Shiver Book Review

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

–Amazon Book Description

Book 2: Linger

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Grace was stolen by wolves when she was 11. At the time, she thought she was going to die. But somehow she was saved by a wolf with golden eyes, one that she hasn’t forgotten, even six years later.

Sam is a wolf, well, a werewolf. He saved Grace and has been watching her from the woods ever since. When it’s cold, he turns into a wolf. When it is hot, he has a few glorious months of being human. But each year, his time spent as a human grows shorter and shorter and this year, he knows, is his last.

When his world and Grace’s finally touch after years and years of waiting, the two teens are drawn to each other and their love blossoms. But it’s not so easy. Sam has some problems, as does Grace. Both the humans and the wolves are out to put an end to their magical relationship and both are going to have to fight to keep it.

Hehe. So, does anything about this plot sound familiar to you? Anything?

Well, it sounded vaguely like something I’d read before when I picked it up from the library. But I wasn’t expecting just how much it ended up being like Twilight.

I guess in some ways, it was to be expected. I mean, vampires and werewolves and lovers aren’t anything new; even before Twilight people were writing about them. But somehow, Grace’s absolutely boring attitude and Sam’s sweetness couldn’t help but remind me of two of today’s most popular characters: Bella and Edward, respectively.

Grace was practical, straightforward and her parts of the story (it’s told in alternating points of view, between Grace and Sam) were not my favorite. She seemed, well, a little h0-hum, I guess you could say. She was dull. Uninteresting. Too practical and infinitely too clichéd. I couldn’t connect with her, even though we had some shared personality traits because she was just too cold. And boring.

Sam on the other hand was warmer. He was easier to get to know, easier to read about and much more interesting. I liked him more than Grace and found his portions of the book a lot more gripping than Grace’s. I don’t why there was such a difference between the way I felt about these characters. Sam and Grace had similar talking styles and it’s not like the author’s writing went down the drain when she changed between them. But I guess Sam had more poetry to his parts. For instance, when he described how he felt about Grace, I understood his emotions more than Grace’s feelings for Sam.

The same kind of thing happened to me when I was reading Twilight. Bella, after a few books, kind of became too whinny, and I was more entertained by Edward than I was by her.

Anyways, like I was saying, Shiver had quite a few similarities between it and Twilight. First, well, the forbidden romance thing, which isn’t new and isn’t peculiar to the world of Twilight, but is extraordinarily common these days and therefore did not strike me as really fascinating. Second, the personalities of the characters and how I found myself more comfortable with Sam rather than Grace, and the same with Ed and Bella. Third, the plot was similar. After Grace and Sam meet, the story followed the same kind of action that Twilight did. Remember how the vampires and stuff were adding and adding to the plot, growing in climax until the end where they finally put Bella on the lamb? Well, something really similar to that happens in Shiver. I’m not saying crazy vampires enter the scene, but the werewolves and humans create the same kind of cadences in the plot as I experienced in Twilight.

These similarities weren’t horrible, but it was kind of niggling my mind; at times I felt like I had read it before, see? It was like…watching a remake or something. Not quite new. Not quite the same.

So Twilight aside, how was Shiver as a book?

Well, it was good. The begining was sluggish. I didn’t take to Grace at all, as I’ve said, so anything from her point of view was…bleh. Sam, I liked, but there was deicdely less of him. The writing (if not Grace) was enjoyable, it didn’t kill me or anything to read it. The plot wasn’t perfect, I mean, I wasn’t on the edge of my seat or anything and towards the end there was a bit of dry spell, but for the most part, I was engaged with the characters and their lives. I liked the romance between Grace and Sam (who for some reason, I was convinced for the beginning of the book that their names were Seth and Maggie) even though I didn’t agree with all their choices and the end was a satisfying, even if it did take a while to get there.

The most annoying thing was that the copy-editor must’ve been sleeping: At times, the writing would totally contradict itself. Once, it said it was too early for snow, and then Grace goes out and sits in it. Or maybe I just read it wrong, but I’m pretty sure something wasn’t quite right there.

So my final thoughts? It’s average. Not quite as good as Twilight. Definately not up there with fantasy classics or anything. But if you’ve got a night and want something quick and easy, then Shiver is your book.

Ri’s Rating:

QQ.5/QQQQQ
2.5/5


0. Couldn’t get past chapter one for fear of wanting to kill myself. Book induced suicide…

1: Yuck. Ew. Below Average. Probably didn’t even read the middle and skipped to the end.

2. Ok. Would’ve been better if I’d written the ending and everything else.

3. Not bad at all. Very enjoyable. Quite nice. Recommendable.

4. My kind of book. Near ideal, but something was a little off (annoying names, bad ending, that sort of thing).

5. WOW. Makes me wonder why people watch T.V when this is out there. Really liked it. Don’t expect to see this often.

6 and above. What I want my book to be.

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8 Comments

  1. Alice the Anomalous

     /  April 25, 2010

    Yo, it’s been a LONG time, hasn’t it? It’s really nice to read your reviews. Eventually I will actually get to reading something you reviewed. You spout them out like nobody’s buisness, don’t you? Just dropping in to say hi and to check if you still remember little old (awesome) me. *because I really don’t like friendships just dissolving for no reason*

    I just finished a book called Beastly by Alex Flinn that kind of reminds me of Grace and Sam from this book *which I haven’t read, mind you, I’m only basing this off of your review*. But only because the main character in Beastly is a guy who’s supposed to be furry like a wolf. The romance is kind of rushed and it’s being made into a movie with Vanessa Hudgens *you read right* as the love interest.

    I’ve been thinking lately that there’s almost never a heroine that I absolutely love. In any type of fiction, it seems like the character I like most is always a guy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just that I wish books would portray a better view of girls in general. I don’t want no back stabbing and touchy-feely mädchens running around. I want some strong, intelligent, young ladies kicking some butt. Do you ever get that feeling that we’re lacking some of those characters in books? If there are characters like that I can never find the book they’re in.
    Actually, I don’t care that they don’t even have big roles (though it would be nice). Most of the love interests I’ve seen are just cookie cutter with variations.

    Well anway, all that aside, greetings from me.~

    Reply
    • Ri

       /  April 26, 2010

      It has been so long! What’s cool? What’s new? I watched the Beastly trailer and woah. So not what I expected. I was half, WTF because he wasn’t an animal, and yet, I liked the book enough to be mildly interested.

      I don’t hate ms. Hudgens, but I don’t think she’s a particularly good actor so it’s hard for me to phathom why they would cast her. She’s too pretty for the roll. I liked the girl in the book because she was average and nerdy. So far, from the trailer, Hudgens doesn’t seem to be either, but I guess I’ll know when the movie comes out.

      And yeah, I totally agree with the girl character thing. They are always strong until they fall in love and then they get kind of stupid and pull a line like “I won’t leave you” when it’s obvious that it’s best the hero just gets on with his work.

      Then again, I do hate girl characters that are too strong, like they can’t feel, because that tough girl thing is now becoming a sterotype. Every book has to have all lead girls as B.As and then they all blend together and become the same. I read a book once where people were genuinely angry that the girl in the story was shy. Like, what the heck. There are lots of different people in the world, and so there should be a variety of different characters in books.

      I like it when authors manage to strike that happy medium, where the girl has a personality; she doesn’t fit the stupid sterotype, but she isn’t just a tough girl either. They need to have… essence. If they are just one thing, tough or stupid, then it’s boring no matter what.

      Eowyn from Lord of the Rings was like that for me. She was wicked awesome in battle, but still fell in love and didn’t lose her personality because of it.

      Reply
  2. pooftacular

     /  April 26, 2010

    I did a book review today too ^_^

    I’m not all about the Twilight-hype that so many people have fallen into, but I will say that the instant attraction that Bella has with Edward is what keeps me liking the series. The intensity – I like it.

    All that aside, I agree with Alice. The only female I look up to is a young girl named Jane, trying to become a Knight in the King’s Court. “Jane and the Dragon” is a show I’ve seen on TV a few times. I like her spunk, her determination, and her ability to persevere no matter what happens. If I ever have a daughter, she’ll aspire to be a Knight…just like Jane.

    :)

    Reply
    • Ri

       /  April 26, 2010

      I’m not into the hype either, but like you (seem to be at least– forgive if I am wrong) I don’t totally hate it just because it’s Twilight; I too was captured mostly by the intensity of their relationship. And because it was the first “forbidden romance” book I had ever read.

      Reply
  3. Ooohh, I’m reading this book right now. And I agree with everything you said. Very Twilight-y, yet not as good as Twilight. And Sam is way better than Grace.

    Reply
  4. Stacey

     /  June 29, 2010

    Okay so I could not agree more with your post. “Shiver”- which I’ve read twice by the way- is a book which is somewhat… bland. And yet everyone likes to make out like it’s something special. It’s not. In fact I would say it was definitely jumpy at times, uninteresting and riddled with cliches. I had such high expectations for it and yet it just failed miserably. I too noticed a lot of similarities between Shiver and Twilight however I would like to bring something else to your attention which will perhaps make me seem quite judgemental.

    Maggie Stiefvater.

    The author of “Shiver”. So despite my better judgement I have been following her LiveJournal Blog for a while now and I can’t help but dislike her in a way. Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s a talented woman but her blog at times almost makes her seem a bit proud. But who am I to pass comment? I am no one but this does really bug me – Stiefvater has criticised Twilight quite a lot. I thought Twilight was good. Much better and monumentally more successful than Shiver. Yet on her blog it almost seems like she gets jealous of Meyer’s success or something. Just an observation by the way. I’m not out here to cause any trouble or b*tch about someone. It just…bothers me. Especially when, like you said, there are so many similarities to Twilight!

    Anyway so I just thought I’d get that out there. And I hope I haven’t offended anybody. I can honestly see the appeal of Shiver but for me it just didn’t deliver. Very disappointing.

    Oh yeah. Your blog is great by the way :D

    Reply
    • Ri

       /  June 29, 2010

      Thanks for sharing! The book was a bit of a letdown…or maybe it was just so similar to Twilight in some respects that it felt old to me? Eh… Sadly, despite my gripes about this book, I’m still reading the sequel. What can I say? I like Sam :)

      Thanks for coming and I hope you visit again!

      Reply
      • Stacey

         /  July 1, 2010

        Hahaha don’t worry because I fully intend to read it too. Sam’s a cutie :)

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