Cory's Reviews > Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
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Feb 07, 2010

did not like it
Recommended to Cory by: No-one
Recommended for: Idiots
read count: None

Trolls: You are welcome to comment on my review. I won't delete your comments. Curse my name, curse my mother, I don't care. But please, don't forget to leave a comment. And make sure to send my review to all of your friends.

And the award for worst book of 2009 goes to: Shiver

What makes this book so bad, you may ask? Well, in layman's terms, I'm going to give a logical, detailed explanation as to why Shiver sucks--alliteration unintentional.

1. Grace

Grace has to be the worse heroine ever. Excuse this comparison, but she's worse than Bella Swan. Grace treats her friends, her parents, and her schoolmates like dirt. This isn't true, you say. Grace is caring, wholesome, and ever so devoted to Sam. Keyword here: Sam. She cares for no-one but her wolf. Excuse me while I gag.

She treats Rachel and Olivia like they're pets. She never spends time with them. She has to remind herself that they're her friends. She ignores them in favor of a wolf. A wolf that tried to eat her. I know that many girls are offended when their best friend ignores them to spend time with a guy. How would you feel if they ignored you for an animal? Keep in mind that for the first 1/3rd of Shiver, Grace doesn't know that Sam is a werewolf.

Grace is unable to empathize with anyone. Let me give you an example.

Not because the attention bothered me, but because every time someone remembered I was dragged from my tire swing, they remembered it could happen to anyone. And I wondered how many someones it would take before they decided to go after the wolves.

To go after my wolf.

I knew this was the real reason why I couldn’t forgive Jack for dying.


You can say that this quote is taken out of context. It doesn't matter. The fact that she thinks like this is disgusting. This girl was attacked by wolves when she was six. Yet, for whatever reason, she's in love with one of the wolves who tried to eat her. Does this make any sense? No.

Here's Sam's thoughts, straight from the book.

I could smell her blood, a warm, bright scent in this dead, cold world. I saw Salem jerk and tremble as he ripped at her clothing.

My stomach twisted, painful—it had been so long since I’d eaten. I wanted to push through the wolves to stand next to Salem and pretend that I couldn’t smell her humanness or hear her soft moans. She was so little underneath our wildness, the pack pressing against her, wanting to trade her life for ours.


Very romantic. He wanted to eat his true love the first time he saw her. And Grace, for whatever reason, loves him. It's not like he saved her from being eaten.

Trolls: You want to know the reason why Shiver gets compared to Twilight so frequently? Because it pales in comparison to Twilight. Make no mistake: I hate Twilight. But this is worse.

Back to Grace. She feels no sympathy for the boy who was killed by the wolves. He might have been a jerk, but that is no excuse. Grace, out of everyone in that town, should know what it's like to nearly die. She should be consoling Isabelle, and Isabelle's parents. Instead, she continues to think about her wolf. If Sam had saved her, that would be something else entirely. But in the land of YA, preventing yourself from eating someone, or killing someone-- Edward and Patch--is the first sign of true love. How romantic.

Grace is also a jerk to Isabelle--my favorite character in the god awful book. Keep in my that:

1. Isabelle loved her brother.

2. She doesn't want to think he's dead.

3. Everyone knows that Grace has a special connection with the wolves.

4. Jack's body is missing and the wolves attacked him.

Isn't it reasonable to assume that Grace knows something? Instead, Grace tries to keep her out of the know to protect her wolf. Apparently, a wolf is more important than a human being. Don't get me wrong. I love dogs. But if it came down to my dog or someone's brother, that dog would be gone in a millisecond. Even if Grace knew that her wolf was a werewolf, it doesn't matter. She's known Jack and Isabelle her entire life. She's known Sam for a few days. Not even Bella Swan is that selfish.

2. Sam

Sam is worse. I hate him. You want to know why? His existence as a boy is illogical. He's not supposed to remember his time as a wolf right? Yet he remembers Grace.

I believe I started hating him the first time he appeared as a boy. He's rude to Rachel and Olivia. He's supposed to be a cashier. He's supposed to be helpful and nice. Instead, he ignores his customers and proceeds to ogle Grace. He continues his bad customer service into book two. He's rude to Isabelle, even though her brother just died. And he survived!

He's worse than Sam Uley. At least Sam Uley had no choice. He had to imprint on Emily. It was fate. Whatever he does isn't his fault.

Sam, on the other hand, is a whiny emo. He writes horrible poetry. He writes horrible songs. He sounds like the kind of boyfriend a sixteen year old girl would write into her self-insert fan fictions. Oh, and he does have a Leah. Shelby.

I know they aren't involved. I know Shelby is kind of crazy. But that's no excuse to treat her the way Sam does. He ignores her. Much like Damon does Drina in Evermore, an equally bad book.

3. The Purple Prose

Cool air bit my cheeks and pinched at the tops of my ears, reminding me that summer was officially over. My stocking cap was stuffed in the pocket of my coat, but I knew my wolf didn’t always recognize me when I was wearing it, so I left it off. I squinted at the edge of the yard and stepped off the deck, trying to look nonchalant as I did. The piece of beef in my hand felt cold and slick.

I crunched out across the brittle, colorless grass into the middle of the yard and stopped, momentarily dazzled by the violent pink of the sunset through the fluttering black leaves of the trees. This stark landscape was a world away from the small, warm kitchen with its comforting smells of easy survival. Where I was supposed to belong. Where I should’ve wanted to be. But the trees called to me, urging me to abandon what I knew and vanish into the oncoming night. It was a desire that had been tugging me with disconcerting frequency these days.


4. The Pacing

This story is slow and boring. Nothing happens. What's the plot? Where's the conflict?

5. The Romance

Sam and Grace have no chemistry. None. If you find some, please tell me. I'm not finding any. Sam, our resident leaky womb, and Grace, our insensitive twit, share no hobbies. Heck, Sam has more chemistry with her mother. Why do they love each other? I don't know.

6. The Characterization

What characterization?

7. The Conclusion

(view spoiler)

0.5 stars, because I liked Rachel, Olivia, Isabelle, and Grace's mom.

If you liked this book, you'll like The Time Traveler's Wife. It's an equally stupid, vapid piece of crap for women. And it has some child grooming action.
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02/04/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 120) (120 new)


message 1: by AH (new) - added it

AH You got me at your use of the word alliteration. Awesome.


message 2: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory AH wrote: "You got me at your use of the word alliteration. Awesome."

Thank you :D


message 3: by Vinaya (new) - added it

Vinaya Cory hw cud u be so mean abt an awsum buk like Shiver? if u dint lyk it u shud just keep it 2 urself n nt say nasty thngs abt a buk u dnt even rmembr!

... did I get it right? Did I get it right? Am I real troll, Mommy?


message 4: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory Vinaya wrote: "Cory hw cud u be so mean abt an awsum buk like Shiver? if u dint lyk it u shud just keep it 2 urself n nt say nasty thngs abt a buk u dnt even rmembr!

... did I get it right? Did I get it right? A..."


Very well. You get an A in Troll 101.


Brandi ;) LOL! I love it!!! Perfect review :)
I read this book before reading any reviews and I too hated it. It was a struggle to get through, I think my eyes almost got stuck in the back of my head from rolling them SO much.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, that's what makes this world interesting. We don't have to all agree with each others opinions or even like them.
I happen to LOVE your opinion Cory on this waste of good trees, er.. I mean book.


message 6: by I am Bastet (new)

I am Bastet Love the review, with quotes from the text no less to prove your points. Also, love the carrot-on-a-stick you left up there for the trolls... I hope they come flocking!

Honestly, I could not get two pages into this book. Part of the reason was that I heard about it SO MUCH, about HOW GREAT IT WAS, that I just could not believe something in which a boy tries to EAT a girl as a wolf could possibly be that good. Plus the writing... oy, it was most of the reason I couldn't get past page three.

This has sold so big why exactly?


message 7: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory Brandi ;) wrote: "LOL! I love it!!! Perfect review :)
I read this book before reading any reviews and I too hated it. It was a struggle to get through, I think my eyes almost got stuck in the back of my head from ..."


@Brandi: Thanks a million. When I first read it, I wondered if it was just me who hated it. And yes, this is a huge waste of trees. Just think of all the animals that lost their homes because of this book. And Steifvater claims to love wolves.


message 8: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory Lindsey wrote: "Now see, I LOVE this review. You used examples and totally proved your points! I'm jealous I want to write reviews this good LOL"

Just find a book you really hate. It's funny, because my negative reviews get a lot more attention than my positive reviews.


message 9: by Cory (last edited Feb 15, 2011 02:19PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory Isis wrote: "Love the review, with quotes from the text no less to prove your points. Also, love the carrot-on-a-stick you left up there for the trolls... I hope they come flocking!

Honestly, I could not get t..."


I think the artificial hype made this so bad. And the fact that the majority of people will read just about anything. Thankfully, I did not spend one cent on this book. And I couldn't get past page three either. I skimmed. Thank god for skimming.


message 10: by I am Bastet (new)

I am Bastet I may take to skimming it relatively soon so I can see how much I hate it...


message 11: by AH (last edited Feb 15, 2011 02:22PM) (new) - added it

AH Isis wrote: "I may take to skimming it relatively soon so I can see how much I hate it..."

Me too! I am very curious now. Maybe I'll write a glowing review, LOL. I am finding that I have less and less patience for YA books.


Joyzi Haha I love you Cory


message 13: by Lucy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy Great review, excellent breakdown. The way Grace treated Isabelle and Jack always pissed me off. I bet MS is regretting that leaky womb business.


message 14: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory Lucy wrote: "Great review, excellent breakdown. The way Grace treated Isabelle and Jack always pissed me off. I bet MS is regretting that leaky womb business."

I hope so. It ruined the book for me. That, and his horrible songs and poetry.

@Joyzi: :D


Ceilidh Great review! Grace's selfishness bugged me so much. The entire concept of single minded, all consuming, obsessive love for a freaking teenager just annoys me in general. Not to say there can't be good teen romances because they do exist but having it be the be all and end all of a teenage girl's life worries me. The leaking womb bit made me O_O harder than I had ever done in my entire life.


message 16: by Lucy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy The songs were the worst. It was like watching a comedy where you were too embarrased for the main character to keep watching.

This might be a weird complaint, but you remember the scene where they go to the candy store on their first date? The little vapid clerk telling them the world needed more love at first sight made me want to rip my teeth with a spoon just so that the pain would come to the surface. I can't even put my finger on why it bothered me, except maybe that it was an attempt on outside validation of the relationship which was totally built in a closed off loop.


message 17: by Cory (last edited Feb 22, 2011 03:25PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory @Ceilidh: I didn't even believe he said leaky womb until I read it. I was reading the reviews and I was like, no way. What guy would ever say that, let alone what person?

@Lucy: That bothered me too. It's like her brain was turned off when she wrote that scene. Love at first sight is lust. Unless I'm mistaken. But I've always thought Sam was better with Grace's mom anyway. Weird, but true.


message 18: by Lucy (last edited Feb 22, 2011 11:07AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy Did you read the second one where Grace's absentee parents suddenly sit up and disapprove of Sam? As a plot device I get why an author might be tempted to give absent parents. It gives them more freedom even if it's completely lazy and short-sighted. I dislike the absentee parents gambit. I hate the paternal flip-flop Grace's parents undergo just to give their romance a more Romeo and Juliet quality.


message 19: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 22, 2011 10:40AM) (new)

Ok, I have some questions. I don't mean any of these to like say at all that the book is good or anything. I have not read the book and I really don't think I want to lol.

But I know that personally as a teenager I was selfish as all hell! I didn't listen to my parents at all, I had two obsessive love interests in high school that I wrote HORRIBLE poetry about <---- I can admit it is horrible now LOL!

I didn't have absentee parents though, they were in a constant state of trying to point me in the right direction which I of course ignored as a really rebellious teen (It wasn't a drug thing I was an athlete, so my rebellion didn't go towards drugs just not listening and staying out to late).

So technically, isn't their behavior accurate in this book? Is it the fact that she just wrote it poorly and one sided that makes this book crap? Because I personally see most teenagers as self absorbed asses. There are exceptions to the rule of course as in everything but for the most part they are pretty stupid lol


message 20: by AH (new) - added it

AH I haven't read the book Lindsey but the absentee parent story line is often found in YA novels. I have teenage boys and there is no way that they would be allowed to bring girls into their rooms and have privacy (yes, I am well aware that when there is a will there is a way but I am not going to make it easier under my watch). So often you see a story where the girl and boy will be in the girl's bedroom and the parents won't say a thing. Now, these books are geared at teenagers. I wouldn't want a teenager thinking that was the norm, because I don't believe it is.

Here are some examples - The Body Finder - Jay practically lives at the girl's house, even takes showers there.

Twilight - Edward is in Bella's bedroom at night

Beautiful Creatures - Lena does have a creepy family, but Ethan is in her room.

Evermore - No parents, just an aunt who is never home.

I had started a thread about this in one of the YA discussion groups last year. The authors that commented said that the absentee parent makes the story progress...


message 21: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory @Lucy: Nope, I haven't read Linger. I don't think I could force myself to either. I can't believe they have a flip out. Like Charlie and Edward. It's so stupid.

@Lindsey: Their behavior isn't believable to me. I think it's the way that she wrote it. I'm in the middle of finishing a novel right now, and I have a guy character that's totally obsessed with his love interest. And he writes horrible poetry.

But he doesn't come off as a self-obsessed ass. I think that's the problem with Steivater. Her characters weren't believable to me because I wasn't able to empathize with them.

Sure, teenagers are self-obsessed, or at least some of them are. But who wants to read a book about them being self obsessed jerks? I think Barry Lyga, John Green, and CK Kelly Martin do a much better job making their teens sound and act like teens, without making them come off like jerks.

Btw, I'm sure your poetry wasn't as bad as Sams. And I hope I answered your question. :D


message 22: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory Complete agreement AH. It's sort of weird, but along with the stalking and the complete a-hole attitudes, there's a lot YA boys are allowed to get away with.

Lindsey, a book on your life would probably be heaps more interesting than Shiver. I love family/parental conflict when it's done properly. And I hate weak or shallow parent caricatures.


message 23: by Lucy (last edited Feb 22, 2011 11:21AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy @AH great examples of absentee parent hooks. I've got a ton of others.

Hush, Hush has a single working mother who took a job involving a lot of plot convenient travel even though she has a teenage daughter. Marginally compensated for by a housekeeper who has been fired by the second book.

Rampant is basically a lot of teenage girls roaming around Italy with one guy in his mid-twenties functioning as a chaperon.

City of Bones the single working mother spends all but the first few chapters of the first book and the last few chapters of the third book in a coma. Comas! Useful for putting your character's parents on a time out.

Lindsey/Cory: Cory's got a great list of YA authors who make likable self-obsessed characters, but I don't even think self-obsessed qualifies for describing Grace so much as off her rocker. What we see from Grace is an almost pathological lack of empathy for people on two legs. Before Grace even knows the wolves are actually people she places a large value on their lives over the life of a dead classmate. Yeah, Jack was an assface, but he got attacked by wolves and died a painful death -- a death Grace almost suffered from too. You'd think her empathy would be with Jack and Jack's family. I didn't see a self-centered teenager I could connect to. I saw someone with a personality disorder. It was very 'how do you think a pack of animals actively hunting people needs your protection when they've already mauled your ass... oh well maybe they'll snuff you this time. Go Shelby!'


message 24: by Lucy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy I once read that Suzanne Collines wrote the first 50 pages of the Hunger Games in both first person and third to see which worked best. That is dedication. I'd love to see some YA writers do the first 50 pages with parents before disposing of them. I get the feeling most of them start a novel and go 'hmmm these pesky parents. I'll make one dead from years past that way there's only one for me to dance around.'

Also, I couldn't possibly say it better than this author:
"Lots of kids in books are only-child orphans, but I think it’s fun to have family as part of the adventure, to have familial love be as important as romantic love, and to show that love can go through fire and darkness - not unchanged, because experiences like that change everyone - but never faltering"
— Sarah Rees Brennan


Sandy Stellar review. I loathed Shiver and its purple-prose-vomit sister, Linger.

These books are just overflowing with overwrought, melodramatic writing and plot chasms.

Sam is SO annoyingly emo through every book, and Grace only gets more selfish.


message 26: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory All of you guys couldn't have said it better. Especially your point about Grace, Lucy.

And thank you Sandy.

And Lindsey, I've read Blue Bloods too. It was a total let down. The name dropping really bothered me.


message 27: by Vinaya (new) - added it

Vinaya Lol, that really gets to me too! Like Kit Marlowe from (I think) Karen Chance's novels, and a bunch of these other vamp novels. I'm just like, dude they're DEAD, can we stop making them UNdead and let them rest in peace?! :)


message 28: by AH (new) - added it

AH I got up to the 5th Blue Bloods book and it was a sleeper. I felt that by that book she should have tied up all the loose ends and finished the series. But no. I'm done with that series. Can't do it any more.


message 29: by Lucy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy I gave up after book 3? I don't know how old I was when I started Blue Bloods but if I started int now I'd probably kill it at the point where they started modeling.


message 30: by AH (new) - added it

AH I liked the concept at first. I stuck through the first 4 and didn't mind the story. The 5th book was dullsville for me.


message 31: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory I gave up on Blue Bloods when Mimi and Jack realized they didn't want to be matched, or whatever it was. I mean, twincest is just weird but I hate Schyuler more than I hate the idea of Mimi being happy. And god do I hate Jack.

I wish this series focused on Mimi and Kingsley because everyone else puts me to sleep.


message 32: by Lucy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy I think Blue Bloods was worlds less entertaining for me because I am from NYC. No one pay as much attention to the much lauded society pages of the New York Times as YA fiction and Gossip Girl would have you believe.


message 33: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory I figured as much Lucy. It felt like I was reading the CliffNotes to the Devil Wears Prada, only with vampires.


message 34: by Lucy (last edited Feb 23, 2011 07:52AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy I'm going to end up re-reading the Blue Bloods books to see if the world building is as bad as I remember. I love goodreads, but sometimes she hurts me.

EDIT ohgawd that makes goodreads my paranormal YA romance unhuman soulmate.


message 35: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory And she's cheating on you with 2000 other people. Ooh, that's low. Even for her.


Ceilidh I didn't hate the first Blue Bloods book, I just thought it was a good idea run into the ground with cliches and questionable moments (15 year old girls doing topless photoshoots? Seriously?). I also hated the constant name dropping of brands and whatever was current just to make it seem more 'authentic' for teenagers, which if failed spectacularly in doing. I liked the mythos though, it was unique and I liked the incorporation of historical events, but there was too much time devoted to brand name dropping and cheap Gossip Girl riffs for me to care. It also isn't a good sign when you're favourite character is the bitchy female antagonist and the bitchy cold grandmother.


message 37: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory Ceilidh wrote: "I didn't hate the first Blue Bloods book, I just thought it was a good idea run into the ground with cliches and questionable moments (15 year old girls doing topless photoshoots? Seriously?). I al..."

All very true. And of course the grandmother had to die, leaving us with more reasons for Schyluer to angst. How far did you get in the series? I made it to book five till I gave up.


message 38: by AH (new) - added it

AH Book 5 should have been the last book in that series. It was a whole lot of nothing happening.


Ceilidh I only read the first book, it was part of my original review project (I belive it was the 2nd book I reviewed IIRC.) I gave it credit for originality but why create a genuinely unique and interesting mythos if all you want to talk about is fads and designer jeans? How many books are supposed to be in the series?


message 40: by AH (new) - added it

AH I was surprised to see that there were about 9 or 10 books planned.


message 41: by Lucy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy 9 or 10? Even packaged books end eventually. Although I guess the fact that they're not 400+ page tomes gives people the idea to serialize.


message 42: by AH (new) - added it

AH I don't mind serialized books, however, there is a time when a series should end. End it on the high notes. Don't drive it to the ground milking every penny out of it. Some series can go on and on and still be successful. Others just need to end.


message 43: by Lucy (last edited Feb 24, 2011 05:11AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lucy I haven't found a long lasting YA serial that I've loved (maybe the Everworld books but I'm too afraid rereading will equal the death of a pleasant memory). I do, however, have a lot of respect for the woman who wrote the Traveling Pants books. She ended it where she felt it needed to be ended and tied it up in a way where the packaging company couldn't just snag a ghost writer to continue them. It's hard for any writer to walk away from a steady paycheck they get for doing something they've loved.


message 44: by AH (new) - added it

AH I understand that but there are plenty of examples of authors ending their series well - Harry Potter - the kids grew up and got married. There are still opportunities to continue writing, maybe about Harry's kids, but the series ended on a high note. Shadowfever is another example of a 5 book series that ended on a high note, but left the reader wanting more. Leave them wanting more is my motto.


message 45: by Lyndsey (new) - added it

Lyndsey Yeah. Some series get better as they go but a lot of them get worse. Case in point, the Study series. And as much as I LOVE Indiana Jones, they just NEVER should have made that last movie.


message 46: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory The study series got really, really bad. I didn't think it could worse after Magic Study. Then Fires Study came along. The Animorphs was 55 books long. It's middle grade, but it wasn't that bad. Books 30-50 were ghost written though, so your mileage may vary.


message 47: by Lyndsey (last edited Feb 24, 2011 07:05AM) (new) - added it

Lyndsey Still. One author wrote the first 30 books? Even if they are short, that's a lot of time to spend in one series. And Sue Grafton and her Alphabet series. GEEZ. I haven't read any of them but even if I was a fan of her books, I imagine I'd get bored with after the first few in the series. But I'm not much for looooong series. 6 or 7 is usually enough for me. Harry Potter and Fever both had ideal length and story-arch for me.


message 48: by Cory (new) - rated it 1 star

Cory There are only around 15 out of those that are really good. I think one came out every 3 months. But it was like a Goosebumps thing.

I agree though.I'd rather have 7 really good books than 30 so-so books, 10 really bad books, and 15 good ones. It ruins series credibility. K.A Applegate's husband is Michael Grant, who wrote Gone btw. Has anyone read that?


message 49: by Tatiana (last edited Feb 24, 2011 07:17AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tatiana I have read the 1st Gone book. Not bad, although I don't feel particularly compelled to continue on with that series.

And 7 books seems like a good cut-off for any series. All longer ones run out of steam and end up killing the whole experience eventually.


message 50: by Lyndsey (last edited Feb 24, 2011 07:24AM) (new) - added it

Lyndsey I think some authors need to realize that after so long with the same events and characters, things start to feel over done. It's not that we are tired of the world or characters. Just the circumstances and the recycling of them. Just because we are over the series, doesn't mean we are over the world within it.

I LOVE spin-offs. I think the key is knowing when you have something good. Like why in the world wasn't there an Ari and Janco spin-off series or at least stand alone book? They were a gold mine in the Study books.


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