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.
Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver
New York: Scholastic Press