Book Review,  Reviews

Shiver – Maggie Stiefvater

“I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in. Their huddled bodies blocked what little heat the sun offered. Ice glistened on their ruffs and their breath made opaque shapes that hung in the air around us.”

Grace has always been fascinated by the wolves that live in Boundary Wood. Even though she was attacked as a child she wasn’t afraid of them and sought comfort in knowing they were there every winter. However when a boy from Grace’s school is attacked and killed by the wolves the town of Mercy Falls becomes a place of suspicion and fear. Grace is worried for the wolves and when she meets a boy whose yellow eyes look so familiar she can scarcely believe she has never met him before, her fears heighten even more.

Shiver has been on my shelf since Christmas 2010. I have been told that I must read a Maggie Stiefvater book by numerous people for years, but for some reason it just sat there still. Now, with a signing in one of my closest cities, I decided it was a good time to crack the spine and delve right in. I can’t say that I was blown away with Shiver but I can kick myself for not reading it sooner! 
Shiver is about love, and wolves. Theres not much more to it tbh, the romance is the main element for the book and whilst I knew that I did think there might be a little more to it. I was wrong but I did still enjoy it. The idea of the two main characters falling in love whilst they weren’t even together was interesting and it made me feel that the story wasn’t just full on insta-love. Theres a lot of emotion in the book, with the constant threat of the two characters becoming separated, and that’s the driving force to be honest. It packs the punch that you need in order to carry on reading. 
The writing is in places beautiful and strong enough to boil up the readers emotion. In other places it drags a little too much though and takes a bit of getting through. I know some readers have commented on the slow pace of the book because of its writing and I can agree with that. It takes a little getting into but once you do you can be lost in it for hours. I really loved that the chapters were split between Grace and Sam and that there wasn’t any set pattern for them, you got a few Grace chapters followed by one or two of Sam, then back to Grace, however their individual voices were strong enough for it not to be a problem and I loved the touch of including the temperature on the chapter pages. 
In all honesty I have some similar feelings to Shiver as I have to Lauren Kate’s Fallen series. I really enjoyed it but I’m not sure why, the writing is hit and miss, the story revolves around the two characters love for one another and not much else, and the characters themselves aren’t really that deep. Grace is a loner, obsessed with the wolves and left to fend for herself by her parents. Sam is a wolf, its not a spoiler as its blatantly obvious that’s where the story goes from the back cover and from the third or fourth chapter.  He has a backstory which was really interesting and I really enjoyed, but it still didn’t add much to the character. I liked their presence together a lot and thought they were incredible as a couple but alone, not so impressed! 
I think its a combination of the beautiful love story, the amazing writing (for the most part anyway) and my fascination of wolves which made me enjoy this book so much. I have always loved Wolves and they are by far my favourite paranormal creature so I thought I would love Shiver for that reason. I really loved the take that Maggie Stiefvater had on them, with the disease that was brought on by the cold rather than the full moon and I especially liked what that added to the romance element with the two character constantly on time watch.
I would recommend Shiver if you are a romance fan and I really did enjoy it, it had its ups and downs but was worth it and I will definitely be checking out the other books in the series, Linger and Forever. 
Shiver was published in 2010 by Scholastic. My copy was purchased in my local Waterstones branch. 

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  • Hollie

    I read this book a couple of years ago, and I remember enjoying it, but that’s about it. I’ll re-read it again soon so I can finish the series, but you’re right in saying that the book is basically wolves and romance! Maggie Stiefvater has a great writing style, I recently read The Raven Boys and fell in love with it even more. Great review!

  • Zoe Crook

    I must read this series. I am slightly more excited about The Raven Boys but I think I need to join in with the hype about these books. I’m glad you enjoyed it despite its flaws. Thanks for the great review! 🙂

  • Katie

    I’ve been eyeing this book since 2010 too, but still haven’t read it. I think I’ll be checking it our from the library, that’s a bummer that the writing was hit and miss and that the story just revolves around two people. Happy to hear you found it to be a beautiful love story though! Thanks Raimy!

  • Clover

    Wolves are definitely my thing too. I love them so much.

    And I loved this book. I thought the temperature at the start of each chapter was wonderful. It added tension and really made the weather feel like an actual character in the book 🙂

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