Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

I have to admit something here. I started reading this book during summer of last year, 2010, and didn't pick it up for several months. The reason wasn't that I didn't like the book, because I did like it. In fact, there was a question presented at the beginning that I really wanted an answer and hadn't found it yet when I stopped reading. I just wasn't reading much during 2010 and became distracted. I am easily distracted.


From Goodreads and back of book:
"the cold.
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.


the heat. 
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."



In the end, once I'd finally finished reading I liked this book. It's my first time reading a two main character book that is written in first person, though I can guess there may be more in the future (the two main character in particular, I'd love to read some in third person since I'm writing 2 myself). While the first person aspect wasn't my favorite part it didn't detract from me enjoying the novel. And it is my first werewolf book, technically, though I like books that have actual wolves in them.  I also blame this book for the werewolf idea that is now on my list of ideas. Totally Maggie's fault for inducing a dream that had a character and a pack of werewolves as part of the story... okay, maybe not her fault but still.

Characters - I like Grace a little more than Sam, but he has some great qualities. I really started to like Sam more once we got to know little elements like the candy and the music. His interest in poetry and literature is also a very good trait. My one complaint on Sam is that he does sound a bit girly during some of his chapters in the first half of the novel. I mean, I know some guys can be what general public considers "feminine" and that is fine. But knowing the author, and this goes the other way too with guys writing girl characters, it sometimes sounded to me like a female trying to write a male, which isn't easy. In those moments, if I hadn't known they were Sam or if I hadn't known Sam was male (my college debate partner only answered to Sam and she is definitely not male) I might have thought the character is female. Grace also laxed a little close to the middle. I liked the very beginning, and things really picked up after the middle point, just getting there ended up a little slow for me.

The Story - What really kept me reading was one question presented near the beginning of the novel. The very first chapters we see that Grace was attacked by the wolves when she was young but unlike most, she never "turned" and is is what kept me reading through the slower part. I knew that answer would be key to the overall plot though I had no idea how because I couldn't tell where it was going most of the time. I do understand the reason for the slow part. It's the same with the movie "Twilight" for me because that part is needed to believe they have a developed relationship and to move too fast would have been completely out of character for Sam and Grace. So, I'm not saying it shouldn't be in there because the book does make sense the way it is written. Even though I was sure I knew the end, since this is book 1 in a series where I am pretty sure the same characters are in the second book, I was emotionally wrought over the last chapters. I really shouldn't have read it when working at the office but luckily no one came in for oxygen tanks while I was reading.


Overall, a good book. Nice story, interesting characters and a unique concept of werewolves that others should consider reading.


Dawn's Verdict: 8/10

 

3 comments:

L'Aussie said...

Hey Dawn this is an excellent review. I like the thoughtful way you consider this book. I must admit from the title etc I was expecting something a little more maybe gruesome. I might give it a read as all I know about werewolves is Jacob Black.

Denise:)

WritersBlockNZ said...

I too was "emotionally wrought" while reading the last chapters. Shiver has one of my favourite endings of all time because it really keeps you gripped up until the last page. Seriously, I was practically sobbing and dying to know what would happen.

Go read Linger. And don't stop halfway LOL :P

Dawn Embers said...

:-)

Denise - Thanks. I try. The title is different but makes sense once you read the book, as I'm sure the other books do. Since the temperature affects the wolves and can cause the changes, it's an interesting approach to werewolves. Before this book, I knew nothing of wolves except for Jacob from the movie commercials, lol.

JJ - It was a good ending. I'm curious as to the plot of the sequel considering how the book finished. But I won't be reading the book for a while considering how many books are waiting for me. Plus, the paperback version doesn't come out till this year.

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