Monday, November 15, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Title:  Shiver
Author: Maggie Steifvater
Pages: 400
Genre: YA
Source: Library

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling 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, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever. 

My Take:  Here are some basics for the story.  If a wolf bites you, eventually, you will shift.  At first unstable, the shift provides cadence between winter and summer.  The cold brings on the shift.  The longer someone has been a wolf (years in the pack) the longer into the spring the wolf shift stays.  Eventually, the wolf takes over and the human is gone. The only thing the human keeps of him/herself is the eyes.  The wolves have the same temperament as their human counterpart.  Chemically unstable human = chemically unstable wolf.

Story:  The wolves got hungry one day while Grace was in her tire swing at the age of 11.  It had been a long, cold winter, and frankly, it was probably one or two of the crazy-eyed, unstable wolves.  They dragged her to the pack who mauled her a bit while she was in shock.  Grace's eyes locked onto a young wolf with gold eyes.  He saves her.  Explained how in the book.  Years pass, Grace grows up to be a 17 year old high school student, she guesses the wolves secret without guessing identity.  Crazy gun-toting dad goes hunting in the woods.  Wolves get shot.  Grace finds naked boy on her porch, bleeding to death.  He has gold eyes.  

Grace:  Logical, analytical and responsible.  Dark brown hair and eyes.  Obsesses with the wolves, especially the gold - eyed one. Has completely irresponsible parents.  Best friends with Rachel and Olivia.

Sam:  Wolf boy.  Book smart, reads moody poetry, responsible, pure heart.  Frightened to get cold again.  This time when he shifts, it will be for good.  Emotionally scarred by broken parents.

Beck:  Introduced much later in the book, he is the father figure of Sam.  Intriguing character.  He's a wolf.

Jack:  Although peripheral in personality, he plays a major role in the story.  Half cocked.

Isabel:  Jack's sister, rich, attractive, stuck up, powerful, multi-dimensional, sarcastic and witty.

Rachel:  Doesn't play a big role in the story but her character provides great entertainment.  Love her dialogue and striped stockings.  

Story Development:  Excellent.  The author tells the story without dragging it out.  Provides the mystery with the answers as they become known.  The story tells itself.  In fact, it was like a screenplay.  I watched the story play out on my brain's screen in color.  During the suspenseful and climactic moments, I saw the pictures in slow motion and heard U2 in my head.  Wish I could tell you why I chose U2, but I can't.  

Character Development:  Excellent.  The major characters played their parts well.  The more Grace and Sam spent together, the more I understood both of them.  The relationships they had along with new relationships further revealed their complexities.  Again, loved Isabel and Rachel.  

Dialogue:  Excellent.  There was plenty of dialogue to keep the story moving and the author provides wit and intelligence.  At times, the book waxed poetic in an obvious way which I rarely like.  Other times, the poetry was much more subtle and I was caught up in the cadence.  I felt respected as a reader that it wasn't explicitly explained.  

Clean read?  Not completely.  Less sensuality than Twilight but more sexuality, although not explicitly described.  I'd rate it PG-13 only because the couple do have sex once.

Language:  Mild swearing.

1 comment:

CountessLaurie said...

Thanks for the review. I have been seeing this alot in the book circles I travel, so now I know I want to give it a try!