Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

From the Back Cover:

the Cold.
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.

the Heat.
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.

the Shiver.
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.

This story begins with a killer opening scene that is both terrifying and beautiful and completely drew me in. From there the world of Mercy Falls, Minnesota is laid out in terrific sensory detail as we meet Grace and Sam and the realities and dangers they face are revealed.

Grace and Sam are both wonderful characters. Both solemn and wise beyond their years, both kind-hearted and stoic, and both yearning to find their place between worlds and with each other, they are a couple a reader can really bond with and root for. But nothing is easy for these two and this book had me in tears several times.

In terms of style, characterization, and creative content, this book is very well-written. My only real issue with this book is the pacing. It was rather uneven and the middle really dragged but I was rewarded for hanging in there and when the pace did pick back up it zoomed along and kept me on the edge of my seat right up to the last sentence on the very last page.

While this is a paranormal story, it's not full of magic and otherworldly rules, and the premise is surprisingly plausible and the story is deeply emotional. I highly recommend it for fans of paranormal YA with a more mature and realistic style. In conclusion, I'll leave you with the first and last lines of that opening scene that I loved so well:

I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in...

There was no sun; there was no light. I was dying. I couldn't remember what the sky looked like.

But I didn't die. I was lost to a sea of cold, and then I was reborn into a world of warmth.

I remember this: his yellow eyes.
I thought I'd never see them again.

Rating:  4.25 Stars out of 5

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