Title: Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication Date: June 1st, 2010
When Grace was eleven years old she was dragged from the tire swing in her backyard and attacked by wolves. Ever since then she has been fascinated with them, especially with the yellow-eyed wolf that saved her from the others. When a boy at her school is murdered by wolves and seen alive days later, Grace discovers that they are not what they appear to be. She soon meets a boy named Sam and discovers that he is the yellow-eyed wolf who has been watching her from afar since he saved her life. Sam becomes a wolf every year when the temperature drops and is able to be human in the summer. However, he fears that he has limited time before he will no longer be able to change into a human, and be a wolf forever. After falling in love with each other from a distance, Sam and Grace try to enjoy their time together, knowing that is it limited.
It seems like people either love this book or hate it. I think some people are really sick of the paranormal romance story line, and couldn’t look past that while reading it. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to Linger. I really like Stiefvater’s writing style and how the werewolves are portrayed. Stiefvater made changes to the traditional werewolf lore, and I think these changes were a good call. There’s no full moon or silver bullets. The wolves aren’t monsters, although angry people become angry wolfs. This book is definitely a romance and I think the reason that some people hated it is because they didn’t think it would be so focused on love. The plot centres around Sam and Grace and their relationship, and there is fairly little action. Their relationship was a bit rushed, but overall I liked them together. One of the big differences between this and Twilight (which everyone seems to compare it to) is that it’s the boy who is the vulnerable one, not the girl, which was a nice change. I was really drawn into Sam’s past and was interested in his life before he was a bitten, and what it was like when he was in wolf form. The narration shifts between each of their perspectives, which I really liked, although neither have distinctive voices. The one thing that really bothered me was Grace’s parents. They were too absent. It was really unbelievable that their daughter was attacked by wolves and they were never protective of her afterwards or worried about where they live. Also, what kind of parent forgets their sick daughter in the car in summer? The hospital should have called child services. Although that was a bit annoying, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the novel as a whole.
Overall, it was an interesting take on werewolves and the paranormal romance. There were some flaws, but I think that the poetic language made up for that. If you like romance and are open to a supernatural love story, I’d give it a shot.
“And then I opened my eyes and it was just Grace and me - nothing anywhere but Grace and me - she pressing her lips together as though she were keeping my kiss inside her, and me, holding this moment that was as fragile as a bird in my hands.”