Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Review of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Published: August 2009
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc
Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance.
So, I have to start off by saying that the book blurb is absolutely horrible. Siblings? Really? And I'm supposed to find that attractive in a romance? Thank goodness there is no hint to that type of relationship between them in the actual book!
There were some very strong points that had me loving the book so much that I was able to put aside the frustrating and over used YA scenarios. The first is Stiefvater's beautiful poetry. It's spread throughout the novel and truly captures the essence of what the characters are feeling and how their worlds are changing. The second is that, despite this riding the coat tails of Werewolf craze courtesy of the Twilight phenom, it was a unique take on werewolves. I didn't feel like I was having to read someone's version of Jacob's story. I was completely absorbed into Sam and Grace's lives. The final thing I loved (actually two things) is the cover and book trailer. Both are so beautiful. The cover isn't depressing, or try too hard, and the trailer gave me chills. although, it makes much more sense if you watch it after reading the book.
So what didn't I like? Well, here come the over used YA scenarios. Good girl meets bad boy, who really has a heart of gold and would die for her. Boy obsesses over girl that never notices him, until one day that randomly changes. Girl's parents are artsy and completely uninterested in her life, not even noticing that her boyfriend now lives with them. Girl and boy immediately (upon finally noticing the other) realize this is their soul mate.
Like I said, lots of over used scenarios, but if you can get past that and simply enjoy the beautifully lyrical writing of Stiefvater this is a very enjoyable read. Make sure you go in with the knowledge that it is a trilogy and don't expect complete closure at the end of this one.