Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: August 2009 by Scholastic Press

My Rating: 4 stars
Tags: YA | Romance | Werewolves | Series (Book One)
Includes: Violence, Brief Profanity, Sexuality

First Lines: I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in.

Ever since Grace was just a little girl, she's been fascinated by the wolves living in the woods behind her house. Especially one in particular - the yellow-eyed one that always watched her, too. After their silent obsession with each other for years, they finally meet. In person.
Sam, ever since he was bitten by a wolf as a boy, is a werewolf. During the hot temperature of summer he is human, but during the frigid cold of winter, he transforms into a wolf. But this year is Sam's last year of being human, and as the winter comes closer and closer, the young couple must fight to prevent him from turning back into a wolf. Even if it means risking their lives.

I didn't really know what to expect for this book. Besides the Twilight saga, this is the only other werewolf book I've ever read. Maggie Stiefvater's writing was beautifully written. She detailed every paragraph, easily letting me visualize the story in my head.

From Page 280
I closed my eyes, flared my nostrils, and let the scents flood in. Peppermint swirled into my mouth, sharp as glass, then raspberry, almost too sweet, like too-ripe fruit. Apple, crisp and pure. Nuts, buttery, warm, earthy, like Sam. The subtle, mild scent of white chocolate.

The novel is told through both Grace and Sam's perspective. But what I loved about the book was that both of their characters were so distinctive, that I was able to tell who was telling the story even without reading the chapter titles (which told which character's POV it was in.) It wasn't distracting at all, and included more incite into their character. Sam was an amazing character - he had such a kind, innocent, and friendly personality. But at times, I almost wanted to find a fault in him. I don't like it in books when there is the "perfect and flawless" boyfriend who every girl obsesses over and wants for themselves. Sure, that'd be great, but we must remember he's fictional! Only once in the book do Grace and Sam have an argument, and it only lasts one page - until Grace forgives him because of the sad look on his face. I mean, really?? Sorry, but that's not realistic at all. Especially since we're talking high-school teenager couples.

From Page 302
"I don't want to let you go like this." His eyes were pleading with me, their absolute saddest. I looked at the goose bumps raising on his arms, and the slight tremble of his shoulders in the cold draft. And he had me. He reached out and touched my cheek. "I'm sorry." I caught his hand and tangled his fingers in mine, fixing my gaze on his face.

I really liked Grace's strong and smart character. She stood up for herself and didn't take no for an answer. Sam and Grace complemented each other, and were made for each other. Their love was refreshing, and the author wrote it very descriptively. Each kiss they shared was written differently, and felt right, not awkward like some romance books do. They had great chemistry.

The ending was very abrupt. I actually kept reading even after the "acknowledgments" and "about the author" pages, looking to see if I had somehow missed a page. I kept going back and forth the last chapter, re-reading pages, to see if I had missed something. I wasn't satisfied with the ending and had MANY unanswered questions. This book begs for a sequel, and I'm pretty sure this is going to be a series. So that's a good thing - because this ending was very unsettling.

The cover? GORGEOUS. It's one of my most favorite covers, and I love the different shades of dark blues, not to mention the hidden wolf in the bottom corner! (I actually didn't even see it at first since it blended in so nicely.) And it wasn't until after I read the book that I understood why there was a drop of blood for the letter 'i' in the title. That was a nice touch.

Overall I enjoyed the novel. Maggie Stiefvater's flowing, almost poetic, style of writing was so descriptive and the characters were beautifully written. The plot dragged at times, and I was ready for something new to happen, but after awhile that wish came true. There were some great twists, and I'll definitely be picking up the sequel - Linger, which comes out in 2010, I believe?

Book Supplied by: Bought it at Borders!


  1. I am wanting to read this book! :)

  2. Mary D

    I had no idea a sequel was in the works WOO HOO!!!

  3. I absolutely LOVED this book. Their love was so sweet. Glad you liked it! :)

  4. Great review! I'm really looking forward to reading this book. :)

  5. I keep hearing such great things I really want to read this book, but then I read a review like this and almost want to wait! Not because I don't think it'll be good, but that whole most likely turn into a series thing. It drives me nuts to wait!

  6. Thanks for all the great comments everyone, I really appreciate it! :)

    KT - Oh I completely agree with you on that! The suspense for waiting on the next book in a series kills you. Plus, by the time the next book is published, a lot of times I forget what happened in the first one!

  7. OMG... I loved this book.
    However, one thing I really didnt like was they lack of control over changing. It does add a difficult element to the story that Stiefvater wrote well.
    I wasnt too happy with the fact that they only see so many changes before they never change anymore... kinda sad!!

    BUt I did love this one.... Sam and Grace are darling together. I love the description of his eyes. I love the cuddling! I love the ending!!! I am dying for Linger.... just dying!!!

  8. I just got this book, and now that I've read this review (really detailed, thanks!), I'm dying!

  9. I got this book last year. I like when stories are told through POVs. I can usually get into them more. I'm glad that it was easy to tell which was which. It has also been optioned for a movie so that is cool.

  10. When I read Shiver, I actually liked the ending surprisingly. It was mysterious and it had room for a sequel =)

  11. I'm dying to read this book! And you're right - the wolf at the corner seems elusive. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have notice its presence!

  12. I just read this book actually and I LOVE it! I'll be getting my hands on a copy of Linger soon and I can't wait to see what's gonna happen next.
    I loved how Maggie ketp the suspense until de very end. I really wasn't sure Grace would be able to save Sam!

  13. This book is currently sitting on my shelf, but I've been procrastinating on it since I'm not in the mood for another paranormal romance. According to your review, if her writing is beautiful and poetic, maybe I'll give it a shot!

  14. I'm obsessed with this series and Maggie Stiefvater's writing! The way she writes is beautiful and lyrical, and I wish she could start the wave that brings back this type of writing in commercial fiction. I loved Sam, but I didn't think he was perfect. His flaw was being too passive, too "Whatever." He has to learn how to stick up for himself and what he wants, to not have a defeatist attitude. That's an interesting character flaw and one that's usually not given to boys, so I found Stiefvater's choice to give Sam this quality very intriguing. Loved this book and loved "Linger," too!

  15. I loved this book. Sam was very different from other male characters in YA books. He wasn't so perfect like Edward, didn't have "the most beautiful face in the entire world" and I liked that very much. He was more ordinary boy (even though he wasn't really boy). The love between him and Grace was pure and heartbreaking. One of the best books I have read recently!

  16. I really liked this book. Love wolf books. This one was good. I cannot wait for the last book in the series, Forever. It's due out next week. Yeah!


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