Genre: Fiction, Romance/Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Edition: Hardcover; Library
Page Count: 392
Pub. Date: August 1, 2009
Series: Book 1 in the "Wolves of Mercy Falls" series
My Rating: 5 Stars
Amazon.com: 4 stars
Goodreads: 4.16 (Average)
Recommended For: Older teens, Paranormal-Romance fans, Romantics
We begin the story with Grace. A seventeen year old who is fascinated with the wolves in the backyard of her home in Mercy Falls, Minnesota. Every winter she is struck by the familiarity of only one - the wolf with the yellow eyes - her wolf.
Then in comes Sam. A boy who spends his life in two forms - a wolf during the frigid months of winter, and human when spring and summer descends upon the town. But his ability to change to his human form lessens with age, until one day, he will forever remain a beast of the winter.
(First Impression: "Love, LOVE the cover")
(Initial reaction after I finished: "Oh, my heart be still!")
What can I say about this novel that hasn't already been said? Terrific? Stupendous? Captivating? All of those aptly apply. I was basically glued from the beginning. Whether it's because I'm a romantic at heart, or just a sucker for a good love story, I couldn't put this down.
Maggie Stiefvater's writing is in one word: amazing. It's lyrical, poetic, descriptive, and just flat out enjoyable. I loved being able to read the story from both Sam and Grace's perspectives. The transitions between them are easily distinguishable, I never had to look at the chapter titles to see who was speaking. The separation gives the reader a better understanding of each character, their feelings, and their flaws. And the two compliment each other so well. I found myself immersed in their lives and growing emotionally attached with every turn of the page.
I'll be honest, I didn't really begin this novel with very many expectations. I stayed away from reviews and only peeked at a couple ratings just to see what I was getting myself into. My reason being is that I seem to be at odds with quite a few books in this particular genre (paranormal romance) and I didn't want to set myself up for disappointment. But this book surpassed my expectations and it was a pleasant surprise. I was impressed with Maggie's ability to weave the werewolves so seamlessly into the story to make them seem believable. A tad cheesy at times, but still a wonderful read.
Just a few excerpts that I love (without giving anything away) :
"That night I lay in bed and stared at the window, my blinds pulled up so I could see the night sky. One thousand brilliant stars punched holes in my consciousness, pricking me with longing."
"I was a ghost in the woods, silent, still, cold. I was winter embodied, the frigid wind given physical form."
This is the first book in the "Wolves of Mercy Falls" series and the first I read by Maggie Stiefvater. And I can guarantee that it won't be the last. Linger, book 2, is slated to be released in summer 2010. I can't wait!
What did you think about Shiver? Did it live up to your expectations?