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.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.”
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.
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.
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