Release Date: August 1, 2009
Genre: Young Adult
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1
Free or Purchased: Purchased
Rating: (5 Zombies)
Beautiful, haunting, and poetic, Shiver is an amazing read, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading! Recently, I've read quite a few truly wonderful YA novels, and this one is probably at the top. I loved it, and couldn't put it down for the day that it took me to read it. If there's anyone that hasn't read Shiver yet, do. It's worth the ten bucks, and then some.
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.
Grace Brisbane is a Junior in high school who was attacked by wolves when she was eleven-years-old. Instead of developing a fear of wolves, as most people would, she became obsessed with them, especially one in particular, a wolf with grey fur and stunning yellow eyes. Finally, she's given the chance to meet him as a person, although the circumstances aren't exactly ideal.
Sam Roth, in one of his characteristic thoughtful moments, observes that the eyes are the only part that the werewolves keep. Even as a wolf, he has the same yellow eyes that mark him as an anomaly in the human world. Sam's eyes aren't his biggest problem, though. Most werewolves can shift for around twenty years after they're first bitten, but Sam can sense that this is his last year as a human, and he's only had eleven since being changed.
The majority of the story revolves around Grace and Sam's attempts to keep Sam from changing, which involves quite a bit of running between heated cars and living rooms, and sharing blankets and coats, and is very entertaining. The rest of the time, they're trying to solve a mystery regarding the newest werewolf in Mercy Falls, and falling deeper in love.
Normally, the whole 'girl falls in love with wolf from afar' thing would just sound creepy, but Stiefvater really makes it work. It works so well that the reader barely thinks twice about the oddity of it all. I didn't even question Grace's mental health until towards the end of the book when she made a stupid choice that had nothing to do with her wolf obsession and everything to do with being a stressed teenage girl.
Shiver, continuing in its originality, doesn't focus much on the troubles of Sam and Grace's relationship because, unlike most other fictional couples, they don't have many relationship problems. They're a perfect match, and don't fight over dumb things just to add pages to the book. I only recall one actual fight in the entire novel, and it actually furthered the plot. What an idea! And, as an added bonus, it didn't end in hot, public sex.
I think my only problem with Shiver was my little YA pet peeve: SFS (Stupid Friend Syndrome). Rachel was funny and interesting, but Olivia just seemed (How can I say this nicely?) challenged. Yes, that's a nice way to put it. She was decisionally challenged, which is a great excuse for doing some of the things she does.
Despite stupid friends, Grace and Roth really held the already great story together and made Shiver one of the greatest Young Adult novels of all time. The sequel, Linger, comes out on July 20, so mark the date on your calendars and make sure to grab it as soon as it hits the shelves.