Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shiver by Stiefvater


Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver, 392 pgs. Scholastic Press, 2009.
Ratings : PG for language (handful of swears, no f-) and violence (wolf attacks) ; PG-13 for sexual content (sexual encounter with no graphic description)
"In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity." Told in alternating chapters from Sam and Grace's perspective, with the temperature duly noted, this story is similar to Twilight in three significant ways : Grace and Sam are drawn to each other almost immediately without the insight of shared experiences ; there is a lot of pining for one another but not much action (probably Shiver has even less than Twilight) ; and the author takes liberal license with the literary tradition of a mythical creature. In this case, the humans turn into wolves with the onset of winter and cold weather, and at some point become trapped in their lupine manifestation. A full moon and silver bullets don't enter into the story at all. I read the book to the end so I could judge the appropriateness of the book for a middle school, but I don't know if I would have finished it otherwise. Nonetheless, I think teenage fans of Twilight will be happy with Shiver : a romance where the road to eternal bliss is threatened by a supernatural curse. The sequel is highly anticipated by Goodreads members (largest social network for readers online) and is scheduled to be released next year.
MS, HS - ADVISABLE.

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