Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Grace has always been fascinated by the wolves that live in the woods behind her house, ever since she was mauled as a six-year-old and miraculously saved by a surprisingly soulful member of the pack. Since that day, the strange, yellow-eyed wolf has lurked on the fringes of the woods -- watching, always watching. Grace doesn't know why, but she feels a profound connection to the creatures who nearly killed her, and to her savior in particular. Even when the wolves attack again a decade later and leave one of Grace's classmates dead, she still can't make herself feel afraid. The mystery of Mercy Falls continues to deepen, until the night Grace finds a beautiful, bleeding boy on her back porch -- a boy with familiar yellow eyes -- and it all falls heartbreakingly into place.

Shiver is aptly named; the foreboding chill and sense of longing that are settled over the entire novel seep into the reader's bones and draw them into the haunting, mournful world of Mercy Falls. The powerful and painful opening immediately sparks readers' interest and captures their sympathy, holding it tight. The crisp and vivid descriptions are entrancing, and the lyrical narration flows like a rhythmic lullaby, a pitch-perfect match for the achingly bittersweet tone of the novel. This lilting quality is only heightened by the succinct but expressive song lyrics that define Sam's mental voice and act as a window into his adorable and bizarrely gentle soul.

The novel alternates between two points-of-view -- Sam and Grace -- each with their own distinct voice and personality, and both equally charming. Through Sam's narration, the history of the wolves and their overwhelming sense of camaraderie and loyalty are brought vibrantly to life, even though the pack is rarely shown together in the present. The mythology of the wolves is innovative and imaginative, while still serving as the devastating catalyst for the tale. Grace is an intricate blend of strength and vulnerability, a compelling heroine who can still feel like the girl next door.

The harrowing highs and lows that the star-crossed young lovers experience are heart-wrenching without being melodramatic, a rare and surprising combination. Their profound and impossible bond is intoxicating, creating a tale so emotionally gripping that it could bring even the most stoic reader to tears. Though paranormal teen romances are a dime a dozen these days, Maggie Stiefvater manages to capture a unique, ethereal essence that prevents Shiver from seeming stale and makes it a truly spellbinding and soul-wrenching saga of fate, family, and force of will.

Rating: 


Click here to purchase Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

35 comments:

Lisa said...

Wow, Casey! Awesome review! It read just as beautifully as Maggie's book did! LOVED IT!
I don't know about the Shiver audio book, but on the Linger audio book, SAM SINGS! HE SINGS THE SONGS AND IT'S PRICELESS!
<3,
Lisa

The Bookish Type said...

High praise! That's the nicest comment I've ever gotten =) Thank you SO much, Lisa! I'm not big on audiobooks, but if Sam sings I'm going to have to listen to Linger!! There's just something about musicians, isn't there? ;-)

SusanKMann said...

What a fantastic review. I have this book, I so need to read it after your reivew. xx

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

AWESOME review! I really enjoyed Shiver, so I'm glad you liked it as well. Haven't gotten a chance to read Linger yet, but I've heard great things about it!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

You know I have not read this book yet. It is a shame. I have heard nothing but great things of it. I want to get into it, but have other books here first. Thank you for the great review! I am going to have to get this book and series. :)

Linda White said...

Truly, Casey, how could anyone not read this book after this stunning review? Thanks for cementing my choice to read it! Now I just have to wait for the library queue...!

The Bookish Type said...

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments! I'm flattered that you enjoyed the review so much! I think Maggie's style rubbed off on me a little bit (weird, I know, but some authors have that effect on me) =) I hope you all enjoy the book as much as I did!

Aisle B said...

You did a great review and WOW! I have the book and will push it up to READ NOW category. Thanks for making it clear that this book should no longer be on the backburner.

Kt said...

Ooo.. I'm going to have to add this to my list. Really nice review, it made me want to read the book right now. I'm in the middle of the mortal instruments series however. Keep up the great work with your reviews!

A Book Obsession..

Casey (The Bookish Type) said...

Thank you both so much for your comments! I'm really glad you enjoyed the review and that it made you want to read Shiver! It's such a great book =)

Diana said...

I had not heard about the shiver before.It sounds very interesting. I love the wolves. I will put it on my read list.

nfmgirl said...

Heard such great things about this! I can't wait to find time to read it!

Lexie said...

I own this one but have been reluctant to read it for some reason. I think that is because I love the werewolves in Twilight and it seems kind of anticlimatic to read a different story. However, it sounds like this book might be more haunting and creepy than the Twilight books which makes it unique in its own way. Guess I better move it up on my TBR pile!

Vivien said...

I am loving this series so far. I cannot wait for Forever to come out!

Llehn said...

This is one of my favorite books ever.

Akasha Hale & Lexus Salvatore said...

I fell in love with sam. I cannot wait for forever to come!

Syki said...

I don't like wolf stories... but after Nightshade I am thinking of trying this one 'cause a lot of people actually like it. Thanks for this review :)

Jennifer said...

Nice review. I also really liked Shiver.I wasn't really sure what to expect.

I am definitely looking forward to Forever coming out this summer!

krazzyme said...

This book was OK. the ending rocked :D.
thank for the review.

Evie said...

I've seen so many great reviews about it and now I can't wait to read this book.
And the fact that it's a really emotional and sad book makes me even more curious about it.

ashelynn hetland said...

Your review makes me want to reread Shiver again. Maybe after I get Forever (and read it), I'll go on a Mercy Falls trilogy readathon. That'd be epic.

I think your review is spot on for Shiver. Stiefvater does manage to capture a unique, ethereal essence that makes Shiver so wonderful. And the emotions? Gut wrenching.

Kelcie Bentley said...

Beautifully put review! I think I might just go and read Shiver & Linger one more time before I have a chance to read Forever... ahh so excited:)

barmybex said...

this is definitely one of my all time favourite books. I've re-read it multiple times and I still get shivers! :P

Novels On The Run said...

WOW!! You wrote that review very well. No spoilers too. Very professional sounding review:D

Michelle A

tintinbrains@bigpond.com

skipping off to do the mini challenge, must get my thinking cap on at 8.41am. OZ time.

TheGirlOnFire said...

I really enjoy that both Sam and Grace narrate this book together. Although every time it switched point of views I was like NO what is about to happen?!?!?

Ashley Suzanne said...

Great review! So well written :]

Karen Roth said...

This book how I love it!! I felt in love from the beginning!! Sam is so cute! Grace is so independent, I love how Stiefvater writes is so unique... her poetry..aw! I love that book!

blackplume said...

great review, you just make me want to pick up the book. I plan to marathon the whole series but I don't have a copy of all three books yet.

Krystal said...

I would love to buy the audio book, I didn't even know they had one! I love the review too :)

Vivien said...

I really enjoyed the dual narration in this novel. It helped solidify my ties to both Sam and Grace. Lovely prose.

Ronyka7 said...

Great review love this books. fall in love with Sam and love the free spirit of Grace, and the love they feel is beautiful.

Kaye M. said...

I need to re-read this book. And then buy my own copy and stroke its shiny cover every night. :p I'm sorry. I just really love whoever designed the series' covers. They did such an awesome job.

Syki said...

I really liked this one. I am not huge fan of werewolf stories but this one was quite good.

ElfRenee said...

Love this series!! Maybe I should reread it now that it's so hot out, maybe I will think cool thoughts...

Lieder Madchen said...

Great review, I am only halfway through Shiver and I agree with you on so many points.

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