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I loved Shiver. It was beautifully written. I am a big fan of Maggie Stiefvaters writing and Ive enjoyed everything Ive read of hers. However, I avoided Shiver because of the mixed reviews I heard about it. Finally, I decided to read it and Im really glad I did because it was so much better than I expected. Shiver was written so beautifully. It was a slower paced, descriptive novel, which I enjoyed. I felt like I really connected with Grace, the main character. She was independent, curious, organized, and also a little alone. Her family was very self obsessed, focusing more on their careers and social life, leaving Grace to fend for herself often. Graces curiosity about the wolves, especially one she vaguely remembered from her attack as a child, seemed a bit weird at first, but not in an unbelievable way. I was drawn to the story in Shiver. I couldnt help it because of the way the author writes and the way she creates a sort of magic between the characters, the setting, and emotions. The thing about Shiver is that Im so in love with the writing and the connection between Grace and Sam. It is beyond what I expected. Which is weird because the plot didnt ever really grip me and thats probably why I put off reading it for so long. When I hear people talk about Shiver, especially those who didnt like it, it sounds horrible. A girl who fell in love with a wolf before she knew he was actually a person? Thats so weird. Absentee YA parents? Aggravating! Another introverted quiet girl? Boring! But for all of the things that make Shiver a run of the mill YA paranormal story, there are twice as many things that make it different, unique, and not at all annoying. Honestly, I think the only bad thing Shiver had going for it was the timing. It was released post-Twilight at a time when people were either craving more of the same or scoffing at the idea that a YA romance should even be a thing. The scathing reviews I see for Shiver are typically written during that awkward post-Twilight time period that I think was really hard for many YA authors. People either hated it because it was too much like Twilight or not enough like Twilight and I think thats a real shame. I liked Shiver because it was elegant and gripping. I cared about the characters in ways that I think sometimes only Maggie Stiefvater can make me care. I rooted for them. I understood Grace and her parents and the way her circumstances shaped her. I understood her curiosity for the wolves and I even understood how she felt protective over the wolf before she ever knew he was more than a wolf. I think its been long enough after Twilight that YA authors and novels dont have to be compared to it. I think YA has come into itself and if ever there was a time to pick up Shiver, its now when you can fully appreciate it without silly expectations and comparisons. If you are a fan of Maggie Stiefvaters writing, I dont see how Shiver will be a disappointment, even if wolves arent your thing. A Note About The Negative Reviews: Some of the reviews that arent positive mentioned that the authors prose was too much, the characters were too mature, Sam was too poetic for a teenager to be, and Grace was a terrible friend because of how she let Sam take precedence over her previous friends. I only mention these because I couldnt disagree more. When I was a teenager, I loved the sort of style that Stiefvater used in this novel. All of the books I read over and over again were similar in tone. I connected to characters like Grace. I was poetic like Sam (and so were guys I went to school with, so the idea that guys cant be poetic just infuriates me. While Ive never been romantically drawn to these types of guys, to assume they dont exist and having characters like that is unrealistic is ridiculous). I hate the idea that YA novels are judged half the time for having characters who are too mature and then half the time for having characters who are too immature. I think people ought to remember that, while teens tend to have similar characteristics, they are quite different from one another, too. Not only would Shiver have been probably one of my favorite books as a teen, but I think in many ways Sam and Grace were like me. And I felt like Graces friends took her for granted some of the time and didnt always let her be fully herself and Sam did. And we should all remember how often we let new people who we connected with more have the front seat in our lives as teenagers, leaving some of our old friends in the back, forgotten. None of this things seem unrealistic to me at all. Sometimes I feel like people read YA even though they are too closed minded and they stick too much to their own preconceived notions of what teenagers feel/want/need/like/should be to really enjoy it. I highly recommend Shiver. Its a great book and I cant wait to read the rest of the series. Check it out!
Amazon.com Review Brenna Yovanoff and Maggie Stiefvater: Author One-on-One Brenna Yovanoff is is the author of The Replacement and has published in various journals. She lives in Denver, Colorado. Recently she sat down with Maggie Stiefvater to discuss Stiefvater’s Ballad and The Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Read the resulting interview below, or turn the tables to see what happened when Maggie interviewed Brenna. Brenna: Even though we all know that characters are not authors, we also know that characters sort of are their authors (at least a little bit). Which of your characters would you say is most like you as a person? Maggie: Well, most of my characters are delightfully single-minded, because that is what characters do. So if I were arguing a high-level thesis paper, I’d probably declare that, in fact, all of my characters are really me, just exaggerated, stripped of gray areas and less than crystal clear motivations. Even the evil ones. Maybe especially the evil ones. >br/> That said, I’ve been told I’m quite like Isabel from the Shiver [Wolves of Mercy Falls] series and James from Ballad. Brenna: If Cole from the Shiver trilogy and James from Ballad had to fight each other in a snark-off, who would win? Maggie: James, I’m afraid. Cole has learned to rely far too much on his appearance to win these things and sometimes, my friends, a finely crafted chin will just not get you ahead in life. Brenna: When your characters are romantically involved, they’re willing to fight desperately to be together, often against seemingly insurmountable odds. Like when their significant others turn into wolves and run away into the forest. Where do you stand on the topic of true love? Maggie: I’m a fan/ believer/ proponent of true love. I think it’s worth waiting for, and I also think it’s worth fighting for once you’ve found it. I’m one of those madly in love people who just doesn’t understand why anyone would stand for anything less. I also find long-term dating confusing. I was engaged after a month and a half because, like Grace in Shiver, I am bad at shopping. I just see what I want, and then I go and get it. Brenna: Cole St. Clair’s band Narkotika is, understandably, not a real band. However, if it were a real band, what would it sound like? Maggie: Well, I think that Narkotika, like love, is in the eye of the beholder. It’s supposed to be an edgy, hard, slightly unsettling band, and that varies depending on what you listen to. Also, it was originally an electronica band (think Blaqk Audio). These days I go through life thinking that possibly they would sound like Ringside. Or Korn. Or Carolina Liar. Or Three Days Grace. I realize that these bands sound nothing like each other. I have no good explanation for that. Brenna: What would you say to all the woefully optimistic girls out there (i.e., me) who want to know if Cole would date them? What if they said please? Maggie: Oh, Cole would date you. I guarantee you he would date you. If by “date,” you mean “make out with you in a dark hallway, remove some of your clothing, completely avoid giving you his contact information, disappear, and make you have a resulting existential crisis about why you date boys who treat you badly.” The please wouldn’t be necessary.
Shiver Paperback – April 29, 2014 by Maggie Stiefvater (Author) Review
Actual rating: 3. 5I thought Shiver was a very sweet love story. Grace and Sam’s romance was captured beautifully in the writing. Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is so poetic and it really added depth and richness to the story. For me, the book was never boring. However, I can see how some people might become bored reading Shiver, because there isn’t a lot of action, and it is more slower paced than other Young Adult series. But, I don’t need a lot of action to be entertained by a book, and I actually enjoyed the book’s pace. I liked both of the main characters and I loved their relationship. Was it a bit love-at-first-sight? Yeah it was. But to me, it was as superficial as that. I thought the way Grace and Sam’s relationship evolved was much more mature and innocent than other character relationship in other books/series. The storyline was engaging, but not one I was completely immersed in. Maybe it’s because I’m not into the whole werewolf-human romance thing. However, I did think it was more unique than other werewolf stories, with the idea that they transform into a wolf in cold weather. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and their relationships. The story flowed really well and the writing was gorgeous. Much of the book was focused on the romance and the relationship of main two characters. Again, that didn’t bug me, but for people who don’t enjoy a more love driven story, this probably isn’t the book for them. -Read Reviews-
The Amazon summary reads: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. My Thoughts:Although I don’t usually read wolf/werewolf books, I decided to pick this one up because I had heard so much about Maggie Stiefvater’s descriptive and emotional writing. I’m glad I did. It was a sweet story filled with wonderfully heartfelt poetry readings by Sam to Grace, the vivid imagery of the smells through a wolf’s sense, and the “Aww factor” of how drawn they were to each other. I rated this a 3 star because while the main characters were fully fleshed out and so in love that it made you ache, the other characters in the book seemed like they were just in it for fill. To show that Grace has two best friends and she wasn’t a total loner? Her parents were portrayed like this as well. However, the imagery in the book made up for the few deficiencies. I could picture myself in that harsh cold Minnesota Fall and Winter, and curled up with a warm blanket as I read. I will probably read the next two books in the trilogy to see if the mysteries about the wolf change are explained and where the relationship between Sam and Grace goes from here. For this and my other reviews, please visit me at: [. ..]
Tags: Adventure fiction, Adventure stories, Animal stories (Children's, Animals, Animals - General, Animals - Wolves & Coyotes, Children: Young Adult (Gr. 7-9), Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Human-animal relationships, Juvenile Fiction, Love & Romance, Love stories, Maggie Stiefvater, Metamorphosis, Occult & Supernatural, Occult fiction, Paranormal, Paranormal fiction, Romance - General, Romance fiction, Scholastic Inc., Shapeshifting, Shiver, Supernatural, Teenage), Wolves, Wolves & Coyotes, YOUNG ADULT FICTION