Saturday, January 22, 2011


Shiver by Maggie Stievfater (NY: Scholastic, 2009).

This is a phenomenal paranormal romance featuring werewolves, but the werewolf aspect does not overshadow the romance, thankfully. The story revolves around Grace, a teen girl who had been snatched by wolves ten years earlier, but survived when a yellow-eyed wolf looks at her and then somehow manages to get the rest of the pack to halt the attack. For years after that Grace feels drawn to the wolves, and the yellow-eyed wolf turns out to be Sam. Eventually he and Grace connect in the summer while he's in human form. Grace saves Sam after a hunting accident and then Sam practically moves into her house, while Grace's parents obliviously go about their lives, ignoring Grace as usual. Grace learns about werewolves as her relationship with Sam develops. Meanwhile, another boy becomes infected and Grace helps his sister figure out a way to save him, though they're not sure if that's possible. Grace hopes that whatever works for this boy might also help Sam, who wants to stay human so he can be with Grace.

Stiefvater orchestrates the werewolf pack's existence alongside humans well. The fake medical aspects are somewhat iffy, but the romance more than makes up for this weakness. Sam's penchant for song writing and poetry plays well with Stiefvater's lyrical prose riffs on the natural world. There's a great ending, too, that leaves the reader not knowing if Sam will survive.

Overall, an awesome YA read, highly recommended for ages 13 & up. Intense & sexual situations, violence.

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