Review: Shiver

Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver may derive its name from the wintery setting in which humans transform back into werewolves, but it might also be a nod to the chills that will run down your spine and goose bumps that will prickle your arms as you read this thrilling paranormal romance.

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human … until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human–or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.–From Goodreads

Stiefvater’s (pronounced Steve-otter) first book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series is not a book that I ever would have thought to pick up on my own, despite the gorgeous cover. I never in a million years thought I would enjoy a paranormal romance involving werewolves, but I’ve been trying to push myself outside my comfort zone lately. Let this be a lesson to us all that we should try new things. I had read many wonderful reviews of Shiver and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. I am now a reformed lover of werewolves. Stiefvater’s writing blew me away, and I became very attached to the main characters, Sam and Grace, who share storytelling duties. Even if the paranormal is not your usual cup of tea, this is a great romance, and who doesn’t enjoy a good love story? I can’t wait for the sequel Linger to come out later this year. And one of these days I really am going to wait until a series is done before I start it. I’m not sure all this waiting is good for my health.

Beyond her writing, Stiefvater is also a talented musician and artist. She has composed music based on her books (downloadable on her website) and drawn animated trailers. In her spare time, which she must create magically, she blogs and writes short stories. Stiefvater is an animal lover, which I think is a prerequisite for me enjoying books by any author, and she has kids, which makes the free time all the more amazing. She might also be superwoman.

Quotable Quotes from Shiver

“As the hours crept by, the afternoon sunlight bleached all the books on the shelves to pale, gilded versions of themselves and warmed the paper and ink inside the covers so that the smell of unread words hung in the air.”

“You’re beautiful and sad,” I said finally, not looking at him when I did. “Just like your eyes. You’re like a song that I heard when I was a little kid but forgot I knew until I heard it again.”

“If that moment had been a real thing, it would’ve been a butterfly, flapping and fluttering toward the sun.”

“And then I opened my eyes and it was just Grace and me – nothing anywhere but Grace and me – she pressing her lips together as though she were keeping my kiss inside her, and me, holding this moment that was as fragile as a bird in my hands.”

“I felt like things were getting away from me. I’d found heaven and grabbed it as tightly as I could, but it was unraveling, an insubstantial thread sliding between my fingers, too fine to hold.”

“Some days seem to fit together like a stained glass window. A hundred little pieces of different color and mood that, when combined, create a complete picture.”

“I am alone in the world, and yet not alone enough to make each hour holy. I am lowly in this world, and yet not lowly enough for me to be just a thing to you, dark and shrewd. I want my will and I want to go with my will as it moves towards action. And I want, in those silent, somehow faltering times, to be with someone who knows, or else alone. I want to reflect everything about you, and I never want to be too blind or too ancient to keep your profound wavering image with me. I want to unfold. I don’t want to be folded anywhere, because there, where I’m folded, I am a lie.”

“That night, like every other night since I’d met her, I curled Grace into my arms, listening to her parents’ muffled movements in the living room. They were like busy little brainless birds, fluttering in and out of their nest at all hours of the day or night, so involved in the pleasure of nest building that they hadn’t noticed that it had been empty for years.”

“It sounds stupid, but one of the things that I loved about Grace was how she didn’t have to talk. Sometimes, I just wanted my silences to stay silent, full of thoughts, empty of words.”

“Isabel’s face was still wearing a pretty pout, but I saw storms destroying small villages in her eyes.”

“Isabel made a noise that, if converted into a missile, had enough vitriol to obliterate a small country.”

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