Book Review | Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
I received a copy of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (along with it’s sequel, Linger, which will come later in my reviews) with a note from Scholastic saying that even though I hadn’t requested a copy of this novel to review, they send it to me because they thought I might enjoy it as it has been quite popular. I must admit, when I first read the premise for the book, I was leery. As I mentioned in a previous review, I have never read the Twilight series and I thought Shiver might simply be a Twilight-type novel (starring werewolves instead of vampires).
I’m going to come right out and say it – I was WRONG! I was wrong to assume that this book would be like the Twilight books because I don’t think it is at all, and I was wrong to be leery about reading this book because it was AMAZING!!
Shiver is a novel that, truly, has something for many different readers. The novel is told from two different perspectives – Grace and Sam. Grace is a teenage girl who, when she was younger, was bitten by local wolves. Despite being bitten, she has never suffered any ill effects. She remembers somehow being “saved” by one of the wolves and has had a fascination with them ever since. Sam is the boy (who is also a werewolf) who saved her. They have been in love with one another for many years, even though they have never really spent time together. When Sam (as a wolf) is shot, he is morphed into his human form. He and Grace being spending time together and find themselves falling in love. They also have to deal with a number of other issues, including a jealous she-wolf, neighbours who want to kill the wolves and a fear that Sam will find himself in his werewolf form again and they will be separated forever.
The reason I believe this novel really does have something for many different readers is that it seamlessly incorporates a number of different elements into the story. There is a love story (which normally I don’t enjoy in a novel – but there is truly something different about the relationship between Grace and Sam that made me want them to be happy together), there are elements of fantasy in the werewolf element (which is well-explained and developed in the novel), there are social issues at play (Grace has relatively absentee parents and Sam has dealt with a family tragedy in his childhood among others) and suspense that builds throughout the book as the reader waits to learn Sam’s fate as a werewolf.
This a well-crafted, well-developed and well-rounded novel. I am really glad that the rep at Scholastic chose to send me this novel because it has made me a fan of Maggie Stiefvater and a believer in the power of a well-written novel to transcend stereotypes and preconceived notions that come with specific genres!
I would recommend this book for teens and adults alike. I plan on lending this books to a friend who is a huge fantasy fan and then to my teenage niece who I know will love them as well! I’ve already started the sequel, Linger, and I can’t wait to learn what will happen next to Grace and Sam and the werewolf pack!
P.S. Because I enjoyed this book so much (and I’ve already delved into Linger), I decided to search out more information on Maggie Stiefvater. If you want to read an interview with her, check out the Scholastic Canada interview.
*I received copies of this book from Scholastic to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*