Dec 11, 2011

Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Target Audience: Young Adult
Pages: 390
Chapters: 67
Judgement: 10/10
Genre: Romance / Fantasy
Person: first
Tense: past

Blurb (quoted):
“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.”

Grace’s friends aren’t only humans. The forest behind her house is home to a pack of wolves – home to a yellow-eyed wolf that watches back. Grace loves that wolf in particular – a wolf she feels she knows.

There’s more to Sam than meets the eye. He’s living a double life: in the summers, he is human; but in the winter he is forced to shift into a yellow-eyed wolf. He lives in among the trees during the cold, spending his time watching a girl who watches him.

But when the hunt is on a supposedly dangerous wolf pack, and Sam is able to become human again – and also able to speak to Grace. It’s the one and only time they’ve been together… and if they aren’t careful, it could be the last.
The fight has begun for love to survive in drastic circumstances.

Well… Only two complaint’s, so let’s get those out of the way first:
The blurb irritates me – I’m glad I didn’t base my choice on the blurb, because if I had I wouldn’t have read this book, thankfully it had been highly recommended. The blurb just… It doesn’t do the book justice at all. (Though admittedly, I don’t think my summary is much better).
The second complain is the ending! It’s not really a complaint of sorts I guess, but the way it end is infuriating – there just has to be more. It doesn’t feel like an ending at all. Which leaves me praying that there is a sequel.
Now that I have that out of the way:
I loved this book! It’s a going on my recommended list. It’s descriptive, it’s intimate, it’s everything I love in a novel. It’s not one of those ones that take half the book to get into, it’s just in the moment and it draws you in.
I didn’t sit there for hours on end, unable to put it down, I admit. But I think that has a lot to do with being busy and unproductive. There were definitely times when I couldn’t stop reading  but it wasn’t like that the whole way through – which I think makes the reading more enjoyable in a way, because it’s not the constant desperate for more and enables you to enjoy it in the moment.
Other than that, I don’t have much critique to give.
The story line is pretty original as far as I know; definitely not your average novel!

EDIT: It looks like there's a sequel! Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater.