Sunday, April 15, 2012

Shiver | by: Maggie Stiefvater

Grace has been observing the wolves in her very backyard for the longest time in fascination, even after a dangerous encounter years ago. Her friends may not understand her obsession with them, but they don't realize her connection with one wolf in particular, one who comes each winter. Written in dual-narration, that very wolf has observed Grace as well over the years. In a moment of terror for both Grace and her wolf, she discovers that he is more than just a wolf. He's also Sam. And their time together as the same species is limited.

It's absolutely pathetic that I've just now read Shiver despite I've wanted to read it since it first came out and just about everyone else in the world has read it in the downtime. Thank goodness I finally got around to picking it up after nearly three years!

Shiver moves right into the plot quickly, almost too quickly. There's always a huge, predictable, and not to mention boring section in paranormal romance novels where the main character sits around denying whatever paranormal idea she has come across. This section doesn't exist in Shiver. Although it caught me off guard, I was happy that the story didn't flow in that way. The beginning was extremely captivating, quite frankly.

From the start of the story, I felt bad for Grace. Her parents are so uncaring and ridiculous, and her friends reminded me why all of my friends are guys. Since I knew where the story was going to go (in general), hearing about 'her wolf' felt a little weird to me in the beginning, kind of like bestiality. However, I don't feel like this vibe was from the what was written, I think it was just my mind anticipating the love interest a little too early, making it seem weird to me.

Shiver may be the sweetest story of its genre, and part of that is because of Sam. He's so incredibly likable and his back story made me feel awful for him. Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen so much tragedy within a love interest of this genre. Without him, I wouldn't have liked this book as much since Grace didn't do much for me as a character. I couldn't relate to her much at all, so I usually liked Sam's chapters better. Besides, dual narrations are always a positive thing! But, with sweetness comes cuteness, and cuteness in novels tend to bring corniness. As I've mentioned in multiple other reviews, I don't have much tolerance for corny elements in novels. This one brought a bit of eye-rolling, but not too much. I still enjoyed the book and found that the other darker, more serious elements seemed to weigh it out.

The ending really struck a chord with me. I must say, I got a little bit teary-eyed. Everything felt so sweet and sad all at once, even though I sort of anticipated it since Sam and Grace's situation is so bittersweet to begin with. Plus, the writing really affected the way emotions were carried out, and it was done very well throughout, even though I was a little surprised that the ending triggered my emotions the way it did.

Shiver ended up being enjoyable the whole way through, with its light and dark moments in the midst of a sweetly-crafted plot. I'm a bit intrigued by this story and am curious to see how it continues.

4/5 Stars

Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver
New York: Scholastic Press

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog and I would love to be featured. I'd love to send you an ARC. You can see my cover art, blurb, author bio, publishing info (on my press release), and first chapter on my website.

    If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, I think you'll really enjoy my debut novel. The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen is a young adult historical fiction novel with a strong female voice, a steamy budding romance, and dystopian elements of rampant illness and government corruption. The novel presumes that all Grimm's fairy tales originate from one person, Adelaide Schumacher, a spitfire cobbler’s apprentice who will one day be immortalized in the story of Snow White. In this first book, which is only one in a series of four, Adelaide navigates the slippery slopes of revenge against the vile clergy members of Cologne who refuse to perform funerals for the victims of a deadly fever, unless, of course, they are bribed to do so. She quickly realizes the steep cost of justice, but is it too late to turn back before she risks sacrificing everything: her father, her friends, her first love, and maybe even her life?

    The Fairytale Keeper series not only paints a richly vivid medieval Cologne, it displays a set of dynamic characters bringing the famous villains, heroes, and damsels of Grimm’s fairy tales to life. Cinderella happens to be Adelaide’s self-indulgent, yet well-meaning cousin and her drunkard, yet hard-working father is the Shoemaker from the famous Elves and the Shoemaker story. Historical events and real people from the time period are woven into the retelling to create a story that will leave the reader wondering if it is fact or fiction.

    The publication date for The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen is June 1, 2012 which coincides with the highly-anticipated premier of Snow White and the Huntsman. Please let me know if and when you plan to write the review so I can put a link to your blog on my Facebook fan page, Twitter, and my website. Thank you for your time and for considering my novel for a spot. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards,
    Andrea Cefalo

    PS: If you're too swamped to do a review, I am also available for posts, interviews, and you can put up a link to my reading on youtube as well. Just let me know what I can do for you! :)

    Here are some links you might find useful:
    My site: