Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
HC 400 pages
Ages 12 and up
From the Publisher:
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf - her wolf - is a haunting presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human -- until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears and the temperature drops, Sam must fight to stay human or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
As a child, Grace was attacked by a pack of wolves, which in itself was weird, but she survived the attack when one of the wolves stepped in to stop it, which was even weirder. Now, after all these years, Grace still feels a certain affinity with the wolves, the yellow-eyed one in particular.
When a unpleasant boy at school, Jack, is attacked by wolves, and apparently killed, the people of the town step in to take matters into their own hands. Then Grace finds Sam, a boy with yellow eyes, on her back deck, injured. It doesn't take long for her to make all of the connections.
Sam and Grace, with precious little time left, find themselves simultaneously searching for Jack, who has disappeared from the morgue, and trying to find a way for Sam to remain human, all while learning about each other and falling in love.
There were so many elements in the story at play that it was never boring, for sure. And for the most part, I very much enjoyed reading Shiver. The only thing that really nagged at me was a scene involving Sam and Grace's mom. I really felt the dialogue was reaching, as he says to her, "I think the mother doth protest too much." This irked me as an unrealistic dialogue between a seventeen year old and an adult. (Yes, this is a repetition of my previous nit-picking about the role of parents in teen-lit!)
That aside, the love story between Grace and Sam is definitely the best part of the book for me though all of the other action just serves to enhance this, making the potential for loss that much greater for both of them.
In Shiver, Stiefvater gives us an interesting twist on the werewolf theme, showing the heart ache it can cause, particularly in the area of Sam's past. She has given Sam and Grace, both, the aura of "old souls", while keeping a teen feel throughout. I actually felt that the book finished very neatly and was surprised to learn there would be another book to follow. To this end, I'm anxious to see what Maggie Stiefvater has in store for us next, as she releases Linger this summer.
Shiver is a meaty, paranormal teen romance worth reading, if this is a genre you enjoy.
Click here to read an excerpt or to see the book trailer:http://www.scholastic.ca/titles/shiver/