Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver, a werewolf story by Maggie Stiefvater, was surprisingly good, not campy or going for the cheap thrill. Grace is a seventeen-year-old who survived a wolf attack as a child, and she has developed a fixation with the wolves that come to the area in the winter. After a popular jerk named Jack Culpepper is killed by wolves, the town sends out a group to to thin the numbers of the wolves in the local area. Grace hardly stops them, and in her yard, she discovers a naked boy with yellow eyes, like her favorite wolf’s. She takes him to the hospital and discovers that yes, he is her wolf- his name is Sam- he is a human during the warmer months, and during the cooler ones, he becomes a human. With every progressing year, his time as a human becomes shorter and shorter and his days as a wolf become longer and longer. Sam was ‘raised by wolves-‘ older members of the pack, who were bitten later and made sure he was educated, fed and cared for. Grace, who was bitten seven years ago, cannot remember why she was bitten by the pack, and did not turn into a wolf– but she can remember why. But Sam is her favorite- he phased back to a human form and carried her to her back porch that fateful day, cementing his place in her heart after she was attacked.

Similarities to Twilight:

This is a very well-written werewolf story. Every line seems poetic and pretty. I liked the romance- it was well-done and a good reimagining of the werewolf legend- a man against nature sort of plotline. My only complaints were that Grace didn’t seem to develop as a character until after Sam became human. I didn’t get a real sense of her until she had a boyfriend.

I also thought Grace’s parents were awfully distant. They didn’t seem to care very much about Sam when he was introduced to them as her boyfriend. They didn’t check on her when she went to bed. When I was seventeen, my parents regularly invaded my room and came into it at all hours of the night just to scream at me over shit. Grace’s parents didn’t take her out, spend time with her, etc, not even after they found out she had a serious boyfriend. Grace’s parents didn’t care very much about her. Most of the parents in this book didn’t seem to, just like Charlie Swan didn’t try to stop Bella from driving from Forks, Washington to Phoenix, Arizona on her own. I thought that having a serious boyfriend out of the blue would scare them into realizing they were letting their daughter be too independent and she was growing up and they weren’t involved. Most parents would pick up on who their kid was dating someone or liked a boy, even if they aren’t ‘involved’ parents. Every parent I know would worry if this suddenly happened.

It did make me cry, though- in a good way, at the end.

Overall Rating; 8.5 out of 10 stars

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~ by whattoreadaftertwilight on July 23, 2010.

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