Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

From Back Cover: Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf - her wolf - watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why. Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace ... until now. For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human - and Grace must fight to keep him - even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future. 

My Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: With the hype around the recently released Forever and Maggie Stiefvater’s trip to Ontario, I figured I’d see what all the fuss is about by reading Shiver. Shiver though was just … okay. While the writing style was good and I liked the mythology around Stiefvater’s werewolves, the plot and the characters didn’t really captivate me. 

The main goal of Sam and Grace in Shiver was to find a cure for Sam so that he could stop changing into a wolf and be with Grace. Their attraction and claims of love were too sudden for my tastes, and I found it strange that Grace seemed to take most things about Sam in stride. For example, if I found a naked and bleeding guy outside my house who I thought was a werewolf, rather than bringing him inside the house, I’d freak out about it first and then call an ambulance.

In terms of the characters, the secondary characters in Shiver other than Beck and Isabel didn’t really appear interesting. Part of the problem is that Grace and Sam seem to often be in their own little bubble at Grace’s house because her parents are never around. This gives the two plenty of time together, but since I didn’t care for the romance, I just wanted Sam and Grace to go do their own thing or have someone disrupt their state of blissfulness.

Even as an individual character though, I wasn’t a fan of Grace. She lost my respect right from the start when I learned that while the wolves were biting her years ago, she didn’t fight and just lay there. Why the heck would you not fight for your life?! It would have been great if my opinion of her had changed, but I closed the book feeling like I still barely knew her. All I can tell you about Grace is that she is a good cook, seems pretty independent and would be much better than me in an emergency. Oh yeah, she also loves Sam who is a fictional guy I would normally crush on because he is good looking, reads, plays the guitar and is very romantic. In this case, however, I didn’t.

Although there will be those who love Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, it didn't meet my expectations. The weak plot, instant romance and lacklustre characters left me disappointed.

Shiver was released by Scholastic Press in August 2009.

Comments About the Cover: I don't normally like illustrated covers but I like Shiver's. The trees and the wolf in blue really remind me of winter.


  1. I'm honestly not sure what I'd do if I saw a nekkid guy in the woods. :P

    I really loved Shiver. I think I even 5 star rated it, but yeah, I can see a lot of your points. Grace's fascination with the wolves was a bit strange.

  2. Great honest review! I am a fan of Shiver. I think it was the writing that charmed me. But I agree the secondary characters aren't really that great in the first installment but in Linger they definitely improve and even begin to overshadow Grace and Sam.

  3. Completely agree with you, on all points. This whole book just dragged for me because I didn't like Grace, or Sam, or their relationship. Will you be continuing with the series?

  4. I had the same reaction to this one Zahida! It just wasn't for me I don't think. I read it a long time ago since there was all the hype and I just couldn't quite get into the story:(

  5. OMG! Look at this place. From pink to blue. Love it. And the header is sooooo cute. :)

  6. I really liked Shiver, but I agree that at times it was just a bit hard to take. I mean I def. would have put a heavy fight with those wolves!;) Anyway, I'm hoping the second book in the series is going to be better. Great and honest review.

    Ps; Love your new header!

  7. Love the blog redesign!

    I'm really conflicted about what to think of this series. Some people seem to love it, others not so much. I love the sound of the werewolf mythology too but from what I've heard about Grace, your review included, she seems a bit annoying.

  8. Oh hey, new look! I like the color. <3

    I was captivated by Maggie's writing from the start that I didn't notice the things you mentioned. I'm a big fan of the series but I agree with most of your point.

  9. Hey, you've got a new blog design! I like it, especially the header font (and the bear is cute!)

    I enjoyed Shiver well enough while I was reading it, but afterwards it didn't stick with me and by the time I got Linger out from the library I really couldn't remember much about Shiver at all. (I'm not a huge fan of werewolves generally, though, so that may have contributed to it.)

  10. I loved Shiver but Sam and Grace did get a bit boring at times since they were always in their own little world. Also nice blog design...everything seems to match.

  11. Overall I liked Shiver but it definitely dragged for me in the middle. Great review!


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