Honestly, I have been avoiding the whole YA paranormal frenzy since the Twilight epidemic. Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of the Cullen clan and the Bella-Edward-Jacob triangle, but the teen fad has turned me off a bit from the series. Anyhow, I saw Shiver at Barnes and Noble and fell in love with the cover. I did not even read the description on the back. Instead, I wrote the title down, requested it from the library, and picked it up a week later. Now, six days have passed and I have finished reading it- yes I know that took a while but I am a college student and two jobs are needed in order to pay tuition, which does not leave a lot of reading time unfortunately.
Anyways, I am still in awe.
Publisher's Weekly says- "For years, Grace has been fascinated by the yellow-eyed wolf that saved her from its pack when she was a child. Sam, bitten by a wolf as a boy, is that wolf. Long obsessed with each other at a distance, they finally meet after a wolf hunt (inspired by the apparent death of a local teen) sends a wounded and temporarily human Sam into Grace's arms. Their young love is facilitated by Grace's hands-off parents Once upon a time, I would've leaped at the rare opportunity of curling up with Mom on the couch. But now, it sort of felt like too little, too late, Grace muses), but threatened by two linked crises: the fact that Sam will soon lose the ability to become human and the instability of a new lycanthrope. Stiefvater skillfully increases the tension throughout; her take on werewolves is interesting and original while her characters are refreshingly willing to use their brains to deal with the challenges they face."
Maggie Stiefvater's magical prose is glittering, poetic, and musical, creating a romantic tone that all readers can appreciate. I was pulled in by the first paragraph:
"I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. They were licking me, biting me, worrying at my body, pressing in. Their huddled bodies blocked what little heat the sun offered. Ice glistened on their ruffs and their breath made opaque shapes that hung in the air around us. The musky smell of their coats made me think of wet dog and burning leaves, pleasant and terrifying. Their tongues melted my skin; their careless teeth ripped at my sleeves and snagged through my hair, pushed against my collarbone, the pulse at my neck.
I could have screamed, but I didn't. I could have fought but I didn't. I just lay there and let it happen, watching the winter-white sky go gray above me."
The whole book's narrative is breathtaking, lyrical, and beautiful. Stiefavter alternates between Grace and Sam, creating a balance between their two voices and a rounded point of view for the story. Parts of the book were a bit predictable, but while reading, it did not bother me because of my fascination with the vivid descriptions and vibrant diction throughout. Beware, Shiver did end on a cliffhanger, so one must read the sequel- Linger, review coming soon since I cannot wait to find out what happens next.