Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA/Paranormal Romance
Pages: 392 (Hardcover)
The premise: Grace was attacked by a gang of wolves when she was a child, but one wolf saved her. That wolf, a werewolf named Sam, returned every winter to keep watch over her, but always disappeared in the summer. Years later, when the wolves attack and kill a boy at Grace's school, Sam shows up on her doorstep needing help. But Sam isn't a wolf, he's human, and it's not the change of the moon that forces the change, but the change in temperature. Shiver is, beyond a doubt, a love story between a human girl who may not be so human after all, and a boy who'd do anything to stay human so that he can be with her.
Buy the Paperback: this is, first and foremost, a love story, and the couple is too sweet and almost too perfect to allow for much conflict. The book could've been shorter in terms of conflict alone, but if you like the characters, it's sweet watching them interact, especially since they have such a limited time together. The writing is solid, at times lovely, and I didn't consider it purple, though some have accused it of being so (some of those same people say Meyer's prose ISN'T purple, and I tend to disagree with that too). It reads fast, but by the end, it leaves a lot of unanswered questions which has me wondering if I want to pick up the sequel, Linger when it comes out next year. I think I may, but it'll thoroughly depend on what kind of mood I'm in at the time.
In the end, I think I would've rather waited on the paperback. My werewolf fetish was happy enough, but I didn't tear through this like I thought I might. Of course, I didn't tear through Stiefvater's Lament either, and while some people say that book was better, I'm not sure. Better in conflict, sure, but I think it boils down to whether or not you prefer faeries or werewolves. I prefer werewolves, and while Stiefvater's writing is enjoyable and I liked certain elements of the story (namely, a heroine who's smart enough to save herself toward the end), I'm not in love with Stiefvater's work. Not yet. There's definitely promise though, but I do wish she'd move away from the "heroine falls in love with supernatural boy" plot. She did it in Lament and she does it here. It'd be nice to see her try something a wee bit different (and not "HERO falls in love with supernatural HEROINE" different either). :)
Review style: Stream of conscious, because there are points worth discussing and there will be spoilers. If spoilers don't bother you, feel free to click the link below to my LJ, as there is much discussion and some comparison/contrast to Twilight, which in this case, I feel is appropriate. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
REVIEW: Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER