. Stiefvater has created a world of werewolves that is absolutely unique, but still recognizable for us to understand. She has mastered the idea of a "ticking clock" in her fiction, and knows that there needs to be something at stake. There is a lot at stake in these two novels, which follow the lives of Sam and Grace, who are in love. But, because of the wolves, they can't really be together. The second book is even more complex than the first. At first I questioned what was happening, and then I began to understand. All I could think was, "Very sneaky, Stiefvater; very sneaky." They are fun to read. And technically they both end on cliffhangers, but I personally think the first one was worse than the second.
Characters: Stiefvater has created 100 percent believable characters. They have issues and thoughts and quarks and hopes and fears and they are hands down fantastic. We get additional points of view in the second book that we don't in the first, and I absolutely fell in love. They are all different, with such distinct voices. I would love to be able to explain exactly, but I have no words for Stiefvater's amazingness. And I know that's not a word - but that's all I'm left with.
Writing: Stiefvater has a very simple writing style that I like. That's not to say that it isn't beautiful. She does a fantastic job of making the voices believable, which I think takes some time and effort and talent. Her descriptions aren't over used, but are gorgeous. I would list specifics here, but I lent SHIVER to a friend.
Overall: These are great books. I give SHIVER four stars and LINGER five stars. I would have given Shiver five stars if I hadn't already read Linger. Linger was on a totally different level when it comes to characters and writing that makes me can't wait for the next one!