Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grace, Sam, and the Reality of Relationships

As I'm sure most everyone frequenting the book blogs knows, Maggie Stiefvater's new novel, Linger, was recently released (and is doing really well)! This post might not make a whole lot of sense for people who aren't already familiar with the series, because I don't plan on going into a whole lot of detail. But anyway: I ended up getting the book and the audiobook (Partly because Stiefvater mentions on her blog that the actor reading Cole sounds sexy, and I couldn't pass that up, could I? And also: Sam sings.) Anyway, I've read part of it and listened to part of it but still haven't finished (yet!). So this post isn't a review. But there was something that caught my attention, and I've kind of been thinking about it the past several days.

Here it is: Sam and Grace (the two leads from Shiver and Linger) don't share the same interests. They don't listen to (or like) the same music. They read different kinds of books. They have different ways of expressing themselves. They have totally different approaches to viewing the world. But it's okay. It's good, even. I feel like this is the rare book to even point out the main couple's different tastes/interests/etc. I wouldn't say it's a focal point, but it's there. And I think it's important, because when I was younger I had the sense that relationships were kind of all or nothing: it was necessary to like the same things. Sometimes I think these sweeping, get-carried-away romances in books don't always make room for different interests and overwhelming, never-ending love. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I find it refreshing that Stiefvater includes these facts-of-life (i.e. you will not automatically like everything your significant other likes) while still writing about that unusual, extraordinary connection between two people.

Does this make sense? Any thoughts to add? Comment below!


This is me listening to Cole:


  1. Interesting observation. I actually just read Gayle Forman's If I Stay, and one of the things that caught my attention was the way in which the lead character and her soulmate are different but don't need to be the same - they just complement each other. I haven't read Linger yet, but I loved Shiver so I'm really looking forward to it.

    Oh, and I love your illustrations. Very nice touch. :D

  2. Oh my god. Must get hands on audiobook. Now.

    Sam sings?! And Cole's voice is smexy?!!? That is too awesome for words!

    The contrast between Sam and Grace makes their relationship work so well. I don't come across that many couples who are exactly the same, although common interests can help start things off between people, but I love how they're their own people-- individuals, but also completely endearing in their love for one another.

  3. The romance in Shiver was really nicely done. I found Sam and Grace totally believable (which doesn't always happen in YA books), probably because of these details. Thanks for pointing it out! (By the way, I'm a new follower and I just randomly found your blog :D)