Saturday, March 8, 2014

Review: Shiver

Shiver by Maggie Steifvater is the first in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series and it will most likely also be my last, but not necessarily for the reasons you may think...

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
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.
The main character, Grace, was attacked by wolves and bitten as a young girl and yet for some reason, never changed like all others bitten.  She does however, form a strong bond with the wolf who saved her and when he becomes human, they fall in love and try to keep him human as long as possible.  I empathized with Grace.  She is quiet, almost to the point of being withdrawn.  I got the impression that if her friends didn't call, she wouldn't make a point to have a social life at all.  Her parents clearly love her but are self absorbed in the story and the reader is given the impression that they have always been this way.  She plays it cool as if she doesn't care about being left alone all the time but inside, it hurts.  When Sam arrives, he gives her the love that she desperately needs and their relationship is one of true caring.  It did remind me a bit of the relationship between Bella and Edward in Twilight. In fact, the whole book has a "Twilight" feel to it but that doesn't make it disappointing or unsatisfying.  In fact, I was thrilled to read about another couple who form such a deep bond.  A couple who will do anything to be together, willing to separate only to save the other.

I thought the wolves themselves were a strong presence in the story.  Each had their own story and I would have liked to hear more about a few of them. It was interesting how the author made the outside temperature the cause of the change from human to wolf and back again and you could feel Sam's weariness grow as it became more and more difficult to stay human as winter approached.  As a reader, I almost wanted him to just let it happen so he could get some relief from his struggle.  Grace wished on several occasions that she could change also just to stay with Sam, a sacrifice that would change her life forever.  

No spoilers here but I was extremely satisfied with how this book ended, and this is why I have decided not to continue the series.  Some people have already told me that I should but, after reading the blurbs on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, I feel like I might be disappointed or frustrated if I continue.  I want to remember this book as it is, a beautiful love story on its own that completely satisfied me as a reader.


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