Renee's Reviews > Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
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's review
Aug 25, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: ya, fantasy

** spoiler alert ** Here is the deal: Stiefvater is a good writer most of the time. I could put forth some examples to the contrary, such as the metaphors that are just plain bizarre, or some of the dialogue.

But for the most part, Stiefvater writes very intelligently, and so I did not realize that my opinion of the story itself was falling until it was too late. Over the course of reading this novel I moved from interest to irritation to vague disappointment. This downward slide centered mostly around Grace, the hapless main character in this story, and her lack of real interpersonal relationships (or at least ones that I saw that qualified as real interpersonal relationships).

Grace seemed to have one facet to her personality - obsessive (I give the author kudos for her having the balls to even have Grace admit to this obsessiveness). She is obsessed with the wolves - particularly Sam - and this obsession continues through the time they have while he is human. Sure, Sam is an intelligent, Rilke-reading, lyric writing-on-the-fly, "sexy" guy, but I got the distinct impression while reading this that if he were not part wolf (her wolf, no less), Grace would not have been interested. I suppose I can forgive all of this because of Grace's unique tie to the wolf world, but man! Because Grace is nothing but obsessive, all she is offering Sam is that obsessiveness, and would an intelligent, Rilke-reading, lyric writing-on-the-fly, "sexy" guy really be happy with just plain obsession? Maybe. I am not an expert on teenage werewolves.

But what actually bugged me more was that void of interpersonal relationships. The obsession with Sam is the closest intimacy we have a glimpse of in the book. She has more of a connection with the wolves than her friends or her parents. The former are in her life for no discernible reasons - the most we get from Stiefvater is that Olivia also likes wolves, and Rachel is the extroverted glue that holds her introvert friends together. Most of the time I was hard-pressed to find evidence of the three truly even liking each other. There certainly was no trust between them. As for Grace's parents - both are too absorbed in their own lives to pay her any attention. More minor characters are relegated to plot movers, though I assume there will be more of Beck and Isabel in later novels. In this installment, the lack of other important relationships results in the Grace-centered portions dealing almost exclusively with her obsession with Sam. By the time I finished the book I had the disquieting impression that I was obsessed with Sam, which did not improve my mood at all.


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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Meredith The second book is okay. Without spoiling anything, it's told from four characters' perspectives. The weakest link of the four? Grace herself. I found the other three characters to be really interesting and textured, while she remained pretty nondescript and unfocused.

Renee Oh dear. Maybe I will skip it then...or interrupt it with a few books featuring a lead character that does not make me want to take up smoking.

Thanks for the tip!

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