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A book by Maggie Stiefvater

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will touch your heart and delight your senses.

  • Jan 20, 2010
  • by

I can count on one hand the number of books that I have physically clasped to my chest upon finishing. As if by that action I could keep that feeling in my heart forever. Shiver is now one of those books.

"I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in." -Shiver

In a way, Shiver made me think of the movie Ladyhawk (1985), in which lovers (Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutegar Haurer) were cursed to live as animals, she as a hawk during the day, and he as a wolf during the night. Only during those brief moments of dusk and twilight could they see each other as humans. The idea is still deeply romantic (something the movie didn't quite pull off), and Maggie has captured that deliciously tense longing perfectly.

It is immediately obvious that Maggie writes beautifully. Hauntingly, painfully, beautifully. And her characters are as bright and crisp as the winter they dread. Chapter by chapter, the book switches first person perspectives from Grace and Sam, the majority of which are Sam's. As characters, they are a study in complimentary contrasts.

Sam is an old soul. He's thoughtful and poetic in how he interprets the world around him. He is consumed with words; their sound, their lyrical quality. He often composes song lyrics in his mind throughout the book. He is all to aware of their absence for him when he is a wolf. And he possesses that one quality that unites all great men: the capacity to love so completely that it encompasses every fiber of their being. For Sam, Grace is his world.

Grace is practical to a fault, at least in the eyes of her rather free spirited parents. She is passionate and brave. She holds her emotions close, but feels deeply. She is resilient in a way that those around her can scarcely fathom. She longs for that one person to connect with mind, body, and soul, but the more rational part of her doesn't really expect him to come.

In addition the the writing and characters, what I especially loved about this book was the sense of desperation that the author created. The inevitability of Sam returning to his wolf form, possibly forever, juxtaposed with the certain knowledge that Grace and Sam belonged together, that separating them would just as certainly destroy them both.

Every paranormal story about first love will automatically be compared to Twilight, and Shiver is already no exception. The stories and characters in the two books are radically different, but the emotions evoked by both are wonderfully similar. This story of girl who falls in love with a wolf who can only resume his human shape during the summer, will touch your heart, and the writing will delight your senses. Shiver is the first book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy. Book two, Linger, will be released July 20, 2010. I'm off to pre-order it.

Sexual Content: (YA titles receive a more thorough breakdown) Teenagers sleep in the same bed together many times. Sex is implied once but not described.

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More Shiver reviews
review by . October 06, 2010
   Ahhh, young love in chilly hypnotic woods, what better premise for a girl and wolf to meet and become totally enchanted with one another. When Grace was a little girl she was pulled of her swing by a group of hungry wolves, one of them however was entranced by her warm sugar like scent and her sparkling green eyes and saved her. Years later she still feels the connection. An incident involving someone from her school getting hurt brings upon men with guns, one of them hits the grey …
review by . January 23, 2012
Years ago, when Grace was attacked by wolves, Sam saved her. He has been a presence in Grace's life ever since always lurking on the periphery each winter in Mercy Falls, watching her, protecting her.      Even though they have never spoken.      Sam has been watching Grace for years, waiting for her, making sure she was safe. Even when he couldn't remember her name he knew she mattered. He knew he loved her even if it was impossible because of what …
review by . February 06, 2010
Quickie POV: Shiver is a beautifully written and touching tale that had me captivated from page one. The book is worthy of all the hype generated. Stiefvater is an artist, her words paint a picture that seep through my skin and touch my soul.    Review: The wolves are a presence in the woods behind Grace's home. They have become an obsession of hers ever since her childhood, when as a young girl she was drug from her swing by the hungry animals and almost devoured. More so, the …
review by . March 01, 2010
Ahhh, young love in chilly hypnotic woods, what better premise for a girl and wolf to meet and become totally enchanted with one another. When Grace was a little girl she was pulled of her swing by a group of hungry wolves, one of them however was entranced by her warm sugar like scent and her sparkling green eyes and saved her. Years later she still feels the connection. An incident involving someone from her school getting hurt brings upon men with guns, one of them hits the grey wolf, her wolf, …
review by . November 12, 2009
This is the book that practically the blog-o-sphere erupted about (along with Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins and Fire by Kristin Cashore), or so it seemed to me. Almost every one of my blog friends either read this, wanted to read this or wanted to have its babies (well joking about that last one). And I admit when I first heard about it, I wasn't 'OMG NEED NOW' excited, interested, but it wasn't something that made me want to run around begging for a copy. I haven't read Stiefvater before (which …
review by . November 07, 2009
I knew after the first seven pages, I was hooked. I loved how Sam and Grace's relationship was something that grew through the years, so that once they met, it felt real. Sometimes I get annoyed, when all the books I read have the protagonist fall in love out of nowhere (not that it couldn't happen, but you'd think feeling that strongly about someone would take a little time). I really felt like they could have been so in love, just from watching one another from afar...    Out …
review by . October 06, 2009
Grace remembers being attacked by wolves when she was eleven, but what she remembers most is the wolf who stopped the attack and saved her. For years his yellow eyes have haunted her, and she's watched fervently each winter for his return to the forest near her home. Somehow she knows he will always be there to watch over her. And then the unthinkable happens; a fellow classmate is not only attacked by wolves, he is killed by them. What will happen to Grace's wolf when the town is on the rampage, …
review by . September 13, 2009
Everyone seems to want to jump on the Twilight bandwagon....but this one missed the ride. A slow-moving tale of the love between teenagers Sam and Grace...with the former being a werewolf, the latter a human that he rescued from certain death as a child at the "paws" of some of his pack. Since that rescue, the two have loved each other from afar; with Grace feeling a certain kinship with the wolves overall...and "her" wolf in particular. When the two are finally able to meet when both are the same …
review by . September 04, 2009
Grace has been infatuated with the wolves that reside in the woods around her home for years. Even after a mauling it never deterred her feelings for them. On the other hand, she became even more intrigued by them... but especially "her wolf" - the one with the golden eyes.    Sam leads a double life. In the winter he's all fur and lives amongst the members of his pack - but never once forgets the girl who silently watches him. When the weather warms up he gets a few months where …
review by . August 16, 2009
Shiver presents an interesting twist on a traditional love story. Go outside and get cold enough and poof you are a wolf! Not your typical romance...    The best part of the story for me was the beginning of the book when Sam is a wolf and Grace is studying him from her window or her yard. I love the longing that they both feel but it cannot be, yet. There is also another great scene that I wish there had be more of, when Sam seems Grace when he is a human but never gets to say …
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Abigail ()
Ranked #585
I am a 20-something book lover with an obsession for all things urban fantasy. I cut my teeth on the paranormal genre withBuffyandTwilightbefore discoveringPatricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. Suffice … more
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Starred Review. Grade 9 Up—Grace, 17, loves the peace and tranquility of the woods behind her home. It is here during the cold winter months that she gets to see her wolf—the one with the yellow eyes. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the ensuing years he has returned each season, watching her with those haunting eyes as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party decides to retaliate. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows and intensifies, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him back into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever. Told from alternating points of view, the narrative takes a classicRomeo & Julietplot and transforms it into a paranormal romance that is beautiful and moving. Readers will easily identify with the strong, dynamic characters. The mythology surrounding the wolf pack is clever and so well written that it seems perfectly normal for the creatures to exist in today's world. A must-have that will give Bella and Edward a run for their money.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NYEND
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ISBN-10: 0545123267
ISBN-13: 978-0545123266
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Children's Books, Teens
Publisher: Scholastic Press
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