Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - Book Review #86

Thursday, September 23, 2010
by Maggie Stiefvater

The cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

The heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

The shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

First time I read the synopsis of Shiver I got the impression that this book is not for me. Somehow the idea of love between mortal girl and a werewolf seemed sick to me. Think about it, you are in love, and I mean romantic love, with a dog… The only thought about it made me shiver. Don’t get me wrong I’m not against paranormal romance. I’m fine with mortal – vampire, mortal – fairy, mortal – almost any other paranormal creature love. However, the idea of werewolves or shapeshifters and a mortal is not for me. If you must say, I’m discriminating against them.

However, after a while since the release of the book, I kept hearing more and more positive reviews and none of them mentioned that this romance made people sick. I got curious how Maggie Stiefvater managed this slippery, as it seems to me, topic of love between a girl and a dog. I have to say that she didn’t disappoint me on this account. Somehow when Grace was kissing Sam, I didn’t think about him as a dog, only as a flash and blood human.

I really enjoyed Maggie Stiefvater’s prose. No, it wasn’t perfect, at times it was even rusty; however her sentences sometimes were very lyrical. Her metaphors sometimes were unexpected and beautiful, such as “the smell of unread words”.

I also found her ideas on werewolves quite original. There were no full moon that influenced a person to change into wolf; it was a temperature around and also a body temperature. I never heard anything like this and found it making a lot of sense. For me winter and a wolf somehow come together.

Unfortunately, despite all the good things I mentioned, I was bored through the most part of the book. It either I didn’t care about characters enough, or there were too much of Maggie Stiefvater’s lyricality and not enough action for me – I don’t know. The thing that I know – my mind kept wondering around and I couldn’t focus on events in the book.

I knew that Shiver is a first book in the trilogy when I started reading it. However, when I finished I was really surprised that there will be two more books, because the first one wrap up so nicely that, in my opinion, there were no need for the second one. It is like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or any other classical fairytale that ends with “And they lived happily ever after”. Does this ending call for the second part? It doesn’t. Is it possible to write the second book, following the first one that ended like that? It sure is. So I will read the second book –Linger–just out of curiosity – what else can Maggie Stiefvater add to the story of Grace and Sam.


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