Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater – Book Review

Shiver, by Maggie StiefvaterAs a young girl, Grace Brisbane is attacked and dragged from her tire swing by a pack of wolves. Though she is bitten, she is saved from from serious injury and death when a wolf with odd yellow eyes steps in to save her from the others.

Over the next six years Grace avidly follows “her wolf” and he returns the favor and becomes a constant presence in the woods just beyond her home, and in her life as well. Each of them honors the strange and unexplained affinity for the other over their shared winters and through the wolf’s mysterious disappearances in the warm weather.

Sam Roth emerges from his wolf skin with the warming of the spring and summer months.  It is only then that he is able to savor the experience of being human.  When a wealthy high school student is killed by a pack of wolves, it’s open season and the men of the Mercy Falls go after the wolves with guns.  Shot in the ensuing chaos, Sam ends up, quite literally, at Grace’s back door.

No one was more skeptical than me about reading a story where a teenage girl has basically been pining away after a wolf for the last six years of her life, nor was I sold in the beginning stage of Grace’s romance with “her wolf”- Sam Roth, when we later learn his name. I was drawn in as the novel progressed and the characters were more fully defined.  I loved the mythology of the wolves and the lives that they led and the challenges they faced as both humans and adults.

Sam and Grace’s romance is touching as they can reach each other through the pain and isolation that the other has experienced. Living the existence that he has led has caused a painful and violent rift between Sam and his family, and Grace, though she tries to keep it all together suffers from her parents cheerful neglect and inattention.

A good amount of Shiver is told through flashbacks via Sam’s wolf memory  while Grace and Sam struggle to keep Sam from turning back into a wolf.  I  really enjoyed the stories of the time that Sam spent with his pack, and the different ways that each of them reacted to being a wolf.  His relationship with Beck was particularly special and I liked that Stiefvater explored their bond and tested it as Sam discovered critical new information about his  “family”.

Shiver is at its heart a sweet romance but combined with a solid exploration of darker issues such as neglect , abuse, and betrayed trust it takes that next step and offers something more to the reader.  It definitely has me eager to read its companion and revisit these characters in Linger when it comes out next year.

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FTC Disclosure- I am an Amazon Associate.  Shiver was purchased for use in my personal collection.

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  1. I can’t tell you how much I loved this book. I thought it was fabulous. I have just added her other two books Ballad and Lament to my Christmas wish list. I hope hubby gets them.
    .-= vivienne´s last blog ..Friday Finds =-.

  2. I was earlier very apprehensive about wolves , vampires and zombies but now after reading a few good books in this genre I am warming up to it. I will definitely read this book. Thanks for the review.
    .-= Shona´s last blog ..Where do I find these ? =-.

  3. Sounds like a suspense rather than romance. I would like it very much to turn into wolf as and when I feel like it! That’s a great way to save money on gas!
    .-= scheng1´s last blog ..Web Shopping =-.

  4. I’m so interested in how the inter species relationship is portrayed in this book now. So many people seem to be confused by how Grace can love a wolf, before he’s a boy and I’d like to see how the auhtor writes that.

  5. Honestly, I guess I just didn’t read Grace at the beginning of the book as being in love with the wolf like *that*. It was more to me that she admired the wolves and felt a certain kinship with them, and especially with ‘her’ wolf, the one who saved her. It was a bit odd, since the wolves had attacked her, but less so because of the one that saved her.
    .-= Jen – Devourer of Books´s last blog ..Bad Girls Don’t Die – Book Review =-.

  6. All I could say about the book Shiver is that it's lovely, and beautifuly embraced in romance. 😉

  7. THIS BOOK SUCKS!!!!!!!!! Consequently so do vampires, much like the vampires in the Twilight books which this novel was clearly based off of. I sincerely hope that this book does not influence young girls to engage in acts of bestiality, but it undoubtedly will. As long as these girls do not start rejecting the idea of personal hygeine because “bathtubs are scary” the world may still have a chance, albeit a furry one. Note, do not go wandering into the woods. You might find a real wolf, and it might just bite you. You will not turn into a wolf, you will die, a slow and painful death. Furthermore, shape-shifting is impossible because mass cannot simply disappear. If someone was to shape-shift into a wolf, they would be an extremely large wolf that would more than likely be mistaken for bigfoot, and bigfoot isn’t sexy. Mexicans are sexy.
    p.s. Have you seen the author’s website?! Clearly not the work of a professional.
    Young women of the world, you have been warned!!!!