Thursday, October 08, 2009

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Plot Summary: For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

This is a somber and subdued story, yet it's powerful, with plenty of depth. The writing is excellent, the characters are well drawn, and the story draws you in. I truly cared about Grace and Sam, so, even though it wasn’t a fast-paced adventure story, I was still glued to the pages. I think I even finished it in one sitting.

I think this story is the best example of love at first sight, EVER. Grace and Sam are so drawn to each other, even under such strange circumstances, that there is nothing more natural than for them to be together. Some have compared this story to TWILIGHT, but, in my humble opinion, SHIVER blows TWILIGHT out of the water. Mostly because SHIVER makes the reader feel love at first sight in such a tangible way. TWILIGHT didn’t quite do that.
Also, can I just say that I LOVED the cover?

As with all my book discussions, there are SPOILERS below.

The werewolf folklore is quite unique and intriguing, as well as the destined end for all of them. I loved the suspense around Sam’s fight to stay human, and what it would mean when he finally turned back into a wolf. It added an incredible layer to his relationship with Grace.

My one complaint was Grace’s best friends. Rachel was fantastic in the beginning, but then she kind of disappears, and her role becomes more superficial. Which was a shame. As for Olivia, I didn’t understand her motivation behind the fight with Grace. Or the lack of communication thereafter. I thought that could have been explored more.

But still, the story is quite amazing. I recommend curling up with it under a nice warm blanket. :)


Bish Denham said...

I do like a well written slow-paced novel. Sometimes I get tired when a story goes from one high adventure to another.

Donna Gambale said...

I completely agree - the romance and love between Grace and Sam... just... wow. So authentic and moving, but in a completely subtle way. I love Maggie's style!

Tabitha said...

Bish - then you would love this book. It's not flashy or exciting, but wow is it powerful. I loved it.

Donna - so do I! After reading Shiver, I ran out to find Lament. And Ballad just came out, so I am going to hunt that one down, too. :) She's such a great writer.

PJ Hoover said...

I so agree. I recommend, too!

Tabitha said...

Yeah, I wanted to hug the book after I finished it. :)

Christina Farley said...

Oh!!! I can't wait to Christmas when we go back home to the States and I can pick the book up. Sounds fantastic.

Ronald L. Smith said...

I liked this book, too. I was lucky enough to snag a copy at the American Library Association in Chicago.

Hi Tabitha!

Tabitha said...

Christina - it sure is fanastic! It's a quiet book that's too compelling to really be a quiet book. Very well done.

Hi Ron! :) I was bummed I missed the ALA conference this year, but oh well. :)

Mary Witzl said...

I really want to read this now! For some reason, it makes me think of Wuthering Heights, another book with a great love story in it. Twilight left me cold. I have the feeling this one won't.