|Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publish Date: August 1, 2009
My Source: Library
the cold. Grace has spent years watchingthe 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.
the heat. 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.
the shiver. 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. -(summary from Goodreads.com)
My Thoughts: I was so reluctant to read this book because I do not usually care for books about wolves or werewolves. But I kept hearing great things about it and how wonderful the writing of Maggie Stiefvater is, so I decided to give it a try. I’m glad I was able to look past my silly wolf prejudices and read it, because I really loved it.
Here are some of the things I loved about Shiver:
- The Cover. So, so pretty with all of that light blue. Makes me feel cold. Shiver-inducing. I also loved the little tiny spot of red in the title.
- The Inside. The print on the inside of the book perfectly matches the blue on the cover! It was just beautiful to flip through the pages and see that pretty color. The temperature changes were such a huge part of this book, almost like a separate character. While warm temperatures were integral to Sam’s ability to stay human, the blue type was a constant reminder to me, the reader, that the cold temperatures are inevitable in Mercy Falls and it is a constant struggle for Sam and Grace to be together. Absolutely brilliant use of color.
- The Switch. Sometimes it is neat to be able to switch back and forth between perspectives in a story, and this is one of those where it is done well. I was never confused. In Shiver, the switch was important in this case to show that the love between Sam and Grace was consistent between them both. This perspective switch can sometimes backfire if not done well, but in this case it worked beautifully.
- The Cold. The cold is a part of the setting of the story. It is a part of what makes Sam a wolf and part of the pack that he loves. It is a part of what brings Sam the wolf to Grace’s yard. I love the part of Grace that is able to love the wolf despite the judgment of her peers and the threat and danger of the pack.
- The Books. I love, love, love the way Sam was bookish. I love the way the author made him work in a bookstore and a constant reader. I like the way he was music-minded, but I love the way he was bookish.
- The End!
The writing style of this book was really light and breathtaking. The author did a great job of writing with beautiful yet simple language that never became too wordy. To this end, the story remained strong while never bogging me down. I felt the cold. I saw the snow. I believed I was in Mercy Falls.
The only complaint I have about the book, and I suppose it really is more of an observation than a complaint, is that Grace’s parents are not very parental. They made it very easy for Grace to spend a lot of time with Sam, if you know what I mean. There are a lot of parents that are less-than-model-parents, but this seemed almost too easy. Other than this tiny observation, I really enjoyed this book.
I’m really looking forward to reading Linger and Forever. I am still a little wary of wolf books, I must say. (I think Twilight did that to me. Sorry Jacob fans.) But I am open to giving more wolf books a try, especially if they are as beautifully written as this one.
Oh goodness! I love your thoughts on this book. I have had this book sitting on my shelf since it came out. It is still sitting there unread. I think now I will have to read it (well, when I get caught up) but it is definitely getting moved up on my TBR list!
I think we were reading this at the same time. I enjoyed it..interesting thought on the blue of the book and the cold weather. I went on and read Linger..I was not as happy with it as I was Shiver, maybe like you, I just have a mental block when it comes to wolves ( yeah it's a Jacob thing)
I haven't started into this series yet but plan to soon! Great review – and I have also noticed the theme of absentee parents in YA, I usually find it pretty annoying!
I'll be honest, I was NOT planning on reading this book, but you have sucked me in. One of the things I loved about the Twilight series (yes, I will admit to enjoying Twilight) was the setting – the scenery was amazing. It sounds like this is the case with Shiver, too. And also, a bookish and musical character? Sounds like my soulmate. On to the TBR it goes. 🙂
If you enjoy young adult paranormal tales, pick this one up. I have finished the series and will pick up Stiefvater's next series to see what she does with it. She has a great mind and an excellent imagination.
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Shiver is a perfectly executed book, and I continue to be impressed with Maggie Stiefvater's writing.