Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

A few weeks ago I came home to find an envelope from Scholastic on my porch. I opened it and let out a little yelp of joy, as a copy of Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver fell into my hands. I had just mentioned here how much I wanted to read it but figured I would have to wait until its publication in August.  First of all, the cover design is absolutely gorgeous- a stark design of blue and white.  And now that I have read Shiver, I can attest that Stiefvater’s writing is even more beautiful than the cover.  Lyrical, yet stark at appropriate times, her subtle characterizations will leave you in tears.

Sam lives a double life- one in the warmer months of summer and one in the winter.  During the warmer months of spring and summer  he’s human.  But when the cooler temperatures of winter begin to chill the earth, he shape shifts into a wolf for the winter.  Each year that he changes, his time as a human becomes shorter and shorter.  Sam knows that eventually he will remain a wolf forever, leaving behind all of his human emotions and attachments.  But through it all, human or wolf, he watches and loves Grace, the girl who sits on her swing and doesn’t shy away from his stare.

Grace loves the wolves that run through the woods behind her house; some people might even say she’s obsessed.  And this is despite the fact that she was attacked by the wolves as a young child, dragged into the woods and almost killed.  However, she was saved by a wolf with striking yellow eyes. She watches and loves him, never understand why she’s filled with such longing for what she sees as “her” yellow-eyed wolf. When she meets Sam, a boy with those same striking yellow eyes, she is immediately drawn to him.  As impossible as it seems, she knows he is her wolf.  Her savior.  And her obsession.

Soulmates, they know they are meant to be together.  But Sam knows that their time together will come to an end.  He knows this is his last summer.  What are they willing to do for the chance of more time together? 

Maggie Stiefvater may be one of the best writers I have ever read when it comes to creating chemistry between two characters.  The love between Grace and Sam is palpable between the pages of the book.  The story is told by both Grace and Sam, making it even more magical. Stolen glances, brushes against each other, and silent looks of longing create a love between a girl and werewolf that is completely believable.  In fact, Sam and Grace may surpass Bella and Edward when it comes to forbidden love!  But unlike Bella, Grace is a solid, strong heroine.  And Sam is human and flawed, though he sometimes may seem perfect to Grace.

This is a romance for the ages- poetic, lyrical, soft, bittersweet, and full of longing.  Stiefvater is a gifted writer and I fully admit that she had me sobbing at points during the story.  I can’t believe that I have to wait until 2010 for the next book in the series!  

 But the true sign of a book that will be a huge hit?  One of my girls was paging through the book when she saw it on my desk.  She begged me to loan it to her and I said I couldn’t, not until I finished reading it.  Today, I was reading the last 10 pages during our independent reading time, while she sat and stared at me, willing me to finish.  I handed my ARC over and within minutes she was gushing about how amazing the first 3 chapters are.  I fully expect her to come in tomorrow with the book finished, and I know she’ll be raving about it to all of her classmates!

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18 Responses

  1. That’s it! That’s all I need to read this book! Thanks so much for all of the book reviews you give. After you reviewed Perfect Fifths, I went out and got all the books in the series and read them and LOVED them. Then after your Luxe reviews I did the same…can’t wait for Splendor to come out! When does Shiver come out???

  2. It comes out in August!

  3. O gosh! Your review is really making me crave for the book all the more! Hope it would be released in August too here in the Philippines :)

  4. i like your review very much it has me even more excited for the release date of shiver. but i was wondering how one does get ARC copys?

  5. Wonderful review!
    I’ve been wanting this book for some time now and now I don’t think I can wait!
    Arg!
    I can tell this book will cause some hype though, which is good. It most likely deserves it.

  6. I Just finished this book. I was enthralled but disappointed with the lack of closure at the end. I seriously hit the book because i was so pissed. AHHH frustrating.

  7. o my gosh I’ve never heard of shiver before but after your review i can’t wait to beg my mom to get it for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nobody dies right?

  8. I just order it from Amazon like 3 days ago and I’m already counting the days for Linger! I haven’t even read shiver but with the awesome reviews that they have given the book, I KNOW will love it! I think I will like it because I’m a HUGE twilight fan and everyone thinks that Shiver is going to pass Twilight,(this is just my opinion, people!) I think is in every way impossible. I’m sure i’t a great book and all and I’m sure i will love it but I just think that it will not pass the twilight saga…..
    HEY! I never said that it wasn’t great, and i’m sure it is, but…. I don’t know….I think shiver will be 2.2 points lower than the twilight saga..

  9. im reading the book and i think Shiver is a little better than Twilight.
    its awesome!

  10. This book will probably gather a much bigger following when the movie is released in the coming years. Linger will surely make it to the NY Times Bestseller list. Great review!

  11. […] July 20, 2010 by thereadingzone Last May I read and reviewed an ARC at Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver. I loved it and immediately upon closing the book I was desperate for the sequel.  I just closed […]

  12. im not sure why people keep on comparing every book with twilight, i mean c’mon! different authors have different styles of writing and stuff and just cause its a best seller doesnt means its a good piece of writing. it just means it has great eyecandy. with all that descriptions of what the characters looked like. hey thats my point of view and im not a hater either. im just wondering WHY people compare so much. they are completely different stories with different characters

  13. Shiver is amazing I love it so much the first time I read it i nearly cried and i never cry at anything. Its just so beautiful I cannot stop reading it its on the same level as Twilight. Whoever has not read the book you have to its one of the greats and it will bring out the best in you

  14. To start off, I will say that I am very much against Twilight. It’s a poor romance story with flimsy characters and an eye-gougingly bad plot. I feel a little humiliated to be grouped with fans of the aforementioned series because I liked “Shiver”. In fact, I’m shocked that people even compare the two. Why is it that every romance book that includes werewolves and/or vampires is immediately thought to be related to “Twilight”? That’s like saying the movie “Pulp Fiction” is like “Airplane” because there was a black guy in both.

    I’ve got nothing against Twilight fans, mind you. I just don’t want to be considered one, because of my fierce hatred for the book.

    Now with the actual review. Began to lose hope at the beginning of the book because of how shockingly violent it was. It wasn’t the best was to start the story, but it definitely set the tone for the rest of the book and established that it was not afraid to get “adult” when it needed to. I felt the exact opposite way with “Twilight”. It’s beginning was… Boring. I will admit that I saw a similarity regarding their relationship with their parents. However, the difference was that Grace was a strong, independent girl who didn’t need a boy to fight her battles. Bella was a frail little child who probably couldn’t go two feet without being a typical angsty teenage girl.

    By now you’ve probably realized that I’m comparing this to Twilight. I’ll stop that now.

    I actually felt sorry for Grace, because she was basically left to fend for herself. But she still loved her parents, even if they neglected her. It was a type of character you don’t see nowadays. Most of the time it’s always the women who are gentle and kind, always getting into trouble and always being rescued by the love interest. I found it quite entertaining and refreshing to have it turned the other way around in this book. I won’t spoil much, but having her take care of her love interest (warming the car, giving him a place to stay, making sure he wasn’t too cold) made her character seem important. Her love interest wasn’t all that weak and helpless, though. He just had a really sucky weakness.

    I’ll end it here, because I have a feeling the I’m going to spoil the book if I continue.

    Twilight fans: read it because it has werewolves
    Others: Read it because it’s a teen romance novel that doesn’t involve an angsty teenager and an emotionless, perfect man.

  15. I always love your book reviews and recommendations passing them along to the members of our mother-daughter book club (7th graders). That is how we heard about and loved Umbrella Summer. I am wondering if you think Shiver would be age-appropriate for our group of 7th graders? Thank you -

    • Hmmm…..It’s been a while since I read Shiver, but I know a lot of my 6th grade girls read it.

      Other ideas- When You Reach Me, Breadcrumbs, Want to Go Private (scary, but a fantastic and important conversation starter)- all fantastic!

  16. p.s. can you recommend any other “must read” books for our mother-daughter book club (ten 7th grade girls with their moms)?

  17. You’r exactly right with this blog post!

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