Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
"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."- summary from Amazon

Yes, I have finally read a Maggie Stiefvater book! It only took me 14 months since first buying her debut Lament when it came out and acquiring her next two books plus meeting her 4 times (the 5th is to come this weekend) to finally get around to it. When a book is not for review (I bought both Lament and Ballad, though Shiver was given to me by Maggie herself), it tends to fall to the bottom of my TBR pile and becomes difficult for me to get around to it. But, in anticipation of this upcoming 5th meeting, I decided to read and review Shiver, so here we go.

I really enjoyed this book. The prose is so poetic and lyrical that it pulls you in and makes the atmosphere of the book just come alive as you read. It's flowery language without being overly so, and I should know since I absolutely abhor flowery language and unnecessary details. What Stiefvater does with her details, in my opinion, is necessary for the novel; I couldn't imagine this story being told without that attention to detail. It just would not work otherwise.

The romance between Sam and Grace is wonderful to read. With both of them being narrators (switching between chapters), you understand just how real their love for each other is. It's the perfect contrast to the cold, harsh winter setting of Mercy Falls, Minnesota, as reading about their devotion to each other just warms the heart.

All the characters are well-developed and I loved the banter between Sam and Grace peppered throughout the novel. But my favorite character probably has to be Isabel, Jack's sister, who mainly becomes more prominent toward the end of the novel, but her dialogue is just so hilarious; I loved it.

The book has some twists and turns to it and I really enjoyed the scientific approach to werewolves that Stiefvater took. It's very original (though I haven't read many werewolf novels, so...) and was really interesting to read about. The ending was done really well and was very understated, but it left me wanting more. I can't wait for the sequel, Linger.


  1. I have to buy this book! I keep reading glowing reviews of it. Case of two many books to little time!

    I hadn't realized that Grace and Sam told alternating chapters I really enjoy that approach.

    Thanks for the review, I'll be bumping it up my list a few places :)

  2. I loved this book. Loved the writing, characters, wolves, etc. :)

    I too can't wait for Linger!

  3. this is the best book ever...almost

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this book too. I agree with what you wrote, especially about the lyrical prose.

  5. I loved this book too! I bought a copy for my mom and she said Isabel had her LOL too. I can't wait to see what happens in Linger!

  6. Still need to get my sticky fingers on a copy of this. All my friends keep reading it and I just can't seem to grab it from them. XD