Monday, December 13, 2010

Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater

Also reviewed by Mindy

Summary: 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.  Same 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.  (Summary from back of the book and image from http://darkfaerietales.com/.)

My Review:  Shiver was not my favorite book by far. According to the author, she'd written her draft of Shiver long before the Twilight Series was published, and I feel for her if that is the case.  It is so similar to Twilight that it was hard to enjoy and I am sure anyone reading it will have to make the comparison between the two series -- high school girl, living with oblivious parents, in love with a paranormal boy/wolf, and the whole story gives off a feeling of cold (whereas Twilight gave off the ever present rain). Twilight has a feeling that grabs you and sucks you in. Shiver has all the same plot elements except that pull. 

The writing was a bit better than Twilight, but it definitely didn't captivate me, therefore I don't think I can say it's a better novel. I forced myself to get through the first half. The second half was better and had more depth of plot, but it still didn't have the draw that Twilight did. Shiver, as I'm sure it's been compared before, is the Jacob-fan version of Twilight

There were several aspects I didn't like about Shiver:  I didn't care for how the author painted Grace's parents.   Despite their obvious lacking parenting skills, they loved their daughter and believed their hands-off approach was a positive way to parent.  Not that I agree with it, but you would think that Grace could see their point of view even a little. Too much of the book made adults seem vapid--a word that is specifically used for both Grace's and Sam's parents.  I also didn't like the swearing and constant taking the name of God in vain.  The losing-her-virginity scene was also disturbing to me.  Girls drawn to this book, in my eyes, would be vulnerable to the perspective that hiding something so big from her parents is okay.  I'm also afraid many girls would think losing their virginity when the passion was 'so right' and the circumstance too dire (he might never come back, oh my!), and then fall prey to the insecurities that this book doesn't even begin to scratch the surface.  Sexual decisions are too important to paint with such a broad stroke for a young adult reader--especially a middle school one.  Overall, I think I could have skipped reading this book. I might pass on Linger because if it's anything like Shiver, it was too much of the same thing.

My Rating: 2.5 stars  (For the sensitive reader: occasional swearing, and a scene where she loses her virginity although it's mostly implied.)


Sum it up:  Bubble gum for the Twilight-loving-themed reader.  It could easily envelope a young mind prone to extreme relationships.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Not sure how you could finish this book. I decided after about 100 page that it wasn't worth my time. Just because I love the Twilight series doesn't mean I like all (or any) vampire/werewolf books. My librarian thought I would enjoy it (nope). Good review - not worth reading in my opinion and a steer-clear book for teens.

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