SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater [Review]

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater puts a mature spin on YA paranormal romance in Shiver, the first book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.

It’s told from the alternating viewpoints of Sam and Grace, star crossed lovers separated by the fact that Sam isn’t entirely human. He spends the cold Minnesota winters as a wolf, and is only a boy in the warm summer months. He loves Grace from afar, hanging around outside of her house in wolf form, watching her from a distance. Likewise, Grace has been obsessed with the wolves that roam the woods behind her house for years, particularly with the wolf with the yellow eyes, only recently realizing that they were anything more than wolves. Sam has never had the courage to talk to Grace during the summer, that is until she comes to his rescue. Their budding romance is hampered by the fact that winter is fast approaching and, although Sam is fighting to stay human, he and Grace may only have a short time to be together.

After hearing great things about Shiver I finally decided to read it, and I’m glad I did because it’s just a wonderful book. Stiefvater’s writing is beautiful and descriptive, creating a melancholy mood that matches the Minnesota winter landscape. She sets up the perfect amount of romantic tension between Sam and Grace, making Shiver a compelling read. The story moves slowly as the two teenagers get to know each other, but the tension kept me interested. However, if you are looking for lots of action and adventure, this probably isn’t the book for you.

As far as characters, I especially liked the pragmatic, responsible Grace, who has basically raised herself since her parents are preoccupied with their own lives. Sam is definitely more in touch with his feelings than Grace, in fact, I’d say he’s straight up emo. He’s constantly composing song lyrics or reciting poetry, which was one of the few parts of the book I didn’t enjoy (it seemed kind of cheesy to me).

Shiver is one of the better YA paranormal romances that I’ve read, and I recommend it to anyone who likes that genre. I’d especially recommend it to fans of Twilight (Team Jacob members, I’m talking to you). The second book in the trilogy, Linger, is available now (look for my review coming soon).

Quotes from Shiver:

– Grace: “It is possible to be in love with you just because of who you are.”

– Grace: “Books are more real when you read them outside.”

– Sam: “I’d found heaven and grabbed it as tightly as I could, but it was unraveling, an insubstantial thread sliding between my fingers, too fine to hold.”

– You’re beautiful and sad,” I said finally, not looking at him when I did. “Just like your eyes. You’re like a song that I heard when I was a little kid but forgot I knew until I heard it again.” For a long moment there was only the whirring sound of the tires on the road, and then Sam said softly, “Thank you.”

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Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks | Pages: 400 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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