Shiver

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Review #7: Fiction

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

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This was a slow start, I thought maybe werewolves just aren’t my thing. I’m glad I stuck with it though, the story picked up, the characters gained more depth and some small twists made it a fresh, though obviously not completely new, take on a werewolf-driven plot.

Small town Minnesota native Grace has been obsessed with the wolves that roam the woods behind her house since she was a little girl, since she survived an attack by those very same wolves. She’s felt a connection to them, and eventually learns why. These wolves are werewolves, and one in particular, the one who saved her from the attack when she was younger, happens to be (when in human mode) a boy around her age.

The obvious happens; they fall in love while he’s a human, and Grace secludes herself from her friends to be with him and because she doesn’t think they will understand. Some unexpected twists are thrown in, a boy in the neighborhood (Jack) who everyone believes to have died from a wolf attack has really become another werewolf, his sister seeks Grace out to help her find him and help him, and Grace’s best friend understands about the wolves more than Grace realizes.

Another new twist: eventually the wolves stop becoming human again. Grace is afraid if Sam (her wolf) changes back to a wolf, she may never see him again as a human. Meanwhile, the people of the town begin a campaign against the wolves after the attack they believe killed Jack, and take to the woods with shotguns. Though all of this seems to be leading up to a dramatic conclusion, the end is pretty anti-climactic, however, obviously leaving some loose ends to lead into a second novel.

Overall, the writing was good, a little slow at times (and printed in dark blue ink which really threw be off while reading–is it black ink now?, no still blue, weird–not a good call on the publisher’s part). Eventually Grace and Sam grew into their characters and for the most part created a love story I’m at least a little interested to see continue. The subplots really helped develop the new ideas with the werewolf theme and created depth in the world that Stiefvater has built. It’s an easy read, and in was a fresh take on an often over-saturated theme.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

*cover art from Amazon.com

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