Monday, 16 August 2010

Review: Shiver by Maggie Steifvater

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Got it from: School Library

Blurb (from back of the book):
“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.”

My review:

 Shiver by Maggie Steifvater is a beautifully written book. Its exquisite descriptions of the relationship between Grace, a teenage girl, and Sam, a werewolf, is carefully and evocatively created.

A twist from normal mythology, the werewolves in Shiver are humans that only turn into werewolves in cold conditions, notably during winter time. After being bitten, the werewolf begins their transformation phase, only resuming their human form every summer. Gradually, the wolf nature begins to take over, and the humans turn wolf earlier each year, spending less time as a human and more time as a wolf, until they are eventually completely rendered wolves.

After a wolf attack early in her childhood, Grace has always felt drawn to wolves, especially one with striking golden eyes. Suddenly, a boy with the same mesmerising eyes turns up at her doorstep, and Grace begins to find herself caught up in the mystery of the wolves of Mercy Falls.

The writing, as I have mentioned, is simply beautiful. It is reminiscent of poetry in that each word, each sentence, has been lovingly chosen to express a story in its most resplendent form. It is wonderful to read, and the love between the two core characters, Sam and Grace, felt genuine to me. The story is also quite captivating, and I felt that I just wanted more of it.

However, I kept picking up and putting down this book again, because I initially didn’t connect with it. It just felt a little too repetitive, and the beginning was a little long. But when I reached about two-thirds of the way through the book, I couldn’t stop reading (I stayed up until one in the morning, shh.) I also felt that while the characters of Sam and Grace were developed well, the book focused too much on them, and didn’t allow for the other characters to develop as fully as I would have preferred.

There were also many loose ends, obviously for Maggie Steifvater to tie up in the next book, Linger, which has already been released (and which I must scavenge). All in all, I can’t wait to read the next book, Linger, and the final one, Forever, which I understand is yet to be released.

P.S. The cover is simple, but extremely effective. There’s something that I love about meaningful and memorable covers such as these.



Nomes said...

i like your review of this :) you articulate your thoughts really well and i agree with lots of them.

it feels like everyone has gone crazy about this book, but i was often side-tracked while reading it by things that niggled @ me - but the writing is really exquisite.

i havent read linger yet - i will when my library gets it in :)

Tina (Book Couture) said...

Aww, thank you! *hugs*

Yes, I also felt that everyone else loved it too, which is why I read it. But I only gave it 3.5 stars (hearts) because, like you say, I got a little sidetracked too.

I hope you do manage to get Linger! Hopefully we'll be able to read it together! :)

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