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Friday, October 15, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 400
Source: Purchased from Barnes and Noble
Series or Standalone?: 1st book in trilogy

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

* * *

Shiver is told from the alternating perspectives of Grace, a girl who is fascinated with the wolves---and one wolf in general---in her backyard, and Sam, who just so happens to be that one wolf. Stiefvater wrote so fluidly and poetically that the distinction between the characters’ voices was definitely there, but it wasn’t so jarringly different that it yanked you out of the story.

I really liked the idea of the werewolves changing shape with the cold weather. It’s not anything I’ve seen so far, and I five Stiefvater major props for uniqueness. Also I think the cover is stunning, don’t you? Gives an air of… ice, and coldness. And danger, with all the thorns.

I thought Sam and Grace’s relationship was adorable---with scenes like “Surprise attack” and then he would suddenly kiss her. Come on now, let’s all say it together, “Awww”---but I found it very underdeveloped when they first began, erm, dating. If that’s even what you can call Grace letting a boy she’s never met (aside from staring at him across the lawn while he’s in wolf form) sleep in her room, in her bed, with her still in the bed. As a reader, we are expected to believe that because Sam and Grace “knew” each other while he was in wolf form for years and made a connection, that they are automatically going to fall in the love the moment they meet in person. But, that aside, they were a great couple as the story progressed. They complimented each other perfectly. Grace was independent and brave, while Sam was sensitive and strong.

But, I did have a few issues with the book. Firstly, Grace’s parents. They were just downright neglectful and apathetic to Grace. I mean, come on, her dad forgot her in the car when she was little and left her there to bake in the heat! They were never home, and even when they were home, they didn’t care, remaining in a state of blissful oblivion. And no explanation was ever given as to why her parents didn’t care. They just didn’t. {I actually think this was Stiefvater’s loophole for allowing Sam to stay in Grace’s room without fear of being caught.}

The cure for being a werewolf barely made any sense to me. I ran it through my head a few times, and still came up fuzzy. Maybe it’s just because I suck at science, though, but that was kind of an odd resolution.

But, these things aside, I really did enjoy the book. It was written well enough that I could push the issues I had with it to the side and just read it contentedly.

Other books in this series:
Linger (book 2)
Forever (book 3---UNRELEASED)

Plot: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Uniqueness: 3/5
Characters: 4/5


  1. Just hopping by to say hello! I am following and can’t wait to read more from your blog.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. I really enjoyed this book and its sequel, Linger, but I wanted to shout at Grace's parents.


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