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Stuff for the Teen Age

"Shiver": A Review

Years ago, when Grace was attacked by wolves, Sam saved her life. He has been a presence in Grace’s life ever since, always lurking on the periphery each winter in Mercy Falls, watching her, protecting her.

Yet they have never spoken.

Sam has been watching Grace for years, waiting for her, making sure she was safe. Even when he couldn’t remember her name, he knew she mattered. He knew he loved her even if it was impossible because of what he was.

No matter how Grace and Sam might feel about each other, there is always one insurmountable truth separating them: Sam is a wolf.

A werewolf, more specifically.

Every year when the temperature drops, Sam changes into a wolf — Grace’s wolf, the one always watching her from a safe distance — trapped in his changed form until spring when the temperatures rise and he can become Sam again.

That was Sam’s reality, his unavoidable truth, and the one thing Grace never really believed. At least, not until she met Sam, the real Sam.

Once Grace knows the truth. She witnesses Sam change from wolf to human, and the thought of losing him becomes unimaginable.

Being with Grace is all Sam has ever wanted; the one thing he always held onto as a wolf.

In Shiver (2009) by Maggie Stiefvater, the temperature is falling in Mercy Falls, and with the looming threat of winter, Grace and Sam are running out of time.

Shiver is superficially a paranormal/supernatural* romance with werewolves. But really, it is so much more than that.

Poetic and urgent, Stiefvater’s writing is poised to exceed expectations and stay with readers. Told in chapters alternating between Grace and Sam’s voices, the urgency of winter’s approach and the strength of our heroes’ love are both tangible. Grace and Sam are a charmingly authentic couple in a town filled with well-developed and unforgettable characters of both human and lupine persuasions.

Shiver is a beautiful book. The cover design (with art by Christopher Stengel) and the text — printed in blue ink — are just as impressive as Stiefvater’s original take on werewolves. This is a complex, charming, and extremely satisfying start to a stunning trilogy.

Grace and Sam’s story continues in Lingerwhich is printed in green ink!

Possible pairings: Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Sea Change by Aimee Friedman, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde.

*Are paranormal and supernatural in different genres in the publishing world? I don’t actually know if they have different definitions or not.


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An interesting book to read on a chilly day!

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the connection between the cycles of the werewolf and the temperature. It does make more sense that that whole "full moon" thing, anyway.

You are so right Andrea. This

You are so right Andrea. This is a great book for the cold weather and a fun, new take on werewolf mythology.

Twilightesque much?

Twilightesque much?

There is definitely a

There is definitely a Twilight vibe to all paranormal romance type stories lately. But I'd say Shiver has more suspense, better writing, and a very original take on werewolves compared to Meyer's vision.

thanks for the recommendation

Your recommendation stuck with me all these months until I finally had to read Shiver, and I'm so glad that I did. This is a really wonderful, beautifully written book.

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