Monday, August 1, 2011

Review: Shiver

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Page Number: 390
Series: Wolves of Mercy Falls Series - Book 1

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.


As far as werewolf stories go, this one isn't at all bad. It's not entirely unique, but unique is hard to come by when there are so many werewolf stories out there. The thing that is unique when it comes to the werewolves in this story, however, is that their changes happen based on temperature. In other words, cold = wolf and warm = human.

There's something about the way Maggie Stiefvater writes that gets to you. Shiver is just one example of her beautiful lyrical prose. You can connect with both Sam and Grace, as the story is written from their alternating perspectives, and I could literally feel their sadness as the story progressed. Still, as it is with most, if not all stories, I don't think everyone will enjoy Shiver. While Shiver does have other elements, when you really get down to it, it's a love story. The main plot is Sam and Grace fighting a transformation neither of them can control that could rip them apart. Stiefvater reinvented a horror story of half-human creatures and created something sad and beautiful. I think that's why I fell in love with this story: I'm a sucker for emotional stories.

On to the characters! The best way for me to describe Grace is strong. While I didn't completely love her as a character, I feel like she holds herself together even when she wants nothing more than to break. With a case of the classic disappearing parent syndrome, Grace tries to pretend everything is ok; that it doesn't bother her to try so hard and be completely ignored. Grace also holds Sam together, in a way. When he's ready to give up, she keeps trying.

Sam is also quite the character. I would describe him as... honorable? Emo seems good, too, but let's go with honorable. Or sweet. Sweet works, too. He's just... read the book.

So, overall, I would recommend this book to people who happen to be suckers for love stories. I can't wait to see how Sam and Grace's story continues. *sigh* Do I even need to say "I'm hooked?"


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