M.K. Sutherland's Reviews > Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
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Aug 18, 10

bookshelves: fantasy, paranormal, young-adult, werewolves
Read from August 11 to 15, 2010

You know that feeling in the dead of winter when you step outside and breathe in and it feels like everything is freezing? You feel as though your lungs have gone solid from the chill. And when you step inside, no matter how warm your house is, you still radiate the cold? Well that's how I felt the whole time I was reading this book.

Shiver is told in two perspectives. Grace Brisbane is a seventeen-year-old girl. When she was eleven, she was attacked by a pack of wolves. But one wolf saved her: a wolf with bright yellow eyes. From then on, she watches him in the forest behind her house. Sam spends his winters as a wolf and his summers as a human. As a wolf, he watches Grace from behind the trees. But as a human, he can never work up the courage to talk to her. But then he does...and a wonderful romance ensues.

As I said at the beginning, this book literally gave me, er, shivers. I didn't want to give this book five stars. I didn't want to and I wasn't going to. Halfway through the book I decided, This is a four-star book. But there are too many things I love about this book to give it anything less than five.

To start, just one teeny tiny thing that sort of annoyed me. Okay, I get that this is supposed to be "love at first sight". But it just seemed so rushed and hurried. Sure, Grace decided that she loved Sam when he was a wolf. But doesn't that seem odd to you? And when they're human, they're pretty much automatically boyfriend/girlfriend. Seems kind of unrealistic. Although it is a book about werewolves...

Having said that, it makes for a beautiful romance. It's for girls like me who just want to go Aww, that's so cute! Because Grace and Sam are really in love.

Sam! Why aren't real guys like him? From his love of song lyrics (which, by the way, shows how good Maggie Stiefvater is at poetry, of all things) to love poems to knowledge...right on to his beautiful yellow eyes, Sam is such a great character.

The two perspectives felt essential to this story. In a romance, it's great to read both sides of the love. I especially love the guy's perspective in love stories. I mean, it's good to see what they're thinking! And Sam is a super emotional guy. And his haunted past just adds to the flare of his story.

And do you know how incredibly difficult it must be to invoke a feeling of temperature in a book? I mean, I'm reading this during a hot and humid August! And I was cold!

Now Grace. She was a great heroine and narrator. Her parents are spacey and distant. (Still, the fact that they never noticed Sam was living there is kinda weird. But hey, it adds to the romance.) Consequently, Grace is a strong and independent young woman. Woo, girl power!

I got into this book right away. But I found that the middle dragged a bit. The last 80 pages or so, however, were EPIC. I couldn't put it down when I reached that point. Non-stop action.

Finally, I just love how this book looks. The cover is beautiful and really conveys the cold. The words in the book are actually written in navy blue (which is super easy to read, don't worry). And every chapter heading includes a temperature, which is essential to the story. (I only really know Celsius, but I know enough to know that 32F is freezing, so it was all good!)

So from the story in its pages to the book itself, Shiver is just beautiful! Brilliant.
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08/12/2010 page 130
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