Friday, March 5, 2010

Fantasy Friday: Shiver

Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 400
Reading Level: 14 and up

Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver was one of those books that I kept hearing about before I ever thought of reading. It was on the New York Times Best Sellers list, I read agent blog posts about it, and it kept popping up in my recommended readings for my Amazon account. Finally, when I was in a bookstore, I picked it up to see what all the fuss was about.

I'm glad I did.

First, the book itself is beautiful. I'm a sucker for an interesting layout or a unique idea, and Shiver definitely has that. The cover is white with different degrees of a blue-gray shade creating trees and a wolf. On the inside, the lettering is printed in a deep blue-gray instead of the usual black.

The story follows 17-year-old Grace, who is fascinated by the wolves that live in the woods by her house. One wolf in particular, with yellow eyes, draws her attention. This wolf saved her life when she was young, and she considers him to be her wolf.

Enter Sam. Sam is a werewolf. Each year he transforms as the winter approaches and remains a wolf until it becomes warm again. But his days are numbered. Wolves only change back for a certain number of years, then they remain wolves forever. When he finally comes into human contact with the girl he has been watching for years, he thinks it might be too late. He might not change back next time.

Obviously, Shiver is a love story, but it is much more than a romance. There are other plot points and areas of exploration for the characters. Sam has to work through more than becoming a wolf and being in love with Grace.

I enjoyed this book because it wasn't a simple romance. I really appreciated the character development and the emotional turmoil for Sam. The werewolf mythology was original and it was nice to be able to follow both Grace and Sam through their own viewpoints. Actually, I enjoyed reading from Sam's point of view more than Grace's.

One thing I did not like about the book was the pacing. Sometimes the pacing was great, but there were points in the middle that felt really slow to me. That slow pace made it difficult for me to be motivated to pick it up and finish the story. Luckily, the pace does get better towards the end. Regardless of these reservations, I will definitely be picking up the sequel, Linger, when it comes out in July.

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys YA romance.

Happy reading!


1 comment:

  1. I will have to read this. I haven't been terribly big on the whole warewolf or vampire thing, but I've heard so many wonderful things about this book, I'll definitely have to read it. Thanks for the great review.