Review: Shiver by Maggie StiefvaterApril 16, 2011
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
One of my bookish resolutions for the year was to read outside my comfort zone. This book fit the profile on two levels. First of all i’m really not into the whole paranormal trend that is happening. i’ve never been into vampires, or angels, or werewolves. i tried reading that really popular vampire series (you know the one) and it was not for me AT ALL. And of course that sort of made me not want to try anymore teen paranormal romance books. The second part is the romance thing. i really don’t like unrealistic romances. i don’t like watching romantic comedies and i don’t like reading sappy romance-y books and stories. They just aren’t me.
However, i’ve been trying really hard to stick to my resolution. i saw Shiver on my last trip to the library and based on hearing some good things i decided to pick it up.
The premise: Grace lives near the woods, she was attacked by wolves when she was young but was rescued and despite the attack she loves the wolves- one in particular more than the others. She knows her wolf by his eyes and her wolf knows her. Years later when Grace is in high school one of her classmates is killed by wolves sending the town on a hunting spree. Grace tries to stop them but it doesn’t work very well. Then she finds a boy on her porch- a boy with the same eyes as her wolf.
Guess what? i actually liked it. i’m not saying it was my favorite book ever. And i’m not going to say i loved it. But i did enjoy it. And i do plan on picking up Linger the next time i see it at the library.
i liked Grace as a character. There were definitely things that i didn’t like but overall she seemed real. She had friends, she fought with her friends, she was independent and worried about things. Her family wasn’t perfect, she loved to read. There were people at school she didn’t get along with. And when she found a boyfriend she sort of forgot her friends for awhile. i can believe all of that. It sounds like lots of people i knew in high school.
Sam is similar. There are things about Sam that seem not as realistic but i think in context with his upbringing it fits. He is a little broody and slightly sullen for my taste but overall i approve.
The relationship between Grace and Sam is interesting. Grace never seems to have an issue with Sam being a wolf. i know if it were me it might cause a bit of alarm but i might be alone in this. Part of what i don’t like about romance-y things is the idea of these characters never really being interested in anyone before and then they meet and it’s almost instantaneous love and then they are almost inseparable. It just doesn’t seem realistic to me. Maybe i’m too much of a cynic. Shiver kept this idea and i didn’t like that part but i did like that Grace was able to function without Sam. She thought about him and wished to be with him but she was able to function and carry on relationships with people. She didn’t fall apart completely. i also like Sam being a little self conscious about everything. So many times that role is played by the girl in books and movies so it was a nice change to see Grace comfortable and confident in her feelings.
Writing-wise Maggie Stiefvater did a great job. The story worked and drew me in. The language was lovely- not too flowery- not too choppy. And despite me not really caring about the idea of werewolves and humans falling in love- i wanted to keep reading. i wanted to find out more. Clearly she did something right.
So. . . if you are leery about more paranormal romance, i understand. But you should try Shiver. It wasn’t at all what i expected and i really am excited to see what happens next.
What about you? Have you read Shiver? What did you think? Were you excited from the start or were you sort of dreading it like me? Are there other books that you weren’t really looking forward to that surprised you?