Saturday, 8 January 2011

Shiver - Maggie Steifvater

GENRE: Young Adult
PAGES: 448
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Books
FORMAT: Paperback
BUY IT: Waterstones

Grace is fascinated by the wolves in the woods behind her house; one yellow-eyed wolf in particular. Every winter, she watches him but every summer, he disappears. Sam leads two lives. In winter, he stays in the frozen woods, with the protection of the pack. In summer, he has a few precious months to be human ...until the cold makes him shift back again. When Grace and Sam finally meet, they realize they can't bear to be apart. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human - or risk losing himself, and Grace, for ever.

I had been putting off reading this book because I was becoming sick of reading the same type of story over and over again. However, it had been sitting on my shelf for so long that, after taking a deep breath, I decided to make a go of it. I'm so glad that I did! I am usually sceptical about the whole teenage romance plot and really didn't want to read the same formulaic forbidden/excessive love, but something about this book really caught my imagination. Both Grace and Sam are brilliantly written and stayed with me long after I finished the book.

The structure is great, it alternates in chapters between Grace and Sam's dialogue, which gives a great incite into Sam's life as a wolf. Although I found the end a little far-fetched and over simplified, the story itself was engrossing and unstoppable, and left me with a real feeling of loss. A lot of people have referred to this book as the werewolf version of Twilight, which I personally feel is rather unfair - Shiver seems to be much more poetically written and with any luck will not go off in an odd tangent in Linger, Steifvater's sequel.

My overall rating? 4 stars. I was tempted to award 5 but I felt that the idea that Steifvater uses as way of a 'cure' was a little dodgy and difficult to believe (which actually sounds silly of me to say considering it is a book about werewolves!). A recommended read.

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