Saturday, July 9, 2011

Review: Shiver

Title: Shiver
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Format: audiobook
Published: 2009
Narrated by: Jenna Lamia and David Ledoux
Rating: 4/5

the cold.
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

the heat.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

the shiver.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

Shiver is the first book of a trilogy about the Wolves of Mercy Falls. The story, narrated by the two main characters through each of their own points of view, is about a girl and boy who fall in love despite the boy becoming a wolf for part of every year as the weather gets colder. They work together to find a way for him to stay human this year.

Setting: This book is set in the fictional town of Mercy Falls. Most scenes involve the characters in Boundary Woods (behind Grace's house yet stretches a long way), outside Grace's high school, Grace's house, Beck's house, the town hospital, or somewhere in between. The storyline spans several years.

Characters: The two main characters are Grace and Sam. Also included at times are Beck, Paul, Shelby and the rest of the wolf pack, Grace's best-friends Olivia and Rachel, and very rarely Grace's parents. At the beginning of each chapter the temperature (in Fahrenheit, which means nothing to me) is mentioned to draw you attention as the days and nights get colder or warmer. This is important as to whether the wolf pack are wolves or humans externally.

Age Recommendation: This book is intended for young adults ages 14 and up. It contains some sexual content and violence but it is minimal.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and appreciated hearing it through an audiobook. Books about werewolves and other paranormal/shapeshifting topics aren't usually what I go for and I have a feeling I may not have read this book had I not been able to find it in audio. I do however think that the narrators did really well to infuse their characters with emotion and passion which was nice to listen to and brought a tear to my eye at some points. I also was glad for the lack of an urge to flip ahead for example to see if a certain character would be reappearing later on, thus spoiling the suspense for myself.

The Author's notes/explanation at the end was also nice as it gave an insight into who the author is and what makes her tick. As someone who has never read any of her other works I appreciated this feature at the end of the audiobook.

I did notice however today when seeing a hard copy of this book in a store that the text for Shiver is all in navy blue and the following book "Linger" is written all in green. I think this is a neat concept that isn't often used and so I may revert to reading the hardcopy of the next book just for the colours. :) Or not as I hear this next book features even more talented narrators.

Have you read or listened to this book? What did you think?

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