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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized7 Comments

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 01 Aug 09
ISBN: 0545123267
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 400
Maggie Stiefvater – Official Site
Maggie Stiefvater – Blog
Maggie Stiefvater – Twitter

Place(s) Traveled to: Mercy Falls, Minnesota; Duluth, Minnesota

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human … until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human–or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

So my book bully has been telling me to read Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater almost since she first read it last May. But the arm twisting didn’t fully start until after she read an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of Linger, which is the followup book that is due to hit shelves this July. I’ve heard mixed things about Shiver so wasn’t entirely sold on it but not one to resist my book bully for long I decided to pack it on the plane with me for my trip to New Mexico.

My first thoughts on Shiver was that the storyline was a little slow. I kept waiting for something bigger to happen but it never came. At about 1/2 way through I was texting my book bully asking what the deal was with the werewolves staying in MN. I mean if the change is triggered by cold then why not move south? Seems logical to me. Her response was to just wait. And so wait I did. And an answer did eventually come but I can’t say its one that makes any sense to me. I don’t agree with it on many levels, but its the answer that I am stuck with as that is what Stiefvater came up with. Though my initial response when I did read Stiefvater’s answer was “WTF? Seriously?” and that is still what I think when it comes to it.

Overall the story wasn’t bad but I am not one of the hundreds of Shiver lovers out there. The writing was solid but the world building was just so-so. Grace and Sam often came off as pretty two dimensional. I also hated the utter lack of presence of Grace’s parents who were like cardboard cutouts staged just to show that she had parents but they didn’t add any depth to the story. I’d be amazed if they had though as they had absolutely no depth at all. Saying all that though I didn’t hate the story. I’m kind of ambivalent to the whole thing with no strong emotions either way. If I didn’t pick up a copy of Linger at ALA then I’m not sure if this would be a book series that I would continue. But since I do have Linger I feel as though I should give it a shot….eventually.

7 Responses to “Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater”

  1. trish

    I read 100 pages of this book and just couldn’t get any further. It was too painful. I was wondering what I might be missing since so many have loved it, but I agree with all you’ve said here. I was especially irritated at Grace’s parents, because really? Could they be more cliche?

  2. Eli

    I’ve heard so many mixed reviews on this book, that I’m not sure if I am going to pick it up any time soon. So as of now, it’s just sitting on my shelf. Interesting review, though. I like how you put the amazon option at the end. 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    I read your review and agree with in some aspects. I love how Maggie writes. She is a great writer. I actually loved this book it’s not overdone like a lot of books. It kept me reading and I finished it within 2 days of starting. The end of the book left me with a few tears, and waiting for book #2 “Linger” to come out. It was a little slow in the beginning, but it does get better. I agree her partent relationships could have been stronger or more present, but Grace was an independent child for many years. Thanks for your review of the book and opening it up to your blog readers!

  4. Irish

    Trish – if it wasn’t for my book bully loving the book I might have set it aside too. I don’t think that my time was wasted by the read, but I don’t feel like I’ve gained anything either.

    Eli & Audrey – thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. =)

    Anonymous – I was an independent child growing up too – but it was because my parents where there and how they raised me to be. I’m getting tired of all these books out there with little to no parental interaction. Its almost saying the only way you can be independent or grown as a teen is to be an orphan or to have absentee parents and that just isn’t the case. With Shiver, Grace was mostly ignored by her parents except when she had to cook them there meals – it was as if she were the parent and they were the child. And that didn’t really sit well with me.

  5. Beth F

    I bought the book based on the many positive reviews. I’ll let you know if I’m in the love or ambivalent team when I finally get around to reading it.

  6. Michelle

    I read this book as part of Nicole’s Twenty Minute Book Club and have to say I was surprised I liked it as much as I did. I’d heard some so-so reaction to it early on and then the idea of a girl/wolf love affair was less than appealing to me. I still have to write my review of it but I liked it more than you did.

    Agree on the parental unit scenario. They were there to showcase how alone Grace was more than anything else. I’m still looking forward to reading Linger.