Wednesday, June 5, 2013

SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater - Book Review

[Note: This review was originally published on on December 16th, 2010.]

Rating: 5/5 - So delicious that I read until my eyes went blurry!

Title: Shiver (book one of the Mercy Falls Trilogy)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Format: Hardcover

Published: 2009

Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Landed in my hands: purchased myself

Summary (from publication page):

In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity.


Shiver is a remarkably compelling read. I was lucky enough to find this title via recommendation, and have since nominated this person for sainthood, and gone on to recommend this title (and here I go, again — only now upgraded to the online version!).

I’ve always been partial to the young adult reads. This’ll be a gross generalization, but overall I find they tend to cut through the BS that sometimes bulks up “adult” fiction, while leaving the essence of the human condition in their wake. Shiver is no exception. There’s a classic “get in, get on with it, and get out” quality to the short passages that allows the reader to delve into the mindsets of the main characters, Grace and Sam, during the importance and immediacy of the moment, and duck out again before things become dull. Werewolves aside, I was reminded of the intensity of my teenage years, which ended (::cough, cough::) a while ago; those days when everything felt so complex and yet looking back, it’s obvious that the complexity had yet to start.

I found Stiefvater’s take on werewolves unique, and the lack of glamour to the lives of the pack added a refreshing realism that lacked in other paranormal teen reads I’ve seen. These teens struggle to balance themselves in their world, and I was instantly drawn into the reality Stiefvater etches just below the surface of our own.

Being a paranormal romance, I suppose I should touch on that: the romance. Shiver had plenty of sweet connective moments that make a girl melt. Sam is that sensitive guy any girl would love, full of romantic gestures and the self-consciousness that anyone who’s been a teen can identify with. I found Stiefvater’s writing to be poetic and gentle, and exactly fitting a quiet romance between these two teens, and an excellent juxtaposition with the grittier subplot.

I absolutely loved this read, inside and out. Stiefvater has been blessed in cover design, and the hardcover edition of this book is lovely, including the embossed impression of a leaf on the front cover, beneath the book jacket. The book geek in me ran out to update my copy from paperback to hardcover when I discovered how glorious the hardcover edition was — this is a book that will remain on my shelves until the End of Time — unless it’s lent out to others.

I would highly recommend this title to anyone who enjoyed the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer, especially if they like YA PR, and had issues with Meyer’s vamps. You’ll find Stiefvater’s wolves a little more... real.

(Now that that’s said, please excuse me as I duck and cover before the flaming begins... cheers!)

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