Shiver

by Maggie Stiefvater
ages: 13+
First sentence: “I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves.”
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Review copy won from Scholastic

First off: okay, okay, okay. I should have read it sooner. I should have listened to all you fans of Maggie Stiefvater out there. But better late than never. Right?

For the five of you out there who haven’t read this: think Twilight, but better written and with werewolves instead of vampires. It’s still the same story: human girl falls in love with paranormal boy, but it’s got so much more depth than Bella and Edward.

Grace is eleven when she’s attacked by wolves. She figures she’s going to die, but something – someone — saves her. She just knows it’s the wolf with the yellow eyes, her wolf. In the six years that follow, every winter, she looks for the wolf, only satisfied when she knows he’s near.

Sam, hates his life: wolf when it’s cold, human when it’s warm. And he knows his time is growing short. So when he’s shot — on purpose; the wolves have bitten and killed another resident of their small Minnesota town, and so the men take to the forest with guns to “solve” the problem — and turns back into a human, he turns to Grace. It’s only then that they realize how much they care for and need each other — and yes, love each other — and the cruel fate that awaits them unless they can figure out a way to stop Sam from changing back.

That’s obviously not enough to hold a book of this size, and so Stiefvater gives us the background story. But, unfolds it slowly, a piece here, a nibble there. And then there’s Grace’s friend Olivia, who’s almost as obsessed with the wolves as Grace is. Or Isabel, the sister of the unfortunate boy who was killed. There’s a lot of balls to be juggled in this book, aside from the love story, but Stiefvater manages to juggle them quite admirably. More than admirably: the writing was lyrical, evocative, sensuous. Almost poetic. And the chemistry: oh, the chemistry.

Which means: I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.

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5 thoughts on “Shiver

  1. This started a bit slow for me, but it really grew on me by the end. And in book two, Grace and Sam's relationship is deep–good contrast to the above-mentioned other human-paranormal relationship we all know about 🙂

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  2. When we say “werewolves”, it's more like the werewolves from Twilight, than from traditional mythology. It's just people, who were bitten by wolves, who happen to transform between wolf and human form.

    Really, Corinne: it's worth a try. (Though since it's a series, you might want to wait until she's done writing it. :-D)

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  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed this! It's one of my favorite series, I think Maggie Stiefvater bring so much depth to a pretty traditional (in a paranormal sense) set up. I have to say I loved the follow-up even more. I hope you get to it soon.

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