Series: The Wolves of Mercy Falls
Book #: One
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Reading Level: Young Adult
His secret saved her life. Now, she must fight for his.
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.
I had pretty high expectations when I started this book, and I am pleased to say that this book was able to meet all of them. It was one of the sweetest, purest romance books I've read in some time. I loved it.
The writing was superb. Stiefvater obviously knows how to write, and the story was enhanced by her ability to describe emotions and settings. I was never bored by her language and the cursing was kept to a minimum, which I appreciate. For me, it ruins the book whenever an author uses a large amount of explicit language. I also appreciated the maturity level of the writing- this book may be categorized as a young adult novel, but the writing is never condescending.
In the beginning, I had a hard time bonding with the main character, Grace, but by the time I was halfway done with the book, I felt a strong connection with her. She is both relatable and realistic. I absolutely adored Sam. For once, he wasn't the dark bad-boy with a mysterious past. His innocence and respect for Grace made him all the more endearing. Unlike many of the boys in young adult books, this is one of the boys that is really good for the girl. Supportive, self-less, and loving. Sam is the perfect yet believably realistic guy.
For the first part of the book, I kept asking myself where the plot was going. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, but then what? It did take a while for the story to unfold, but there was a good plot underneath the teenage romance. Parts of the werewolf legends were familiar, but Stiefvater puts a new spin on the wolves. No Twilight-wannabe werewolves here.
Shiver was a very enjoyable, romantic read. If you're looking for a sweet story about star-crossed lovers, this is the book for you. I will definitely be picking up the sequel, Linger. The ending to Shiver was so abrupt! I'm dying for a sequel.