Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

I didn’t think I could read any more chaste love stories between teenagers and supernatural creatures, but a Borders Sale beckoned and I bought two werewolf books.  One, called ‘The Last Werewolf’ which I will be reading next and this one, ‘Shiver’ by Maggie Stiefvater.

Shiver is not your average everyday love story between a teen and the mysterious boy who could be a wolf.  In this one, when they meet, he actually is a wolf, and remains one through most of the early interaction.

I was intrigued by the author’s take on the Werewolf mythology.  In her world, a wolf bite does indeed turn one into a werewolf but the moon is not in charge of the change here.  Instead, the change is affected by the temperature.  When it gets cold enough you turn into a wolf and you stay that way until Spring or even Summer.  When you have been a wolf a long time, your time as a human decreases until at the last, you never change back and end your days as a wolf.  I loved that idea, that it wasn’t a supernatural thing, but could perhaps be explained by science (although good luck explaining morphing into a totally different species scientifically).

At the start of the story we meet Grace.  A not so typical teen who has been forced to grow responsible fairly early due to the total fickleness of her parents.  She is obsessed by the wolves in the woods out the back of her house.  She was attacked by them when she was nine and ever since she can’t get them out of her head.  Especially ‘her’ wolf.  He of the beautiful yellow eyes.

She has her suspicions about the wolves being not quite normal, but can’t articulate that suspicion until a boy at school is attacked by the pack.  He dies but his body disappears and later she sees a new wolf in the forest with his eyes.  Feelings amongst the townfolk have moved against the wolves and they organise a posse to go out and shoot them.

Grace is horrified and tries to stop the shooting but has no luck, dejected she goes home and finds a wounded boy on her doorstep with beautiful yellow eyes….

This truly is a love story with a difference.  I was totally entranced with both Sam and Grace.  The writing style is first person POV with mostly alternating chapters between Sam’s and Grace’s POV.  While the love story is mostly chaste, to keep it to a YA rating so that schools will buy it, it is also a beautiful tale with a quiet desperation to it when you learn that Sam hasn’t long left as a human.

I will admit that this book made me cry.  While it is very hard to read print when there are tears in your eyes, I do admire an author that can make me care enough about a character that I will weep for them.  It is a perfect love story, with the two protagonists made for each other without being too sickly about it.  They are both misfits and nobody glows here.  Neither is the most attractive in class and indeed, because of his condition, Sam cannot even attend school.

My only complaint was the first person perspective.  It was written well, but that style of writing is quite limiting and I found myself wanting to know what else was going on outside of the main characters’ purview.  Besides this there wasn’t much here I could fault.  I would recommend this to readers who enjoy teen love stories, or those with wolves in it.  If you are looking for supernatural romance similar to Vampire Diaries or Twilight then don’t look here.

Upcoming posts

I’ve been a busy girl the past few weeks so of course the blog has suffered. I have been busily editing Ethel the Aardvark, the club magazine for the MSFC and attending Supanova and gushing over Robin Hobb. So a lot of the articles I have written for Ethel I felt I couldn’t really publish until Ethel was released. As Ethel comes out today I feel no compunctions to put up my articles tonight. So what will I be posting?

1 – My interview with Robin Hobb
2 – A book review of The Inheritance by Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm
3 – A review of my experience at Supanova.

After that I will hopefully get back into the swing of things and post more often. I will be trying to get at least one book review in a week, but it always depends on how long a book takes to read. At the moment I am rereading all the Farseer books by Robin Hobb, inspired by meeting her at Supanova. I am enjoying them just as much this time as all the other times I have read them. there is a reason they have stayed on my book shelves all these years. Once I have finished those (Only 1 more to go yay) I have a TBR pile that is almost scary. There are several books there that others I trust have read and enjoyed so I know that I will enjoy them too. Come on Easter hols so I can get more reading in.

I have also been reading a lot of other blogs on books and I am getting some good ideas. I hope my blog improves with time and I get more than the 3 readers a day I am currently averaging (probably all family)

Anyway – here’s to the future, I am excited, I hope you are too