Book Title: Shiver
Book Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Page Count: 390
Publishing Date: August 1st, 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Date Read: February 3rd, 2017
Synopsis: 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.
Shiver turned in to a love/hate relationship for me. I wanted to love it. I had read countless gushing reviews, and had such high expectations for, not only the story but, Maggie’s writing. Maybe it was because it was one of her earlier novels, or maybe it was because I fell victim to the hype monster, but I didn’t fall in love with either like I wanted.
The writing wasn’t terrible. I’ve definitely read worse. But, the writing did not captivate me. It felt slightly awkward in flow and context. A lot of the memory flashbacks felt misplaced, and Sam kept making up random “song lyrics” in his head that just came off as confusing, and super weird. I couldn’t completely visualize the world, and I didn’t become invested in any of the characters.
I wasn’t a fan of the insta-love/obsessive relationship that was formed between Grace and Sam either. Sam always spoke about not remembering his human self and thoughts when he changed in to a wolf, but somehow managed to fall in love with Grace from only watching her, and interacting ONCE. Grace had only known Sam as a wolf, and grew familiar with seeing him, and smelling him, watching her, and magically connected with him the first time she realized he could change in to human Sam. It just felt a little on the unhealthy side. She was letting him drive her car, sleep in her bed, use her toothbrush (yes, gross!), without really getting to know him.
The plot had a lot of promise. I was intrigued by the wolves only shifting when it was cold (though I was also confused by its lack of explanation too). I just didn’t feel that it lived up to my expectations, and felt disappointed in the jumpy pace of the story, and the lack of explanation of everything involving the wolves.
I had made it to around page 260 when I started to feel like I had no interest in continuing the series. I was slightly bored, confused, and turned off by the weird vibe of the relationship. But, I continued on because there was nothing so terrible, or offensive, that gave me reason to “DNF” the book. Now, after finishing it, and being left with an intriguing, cliffhanger ending, I may pick up book 2 and give The Wolves of Mercy Falls series a second chance to see where everything was headed.
So, I didn’t love it. I didn’t completely hate it either. I’m sitting right in the middle, and not sure if I would recommend it or not. Have you read it? Do you want to? Did book 2 get better? I’d have to give it about a 2 to 2.5 star rating (or 2 faeries, since we don’t want to tempt a wolf with an easy meal of half a faerie).
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