Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal
Pub Date: August 2009, Scholastic, Inc.
Hardcover, 390 pages
Book Source: purchased from Amazon.com
Grace has spent years watching the 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.
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.
(My apologies for a more spoiler-ish review than normal, as you'll see towards the end.)
Shiver was one of those books that I saw pop up suddenly and profusely on many other blogs, so much so that I decided I was going to bypass it for other books for the time being. I never even thought much of the images of the cover that were posted everywhere, until I received my copy in the mail earlier this week... For some reason I love this cover, not to mention the one for this summer's sequel, Linger. But I digress...
While part of me wishes I had read this book sooner, I can at least appreciate having finally picked it up when I did--I've been fighting a cold all week and Shiver proved to be a lovely distraction from it yesterday. In fact, I got home early from work and after lounging around with the hubby I started reading it, only stopping for dinner, then ultimately finishing it last night before bed. Stiefvater may have started with a familiar storyline but with seemingly effortless writing she ran with it. We've all read the story--girl meets boy, boy happens to be some kind of paranormal/mythical creature on the side (in this case, a werewolf), they fall in love, they fight to stay together. Sometimes the story will keep us turning pages, other times we feel like we have wasted our time. When I closed Shiver last night, I was very satisfied and I could even be happy if there were not a sequel coming out later this year. Perhaps I should be more upfront and say that I'm a bit apprehensive about it because I enjoyed this book so much and don't even feel a huge need to have the story continued.
This morning, I had to re-read the last few short chapters again, just to savor the ending. Has anyone watched Disney's Sleeping Beauty and seen the green fairy, Fauna, sigh with a tear in her eye saying, "I just love happy endings." That's how I felt after reading that book. And I'm sorry if that gives it all away for those of you who haven't read this book yet, but I promise you it is still worth the read. I found myself enjoying all the characters, including the annoying ones, and while I am normally put off by teen angst in some novels, Stiefvater has managed to portray it on a much less obnoxious level. Her writing is crisp and clear and ever so easy to read--it was almost too easy to get lost in this book. She has put a new (to me, at least) spin on werewolves and their lore. Sometimes these stories of teenage romances seem ridiculous but I found myself enjoying this one from beginning to end.
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