Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (review copy) - Grace is fascinated by the wolves in the woods behind her house; one yellow-eyed wolf in particular. Every winter, she watches him but every summer, he disappears. Sam leads two lives. In winter he stays in the frozen woods, with the protection of the pack.n summer, he has a few precious months to be human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. When Grace and Sam finally meet they realize they can't bear to be apart. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human - or risk losing himself, and Grace from Amazon UK
You have no idea how excited I was to read this book. I had read rave reviews all over about Shiver, and being about werewolves, how could I possibly not love it? Well, as it turns out werewolves don’t make all books brilliant.
Did I hate it? No, I really loved the beginning, and the end was just perfect. The middle, however, was a disappointment. My Dad has drummed it into me ever since I was young that if I start reading a book, I have to finish it. “How do you know you don’t like a book until you’ve finished it?” he would always ask. So I can’t not finish a book now, I have to read it to the end. I could have given up on this book days ago – as it is, it’s taken me 13 days to read it, and that’s just ridiculous. I’m glad I did finish it though, because my Dad was right; the end has changed my opinion of Shiver. Whereas I didn’t like it before the end, it’s kind of ok now. But barely.
As always, I’ll start with the positives. The beginning was something I could almost relate to. Grace has this great affinity with the woods and the wolves that live in them every winter, since she was attacked by the wolves when she was younger. One wolf, her wolf, with bright yellow eyes, has always come to the edge of the wood’s by Grace house, and they would spend hours just staring at each other with such intensity. Those moments felt so strong to me, very powerful, and I thought I was in for such a awesome read. Then the wolf became human, and things fell a little flat. I also liked how it was written. Almost each alternating chapter was from one or the other, Grace or Sam. It was great to get both points of view, to know what both were thinking.
The last fifty or so pages of the book were the most hooking, once I got to those, I could hardly put the book down. There was one moment that was just so beautiful yet so sad that I almost cried. The very end was just so perfect, it was brilliant.
As I’ve said, however, the middle let me down. Apart from those moments at the very beginning, I didn’t relate to Grace, and I didn’t particularly care about her. I can’t say why though, it’s not that there was no personality, or not enough depth, she just wasn’t really my sort of person. Same about Sam really, he was lovely, but not amazing. And I can’t say there was any chemistry between them. There were a lot of sweet moments, but I just didn’t feel it, it wasn’t believable to me.
This is more of a paranormal romance rather than an urban fantasy. What little action there is in the book happens elsewhere, so we only get told about it rather than see it. There isn’t much else to say, really. I don’t know if I’ll be reading Linger, when it comes out in the UK 5th July. It sounds pretty good, but so did Shiver. We’ll see. Over all a disappointing book that was just saved by the ending.
Thank you to Scholastic for sending me a review copy.
Published: 5th October 2009
Buy on Amazon UK
Buy on Amazon US
Maggie Stiefvater’s website
Other reviews of Shiver:
Sarah's Book Reviews
Portrait of a Woman