Highly Anticipated 2012 Releases

Friday, April 29, 2011

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Okay, so I finally caved and decided to give this book a try.

I was slightly "wolved" out after Twilight, but it wasn't fair of me to hold off on another book that may very well be amazing

For those of you who are not familiar with this book, let me give you a little background history.

Let's start with the back cover:

the cold.

Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf- her wolf- watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.

Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now. 

the shiver.

For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human--and Grace must fight to keep him--even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.


Sounds intriguing, right?

I had very high hopes for this book. The summary really catches your attention.

Also, the beauty of the cover and the book  astound me. It is part of the reason that I decided to give the book a try after all. 

For those of you who don't know, this book actually has blue font. It really adds character to the story. I loved that the book itself was so unique, before I even turned a single page. 

Now, on to the story. 

Grace spends years sitting outside just watching the wolves in the woods behind her house during the colder months. When others her age are out partying, she prefers to stay home and admire their beauty, especially the beauty of a particular yellow-eyed wolf. 
Grace feels a connection to this specific wolf, and it leaves her completely and utterly infatuated. 

Grace can't stand the summer, because the wolves tend to disappear, not reappearing until it becomes warm again.

As for Sam, he has spent many years, both as a wolf and as a human, watching Grace. As a wolf, he sits in the woods, just out of her reach, watching her with the same fascination that she devotes to him. As a human, however, he watches her from afar, never daring to say a word. 

Eventually, a tragic experience finally leads to an encounter between Sam and Grace. This encounter then spirals into a tragic love story between Sam and Grace.

The book follows the tragedy of their love through difficult obstacles. 

Throughout the book, you'll be constantly asking yourself if love really is enough. Is it enough to throw away a current lifestyle? Is it enough to risk everything?

I can't say much more, because I don't want to give away the plot. You'll just have to find out what happens for yourself. 


Now, on to my review:

To be honest, I felt as though the story had a rough beginning. The POV switches between Grace and Sam very frequently, and this really made it difficult to feel connected at first. I couldn't really connect with Grace or Sam, because the book didn't devote much time into developing their character before switching to another POV. 

However, I heard great things about the book (and it was so pretty), so I decided to keep on reading. 

The changes in POV gradually improved, and each POV began to span quite a few pages, rather than only 2 or 3. This really improved the ease of reading, in my opinion.

As I began reading, I almost felt some discomfort at this odd infatuation that Grace seemed to have towards the wolves. After all, at the time, Grace was unaware that the wolves actually became human at some point. So, throughout the beginning of the book, Grace is having feelings for a wolf. Just a wolf, as far as she knows. 

The intense dedication and infatuation made me feel slightly uncomfortable. 

However, as I kept reading, this feeling did, in fact, go away. Their relationship grew stronger, and their connection was explained in a way that added depth to the story. It made me realize that it hadn't been quite so awkward after all. For some reason, though, I just can't seem to shake the memory of that uncomfortable feeling. 

The plot did tend to develop rather well. A few of the supporting characters were interesting and made the book more enjoyable to read. 

I loved Isabel's tough, yet spunky, character. She really added depth to the story, and I find reading about her quite enjoyable.

A few other supporting characters slightly caught my interest, but Isabel was, by far, my favorite character.

Throughout the book, you will encounter many difficulties that Sam and Grace face along their journey. You may feel worry or panic, sadness, or even love. The author does a wonderful job of evoking these emotions. 

It is clear that the ending of the book left it open for another in the series, which of course, is titled, Linger. 
Linger has already been released, and I plan on getting my hands on it soon. I want to finish it before Forever is released in July (and before I meet Maggie Stiefvater in June!)

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. Even though the beginning of the book felt awkward and disconnected, the middle and end more than made up for it. I definitely cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel!

So, to summarize, this book has...
One "wickedly sweet" mesmerizing wolf (or should I say, boy?) 
One "wickedly sweet" supporting character

and one absolutely, stunningly beautiful

cover (and text)!

Overall, I give this book 4/5 wickedly sweet cupcakes

However, this is only due to the undeveloped beginning, the speedy switching of POV, and the discomfort I felt near the beginning. I have a feeling that the sequel will probably earn a full 5 cupcakes. But we'll see.

Anyway, happy reading! 

Share your thoughts. What did YOU think of Shiver?

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