Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shiver-- Maggie Stiefvater

Move over vampires, and make room for the werewolves... and I'm not talking team-Jacob either.

In Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater creates a cold, wintry Minnesota world in which werewolves inhabit the forests. Grace was attacked and bitten by those very wolves when she was a child, but was saved by a wolf with striking yellow eyes. Throughout her life she has felt a special attachment to this wolf, and spends winters on her back porch waiting for him to visit her.

Sam, the yellow-eyed human, is in love with Grace. He spends his summers wishing she would notice him in this human form... and one day she finally does. Grace immediately feels that Sam is her wolf, and figures out his secret. They begin their love affair in earnest, because the cold weather is what makes Sam turn into a wolf, and once he turns into a wolf this last time it's likely he can never shift back.

This tale is told in alternating chapters (Grace and Sam narrate) and is a suspenseful story in addition to a romantic one. I enjoyed it; I feel like it's a slightly new twist on the werewolf thing, but it didn't blow me away. I have a few issues with the plot... Grace's parents are so uninvolved it's almost comical, and a few plot twists take away from the stark realism Stiefvater was going for (I know it's a fantastical type story, but she really does try to make the were-thing seem plausible). Overall I would recommend this wholeheartedly to Twilight fans, or teens looking for a werewolf book. The romance is mostly clean, but not totally. I am interested in reading the sequel, which comes out in the fall of 2010.

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