Genre: Paranormal Romance (I guess)
Target audience: 13+
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. In 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, for ever.
Many wonderful things have been said about Shiver by my fellow bloggers. For this reason I was really excited and nervous about reading it. I desperately wanted the story to live up to my expectations but I was scared in case it didn't. Anyway, now I've finished it. I am so delighted to tell you that I think this book is adorable.
In the most most simple of terms Shiver is about love and I think Stiefvater succeeded in creating a believeable and tender love story. I really liked the way the story alternated between the voices of Sam and Grace. Both had their own distinct "sound" and the frequent change between them kept the plot moving swiftly along. I connected with Sam more than Grace. I liked the way his emotions were communicated through song lyrics and I could relate to the idea of capturing your feelings, in any one particular moment, through poetry. Sam also seemed to me to be fully formed as a character and the experiences in his past seemed to leave him appropriately burdened.
I found Grace harder to associate with because she came across as so self-sufficient and independent. Personally, I think everyone wants the love and care of their parents and when deprived of this they really suffer emotionally. Grace was so unflappable in a crisis. I guess I just can't relate to that. However, seeing Sam through Grace's eyes gave the story its intimacy and so this is not something I would change.
Another aspect of the novel that I really liked was the portrayal of the wolves. Their innate beauty and natural characteristics were superbly described. When the inevitable transformation happened, I was so glad that the wolves did not develop ridiculous powers. They were simply wolves and I loved that. Many fellow bloggers have commented on Stiefvater's innovative use of the weather in Shiver. I have to agree with them that this as a refreshingly original idea.
As I neared the end of the story, I felt my eyes welling with tears. I must confess to being a hopeless romantic. When I finished reading Shiver, I couldn't help but tell my husband numerous times, "but it was just sooo romantic". Overall, I can say that I am addicted to Shiver. In some deep way, it struck a chord with me. I think perhaps it was because the love in this story was gentle and truthful. I guess it's the kind of love that I believe in. I can't wait for the book signing now and I also can't wait for Linger. But I have one fear, I don't want the next book to turn into some predictable love triangle with Shelby. That would close my heart to the poetry of Steifvater's writing.
P.S. This was definitely my soppiest review yet! LOL