Sunday, September 9, 2012

Book Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater {Book 1 in Wolves of Mercy Falls}

Title: Shiver
Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls book 1
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Date of Publication: August 1, 2009
Source: borrowed from Leigh Ann at Silver Wings Reviews
Format: hardcover, 392 pages
Get your copy: Amazon/ Barnes and Noble



Goodreads Summary:
Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will be left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance



My Feelings:

So this is one of those books that left me gasping for air from the way the story was crafted so breathlessly.  Ms. Stiefvater is a true storyteller in every sense of the word.  
I first fell in love with this book on the cover alone a while back.  I love how we are gazing into the forest, through the brambles and wispy branches, to find a solitary wolf staring back at us.  I love love love the blue tints and it automatically makes me think of winter.  And of course, the only other color is the spot of red which looks closely similar to a drop of blood.  

Alright, I know you guys are telling me to get on with it but I just really loved this cover as well as the others in the series.  
The theme is a well known element: werewolf, but Stiefvater takes this and puts a very unique twist on it creating something completely different and very compelling.  
Our wolves in this story are more dependent upon the seasons and temperatures than the moon.  

Ms. Stiefvater crafts a wonderful tale full of emotion that just spills out everywhere.  And then we have poetry...ahh poetry.  I love poetry and I love how much research she did to find poems that fit Sam and Grace so well.  You can really tell that our author went all the way out with the research on wolves as far as pack structure.  I just cannot get enough of the whole "Alpha-beta-omega" tier that goes with these pristine creatures.
Shiver is a slow paced novel that doesn't rush into anything. It takes its time but that is the beauty in the story.  When I was reading it, I didn't want to rush through the story (even though I only took 2 days reading it) but instead I wanted to enjoy each and every descriptive scene.  I have never been a fan of snow and winter but after reading this novel, I wanted to go wander in a snow filled forest just to hear the crunch of the packed snow under my feet!  

The characters in Shiver are complex in every sense of the word. Sam is so hurt, so fragile and yet I can't help but feeling he is more than what he seems.  I love the fact that Sam doesn't take anything for granted.  He looks at life in a very special sweet way that will make you appreciate the simple things that surround us.  
His HEA, Grace, is the opposite of Sam but his perfect match too.  I guess it is true that opposites attract because these two seem like they were meant for each other.  She is the realist in the relationship and operates on the facts that are presented to her.   This makes it even more interesting for us to see how she processes the fact that Sam is the wolf that saved her so long ago too.  She feels connected to the pack of wolves that live in the woods behind her home.  My most favorite trait of Grace?  Her loyalty to those she cares about.  She will be loyal to the very end, even if it is a losing battle.  

I really liked the other characters in this book too.  I loved Beck, even though I wasn't sure how to feel about him through some of his more questionable acts.
I really enjoyed getting to know the other pack members through Sam's memories.  That made me feel even worse for Sam.  Bless his heart!
  Grace's friends are okay but I couldn't really feel any kind of relation to them.
Her parents actually just ticked me off!  As a mom myself, I felt like her parents were just out of everything.  I am not sure if this lack of parenting is a foreshadowing of events coming up or more of an explanation as to why Grace becomes such a strong female at a very young age.  
The antagonists will definitely surprise you.  Sometimes the ones that start out as "the bad guy" will make you stand up and applaud.  

Was there parts that I felt were a little to emo-isque even for me?  Yeah there was times I thought Sam did wallow in self pity but after you figure out what he went through; hey I can understand why he has so much doubt.  

All in all, Shiver brought a lot of emotion out of me and there were times I couldn't help but cry and gasp at the situations these troubled characters have to go through in their life.  Yeah there is parts that tend to drag a little but the climax is so strong my heart still flutters thinking about it.  

I gave Shiver four hearts!







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