Monday, November 9, 2009

[Review]: "Shiver"

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.

Publication Date: August, 2009
Pages: 400
Genre: Teen Fiction, Teen Romance, Shapeshifters
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 1
Summary (B&N):
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling 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, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
Places to order Shiver at:

My Review:
How can you beat perfection? The answer: you can't. Which is why, no matter how long I work at my review, it will never quiet do justice for Shiver, which could be, quiet honestly, my all-time favorite YA novel to date!
Beginning with the plot itself, Shiver is truly one of a kind! Unlike the countless other werewolf stories out there, this isn't one of them-- it sticks out from the rest. Instead of turning whenever you want, Shiver's wolves cannot control their shift... But it's not the moon that holds them enthralled. Instead, it's the temperature. If it gets too cold (Winter, for example), they change into wolf shape for good, only to emerge human when it begins to warm up.
Also, unlike most versions of the werewolf, Sam (the wolf hero of our story), loses all of his human memories, feelings... For months upon months of the year, he's simple a wolf, surviving in the woods like any wild animal. And for years, this is the only time that Grace gets to see Sam, not knowing at the time of course, in his wolf form sneaking through the woods at the edge of her house.
But this year is different-- this year, Sam knows it could be his last year, meaning that after this winter's change, he'll continue to be a wolf for the rest of his life, however long or short it may be. For unknown reasons, this always happens to the werewolves-- soon they loose themselves completely to the wolf, and their human side ceases to exist. Although Sam's only a teenager, and not nearly as old as many of the previous shifters that have been rendered permanently wolf, he knows deep down that his time is up. This pushes him into finally confronting Grace, telling her not only what he is, but how he feels.
The romance between Grace and Sam was, to be quiet honest, beautifully written, heart breaking at times, and very sweet during others. You couldn't ask for anything better-- even if you aren't a teenager, I promise, you won't miss any of the more sensual romance you expect from adult books, Shiver manages to cover all the bases (no pun intended!) and enchant the reader from page one!
Characters, always an important part of a story, are also wonderfully done in this book. You really do connect to them, feel for them, and enjoy being a part of their journey as they develop, expand, and yes, even when they're hurt. When Grace and Sam grieved, I did as well. When they were happy, I was reading with a smile on my face. I really enjoyed how we got to switch between Grace's point of view and Sam's--- this not only helped the story to flow, but it allowed us to see into both of their hearts' and minds'. When an author can pull the reader into the story like that, well, you know she's got one amazing skill, and one that I hope she continues to use in the future books as well!

5 STARS! Shiver manages to hold the reader captivated from beginning to end, and if you're like me, you'll find yourself putting the book down, yet the characters and the words will stick in your mind for weeks after, just as clear as if you had the book open in front of you. I'll be honest-- I even cried at the end, and though I won't ruin it and say 'Why', I will say it was due more to the brutally honest words Maggie used to convey the emotion and story than any harmful events. Simple words for an ending, but they were enough to make me cry! That's what I call powerful writing. Romantic and sweet, funny and touching, and even enough of an underlying suspense/unease to keep the action of the story going, Shiver is sure to becoming a legend in YA shapeshifters! I know it is on my shelf.

Thanks to Jessica for sending this to me, via GoodReads First Reads!

And if you want to hear a truly AMAZING review on Shiver, check out Teddyree's!


Until Next Time,


Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Wow... okay I will definitely be checking this one out. I am not a huge fan of YA, but your review was done so very well and I love how you put all of your thoughts down here. I really enjoyed your review!
Thank you for the heads up on a new author to me and possible a new book =)
Have a great night honey

Teddyree said...

Wonderful, wonderful review. I couldn't agree with you more, powerful writing & I cried too, a couple of times LOL
Thanks for the link love :-)

Unknown said...

Great review and it sounds like a winner. It certainly is a new approach to the werewolf story and promises to be romantic. For a different kind of story, but also hard to put down, please check out my recently released Angela 1: Starting Over at

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for borrowing me this book TBQ! I can't wait to start reading it (Sadly, homework has to come first :( *sighs*). Your review is amazing and has me wondering if I should wait for a full day of just reading or read when I can, lol. It sounds like the books that you won't want to put down until you've finished, which I'm pretty sure it is. (Stupid English/Chemistry/Math homework!)