Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls)Book Details:
Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls)
By Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Young Adult
Published 2009, Scholastic Press
Hardback, 392 pages
ISBN: 9780545123266

          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.
I read this book as a recommendation from a friend. Even though I knew lots of other book bloggers love this series, all I kept thinking was "not another werewolf book." I am very glad that I read this anyways. It is very different from what I expected, and most of the book was unpredictable.
The idea of werewolves brings to mind extra strength, no weakness, and no fear, but these werewolves are more victims of a progressive disease with lives that are dictated by changes in the weather. Even in wolf form, they behave as a normal wolf would with no extras to benefit themselves.
Grace is quite an anomaly in the book, and she spends half the book in denial of the obvious. What bothered me about her character was that even though she is "book-smart," she never thinks to question what she is and how she became this way. Outside forces had to propel her out her denial. I really like Sam's character, especially because he tries so hard to hang on to his humanity, not just presently, but ever since he was bitten. The memories he shares of being home-schooled by the other werewolves shows me that even then he understood the importance of this. I grew to really like Isabel's character, too. Even though she has attitude to spare, she still has a heart and wants to do what is right. She actually reminds me a bit of the character of Cordelia from BTVS.
I was a little disappointed about what happened to Jack, but he wasn't exactly the most likable character. I was also a little confused about Olivia, as she seemed to lack uniformity in her character - at one point she seemed to not care too much about the wolves, and then I get the idea that she is supposed to be obsessed with them.
The ending came as a complete shock to me, as I really thought something else would happen right up until the very end. So now I have tons of questions, and I can not wait to get my hands on the next book, Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 2).

The Cover: I found the cover to be somewhat vague, except for that red spot in the middle that must be meant to be blood. I actually did not spot the wolf until after I completed the book.

First Line: "I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves."
This introduction definitely took me by surprise - where is her "fight or flight" response? And then I start wondering about the wolves - why are they just milling around, shouldn't they be behaving differently?

Favorite Quote: "Books are more real when you read them outside."

Read For: Twenty-Eleven Challenge

Recommended by The Book Vixen.


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