Monday, July 4, 2011

Review - Shiver

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)
by Maggie Stiefvater
Date: 2009
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Reading level: YA
Pages: 400
Source: Chapters

Grace has been watching the wolves for years, ever since she was almost killed in an attack. She feels especially drawn to the wolf with the yellow eyes. One night, a yellow-eyed boy shows up, bleeding, on her back porch. Grace knows right away that it is her wolf.

When a classmate goes missing and is assumed killed by the wolves, Grace discovers that there has been a lot more going on in the woods around town than she could have dreamed. As her feelings for her yellow-eyed boy, Sam, grow stronger, she is forced to confront some troubling possibilities. And those possibilities could have dire consequences for those she holds most dear.

When I read a book that's had lots of hype, I'm always a little bit wary. Will it live up to my expectations? Or will I end up tossing it aside, wondering what all the fuss was about? I've had Shiver in my TBR pile since Halloween 2009... and I only just got around to reading it now! I'm glad I was pleasantly surprised by what I read.

While this is essentially another paranormal romance (it's a werewolf book), the author did some interesting things with the mythology. There are no full moons, silver crosses, or wolfsbane in this rendition of the tale. I quite enjoyed this variation, as the author was able to make it fairly original (and that's not easy to do with all the paranormal titles on the market).

The story is told in alternating first-person points of view, so we get to see the story through Grace's and Sam's eyes. To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of this technique in this book because I found it a bit confusing. Sam's character seemed consistent, whether he was the storyteller or the subject. Grace, on the other hand, didn't work as well for me. I felt like her character was a bit different when she was telling the story as opposed to when she was being described by Sam. My other complaint with the characters in this novel was with the parents. Why were they all so uninvolved? I don't think I've ever read anything like it. While this sort of characterization may be convenient for the plot, I found it to be very unrealistic. One set of lousy parents, sure... But it seemed like every parent in Mercy Falls couldn't care less what their children were up to!

The book was a page-turner, though, and I had a difficult time putting it down at times. I did like the writing style (descriptive without being overly flowery) and the author knew how to write dialogue properly.

So, all in all, I can see now what all the fuss was about, and I'm glad I dug this one out of the bottom of my TBR pile to read it. Unfortunately, now I need to get my hands on Linger and Forever. Darn addictive trilogies...

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Editing: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4.29 out of 5


  1. Oh good. I'm the same way about books getting a lot of hype. I just downloaded the audio book and am going to try it that way.

  2. oh glad to hear you liked it. I think I'm part of the minority because I really didn't enjoy this one.

  3. I just read Shiver last week, too. I didn't like it as much as you did, but I still enjoyed it. I felt that the series got better as it went - liked Linger a bit more, and LOVED Forever. (I had access to an ARC.)

    Thanks for your well-written, thoughtful review! I, too, love Maggie's writing style!

  4. I felt the same way about Grace's parents but it's addressed in the second novel. I really liked the dual perspective and what I found really interesting about this one is that Sam was a bit more feminine than Grace and I really liked that role reversal. I also think Ms. Stiefvater is without a doubt one of the best writers out there today. Her prose is just gorgeous. Great review!

  5. I remember I tried to listen to this one last year but I didn't get very far - the guy doing Sam's voice wasn't very good so it was put off.

    But for what I remember, there was a nice style to it. Just wasn't the book for me.

  6. Nice review! I have heard of this book, but I tend to avoid books with a lot of hype. Then I succumb and wonder why I waited so long!

    I'm behind on my TBR, too...

    GraceKrispy@MotherLode blog

  7. Nice review. This is one of the books I wasn't even sure if I should read it or not. There is so much hype going on. Now you pretty much convinced me to give it a try :)

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    Nimue @