Seventeen-year-old Grace has held a morbid fascination with the wolves that reside behind her Minnesota home since she was dragged from her tire swing by the pack as a young child, only to be rescued and returned to safety by one particular wolf. For years she has watched and followed this yellow-eyed wolf when the weather is cold, only to feel the pangs of longing when he disappears each summer.
Eighteen-year-old Sam has lived a double life—wolf in the winter, boy in the summer—since he was attacked and bitten by a wolf as a young child. His werewolf pack is his family, but he longs to know Grace, the beautiful young woman who has watched him from her house since the day he saved her from an attack by his fellow wolves.
When a local boy is attacked and presumably killed by the wolves, people from the town take matters into their own hands and go into the woods to hunt down the wolves. Grace is worried about her wolf and tracks the hunters into the woods, only to find that her own wolf has been shot, and, as a result, he has changed into his human form. She rescues him, and she and Sam learn that their love for one another is mutual. They then resolve to find a way to keep Sam human.
Maggie Stiefvater is not a newcomer to the popular genre of supernatural romance for teens. Her debut, Lament, introduced readers to the world of soulless faerie assassins, so the reach to werewolves was not a long one for her. She melds the worlds of fantasy and reality quite convincingly, making it easy to overlook the unlikeliness of a girl loving a wolf (or a faerie being sent to assassinate a 16-year-old).
In a market where the search for the next Twilight is in high gear, Stiefvater delivers a solid contender in Shiver. However, Shiver stands out for reasons beyond its place within the ever-growing genre of choice. Twilight lovers will appreciate a new take on the supernatural love story, but all readers will be able to enjoy Stiefvater’s fast-paced storytelling and dedication to the old-fashioned art of creating a believable and enduring romance. Shiver is beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages.
Emily Booth Masters reviews from Nashville.
Copyright 2009 BookPage Reviews.
Stiefvater leaves the faeries of Lament and Ballad for a lyrical tale of alienated werewolves and first love. 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. Ages 13-up. (Aug.)[Page 46]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
Gr 9 Up--Grace, 17, loves the peace and tranquility of the woods behind her home. It is here during the cold winter months that she gets to see her wolf--the one with the yellow eyes. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the ensuing years he has returned each season, watching her with those haunting eyes as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party decides to retaliate. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows and intensifies, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him back into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever. Told from alternating points of view, the narrative takes a classic Romeo & Juliet plot and transforms it into a paranormal romance that is beautiful and moving. Readers will easily identify with the strong, dynamic characters. The mythology surrounding the wolf pack is clever and so well written that it seems perfectly normal for the creatures to exist in today's world. A must-have that will give Bella and Edward a run for their money.--Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY[Page 138]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.