Shiver – Book Review

Goodreads summary:

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.

I read most of this book in high school, but for some reason put it down and never finished it. Then when I was at my friend’s house, I saw a paperback copy and she let me borrow it. My deadline was the day I left Japan because I was staying at her house until I had to catch my plane. I started reading it a few days before that when I had time to read (after school let out for summer break).

Now that I’ve finished it, I can’t believe I never read the whole thing in high school because it’s exactly something I would have loved back then. I am a big wolf lover and when I was younger I used to write stories like this, about how people turn into wolves. I blazed through the book, captivated by the writing style and the story, which never felt slow. I’ve taken a break from most YA fiction recently because the stories I’ve tried to read lately all seem pretentious or do too much explaining, leaving no mystery or intrigue. Shiver is not one of those books.

The plot is constantly building, and it never feels forced. At first I thought some elements, like Sam writing song lyrics in his head, were a little cheesy but they brought more meaning and uniqueness to his character and the situations he faced. Grace was a great main character, learning and growing the whole way, yet still unsure of herself. I dislike when a protagonist is too confident, and I also dislike protagonists who are extremely helpless, and Grace wasn’t too far on either side of that scale.

The story had elements to it that might remind people of the Twilight series, but I can guarantee that the writing and overall feel of this series so far is much more polished and rewarding. I can’t wait to read the next one. In fact, I’ve already ordered the next two books in the trilogy. Even though I’m not a high schooler anymore, this was one YA novel that I feel is relatable well past that age group. Shiver is definitely a sexy, wild read that will keep you on your toes.

Maggie Stiefvater has written several other fantasy series that I intend to read, some of which I already own on my Kindle. I’m looking forward to diving into more of her fantastic prose.