Saturday, August 29, 2009

Book Review: Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. (Grades 9+)
Scholastic, August 2009
Full disclosure: reviewed from ARC I snagged at ALA

Ever since she was a little girl, Grace has been visited by a wolf in the woods behind her house. This particular wolf seems to appear every winter and has the most amazing yellow eyes. After wolves attack one of her classmates, Grace's wolf appears to her one night... as a human. Sam. And Grace knows that she loves him. But she also knows that she's going to lose him. For as the temperature drops, Sam's days as a human are drawing to a close. And to be together, Grace and Sam have to be willing to risk everything.

Shiver was everything I wanted Twilight to be. There, I said it.

It's beautifully written. I didn't find any of the characters annoying. Both Grace and Sam narrate the story with chapters switching back and forth between their points of view. Even as Grace's obsession with Sam grows, she's still her own person.

I had one niggling complaint about the werewolf folklore, but it was answered towards the middle of the book. (I kept thinking, if you change when you get cold... move to Florida! But there's a reason they can't do that. It gets explained.)

I kept flagging passages of beautiful writing, like this one at the very beginning:

The day I nearly talked to Grace was the hottest day of my life. Even in the bookstore, which was air-conditioned, the hear crept in around the door and came in through the big picture windows in waves. Behind the counter, I slouched on my stool in the sun and sucked in the summer as if I could hold every drop of it inside me. As the hours crept by, the afternoon sunlight bleached all the books on the shelves to pale, gilded versions of themselves and warmed the paper and ink inside the covers so that the smell of unread words hung in the air.

This was what I loved, when I was human

I knew at that point that I was in for a treat. It took me a little bit to get hooked into the story, but once I did, I didn't want to put the book down. I'm not sure what else I have to say about it. I'd promptly hand it over to Twilight fans (hi, Melody!) or fans of paranormal romance.

Check out this gorgeous book trailer created by the author:

Oh, and there's a companion novel coming out in Fall 2010, Linger.

And read more reviews at The Compulsive Reader, Presenting Lenore, The Well-Read Child, GreenBeanTeenQueen, and Shooting Stars Mag.

Plus, read a Cynsations interview with Maggie Stiefvater and Ms. Stiefvater's thoughts about the worst review she's received over at The Worst Review Ever (OMG what a cool idea for a blog!).


Janssen said...

Just put this on reserve at the library. Thanks for a great review!

Laughing Stars said...

"Shiver was everything I wanted Twilight to be" ... Ditto! :-) Great review ... I'm linking to it at my blog.

Anonymous said...

I love that you said Shiver was what you wanted Twilight to be. I loaned my copy to a friend a little while ago and told her, "It's what Twilight should have been...short and with no vampires." =)

La Coccinelle said...

Everything you wanted Twilight to be, eh? You've sold me. (This book is on my reading list anyway, but it's good to know that people are liking it!)

Adriana said...

One of my best friends used to work at Scholastic, and she got to work on this book. She was so excited about it and kept telling me I absolutely must read it! :) I'm glad to know you liked it too. But now, the dilemma -- it comes out the same day as Catching Fire. Which one should I read first? :)))

Jenn M. said...

I've been wanting to pick this book up. Thanks for the review.

You are brave saying it is what you wanted Twilight to be. I switched my review post on Breaking Dawn to stop the nasty comments! :)

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I agree! This was everything I wanted Twilight to be too. I thought this was a great example of what paranormal romance should be. I'm so glad you liked it!

Sami said...

I'm almost finished with this book and plan on reviewing it soon. There where things that I didn't like about this books. Like the absolute neglectfulness of Grace's parents who apparently weren't bad people, but still neglectful? I don't know. We'll see how strongly the book finishes. :)

Jill said...

"Shiver was everything I wanted Twilight to be."

This is enough to make me intrigued!

Anna said...

I stayed up until 2 a.m. finishing this book last night because I COULD NOT. Good thing today's Labor Day so I don't have to go to work!

Jess said...

I loved this book as well.
I couldn't put the book down, i stayed up till 3am just to finish it..and the ending brought me to tears.
This is deffinately one of the best books I've ever read.

Also, I am a big fan of the Twilight Series, and I'm glad that they wern't too alike, I like the books that I read to have that personal touch, if you get what I mean?

Great review, I totally agree with almost everything you said.. Keep it up!