Friday, 2 October 2009

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

From Amazon: Grace is fascinated by the wolves in the woods behind her house; one yellow-eyed wolf in particular. Every winter, she watches him but every summer, he disappears. Sam leads two lives. In winter, he stays in the frozen woods, with the protection of the pack. In summer, he has a few precious months to be human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. When Grace and Sam finally meet they realize they can't bear to be apart. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human - or risk losing himself, and Grace, for ever.

When I started reading Shiver, I was expecting an amazing, all-consuming epic romance type of book that would end up as one of my favourites. It didn't quite meet my high expectations, but I did enjoy it and didn't put it down once I got into it.

My main disappointment was my lack of connection with the characters. I just about got Sam, but I felt very little attachment to Grace. I don't know why she didn't make more of an impact on me, but I definitely didn't care about her as much as I think I should have. I also had trouble believing in their intense relationship -- I didn't think there was enough build up, and I had no idea why their feelings for each other were so strong; Grace's especially. Their feelings seemed to progress in the fast and furious no-good-explanation way, and I didn't identify with them at all. The plethora of supporting characters all worked, but again, none particularly stood out to me, and most seemed superfluous.

The plot itself was something new in the werewolf genre, and I thought the use of the cold was very clever. I've never heard of the weather controlling when a wolf changes to a human, so that caught my attention straight away. I also loved the dual narrative, as I'm a big fan of different points of view. I would have liked to have seen more Sam and less Grace chapters, though with Sam being a wolf for some of the time, I understand that that wasn't always possible. The cliffhanger ending was a nice touch, and left me wanting another immediately. I now have many questions that need answers, and I'm hoping all will be revealed in a future installment.

I really wanted to love Shiver, but I didn't get that excited feeling that accompanies a book you know you'll be thinking about for days after finishing it. Maybe it was because my expectations were too high, or maybe I was just anticipating something more.

11 comments:

Chicklish said...

Ooh, really interesting review. I love the sound of the wolf transformation being controlled by the weather, and the book sounds really atmospheric. Thank you for such a fascinating review!

Aimee said...

d'oh...now that this book is becoming a movie, ive wanted to read it. i like how yours is a more balanced review - I know what Im getting myself into and can stop any high expectations!

LovesSam said...

Oh, I am sorry you didnt like it as much as you thought.

Everyone has different opinions and I loved this book, even more so than Twilight. But I can understand what you mean about the POV, I would have loved to see more Sam.

I have heard though from Maggie, that Linger the second book out next fall, is a much tighter novel than Shiver, so I hope you find that connection when you read the second book.

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Great review! I'm really looking forward to reading this, I'm just hoping it meets my high expectations!

Lenore said...

I completely bought the romance, but I never expect to like romance, so maybe I am just different.

MeganRebekah said...

This is exactly how I felt!
I enjoyed the book and read it quickly. But I never bought into the head over heels love at first sight. It was a sweet and good book, but not favorite book of they year good.

Thao said...

Everyone's comments make me want to read this book even more. Hopefully Linger will meet up with your expectations :D

Becky said...

I bought Shiver from the Scholastic book fair I'm holding at school yesterday. I'm intrigued now. I get the feeling I will either be completely wowed or completely disappointed. I love the honesty in your review.

Book Chick City said...

I do want to read this but it was nice to get a different view of the book as all I've heard is lots of gushing comments about how amazing it is. Now I will go in without such high expectations, so thanks for the honest review.

one shelfish blogger said...

I thought I was the only one not completely in love with this book, thank god XD I'm only about half way through it though, so hopefully it'll get better for me towards the end.

Anonymous said...

i loved this book i have just started reading it and i'm hooked just clever writing epescilly the beginning where the attack is graces point of view than the wolfs point of view about the same bit one of the besst books i have ever started reading lol x