Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

I don't normally exceed my three reviews per week, but after I read Shiver, I just had to review it immediately. This is one of these books that I can't write a summary for. I'm still reeling from reading the book. This book is one that is best described to one's friends as "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!!"

So here's the summary from the jacket description:

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.

What I thought: Wow! Let me say that again. Wow. I liked Stiefvater's faery books, but she has surpassed herself this time. I didn't want to put this book down. When forced to (drat work!), my mind would replay the scenes and wonder what happened next. Stiefvater seems to have an uncanny ability to portray male-female relationships realistically. Grace and Sam have more than chemistry. They have a connection. I guess their six years "watching" one another has something to do with that. Sam and Grace's relationship is one that makes single girls teary eyed and then mournfully say, "I wish I had that." Loved the alternate points-of-view. This is what I would have liked in Lament and Ballad. So glad she decided to write Shiver from both points-of-view. Having Grace's and Sam's individual perspectives adds so much to the story.

Stiefvater's werewolves fascinate me. The full moon thing is a bit overdone and I am ecstatic that she moved away from that. The temperature thing makes sense--even seems scientific. This was a beautiful book filled with so many emotions--love, longing, lust, despair, desperation, humor, and always hope. I can't wait to read the next two books in the trilogy. At this point (I've read the blurb for Linger), I think I might give up my firstborn to get my hands on an ARC of Linger. Now that's serious desperation. Bottom-line, after reading Shiver, I was so haunted (in a good way) by the story that I went back to read bits of it again.

My favorite scene was in the candy store when the clerk asks Sam and Grace how long they've been dating and Sam answers, "Six years." I loved Grace's reaction: "I wrinkled my nose to cover a laugh. Of course he would count the time that we'd been two entirely different species" (282). Gotta love that wry humor.

Book 2 (Linger) is due out this year and Book 3 (Forever) will be out in 2011.

Twilight Saga look out. I think (okay, know) Wolves of Mercy Falls is a much stronger series than Twilight. And the writing...beautiful unlike Twilight where you get stuck in Bella's rambling thought process for hundreds of pages.

(Wolves of Mercy Falls Book #1. New York: Scholastic, 2009.)

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