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BOOK REVIEW: SHIVER


Scholastic’s answer to vampires? Werewolves.

Lucky me, I was loaned an ARC of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater! Shiver has a believable first-person narration, with the chapters rotating between the two main characters, Grace and Sam. Their love seems fated from the beginning and we, the readers, yearn for the two of them to be together. One slight problem…Sam is a werewolf. (NOTE: No endings are revealed in this review...)

By allowing us to watch the unfolding of their love and the tension of the transformations through both Grace’s and Sam’s point of view, Stiefvater helps the reader suspend disbelief effectively. At no time does she falter in her narrative, even with elements that defy logic, her explanations of the fantastical are clear and reasonable. The chapter headings are listed with the character’s name, as well as the temperature, a key element in the novel.

As the tension builds through the novel, with elements of apprehension coming from various plot devices deftly woven in, Shiver keeps us hungering for more information and urging Grace and Sam toward a satisfying resolution. The sub-plots that thread through the novel are convincing, as well. The conflicts between Grace and her friends ring true, with family problems rounding out the issues that simultaneously bring the two together, yet drive wedges between them.

While Stiefvater’s overall story arc pulls us through the novel, the poetry of her writing makes one pause, lingering over beautifully crafted lines. The wolf imagery is entwined, running through the narrative, skillfully allowing us to enter Sam’s world as he shows Grace, and us, his life in the pack.

One of my favorite chapters is when Sam takes Grace on a date to the bookstore. I’ll admit it…I’m a sucker for a good bookstore. This one sounds cozy, welcoming to its reader customers, a place where customers can browse unhindered. Sam’s choosing this place as a dating destination adds to his romanticism, with his painful past, soulful eyes, and love of poetry.

There are many appeals to Shiver's well-written prose that will attract the readers Scholastic is seeking. The ending was satisfying and left only a few lingering questions, which may not bother most readers. (Perhaps a sequel is in the works?) Another key feature is that this YA novel features the total adoration by the love interest, which many young women seek. The love scenes are realistic, without being too graphic. (The only thing jarring was the beginning of the acknowledgements.)

Overall, the tension, conflicts, and themes are all ones of high interest to teens. Combine that with great voice, imagery, and a fast-paced plot and you have a book destined for the best-seller list. There is plenty of buzz being generated about this book, with good reason. Read Shiver – let yourself be transported to a world that is both fantastical and believable. Get caught up in Grace and Sam’s love. You will never look at wolves the same again.

For more information, check out the author’s website: http://bit.ly/151l9d and the publisher’s: http://bit.ly/VdO4n

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
seaheidi
Jul. 18th, 2009 04:50 am (UTC)
I heart Shiver. Great review!
marjorielight
Jul. 18th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Me, Too!
I really enjoyed it, as well. Thanks for the kind words.
I can't want to read your book, SEA!
ex_kmessner
Jul. 18th, 2009 01:09 pm (UTC)
Yep - Book 2 is called LINGER, and I think it's due out in 2010, if I'm not mistaken, but maybe Maggie will chime in here...

Did you read CF, too? I want to talk to you about it!

And also...I was going to ask if you were finished with SHIVER. I have a neighbor kid salivating over this book. May I loan it to her if you're done?
marjorielight
Jul. 18th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
Ah, you always have the scoop!
Said copy on its way to my little cottage - will drop it off to you soon!
kellyrfineman
Jul. 18th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
LINGER comes out next year, and I believe there's a third volume after that.
marjorielight
Jul. 21st, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
That's interesting - I have some ideas for what I'd like to see in book two...now I'm going to have to ponder three. hmmm....
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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