Friday 9 April 2010

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Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver by Maggie stiefvaterShiver by Maggie Stiefvater (review copy) - When a local boy is killed by wolves, Grace's small town becomes a place of fear and suspicion. But Grace can't help being fascinated by the pack, and by one yellow-eyed wolf in particular. There's something about him - something almost human. Then she meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away...

A chilling love story that will have you hooked from the very first page.
From Goodreads.

Disclaimer: Since writing my review, I have discovered that Maggie Stiefvater is a problematic author - you can find more info here. Because of this, I can no longer promote her books in good conscience. I'm leaving my review here as it is for the sake of transparency.

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.

Add to Goodreads

Published: 5th October 2009
Publisher: Scholastic
Maggie Stiefvater’s website


  1. I'm so excited to read this book (I have to wait until my bday to get it though booo). I hate not finishing books either, even if I get super tired of it in the middle, the ending is always worth the wait.... most of the time.

  2. I do hope you enjoy it when you read it! It just feels wrong not finishing a book, but 13 days is just ridiculous. I just wasn't interested in picking it up, unfortunately.

  3. I have the same problem Jo - I just have to finish a book no matter how long it takes. Having said that there have been very few that I've taken that long to read! I have had a couple of problem books recently - one I'm still struggling with & the other that took me about 10 days to finish.

    I'm so disappointed that you didn't like Shiver - I loved it & it was one of those books I couldn't put down. Thanks for the honest review though - we can't all like the same books :o) Thanks for including my link, I'm about to add yours

  4. How horrible is it when a book is taking you too long to finish? You just can't get into it, but you know you've got to finish it.

    Oh, I'm sorry! I just couldn't get into it! I'm glad you enjoyed it! No problem for the link, and cheers for adding mine!

  5. Oh dear what a shame you didnt like it so much. I honetly thought it was the most realistic portrayal of teen love that I've read. (Excluding the werewol element obviously). 13 days - man that would have done my head in. I'm with you though. I have to finish a book.

  6. I had a bit of trouble with this one as well, and I didn't like it as much as some other reviewers. I have a feeling Linger might be better, though!

  7. Becky - I suppose we can't like every book. This just didn't do it for me. There was quite a bit missing, in my opinion. 13 day was far too long. Ridiculous.

    Jenny - Linger's blurb does sound really good. Maybe I'll wait until Carla's review to decide. :)

  8. I don't have it. I have a question.
    13 day for finished read . How many pages ?

    ps. my english not good .

    thank you. :)

  9. This is a really interesting review - I relate to this kind of reading experience, which I've had with other books.

    However, I loved this, although I have to confess that I have read criticisms of aspects of it that I couldn't really counter but that just don't bother me personally. I guess that means I love this one unconditionally? It has its flaws, but it gives me that warm happy reading feeling. :D

  10. Banana kick - There are 434 pages. I know it's not massive, but that just shows how much I wasn't enjoying it - I wasn't picking it up to read as often. Don't worry about your English, that was fine! :)

    Lauren - I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's just unfortunate that I wasn't getting any warm and fuzzies from it. Ah well.

  11. I was wondering if I'd enjoy this book if I ever end up reading it. I've been planning to put it on my to-be-read (eventually) list. I haven't read too many reviews on it, as I don't want to spoil the surprise.

    It's a shame how some books just seem to push you away from reading them rather than pull you in; I've had numerous Stephen King books do this to me. I'm reading a novel now that's taken me almost a week thus far to read, but despite that it is really good. I'm just too distracted as of late.

    I do question some things just by reading your review: these questions are more for myself to find out, however, to fulfill my appetite. :)

  12. Thanks for your comment! If you do read Shiver, I hope you enjoy it! :) It is pretty sad how some books don't just hook you in!