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.
When Shiver first came out, I was a little rundown on “werewolf” stories, so I didn’t give it a second look. What no one told me (*glares at people who’ve read this*) was it had very little to do with werewolves and everything to do with two people who love each other, but can’t be together.
Guys! Unrequited love — especially on the boy’s end — is my favorite plot! I am a sucker for impossible relationships. I mean, my favorite movie is Beauty and the Beast. So from now, if you know a book has a boy pining for a girl, TELL ME ABOUT IT.
Anyway, let me tell why I love this book so much: Sam and Grace.
I LOVE Sam and Grace together. They are so adorable I want to eat them up. Like when Sam says, “Because she told me so, I could.” *sigh*
Or when Grace says, “I loved looking at the shape his body made while he read, from the curved slope of his neck bent over the pages to the long forms of his sock feet.” *heavy sigh*
You get both of their point of views throughout the book (without overlapping much, thank God), so you get hit with a double shot of longing. It’s overwhelming at times because their time is running out. It’s getting colder and Sam can’t stay human for much longer. Gah! Time is an evil thing. Where’s a time turner or fairy godmother or genie when you need one?? We’re already dealing with shapeshifters, so I would have accepted any form of supernatural intervention to “fix” Sam so he could stay a human for Grace and not rolled my eyes once at the convenient way out. That’s seriously how much I wanted them to be together.
There’s more to this story than just Sam and Grace, though. Like a rogue wolf who is supposed to be dead, a psycho wolf who won’t let Sam go without a fight, friends to lie to, parents to avoid, and a pack leader who might have a few screws loose. It’s a cornucopia of dysfunction, with Sam and Grace at the center.
The beginning was a little confusing for me, but that could be just me. The chapters flip back and forth between Sam and Grace, but don’t identify the context right away. For example, I had no idea when Grace’s or Sam’s first POVs were taking place or where. Eventually I figured it out, but those first couple of pages are a puzzle.
My advice on if you get confused like I did: Just keep reading. It’ll work itself out.
Oh! And another thing I loved was Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. She phrases things in the cutest way. It makes me smile. Like when Sam says, “I remember being intrigued by the idea of school-in-a-box, just-add-water-and-Sam.” That quote makes more sense when you read the book. I swear. But isn’t it cute? I love Sam. I want a Sam in my life.
I can’t wait to read Linger. It’s on its way to my house right now. (And it’s SIGNED by Maggie Steifvater! *insert squeal of delight here*) You’ll be hearing back from me when it reaches me, unless for some reason Sam and Grace aren’t together at the end. (That better not happen or I will seethe and rage.) But nobody tell me what happens! I don’t want to be spoiled!
Forever (the third book) will be released July 12, 2011.
You can follow (i.e. stalk) Maggie Stiefvater on Twitter, Facebook, her LiveJournal blog, and you can read original short stories from her, Brenna Yovanoff (author of The Replacement, which Kate reviewed), and Tessa Gratton (her debut novel, Blood Magic, comes out next year) at the Merry Sisters of Fate blog.