Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater

TITLE: Shiver

AUTHOR: Maggie Stiefvater

SUMMARY: For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf - her wolf - is a haunting presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human -- until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears and the temperature drops, Sam must fight to stay human or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever. - From Publisher

REVIEW: The parallels of awesomeness I'm about to draw will blow your mind. Okay, so that's total bull. Unless it does blow your mind in which case go me! I digress. While I read this book I realized a few things that unknown to me, defined this brunette from an early age and something that caused my fandom heart to burst with wonderful nostalgia while I read this.

Lets start with a defining moment. When I was little, like kindergarten age, I remember going on family vacationsw or driving out to my Uncle's cabin and listening to Meat Loaf. It was my Mom's favorite and while the cassette cover disturbed me (young children should not be exposed to rippled men on motorcycles bursting out of hell, it's begging for them to have a love for the speed racer/bad boy types) I loved the music. One of my favorites was "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)". The song started with the following: "[Boy:] On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses? // [Girl:] Will he offer me his mouth // [Boy:] Yes. // [Girl:] Will he offer me his teeth? // [Boy:] Yes. // [Girl:] Will he offer me his jaws? // [Boy:] Yes. // [Girl:] Will he offer me his hunger? // [Boy:] Yes. // [Girl:] Again, will he offer me his hunger? // [Boy:] Yes! // [Girl:] And does he love me? // [Boy:] Yes. // [Girl:] Yes. // [Boy:] On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses? // [Girl:] Yes. // [Boy:] I bet you say that to all the boys!". I didn't get all the implications or smuttiness that the song implied I just thought it was about Red Riding Hood or something like that. This was the start of my wolf love. Now when I read a werewolf novel I know I'm loving and enjoying the book if this song jumps in my head. This song was on instant reply while I read Stiefvater's book.

Her characters were easy to fall for and from the first few paragraphs I knew this would be unlike other books I'd read from this genre and/or category. I liked how Stiefvater set this book up for the series. I felt like I got lots and really started to learn about the characters without being worried that in the next installments I'd get bored. I absolutely loved how Stiefvater didn't make Grace a whiner. She has her issues but was still written lovable and even with her at times absent parents that whole story line wasn't written like others I've read. Somehow I found it to be fresh, perhaps because it managed to stay balanced while giving it meat and adding to character development.

I also loved the style of this book, how we got chapters written in Grace's POV and others in Sam's, again, I liked the balance and insight that I got. Sometimes when it's all first person I get the longing to know what the other is thinking or feeling. I got that with this, yet I never found myself confused or that it tore my focus.

My favorite thing about this book, other than listening to Meat Loaf on replay, was the romance between Grace and Sam. Their whole journey and how he watched her for so long and she waited for him and how they longed for each other but figured it to be impossible was so Buffy & Angel. It was early seasons BtVS and how their budding romance was full of chaste kisses and simply being in each others presence. I found that far more romantic than if they just jumped into making out. The build up of it all was wonderful and filled in gaps where the plot may have slacked a bit. When there was a little plot slack I found I didn't care because I was so engaged in these two as both individuals and as a pair.

Easily, the best teen/ya romance I've read. I wish more were like this.

Definitely recommend this book to others. I think those that enjoy this genre will love this first book and Linger (book 2) is now on my must snag list. I hope with book 2 we get more from other characters, as the cast has a slew of potential.

RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Vixen Pearl said...

I guess I have a love for the werewolves too (given my current favorite is the Carrie Vaughn books, and I love Susan Krinard's weres) so i can't imagine I won't fall for this one too. :)Thanks for a fine review...and now, you've of that Meatloaf song into my head, Lisa! LOL

Anonymous said...

It's funny, I just read this too. I got curious of it while browsing amazon and looking at other books. (and then when checking reviews on shelfari, I noticed you reading it *grin*) I managed to get hold of it last weekend and couldn't put it down. Read it in a matter of days (which is quick for me these days considering how work kills me at the moment) and loved every moment.

Like you, I really appreciated that we got chapters from both POVs, it made things more "real", if you know what I mean, and it filled at urge and wonder of what the other character was thinking and how he/she was reacting to a situation.

I haven't read a lot of wolf books, just the twilight series (which I will never agree to are about werewolfs, they're shapeshifters, dammit! ;)) and the series by Keri Arthur that I can't remember the name of right now. That series is all about the sex and basically it's just silly smut *lol*, and twilight.. well, we both know the deal there ;) so this was a very refreshing and interesting read that I enjoyed even more than I had a feeling I would when reading the description of the book.

I loved how she fell in love with Sam even before he became human, how, as you said yourself, they waited for each other and then the progression of their relationship in a somewhat nervous and sometimes shy approach and not the "wham bam" way.

Damn book had me crying at the end, I soaked my pillow with tears, so annoying! *lol* ;) I can't wait to read the sequel because just like you, I think this one really built up a great foundation to turn into a series and we got to know all the characters in a slow but not yawn-slow pace and things wasn't like "how did that happen" "why is that" "why does he think that" etc, you got answers and an understanding of the chars.

Also, Jack? I was so torn on this boy, but in the end I felt so sorry for both him and his sister (which btw, talk about evolving a character, me likey!) and the last we heard about him had me sniffeling even if I at times (or most of the time) REALLY didn't like him.

Do you know when the next book is coming out(?) because I need to get my paws on it, right now! :)

(btw, am now reading "Beautiful Creatures")

♥ Lisa ♥ said...

Vixen, but if you're going to have a song stuck in your head that one's a pretty good one. Especially the intro dialogue. I also love the wolves and we do share a love the Vaughn's Kitty series. I loved House of Horrors. That one was awesome!

Dana Linger is coming out July 5, 2010. July is starting to be my favorite month. Three books are comng out from some of my favorite series. *dances* Jack's sister evolved so much and I ended up loving her! She grew on me and totally morphed into this person that was bitchy but still very likeable.

Beautiful Creatures...*googles* oh sounds intriguing. Tell me if you like it when you're done. Will I want to beat any leads as I read this?