Sorry for the muddled state of some of the older posts. Mist is slaving away to reformat them ASAP ; ).

12/29/09

Maggie Stiefvater - Shiver

This was another audio book listen and in all honesty, I would have set it aside if it had not been one of my NaNoReadMo challenge books. Nothing like a public pledge to get the reading mojo going! When I started Shiver, I got the same "it's taking too long to get going" vibe I did when I tried Twilight. Unlike Twilight, though, I actually finished this book. Who knows, I may join a Twilight challenge someday and finish it then but, um, don't hold your breath. ;)

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human—or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

We're introduced to Grace, a girl being attacked by wolves, before a certain yellow-eyed wolf challenges the attackers and gets them to back down. Six years later we meet a boy named Sam, working in a local bookstore that just happens to have yellow eyes. A wolf with yellow eyes? A boy with yellow eyes? It couldn't be, could it? Why yes, yes it can. Wolf = Boy. “It's elementary, my dear Watson.”

Anyway…what makes this werewolf story different from all the rest is the fact that the transformation from man to wolf, and vice versa, has nothing to do with the moon. The transition for these wolves is based on the temperature. When the temp drops in the winter, they turn into wolves. When it heats up during summer, they change back to humans. Also, they only get a certain amount of changes before they become a wolf, permanently. The number of changes varies for each person and that's one thing that bugged me. How can it be so random for each person? And why not move to a place that's always warm? This question is brought up in the book but the answer is kind of effed up too. There's just no rhyme or reason to it. It just…IS. I don't like that. I want to know the what's, how's and why's.

I found Sam and Grace's growing relationship to be sweet but it felt like forever before the story picked up and got interesting. Grace's parents were beyond clueless and selfish, never once taking a real interest in their daughter's life. If they had, they would've noticed the dude sleeping in her room. Things finally picked up for me when another girl, Isabel, approached Grace for help regarding her brother Jack. Jack was killed earlier in the book by the wolves yet Isabel tells Grace she has recently seen her brother. Things slow down again because Grace denies knowing anything about the wolves and she and Sam continue their budding relationship. One thing that stood out for me early on was the fact that Grace was bitten by a wolf in the beginning of the book yet she never turned into one. This is what I held onto for a lot of the book – I wanted to know why, Why, WHY?!?! The subject finally came up in the book and I hoped they would take the information to Beck (Sam's mentor/father-figure/fellow wolf-man) so they could really look into her situation and what made it unique. Instead, Grace and Sam talk about it for a little bit and then don't really do anything about it. HELLO!!! She was somehow cured! Get thee to a lab for some analysis, STAT!

In the end, it does turn out that something about when Grace was bitten gives the Scooby Doo gang an idea about finding a cure, but there's one major problem: the temperature is dropping and Sam is facing his final change. This is where things really get good. I applaud the audio book version during this part because the section where they're looking for Sam, and Isabel is checking the sheds on her family's property had me pausing all else as I waited for the outcome. The rest of the book from this point had my full attention. The part in the car just after the accident…heartbreaking!

So, while the beginning and middle were a little slow for me, the final stretch of the book was good enough for me to look back and say I'm glad I read it.

Final Grade:






Around The Net:

Chick Lit Teens: 5/5
The Book Butterfly: 5/5
The Book Smugglers: 5/10
Dear Author: B-
Babbling About Books, and More: B+
My Friend Amy: 4/5


8 comments:

Katiebabs a.k.a KB Tuesday, December 29, 2009 9:26:00 AM  

I did enjoy how Maggie handled Grace and Sam's physical relationship. I thought it was very sweet. They way things ended has me anxious to read the sequel in regards to Sam's changes.

Mistress Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:40:00 AM  

Wand: I'm currently listening to Shiver or rather I was and now I'm stuck lol. I love love loved Mz. Stiefvater's Lament, so I scooped up shiver at amazon on auto pilot. But the slow pacing and me being a bit of a wuss (I'm stuck shortly after Sam discovers Beck's "cargo") have thwarted me.

I'm intend to buy it for my kindle, cause I get the feeling it may be the audio format that's giving me pause. Though I love the way it's narrated audio books drag out into 8 hours what I can do in 2 or less. And I'm thinking that the additional drag ain't helping the dark rambling storytelling style any.

Would you be willing to give Lament a shot? I highly recommend it.

Katie: The innocence of their attraction was a beautiful thing.

Smokinhotbooks Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:45:00 AM  

I loved loved loved this book -->that's a lot of loves! For some strange reason I can't get into audio books it actually ruins the book for me.

Great Review!!!

Wanderer Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:10:00 PM  

KB - Definitely, the physical was handled very well. I recently read a blog post that talked about sex in YA books. I haven't read much YA but did mention this one and how I thought it was done very sweetly and I think appropriately for the storyline.

I didn't realize there would be a sequel. I hope more of the mystery behind the wolves' transitions will be addressed. The fact that this is a new take on the werewolf theme makes me want more information on it.

Mist - I'll take a look at Lament since you asked so nicely :) Good point on the audio vs text thing. I'm going to get Lament in ebook and see how it goes.

SHB - you can add as many loves as you want. :)

Katiebabs a.k.a KB Wednesday, December 30, 2009 12:13:00 PM  

I think Maggie has 3 books planned. I really want to know how things are going to work out between Grace and Sam. It seems their romance is doomed because of Sam's change into a wolf that can't be stopped. Unless Grace becomes a wolf also.

Wanderer Thursday, December 31, 2009 1:30:00 AM  

Wait, wait, wait, wait.....I thought he was cured? I went away with a happy feeling because my take was that he is human permanently. Are you bursting my happy bubble KB?

Katiebabs a.k.a KB Thursday, December 31, 2009 1:49:00 PM  

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Sam still has that small problem to work on with him becoming furry forever. hee hee.

Wanderer Thursday, January 21, 2010 1:57:00 AM  

I really thought he was cured. I figured the reason he didn't get back to Grace right away was because he was sick like Jack. Now I have to read book 2 :)

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