Sunday, April 3, 2011

Book Review: Shiver

A couple of years ago, the summer I had a paid job at the library, I came across a book called Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Fast forward to, oh I guess sometime last fall and I finally figured out that the author had written several other books and stuck them on my to-read list (including a sequel to Lament it looks like). So, finally grabbed a copy of Shiver, wasn’t quite sure what it was about (I really need to stop doing that, I usually don't enjoy those books as much) and managed to finish it up just before my spring break.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
 A nice design with a simple color pallet that works well here and it's variations on the other covers in this series provide a nice sense of unity. It would actually make an interesting poster for background design for a blog (I can see the tree branches framing a blog post quite nicely actually).

Summary: Grace, once the victim of a wolf attack, is a regular high school girl whose favorite season is winter since that’s when she gets to see the wolves, especially her special beloved wolf who helped save her from the attack. But these wolves are in fact werewolves and Sam, her wolf, has harbored feelings for her ever since the attack and has since watched her from a distance. When the wolves attack another student however the townspeople become angry and try to hunt down the wolves. It is in this situation that Grace and Sam find themselves both in deep love and great danger.

The Good: I thought the take on werewolves changing due to weather was a neat idea, although fridge logic is starting to set in and I’m having second thoughts about it’s coolness (no pun intended).  Also, I was watching Wolf’s Rain at the same time by the way,  I liked the little detail about the wolves keeping the same eyes they had as humans (in fact, it made so much sense that it bothered me when Wolf’s Rain didn’t do it). The book also works well as a standalone novel as well as being the first volume in a series, everything is neatly wrapped up in the end without a last minute sequel hook and I appreciated that.

The Bad: Well, Grace doesn’t exactly have Stockholm Syndrome but Sam might have some variant of a bodyguard crush on her (stretching the term but I can’t think of another one, perhaps rescue romance?) and it came off as kind of creepy. No actually, the idea that Sam has been watching Grace for years and falling in love with her, anyone else thinking of a certain vampire-human romance here?* I did know that this was going to be a romance but I thought it would be a urban fantasy cum romance cum adventure not romance with a supernatural problem which isn’t exactly a problem. Actually, it seemed like alot the supernatural elements existed just to cause problems for the couple, they were a little too (un)convenient in there placements. Now that I think about it, a lot of things about the wolves just bother me, Grace’s friends bothered me, I felt like a sub-plot was dropped concerning Grace’s parents** and I never quite connected to Grace.

To be technical, I was more bored/meh on the story while I was reading it, not actively disliking it, but I don’t feel the urge to go and read the sequel Linger. I suspect I wouldn’t like it so I’d rather spend my time reading something I think I would enjoy, like rereading Lament and seeing if I still enjoy it this time around.

*BellaxEdward or BuffyxAngel, your pick, I was reminded of both.
**seriously, was I the only one expecting a divorce to be announced halfway through? I was positive that both of her parents were having affairs, POSITIVE, and thinking about made me realize that divorces don’t usually happen in YA books. Sure they happen before hand or if that’s the main problem of the book it’ll happen but it’s never a subplot within a larger story, someone needs to fix this! As the child of a divorced couple, a a great number of couples do get divorced these days, I want books I can sympathize with dangit!


  1. I really enjoyed your review, Helen. I'm glad to hear that I wasen't the only one who wasn't wowed. You can see what I thought of it on my blog:

    Also,if you add a "Follow" widget to your blog, I'd love to join and see what else you write. :)

  2. Oh neat, I hadn't seen that widget before, thanks for telling me about it!