Thomas's Reviews > Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
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's review
Apr 03, 10

bookshelves: five-stars, young-adult, romance, fantasy
Read from April 01 to 03, 2010

Shiver is narrated by the alternating points of view of Sam and Grace, two unbelievably different people drawn together by the power of love and devotion. When Grace was little, she was attacked by a pack of wolves but miraculously survived due to a certain yellow-eyed wolf's protection. Now her growing fascination is fixated on the wolves of Mercy Falls.

Sam isn't a human for as long as he would like to be. When the temperature drops and winter arises, he painfully transforms into a wolf. However, it was he that saved Grace from the onslaught of the pack, he is her yellow-eyed wolf. They find each other in their human form and blissfully fall in love. Unfortunately, fate seems to have other plans; and the now inseparable duo find themselves fighting a dreadful opposition in order to remain together.

Stiefvater writes so beautifully, it hurts. The way she manages to weave together the simplest of words into an awe-inspiring sentence or paragraph is just... painful (in a good way, of course). I was completely addicted by the end of Shiver. Also, Stiefvater writes teen dialogue better than most YA authors - it flows so naturally, and sometimes I could imagine my friends and I having the same discussion as her characters, or using the same words they used.

The plot and characters were great too. The story might have dragged a little bit in the beginning, but by the middle of the book all the werewolf phenomenon and Grace and Sam's relationship had me hooked. I'm not a werewolf fan, but Stiefvater made the concept original and intriguing. The characters were well-developed and really had me caring about what happened to them. Now I just can't wait to read Linger, book two of the series.

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Reading Progress

04/02/2010 page 103
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Ralph (new) - added it

Ralph Great review, like always. =)

Thomas Thank you, like always :D

Nick Stiefvater writes so beautifully, it hurts.

Exactly :)

Claudette Love how she writes..... it just flows so softly from the page though your mind. I can't help but revisiting passages to drink back in for fear of losing them. A+

Wesley I'm about half-way into this and am already blown away by the technique and wonderfully woven words, one into the next.

Ashley I wasn't a werewolf fan either :P

Thomas Claudette and Wesley, isn't the writing wonderful!?

And Ashley, the book is about much more than werewolves - I always hesitate to tell people that it's about werewolves because they assume it's a poorly-written paranormal book or a Twilight knock-off when it's much more.

Claudette Yes Thomas her writing is so lovely. It takes you along the journey of her characters. You see so easily each leaf and doorway, the page of a book that Sam is reading, or even the cranes in his rooms.

I think you will enjoy the whole series.

I wish that Young Adult writers would get more credit for such beautiful works as this.

Thomas I loved this entire series - Stiefvater is such a magnificent writer!

message 10: by Joanne (new)

Joanne Through the main characters Grace and Sam in Shiver, the author shows that you should endure through situations to reach your goal. The book starts out with Grace, watching this enchanting wolf for weeks just to see him, and later, fights to keep him human.
The perspective of this book sets it far apart from others. Each chapter switches between the views of Grace and Sam. This lets the reader get more attached to both of the main characters, as they can see in depth what both of the main characters are feeling. The switching of the perspectives makes the reader feel like they know the characters personally, and it isn’t just some story, but what really sets the way the author set up the switching perspectives is how smooth the transitions are. When you compare it to other books like Breaking Dawn in the Twilight series, the switching perspectives seems more natural than others. Her seamless transitions between the two main characters' point of views and the way she brings werewolves into what seems like a normal world makes this book unique.
The resolution of this book seemed a bit unreal. It seemed pretty coincidental that Sam didn’t get the whole shot of meningitis, while Jack, did, and therefore he died. Although it was a little bit unrealistic, I still liked the fact that this added to the message of perservering to accomplish your goal. The ending really put the message into your head, and is inspiring, that after all of that work, Sam and Grace really did get what they wanted.
I agree you that the pace at first is slow moving, but it does add the suspense towards the end. In my mind it really paid off. That time is also spent so you feel more close to the characters and are able to relate to what they are feeling more. This also adds to the end, how when Sam turns back into a wolf, possibly forever, the readers heart is torn, just in time for Sam to get healed and so the reader is then overjoyed. The timing the author played into this really makes the reader go through a rollercoaster of emotions.
Shiver contains heartwarming characters with a wonderfully chilly atmosphere and it is written with stunningly lyrical prose.“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” (Stiefvater 20). The author never fails to create a peaceful image in your mind, when the book is in the view point of Sam. The book is on the longer side, but even still is so delicately written, which makes the author’s language so beautiful.
I would recommend this book to a friend that likes Romance-Fantasies, like Twilight. I’m not a huge fan of the ending, but what saved the ending was the amazing lead up that contributed to it.

Thomas Wow, wonderful analysis! While the plot at the end may have felt a little too good to be true, I thought that it worked out well because she kept everything 100% believable up to that point (well, as believable as a paranormal romance could be.) But overall I agree with everything you've said, especially about her lyrical prose - the quote you included is one I've referenced a few times.

Devina I don't really think Sam coming back was too good to be true. It didn't matter that he had only half the infected blood but it was imperative that he got it while human to be affected by it and then turned to wolf so he could get cooked by the fever but strong in that form enough to fight the disease and survive it. Jack, on the other hand, remained human do he hadn't much of a chance. Well, that's my theory.

I've finally got around to finish it and and I'm still gathering the words to describe how much I loved this book.

Thomas Devina, I definitely see the merits of your thought process and I think that's how Stiefvater intended the plot to be perceived. Discussing this book after more than three years makes me want to reread it, I hope you enjoy the sequels if you haven't read them already! Prepare for heartbreak in the best possible way.

Marisa Oooo Devina, that makes more sense to me. Certainly drops my disbelief level a little. I haven't gotten the chance to read the rest of the books in the series yet, but I was concerned it'd continue to get less and less believable...

Shannon Malone Great review you really captured the perspective behind the plot.

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