Friday, December 2, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: June 1, 2010 by Scholastic (first published 2009)
Format: Paperback, 390 pgs.
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.
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.
Mini-Review: A beautiful love story and a fascinating new take on the werewolf mythology, Stiefvater's Shiver is not to be missed!
Grace has always been a tad obsessed with the wolves of Mercy Falls, and for good reason: she was nearly killed by the pack when she was just a girl. But she's never harbored them ill-will, and, in truth, she's quite taken with them all. Especially the one with yellow eyes. She doesn't know Sam's fond of her, too.
I know, I know; I'm behind on this one and the entire trilogy is out now, and I will read every single one of them.
Shiver has werewolves in it, and the mythology is very unique: rather than changing because of the moon, Stiefvater's wolves change based on the weather. This twist is, I think, what really captures quite a few people (at least initially), and it should. It's fascinating and intense. But the thing that keeps readers engaged isn't how the wolves change, it's the love story, because (at it's core) Shiver is about love and the obstacles people must over come.
The relationship between Sam and Grace is the strongest, most intense, and most . . . steamy relationship in the book, and it was wonderful. I am definitely a fan of Sam. That being said, I think the other relationships were overshadowed to the point where the side story about Olivia seems almost detached. Olivia is supposed to be Grace's best friend, but one thing happens and they practically fall apart, which causes Olivia's plot resolution to be less emotional than it should have been, at least that's how it was for me. Their friendship kept getting pushed to the sidelines so it didn't really resonate with me. Not like Sam and Grace did, at least.
Despite the relationship with Olivia, I really loved this book, and the only other thing that bothered me was Grace's relationship with her parents, which is to say the complete and utter lack of a real familial bond. Only this relationship should bother you, because the parents in this book aren't just mysteriously not home, they're deliberately not home. They're children, and Grace is the adult, and it sucks. Not merely because of the life Grace has been forced to live because of her parents, but because she didn't know what parents were supposed to be like when she was growing up.
Stiefvater has created an emotionally charged book that will (and does) resonate with readers, and I can only hope the other books in the trilogy are just as good. I highly recommend it if you haven't already read it.
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