‘Shiver’ felt a little long for me – only because it was hard to get into; the pace was slow and not a lot happened. I did enjoy the relationship element between Grace and Sam, even if it was a little stalker-esque. I’d hoped for a darker tone with the werewolf treatment for this novel, but it focused more on the pack mentality and ‘canine’ forms rather than something monstrous and half-human-half-wolf, fighting against an inner evil vying for control over the physical body. It was very light and fluffy and failed to hook me in.
Maggie Stiefvater does have a beautiful way of writing though, she has a lyrical turn of phrase which helps paint beautiful scenes in the imagination. She also has a great knack for great world building and underlying mythology in her novels, and where ‘Shiver’ failed to captivate me, it was still an interesting concept.
As far as story goes, I found it ultimately very predictable and unoriginal. It followed a formula rife in YA paranormal romances; which I could have overlooked if there was something that hooked me, but unfortunately ‘Shiver’ fell short.
Grace was a strong character, which is the most redeeming quality of this book. She is intelligent and observant, juxtaposing Sam’s alternate point of view (which I had a little trouble relating to). As the narration alternated between Grace and Sam, I kept getting pulled out of the novel, distracted by trying to find a connection and get my bearings. I felt if the novel had remained with a single character and was only half its length, if would have been a far superior story.
There have been a lot of parallels drawn between this book and ‘Twilight’ – and even the sparkly vampires were more menacing than the wolves of Mercy Falls. I wouldn't particularly recommend this book; maybe to a younger audience – early teens – but I’m uncertain if many would have the attention span to complete the novel.
For many years, readers were being inundated in paranormal romances -- including quite a few about werewolves. But Maggie Stiefvater's "Shiver" has a delicate, wintry quality that most paranormal romances lack, as well as a romance that tosses aside "Twilight"-style crushy obsessions in favor of a gentle, sweet romance threatened by nature itself.
Several years ago, Grace was attacked by a pack of wolves in the woods -- and unexpectedly rescued by a yellow-eyed wolf. Ever since, he's appeared in the woods in the winter, and vanishes in summer. What she doesn't know is that the yellow-eyed wolf is a werewolf, who also lives as a boy named Sam.
Then a teenage boy is killed by wolves, and his body is stolen from the morgue. The town of Mercy Falls is thrown into a frenzy, but Grace knows that something supernatural is afoot.
When a bunch of illegal hunters try to kill the wolf pack, Grace rushes in to save her wolf -- and finds "her wolf" as a wounded, naked human boy. It turns out that cold triggers his transformations, while "warm makes me me. Makes me Sam." But as the cold approaches the town again, Grace may lose Sam in more than one way -- if she isn't destroyed as well.
"Shiver" has a poetic quality that most urban fantasy lacks -- it's a delicate, hauntingly crystalline book where even the humdrum high-school stuff takes on an ethereal quality. Maggie Stiefvater really came up with a unique idea for werewolves as well, where their transformation is dependent on the temperature -- cold makes them wolves, warmth makes then human. (Why don't they move to the tropics then?)
And her prose has a shimmering beauty that envelops you in black-leafed forests, wintry skies, snow-encrusted fur and icy air ("Despite the chilly air that made ghosts of my breath..."). She writes dramatic, intense situations that really grasp your emotions (Grace stumbling across a transformed Jack), but without melodrama or excessive dialogue.
I'm also rather sick of hormonal teenagers obsessing on each other and calling it "true love." Grace and Sam's relationship is a much more moving one -- hesitant, unsure, but deeply caring and rooted in true affection. Stiefvater explores their personalities in detail before they ever "meet" each other, and she constructs a delicate web of other relationships -- Shelby, Beck, Isabel, Jack, and so on.
Maggie Stiefvater's "Shiver" is a werewolf novel that deftly sidesteps many of the genre cliches, and leaves you in a chilly cocoon of beautiful prose. A must-read for those who want something more substantial and less creepy than "Twilight."
Bl**dy brilliant! I absolutely loved this. It was like Twilight- only with an actual story and 3D characters. I loved how it is told from the two main characters points of view too. Very evocative and haunting. It also makes me look at my own woods on my own property in a different way. Really appreciated the whole ambience of the novel.