All her life, Grace has lived at the edge of the forest and every year as the seasons begin to turn colder, she waits and watches for her wolves to appear. Her friends and family can't understand Grace's fascination with the wolves that almost took her life years ago, but Grace feels an unexplained connection to one wolf in particular - the one who protected her from the other wolves that awful day. Every winter, Grace waits for her wolf to return, knowing he will stay close to her throughout the winter - a bright spot in the otherwise lonely and cold season.
At the beginning of the school year, all of Mercy Falls is shocked to discover a fatal wolf attack on a local bully, Jack Culpeper. The entire community is ready to take to the woods to hunt the dangerous wolves down, but Grace can feel nothing but sympathy and worry for her wolf. Then a boy shows up on her porch, wounded, and Grace is sure she knows him and knows she will do anything in her power to keep him near.
Unlike the non-stop, hold your breath action of Ballad, Shiver is a rather quiet book. Neither Grace or Sam are alpha heroes by any means, but they both posses courage and strength in spades. Sam especially has had to grow up faster than any boy ever should but who wants nothing more than to retain his humanity. To label Shiver simply as a 'werewolf' novel would be a gross underestimation. Most definitely it is a love story about two practical, old souls who have experienced more than your average teen and who forge a connection well outside of convention.
Maggie Stiefvater's secondary characters are also a study in contrast. They aren't ever distinctly good or evil, they are just people who sometimes make good choices but who often make incredibly bad choices too. One of my favorites is the spoiled diva Isabel Culpeper who Grace wants nothing to do with but who ultimately comes to her aid when she's most needed. Additionally, there are lots other of little details that make this a good read: the temperature reading at the beginning of each chapter, the alternating point of view of Sam and Grace, and very real, very compelling nature of Sam's wolf pack. I can fully understand why Grace is jealous of Sam's idyllic upbringing - I am too.
And just because it is so beautiful, I'll leave you with the Shiver trailer, made by the lovely author herself.
series reading order:
~ Linger (July 2010)
Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Angieville review + interview
The Book Smugglers review
The Eclectic Book Lover review
Karin's Book Nook review
Preenting Lenore review
Shooting Stars Mag review
book source: borrowed from a friend