Winter’s the worst…

Shiver, by Maggie Shiefvater (2009)

Riding on the coattails of the Twilight phenomenon, Shiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy has been on my radar for a while. I didn’t know much about it, except that it had an appealing cover and that it was one of those werewolf teenage romances that seem to be so popular. So as I was creating my stack of winter break reads, I added Shiver to the list.

Yesterday, when I was eating dinner with my dear friend and new librarian Laura, I mentioned that I had started reading it. When she asked how it was, I told her it was pretty much like Twilight, except that it was missing that need-to-read quality that unwittingly captured so many of us. I was 50 pages in and not very hopeful.

But. Obviously, as I am writing this today, less that 24 hours later, things picked up. I’m a slow reader, and I tore through those last 340 pages faster than anything I’ve read since the last HP. Oh BOY.

In alternating chapters, we get the story of Grace and Sam. When she was younger, Grace was attacked by a group of wolves, nearly died, until one wolf with golden eyes carried her home, saving her life. Ever since, Grace has watched the golden-eyed wolf who sits at the edge of the woods by her house through the winter months each year. Grace dreads summer, when the wolf disappears.

Sam, however, loves summer. When the weather gets warm, he is able to transform into his true human body. Except each year, the human transformations get shorter and eventually will stop forever. In fact, this year the summer months fade to fall and his wolf body remains.

Then one evening, a group of hunters take to the woods to kill all the wolves, and Sam is shot. Somehow, he shifts and makes his way to Grace’s porch, where she finds him bleeding and naked. When she looks into his eyes, those same golden eyes, BOOM. LOVE. The pair spend the next weeks and chapters navigating their new human relationship while simultaneously tackling complication after complication, including troubling parents, a new rogue werewolf, rocky friendships, and the ever-growing threat of winter.

It sounds a bit formulaic, I realize, but I’m not sure that really matters. Any book that can make me tear through nearly 400 pages in 2 days is okay in my book. And Stiefvater doesn’t stick to the conventional myths of werewolves either, making things more interesting.

Book number 2, Linger, has quickly been added to the winter break list.

2 stars

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One thought on “Winter’s the worst…

  1. That first paragraph had me terrified that you weren’t going to like Shiver. Which would just be sad. It’s a book that I love so much that I actually bought it so I could re-read it anytime I wanted. And the blue font! So pretty! Hope you’re having a good break so far. 🙂

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