Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you had a good week. Before I start the review, I'd like to ask you all to say a little prayer for me. I'm sending off my graduate school application today for my #1 choice school. So please say a little prayer that I can get into my dream school. Now onto the review of Maggie Stiefvater's novel, Shiver, book one of the Wolves of Mercy Falls Series

Synopsis: "For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Genre: Young Adult--paranormal romance

First Sentence: "I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves." What an awesome first sentence! That is definitely a good way to open a novel. From this, not only do we know that she is in trouble, which sets the tension rolling, but we know the setting and roughly what time of year it is as well. Great opening!

Brownie Points: Stiefvater has a great ability for creating a surreal tone. As a writer of both fiction and screenplays, I can honestly say that it's hard to give a movie a surreal feeling, let alone a novel where you only have words to work with. But Stiefvater manages to do this, and seemingly, with ease. I would describe her writing as entrancing. Kudos to her! On a non-writing related note, I love the covers of this series! Do you see the wolf that blends into the background? Awesome!

Beefs: Once I'd reached around page one hundred, I wanted a bit more conflict and action. The romance between Grace and Sam was sweet, but I wanted something to actually happen. There was lots of internal, emotional conflict, but very very little external conflict. If you like plot driven novels, Shiver is not for you, but it would definitely appeal to those who like character driven stories. However, for me personally, by the end of the novel, I didn't feel connected to either of the characters. I thought their romance was sweet, but I didn't really feel like I knew either one of them as people--or as wolves.

Ending: I'd heard repeatedly how phenomenal this novel was, and for me, the only part of the book that lived up to the expectations was the ending. The ending was fantastic! But considering it only got that way in the last 60 or so pages, in my opinion, it wasn't enough to warrant the insane hype.

Recommendation and General Comments: I had heard many people say that this novel was full of commercial appeal with literary quality writing. I can definitely agree with that. However, the literary and whimsical tone of the novel faded around page seventy. This certainly wasn't a bad thing and the writing was still great, but I did notice the shift. I'm looking forward to reading the next novel, Linger.

For these reasons, I give Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater a rating of half moon!

This novel is recommended to lovers of young adult, paranormal romance, and character driven stories. While I'd have liked more plot, it's a good read. If I had purchased it in paperback version, it would be something I would loan to friends and family. If you're a fan of the aforementioned genres and novel characteristics, you should definitely check this book out.

Would I aspire to write like this author? 
No, not really. It's not that Maggie Stiefvater isn't a good writer, she definitely is a good writer, but her style is so different from what I normally enjoy reading and from what I write, that aspiring to be like her would change my whole style. I'm sure many others aspire to write like her though.

Below we've got our regular blog hops posted. Make sure you stop by some other blogs and say hello! Don't forget to stop back in on Monday! We're having an interview with author Lisa Sanchez, who will be talking about her soon-to-be-released novel, Pleasures Untold, which is book two of the Hanaford Park Series. To see a review of her the first novel in the series, her debut, Eve of Samhain, please click HERE. If you like schmexy, drool worthy male characters and strong kickass heroines, you won't want to miss her interview. Til Monday!


  1. Good luck getting into this graduate school!

    I felt the same way about Shiver. Another part that bugged me is whenever a memory would come up, it was just a device for something to happen related that memory in the next scene. It happened at least 3x.

  2. Theresa--Thanks! I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed for an acceptance letter. I can agree with your point about the memories as well. It was a good read, and as I said in the review, I recommend it, but I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with this one. From all the hype and praise going around, I thought it was going to blow me away, but it didn't really do that for me. Have a great weekend!

  3. Hopping by to say have a great weekend!

    Already a follower :)

    If you have a second please have a look at my new blog:
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    Lu from Lu's Bloody Big Book Blog

  4. Lu--Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

  5. I truly loved this book. I loved how it was on such a popular topic yet still so original. The characters we very intriguing and their chemistry flew off the page. I would recommend this book to anyone. A GREAT read.

  6. Portugal--Glad you enjoyed the book so much! And thanks for reading the review. This one was posted a while back, so I'm sure that means you were searching around the site. =D Thanks for stopping by!